Universal Edition - Blog

LEN presents a portrait of Luciano Berio at the festival Jauna Muzika on 4 April 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 April 2013

LEN (c) Lithuanian Ensemble NetworkThe Lithuanian Ensemble Network (LEN) is a professional ensemble connecting Baltic musicians dedicated to contemporary music. Its primary concern is to establish contacts with the main figures of the contemporary music world, involving them into the Baltic music scene and creating a creative platform for emerging composers. LEN is also acting internationally, having performed at the WDR Cologne, the RUHR.2010 – Capital of Culture, and the Ultraschall Festival in Berlin.

The ensemble started its own concert series – “Composers of our time” – in Vilnius in 2010. The next concert of “Composers of our time” on 4 April is dedicated to Luciano Berio, representing a broad spectrum of works, written between 1952 and 1999:

Sequenza III (1968), Air (aus “Opera” 1969/1970), Naturale (1985), El mar la mar (1952/1969), O King (1968), Lied (1983), Différences (1958–1959) and Altra voce (1999).

This concert is a cooperation between the LEN and the festival Jauna Muzika. Vykintas Baltakas will be conducting, with soprano Rita Balta and mezzosoprano Rita Mačiliūnaitė.

The “Composers of our time” will be continued in the season 2013/2014, focusing on Wolfgang Rihm and Matthias Pintscher.


With the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation and the Goethe Institut Vilnius.

Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
in cooperation with the festival of electronic music “Jauna muzika”
4 April 2013, Vilnius (LT)

Giedrius Gelgotas, fl; Andrius Žiūra, cl; Andrius Žiūra, cl; Karolis Kolakauskas, cl; Rima Chačaturian, pno; Raimondas Sviackevičius, acc; Tomas Kulikauskas, perc; Vilija Gencevičiūtė, harp; Ieva Sipaitytė, vno; Robertas Bliškevičius, vla; Vita Šiugždinienė, vc; Danielius Rubinas, cb

Rita Balta, s; Rita Mačiliūnaitė, ms

Vykintas Baltakas, cond.

Jay Schwartz: Music for Orchestra II, composer portrait

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 April 2013

Ö1 broadcasts last year’s performance of Music for Orchestra II and a composer portrait of the artist on 2 April, starting at 23:03 (CEST). Listen to a live stream of the show.

Jay Schwartz talks about Music for Orchestra II:

Jay Schwartz: Music for Orchestra IIJay Schwartz (c) Universal Edition
Composer portrait
Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich, cond. Brad Lubman
Tuesday, 2 April, 23:03 | Ö1
Listen live

Luz sobre lienzo on Youtube

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 März 2013

Mauricio Sotelo (c) Gemma RomeroCommissioned by the Sociedad Estatal Acción Cultura Espagñola, Sotelo composed Luz sobre lienzo in honour of the 200th anniversary of the 1812 Cádiz Constitution. He was inspired by the allegory La Verdad, el Tiempo y la Historia [“Truth, Time and History”], which refers to the eponymous painting Goya made for the 1812 occasion (the painting is now on display in the Stockholm National Museum). The three figures in the painting – apparently shrouded in a strange veil of light – are represented in the piece by a violin (Truth), a cajón (Time), and dance (History). Live electronics replace the eerie “light,” the entirety scenically presented by unconventional interpreters.

The group includes Patricia Kopachinskaya, the internationally celebrated Moldavian violinist (who recently gave the premiere performance of Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in Austria, where it was received enthusiastically by the public and critics alike), “La Moneta” (the flamenco dancer who enjoyed great success at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam and the Teatro Real opera house in Madrid when she performed in Sotelo’s Muerte sin fin), Agustin Diaserra playing the flamenco cajón and Fernando Villanueva, in charge of the light projections – both the latter having always been part of the composer’s recent pieces.

Watch the full performance online:

Pierre Boulez: Mahler and Berg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 März 2013

Pierre Boulez: Mahler, Berg, Deutsche Grammophon“Boulez's Mahler is full of revelations. One could easily view him as a surgeon, aware of every sinew and synapse in what lies in front of him. Yet this latest addition to Boulez's discography (recorded at the 2011 Salzburg Festival) is a sound retort to any such charges of analytical detachment.”

Excerpt from Gavin Plumley's review. Read the full review on Entartete Musik.

Final rehearsal of Zemlinsky's Die Seejungfrau

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 März 2013 (Kommentare: 2)

Die Seejungfrau, rehearsal (c) Universal Edition, Sarah StandkeHere in Amsterdam, the final rehearsal of the critical edition of Alexander Zemlinsky’s Die Seejungfrau at the Concertgebouw went well. We are looking forward to today's performance, where Vladimir Jurowski will conduct the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest.

View the full score of the new critical edition of Zemlinsky's Seejungfrau

Passio in Amsterdam

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 März 2013

Arvo Pärt - Passio (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Standke

Some impressions of the performance of Arvo Pärt's Passio on 26 March 2013 at the Westerkerk in Amsterdam – including standing ovations.

Happy Birthday Pierre Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 März 2013

Pierre Boulez (c) Peter Fischli, Lucerne FestivalHappy Birthday Pierre Boulez!

Boulez talks about his own works:

2000 audio excerpts

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 März 2013

UE - Audio ExcerptsWe’ve just uploaded our 2000th audio excerpt – a recording of the world première of Friedrich Cerha’s Skizzen.

We’ll continue to upload new audio excerpts, so let us know if there’s a composer or a work that you’re especially interested in.

The Treasure Hunter

Posted by Eric Marinitsch on 25 März 2013

Steinmetz at workWe recently visited the composer Werner Steinmetz who is intensively working on a reduced orchestration of Franz Schreker's opera Der Schatzgräber (The Treasure Hunter).

His orchestration will be the same as Schreker's Chamber Symphonie (23 musicians) that was composed more or less in the same period (1916).

The opera will be premiered on 12th September 2013 in Linz/Austria (a production of EntArteOpera).

Happy Birthday Cristóbal Halffter

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 März 2013

Happy Birthday Cristóbal Halffter!

Video language: German with English subtitles

Victor Ibarra in Vienna

Posted by Eric Marinitsch on 22 März 2013 (Kommentare: 4)

Victor Ibarra explaining ...The Mexican composer Victor Ibarra, who has won the main prize of the 2nd Mauricio Kagel Composition Competition has come to Vienna on invitation of the University of Music and Performing Art, to lead a workshop on his awarded piano piece Cuatro observaciones sobre lo imaginario.

Ibarra's fascinating piano piece will be published in July by UE as part of the 2nd volume of the piano series K2013 that include all winners of the renowned competition.

Michael Haas: Forbidden Music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 März 2013

Michael Haas - Forbidden MusicMichael Haas’ book Forbidden Music will be published next month by Yale University Press. Michael Haas was producer of London/Decca's recording series Entartete Musik and is presently research director of the Jewish Music Institute for Suppressed Music, SOAS, University of London

“This is not a book about Nazis but about the composers who were lost, and the musical trends they established before being banned, murdered and exiled. It also examines the tragic postwar developments that kept them on the margins long after the fall of Hitler’s Reich. As such, this book lays out how Jews saw themselves, and how they were seen by non-Jews. It tries to contextualise the discrepancy that often emerges from these different perceptions and to evaluate the music written by Jewish composers, much of which remains unjustly neglected.” – from Forbidden Music by Michael Haas

Renée Fleming, soprano and musical ambassador, on Forbidden Music:

“After working with me as producer on several recordings, Michael Haas led me to this rich and largely unknown body of repertoire. Forbidden Music by Michael Haas shines a spotlight on musical treasures that would otherwise have been forgotten, a legacy of fascinating works, careers, and lives thwarted by history. Haas's diligent research, and interviews with survivors and primary sources, have rescued a generation of musical invention and brilliance from obscurity. His work has directly led to artists like me performing and recording previously unknown works as well. Now Forbidden Music will aid new artists and audiences, incorporating a generation of lost music into the mainstream repertoire. We owe Michael Haas’s scholarship and dedication a debt of thanks.”

Review: Boulez conducts Mahler and Berg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 März 2013

Pierre Boulez: Mahler, Berg, Deutsche GrammophonIn his recent review of Pierre Boulez's recording of Gustav Mahler's Das klagende Lied and Alban Berg's Lulu-Suite with the Wiener Philharmoniker, Andrew Clements concludes that Boulez's rendition of Das klagende Lied has “both spaciousness and finely focused detail”, and that the Lulu-Suite is “even more remarkable, for there's an emotional breadth to Boulez's approach now that just wasn't there in his earlier, pioneering performances.”

Read the full review here.

Tom Service: A guide to György Kurtág's music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 März 2013

Tom ServiceTom Service's latest blog-entry is about the music of György Kurtág. In one of the comments, a reader compares Kurtág to Pierre Boulez - calling them “the last surviving link[s] to the great composers born in the 1920s.” What do you think?

The RIAS Kammerchor wins the Prix Caecilia 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 März 2013

Wolfgang Rihm - AstralisCongratulations to the RIAS Kammerchor for winning the Prix Caecilia 2013 for their recording of Wolfgang Rihm’s Astralis – choral works under Hans-Christoph Rademann.

You can listen to excerpts and order the CD here.