The memorial service for Pierre Boulez at the Saint-Sulpice church in Paris was attended last Friday by the French prime minister Manuel Valls, the culture minister Fleur Pellerin as well as the former culture minister Jack Lang.
The musician Daniel Barenboim spoke of Boulez’s legacy as a man of the future interested in many things beyond music – for Barenboim, Boulez was a “true man of the future”.
Laurent Bayle, president of the Philharmonie de Paris, recalled Boulez’ creative achievements including Boulez’s lifelong disdain for “les invalides de la nostalgie”.
The most moving and evocative homage was delivered ex tempore by the architect Renzo Piano, recalling Boulez’s lifelong search for beauty: “Merci, Pierre, Merci.”
When Simone Young lay down her baton on 15 June 2015 after the performance of Franz Schmidt’s The Book with Seven Seals, it was the 45th programme in the 90th Philharmonic concert that she had conducted within the ten years of her term as Hamburg Artistic Director
“Time to reassess Austria’s tainted composer?” Andrew Clements of The Guardian reviews a new recording of Franz Schmidt’s Das Buch mit Sieben Siegeln.
Keith Warner’s new production of The Threepenny Opera premières today at the Theater an der Wien.
Johannes Kalitzke conducts the Klangforum Wien, the production stars Tobias Moretti, Florian Boesch, Anne Sofie von Otter, Nina Bernsteiner, Angelika Kirchschlager and others.
Watch a short introduction to the production by Austrian TV station ORF.
Today Morton Feldman would have celebrated his 90th anniversary. 30 years ago, he held a lecture at the 33rd International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt.
Today at 7:30 CET/CEST, the Austrian radio station Ö1 presents the 2 1/2 hour programme In memoriam Pierre Boulez.
In the studio: Lothar Knessl, who knew Pierre Boulez since the post-war years, Christian Scheib, who was responsible for the script of “Pierre Boulez in Salzburg”, Florian Rosensteiner, who worked as a producer with Boulez, and Albert Hosp, who interviewed him for Ö1 on Mahler and Szymanowsky.
My compositions use these sliding tones to create structures, „drawing“ geometrical systems of lines and curves which are slowly channelled into various intervallic relationships, creating a system of tension and release.
Delta – Music for Orchestra IV uses the actual shape of the sign ∆ as the formal structure of the composition. Slow upwardly gliding lines are positioned over the tone “D” spinning a long web of harmonies and overtones driving towards a “D” unison. The expectations are, however, interrupted by a catharsis.
Tomorrow, 9 January, the UK première of Jay Schwartz’ Delta – Music for Orchestra IV will be performed at the City Halls in Glasgow. Matthias Pintscher conducts the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
In Gilbert Kaplan, Universal Edition loses an important partner and friend. Together with Renate Stark-Voit he edited the critical new edition of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 as part of the Critical Complete Edition of Mahler’s works.
No composer touched him more than Mahler. Kaplan’s publications and his support for the renovation of Mahler’s composer’s cottage in Steinbach/Attersee are only two examples of his tireless love for Mahler, which was always inspiring and enriching to us.
Two recent appearances in Vienna will remain unforgotten: on 18 May 2011, the 100th anniversary of the death of Gustav Mahler, he held a moving speech on the life and work of Mahler before a performance of the Symphony No. 9 at the Vienna State Opera.
On 17 February 2013, he conducted the world première of his reduced version of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, which he arranged together with Rob Mathes, at the Konzerthaus in Vienna.
We will miss him.
Beautiful – Georg Friedrich Haas’ Morgen und Abend and the “Total Immersion: Boulez at 90” programme made it into Fiona Maddocks’ best classical music of 2015 article:
“If you value the characteristics of Janáček’s music, this is the ideal edition” says Dieter Flury, the Vienna Philharmonic’s principal flutist and former general manager after the Austrian première of The Makropulos Affair in Jiří Zahrádka’s revised edition at the Vienna State Opera.
Jakub Hrůša made his first appearance as conductor at the State Opera and was applauded as enthusiastically as Laura Aikin as Emilia Marty in Peter Stein’s staging of the opera.
Here are snapshots of the composer at the rehearsals for Kleine Litanei and sitting next to the Austrian first lady Margit Fischer at the world première of the work at the St Virgil's Chapel.
The next chance to listen to Kleine Litanei will be at the Internationale Barocktage Stift Melk on 16 May.
Members of the Ensemble Wiener Collage present a portrait concert of Vykintas Baltakas on 12 December at the Kunstverein Alte Schmiede in Vienna: cellist Roland Schueler, pianist Jaime Wolfson and violinist Bojidara Kouzmanova will perform works from the composer’s oeuvre. Vykintas Baltakas will be present at the concert.
for violoncello and piano | 10'
Roland Schueler, vc; Jaime Wolfson, pno
Eine kleine Nachtmusik
for violin solo | 6'
Bojidara Kouzmanova, vln
(how does the silver cloud s)ou(nd?)
for piano | 5'
Jaime Wolfson, pno
for piano and tape | 5'
Jaime Wolfson, pno
The Anglo-Portuguese Ensemble will perform Arnold Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht, which was inspired by Richard Dehmel’s poem of the same name, as part of their Christmas concert on 10 December at the Church of our Lady of the Assumption and St Gregory in London.
They play the piece along with the Symphony in B Flat by Carlos Seixas and Fantasia upon one note by Henry Purcell.