Universal Edition - Blog

Le vin herbé on tour

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 Februar 2017

Frank Martin (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

“Unlike Wagner’s maximalist, ultra Romantic and overtly theatrical operation, the trance-like, mesmeric effect of Martin’s music, is, like the love potion, a rare kind of intoxication, which leads us towards the mythical.” (Polly Graham, The Guardian, 2917-02-16)

Polly Graham blogs about Frank Martin’s Le Vin herbé – “the magic potion”. Graham is the director of the Welsh National Opera’s recent production of the secular oratorio. The production premièred on 15 February at the Welsh National Opera in Cardiff before it will go on tour in March and April.

Read the full article

Victoria Borisova-Ollas awarded Sweden’s oldest music prize

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 Februar 2017

Victoria Borisova-Ollas (c) Expressen,  Ellinor Collin

Swedish tabloid Expressen gave out its annual Spelmannen culture award – Sweden’s oldest music prize – to Victoria Borisova-Ollas: congratulations!

The award ceremony took place at Nalen in Stockholm on 13 February.

Read a [Swedish] interview with the composer

Happy 9th of February

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 Februar 2017

Rihm (c) Universal Edition, Marinitsch

25 years ago today, on 9 February 1992, Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Die Eroberung von Mexico was first heard at the Hamburg State Opera – Ingo Metzmacher conducted.

View the full score

On the same day in 1992, Arvo Pärt’s And One of the Pharisees ... was given its world première by Paul Hillier and the Theatre of Voices.

In 1949, the orchestral suite of Gottfried von Einem’s Dantons Tod was premièred in Baden Baden by the Radio Orchestra.

… and on this day in 1945, Frank Martin’s Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke was performed for the very first time in Basel by the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Paul Sacher.

And Happy Birthday Alban Berg! He was born on 9 February 1885, 132 years ago today.

The International Musikfest focuses on Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 Februar 2017

Pierre Boulez (c) Peter Fischli, Lucerne Festival

The 38th International Musikfest at the Wiener Konzerthaus focuses on the oeuvre of Pierre Boulez – in 14 concerts all of his compositions will be performed.

Find out more on the website of the Wiener Konzerthaus.

Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy premièred 100 years ago

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 Januar 2017

Alexander Zemlinsky (c) Universal Edition; Johannes Feigl

“Everything comes to me without effort, technically it all comes very easily & in the end I feel I’ve produced something worthwhile.” writes Alexander Zemlinsky in a letter to Arnold Schönberg on A Florentine Tragedy.

Exactly one hundred years ago, Zemlinsky’s gripping one-act opera was premièred at the Stuttgart State Theatre by Max von Schillings

In 2015 Roland Freisitzer arranged a chamber version of the opera. This chamber version makes do with just 20 instruments (optionally with string sections).

Find out more

Fennessy’s Panopticon shortlisted for Scottish Awards for New Music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 Januar 2017

David Fennessy

Panopticon continues a line of enquiry present in pieces of mine beginning with graft (1999) for string quartet through to Hauptstimme (2013) for solo viola and ensemble, and Hirta Rounds (2015) for sixteen unconducted strings – namely the role of the individual within a larger, group setting and particularly, the functions of leaders and followers. (David Fennessy)

The shortlist for the first Scottish Awards for New Music has been announced! Congratulations to David Fennessy whose work Panopticon for string sextet and cimbalom has been nominated for the Dorico Award for Small/medium Scale Work.

Find out more

Boulez in the jungle

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 Januar 2017

Pierre Boulez (c) UEDistracted from his composing and iconoclasm by the necessity of earning some money, a young Pierre Boulez found work with a Parisian theatre company. Three trips he made with them to South America changed him and his music forever. (Robert Worby, The Guardian, 26 January 2017)

Listen to “Boulez and his Rumble in the Jungle”, a programme by Robert Worby, on BBC Radio 3 on 29 January at 19:45 CET.

Listen live

The programme will be available on iPlayer for 30 days.

Pierre-Laurent Aimard receives the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2017

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 Januar 2017

Congratulations to Pierre-Laurent Aimard for being awarded the Ernst von Siemens Music Prize 2017!

Find out more

In January 2015, we talked to Aimard about Pierre Boulez – you can watch the whole interview below:

in vain: the most beautiful work of the new millennium

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 Januar 2017

The Italian magazine Classic Voice recently announced Georg Friedrich Haas’ work in vain to be the “most beautiful score of the new millennium” – the result of a survey in which 130 experts of European contemporary music participated.

You can watch a five-minute introduction to in vain  recorded in 2016 in Valencia – here:

Arvo Pärt Festival in Portland

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 Januar 2017

The Arvo Pärt Festival in Portland

The first-ever festival in North America dedicated to the music of Arvo Pärt runs from 5 to 12 February. The Arvo Pärt Festival takes place in Portland, Oregon and is presented by the Cappella Romana.

From the press release:

The Arvo Pärt Festival features eight (8) live performances of music by Arvo Pärt with chamber music (including Spiegel im Spiegel), the complete organ works, a cappella choral works (including selections of the Kanon Pokajanen), a late-night performance of the Passio by candlelight, the Missa Syllabica sung in a Latin mass, and a festival finale featuring Pärt’s Te Deum for three choirs, strings, and prepared piano, Da Pacem Domine (commissioned by Jordi Savall in memory of the victims of the Madrid terrorist bombings in 2004), and the US premiere of Alleluia-Tropus celebrating St. Nicholas.

The live events of the festival will be preceded with a screening of the new film “Arvo Pärt: Even if I lose everything” at Whitsell Auditorium, NW Film Center.

View the full programme

in vain wins new music hit parade

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 Januar 2017

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch, Johannes Feigl

Congratulations! Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain wins the new music hit parade of Classic Voice – find out more in this [Italian] article on Corriere Della Sera.

360 degrees of Wolfgang Rihm

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 Januar 2017

Wolfgang Rihm, Elbphilharmonie Hamburg

Today’s opening concerts that mark the start of a three-week festival celebrating the opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg can be watched in a 360 degree live stream.

Among the works performed is the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Reminiszenz | Triptychon und Spruch in memoriam Hans Henny Jahnn.

Watch the opening concert live here:

The world’s most performed living composer sixth year running: Arvo Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 Januar 2017

Arvo Pärt (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

“While Bachtrack is yet to officially publish the statistics on its website, it has confirmed in a private tweet exchange that Pärt is, indeed, the world’s most performed living composer sixth year running.” (estonian world)

Congratulations Arvo Pärt!

Find out more

Schreker’s Orchestral Music from the Operas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 Januar 2017

Franz Schreker: Orchestral Music from the OperasIt’s an impressive disc, the selections presenting the composer at his finest, and all performed with precision and feeling, and recorded at the high standards associated with the BIS label, still laudably loyal to the SACD format. (Gavin Dixon, Classical CD Reviews)

Gavin Dixon of Classical CD Reviews on “Franz Schreker: Orchestral Music from the Operas”.

The record is published by BIS Records and has recently been nominated for the Swedish Grammy Awards for classical music.

Read the full review

Franz Schmidt: time to listen afresh

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 Dezember 2016

Franz Schmidt (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

Today marks the birthday of Franz Schmidt, who was born on 22 December 1874 in Preßburg.

In his Guardian-article “How Franz Schmidt became the composer that history forgot” Gavin Plumley pointed out why it is time to listen to the composer’s works afresh.

You can view the full study score of Schmidt’s Symphony No. 2 on Universal Edition for free:

Franz Schmidt: Symphony No. 2