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Schreker, Schönberg and Berg at Sotheby’s

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 November 2013

Franz Schreker: Der Schatzgräber, the composer’s own annotated copy; Sotheby’s

At Sotheby’s “Music, Continental Books & Manuscripts” sale several items from the estate of Franz Schreker will be on sale. Among them: Schreker’s own annotated and marked-up scores of Der Ferne Klang and Der Schatzgräber, a full score of Schönberg’s Gurrelieder (also annotated by Schreker) and a first edition of Wozzeck, signed and inscribed by Berg to Schreker.

The auction starts tomorrow, 27 November, at 10:30 GMT. Find out more at Sotheby’s and at the Entartete Musik blog.

Alain Galliari publishes a study on Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto “to the Memory of an Angel”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 November 2013

Alain Galliari: Concerto à la mémoire d’un ange. Alban Berg 1935

The French musicologist Alain Galliari, who wrote a large biography on Anton von Webern in 2007, has recently published his study Concerto à la mémoire d’un ange. Alban Berg 1935 (Fayard), which focuses on Berg’s famous last work. The study presents a delicate reading of the Violin Concerto “to the Memory of an Angel” [Dem Andenken eines Engels], based both on the biographical data of the composer and on the characteristics of the musical language of the work, which seeks the reality behind the legend and opens new perspectives on the secret significance of the work, and on the last months of the composers life.

General Manager of the Médiathèque Musicale Mahler in Paris, Alain Galliari has also published a book on the religious inclination of Franz Liszt (Franz Liszt et l’Espérance du Bon Larron, Fayard, 2011) and an essay on the topic of Redemption in Wagner’s librettos (Richard Wagner ou Le Salut corrompu, Le Passeur Editeur, 2013).

Universal Edition Newsletter November 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 November 2013

Newsletter Universal Edition November 2013
The latest Universal Edition newsletter, with information on world premières by David Fennessy, Wolfgang Rihm, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Alban Berg, is avaialble here.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Wozzeck reviewed: “Psychopathology is everything”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 November 2013

Alban Berg (c) Universal EditionGavin Plumley of Entartete Musik and Andrew Clements of The Guardian have both reviewed the Royal Opera House’s current production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck. You can find their reviews by clicking on their names.

Alban Berg: Wozzeck
Opera in 3 acts (15 scenes) | 90'
4 4 5 4 - 4 4 4 1 - timp(2), perc(4), cel, hp, str, stage: "Heurigenmusik" - fiddle (2-4), cl, acc, guit, bass tuba, military band - 3 2 2 2 - 2 2 3 1 - perc, pno, chamber orch - 1 2 3 2 - 2 0 0 0 - str(1 1 1 1 1)
Further performances: 8., 12., 15.11.2013, Royal Opera House, London; Simon Keenlyside, Wozzeck; Karita Mattila, Marie; Gerhard Siegel, Captain; John Tomlinson, Doctor; Endrik Wottrich, Drum Major; John Easterlin, Andres; Allison Cook, Margret; Jeremy White, First Apprentice; Grant Doyle, Second Apprentice; Robin Tritschler, Idiot; Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, cond. Mark Elder

Wozzeck opens today

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 Oktober 2013

Mark Elder introduces Alban Berg’s Wozzeck, “one of the most significant works of the twentieth century.”

This new production of Wozzeck opens today at the Royal Opera House.

Alban Berg: Wozzeck

Opera in 3 acts (15 scenes) | 90'

4 4 5 4 - 4 4 4 1 - timp(2), perc(4), cel, hp, str, stage: "Heurigenmusik" - fiddle (2-4), cl, acc, guit, bass tuba, military band - 3 2 2 2 - 2 2 3 1 - perc, pno, chamber orch - 1 2 3 2 - 2 0 0 0 - str(1 1 1 1 1)

31.10.2013, Royal Opera House, London; Simon Keenlyside, Wozzeck; Karita Mattila, Marie; Gerhard Siegel, Captain; John Tomlinson, Doctor; Endrik Wottrich, Drum Major; John Easterlin, Andres; Allison Cook, Margret; Jeremy White, First Apprentice; Grant Doyle, Second Apprentice; Robin Tritschler, Idiot; Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, cond. Mark Elder

Further performances: 5., 8., 12., 15.11.2013

A spooky Wozzeck at the Royal Opera House

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 September 2013

The Royal Opera House has released a “spooky new trailer” for Keith Warner’s upcoming production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck – which opens on Halloween.

Watch the trailer here:

Alban Berg: Wozzeck
Opera in 3 acts (15 scenes) | 90'
4 4 5 4 - 4 4 4 1 - timp(2), perc(4), cel, hp, str, stage: "Heurigenmusik" - fiddle (2-4), cl, acc, guit, bass tuba, military band - 3 2 2 2 - 2 2 3 1 - perc, pno, chamber orch - 1 2 3 2 - 2 0 0 0 - str(1 1 1 1 1)
31.10.2013, Royal Opera House, London; Simon Keenlyside, Wozzeck; Karita Mattila, Marie; Gerhard Siegel, Captain; John Tomlinson, Doctor; Endrik Wottrich, Drum Major; John Easterlin, Andres; Allison Cook, Margret; Jeremy White, First Apprentice; Grant Doyle, Second Apprentice; Robin Tritschler, Idiot; Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, cond. Mark Elder

More Wozzeck

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 Mai 2013

Wozzeck (c) ENOAnother great review of Wozzeck (con. Edward Gardner), this time from The Guardian. Tim Ashley describes Carrie Cracknell’s production of Berg’s “masterpiece”. Highlighting that Cracknell’s production distances itself from a psychoanalytic or symbolic interpretation of the opera (reminding the audience of trauma caused by war and poverty - Wozzeck, played by Leigh Melrose – has just returned from Iraq or Afghanistan), Ashley describes the opera as musically astonishing, Melrose “giving the performance of a lifetime [...], a major achievement for conductor Edward Gardner [...], an outstanding achievement to which no one can remain indifferent.”

Read the full review on The Guardian.

Alban Berg: Wozzeck
Opera in 3 acts | 105’
Further performances: 18, 23 and 25 May, English National Opera, London
Leigh Melrose, Wozzeck; Sara Jakubiak, Marie; Tom Randle, The Captain; James Morris, The Doctor; Bryan Register, The Drum-Major; ENO Orchestra, cond. Edward Gardner

Rethinking Wozzeck

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 Mai 2013

Gavin Plumley reviews Carrie Cracknell’s (you can follow her on twitter) new production of Berg’s Wozzeck at the ENO on his wonderful blog. If you haven’t seen the piece yet – in this or any other interpretation – this hopefully will work as an incentive to do so.

Some extracts (and I’ve heard similar):

Wozzeck is a relentlessly chilling opera. But in English National Opera's incisive new production, the piece shocks afresh. […] At the heart of the tale is Leigh Melrose's superb performance in the title role. […]The rest of the cast is likewise wholly committed to Cracknell and Gardner's reading. […]

and finally:

This is, quite simply, one of the best things ENO has done for years, confirming that John Berry should back innovative theatrical and operatic talent, rather than flirting with cinema.

Read the full review

Alban Berg: Wozzeck
Opera in 3 acts | 105’
Further performances: 15, 18, 23 and 25 May, English National Opera, London
Leigh Melrose, Wozzeck; Sara Jakubiak, Marie; Tom Randle, The Captain; James Morris, The Doctor; Bryan Register, The Drum-Major; ENO Orchestra, cond. Edward Gardner

Ilan Volkov presents the New Century

Posted on 23 Mai 2012

Conductor Ilan Volkov introduces the New Century concerts by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Volkov and the BBC SSO perform Schönberg, Berg and Webern on Wednesday and Thursday next week.

Watch the video on YouTube.

A Lulu world première in Giessen

Posted on 11 Mai 2012

Lulu Gießen 2012, photo: Rolf K. Wegst

Eberhard Kloke’s new arrangement of Lulu for chamber orchestra – including his new version of the third act – is given its world première in Giessen tomorrow night.

The smaller orchestration opens up Berg’s masterpiece to smaller theatres and stages that previously struggled with the size of the orchestra.

Happy Birthday Alban Berg

Posted on 09 Februar 2012

Alban Berg

Happy Birthday Alban Berg! He was born on 9 February 1885, 127 years ago today.

On this day in 1945, Frank Martin’s Die Weise von Liebe und Tod des Cornets Christoph Rilke was premièred in Basel by the Basel Chamber Orchestra and Paul Sacher.

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

20 years ago today, on 9 February 1992, Wolfgang Rihm’s opera Die Eroberung von Mexiko was first heard at the Hamburg State Opera – Ingo Metzmacher conducted. Here’s a German introduction on the Deutschlandfunk radio website.

And 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.

Lulu and a Vixen at the Welsh National Opera

Posted on 16 Januar 2012

David Pountney

Artistic Director David Pountney has just announced the 2012–2014 programme of the Welsh National Opera.

Under the title Free Spirits, the WNO is presenting Alban Berg’s Lulu and Leoš Janácek’s Cunning Little Vixen in spring 2013.

The full programme is here (PDF file).

Mahler, Berg and Boulez in Salzburg

Posted on 28 Juli 2011

Alban BergThe Vienna Philharmonic opens its 2011 Salzburg Festival residency tonight with a concert of music by Alban Berg and Gustav Mahler.

Pierre Boulez conducts and is joined by Anna Prohaska, Dorothea Röschmann, Anna Larsson and Johan Botha.

Alban Berg: Lulu Suite
Alban Berg: Der Wein
Gustav Mahler: Das klagende Lied

ORF OE1 RadioThe concert will be broadcast on Sunday 7 August at 11am on ORF OE1 Radio.

Watch Pierre Boulez talking to UE about the music of Gustav Mahler

Watch on YouTube

Robert Tear “absorbing” in Lulu 1979

Posted on 31 März 2011

Lulu in the Observer 1979Here’s a brief postscript to the many obituaries for Robert Tear. I read in the Guardian and the Telegraph that he had sung in the world première of Lulu in 1979, with the new third act by Friedrich Cerha.

After a brief glance into the hallowed UE archive folders, I found the Observer’s review of the première, where Tears’ “absorbing performance” as the painter is commended.

‘Early’ Music by Klangforum Wien

Posted on 18 März 2011 (Kommentare: 1)

Klangforum WienThe Festive Days of Early Music begin next week at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna.

We could argue about the meaning of ‘early music’ (in German ‘alte Musik’ literally means old music) and ‘modern music’, but we can safely call music that was composed a hundred years ago ‘old’. And it’s this music that will be presented by Klangforum Wien in three concerts this March.

The series begins with a programme containing Alban Berg’s Chamber Concerto, Mahler’s Lieder eines fahrenden Gesellen in the Schönberg arrangement, and Schönberg’s own Chamber Symphony Op. 9.