Universal Edition - Blog

Boulez’ Pierrot lunaire reissued on CD

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 Juli 2014

tl_files/News_Bilder/Blog/2014/boulez_pierrot_wergo_230.jpgArnold Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire, conducted by Pierre Boulez with Helga Pilarczyk as Sprechstimme, was the first ever long-playing record to be released on the German label WERGO, which was founded in 1962.

This historic recording – a highlight of the label’s early catalogue – has recently been reissued on CD, together with an 80-page booklet.

Find out more on the website of WERGO.

Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Ensemble Resonanz: Tour de France

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 April 2014

Ensemble Resonanz (c) Tobias Schult
Harmonia Mundi, Berg/SchönbergTomorrow, Friday 4 April, the Ensemble Resonanz will start their tour de France together with cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras. They will perform Franz Schreker’s Scherzo, Wolfgang Rihm’s Nachtordnung, Arnold Schönberg’s Verklärte Nacht and also Matthias Georg Monn’s concert for violoncello and string orchestra.

They will give concerts on Friday at the Maison de la Culture in Grenoble, on Monday at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris and on Tuesday at the Arsenal in Metz.

Furthermore, Queyras and the ensemble are promoting their recent cd release on harmonia mundi; here is a German interview with Jean-Guihen Queyras on Berg, Schönberg and the recording:

The interview is also available in French.

Music for human rights

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 März 2014

Peter Matić (c) Manfred WernerPeter Matić, the ORF Radio-Symphonierochester Wien and the Chor der Oper Graz will perform Arnold Schönberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw under Krzysztof Penderecki tonight at the Congress Graz.

Furthermore, Penderecki’s concerto grosso and Kaddisch will be performed.

The Austrian radio station Ö1 broadcasts the whole concert, which starts at 19:45 CET/CEST (i.e. Berlin, Paris, Vienna). Listen live.

Narey Park: piano music from Korea and Austria at the Schönberg Center

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 Februar 2014

Narey Park, Schönberg CenterThe Korean pianist Narey Park will perform six piano pieces from Korea and Austria on 27 February at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna. Among the works performed will be three Austrian premières of works from Korean composers and Arnold Schönberg’s 3 Piano Pieces op. 11.

View the full programme.

The event is hosted by the SNU (Seoul National University) Composers in Europe.

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.

Arnold Schönberg: The Musical Idea

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 November 2013

Arnold Schönberg: The Musical Idea (c) Hannes Böck
The permanent exhibition “Arnold Schönberg: The Musical Idea” opened last month at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna.

From the Schönberg Center’s homepage: Arnold Schönberg: The Musical Idea Schönberg described a work of art as “a labyrinth where, at every point, every knowledgeable person is aware of the entrance and the exit without needing a golden thread to guide him.” The new exhibition shows just how very exciting it can be to enter a labyrinth and encounter an artistic event at every junction.

Its content and architecture illustrate Schönberg’s lifelong topic of the “idea” in all its representational variety. Music is at the center with painting and other manifestations of his creative drive as multifaceted guidelines toward discovering an artistic figure who was as path-breaking as he was imaginative.

Original manuscripts, documents and visual works from the Center’s archive are supplemented on multimedia presentation levels. Replicas of objects from Schönberg’s living environment allow direct contact with items in his everyday life (letters, calendars, photo albums, music scores, concert programs, etc.). The interactive world map guides one into Schönberg’s living and working environment.

Find out more about the exhibition.

101 years Pierrot lunaire

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 Oktober 2013

Pierrot lunaire, first written copy (c) Universal Edition
Dear Mr Schönberg. [...] You put all ideals of an artist’s fantasy into sounds – It is wonderful, I can’t say anything else! I am entirely cocooned by these harmonies, partly sweet and partly expressing the soul’s final screams. People who have encountered suffering will be familiar with that. (Albertine Zehme to Arnold Schönberg, Mid-March 1912)

Arnold Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire had its official première exactly 101 years ago, on 16 October 1912, at the Choralion Hall in Berlin. Eduard Steuermann wrote of that occasion: [...] And the success? There was, of course, a scandal […] but also an intense ovation. (Juilliard News Bulletin)

pierrot lunaire companion, cover (c) Arnold Schönberg Center Privatstiftung, Wien 2012; ISBN 978-3-902012-13-7From the preface of the Arnold Schönberg Center’s recently released pierrot lunaire companion:

In terms of its genre, Pierrot lunaire was historically unique at the time Schönberg composed it and marks the high point of his expressionistic period: The famous melodrama is placed in the extreme danger zone of post-Romantic composition. Pierrot, “with waxen countenance”, is a bizarre and nervous figure, enticed into a counterworld of nighttime phantasms and hopeless passions. A cosmos of tonal shading in the colorful realm between singing and speaking.

Unrestricted freedom of tone!

(Eike Feß, Therese Muxeneder)

Here are excerpts from the pierrot lunaire companion of how the work was received and how it is viewed today:

I was too occupied with the copy of the score Schönberg had given me to notice anything else. I also remember that the audience was quiet and attentive and that I wanted Frau Zehme to be quiet too, so that I could hear the music.
(Igor Stravinsky on the performance of Pierrot lunaire, cited from Robert Craft, 1968)

Pierrot lunaire, conducting score, Vienna 1914 (c) Universal EditionYou should never be afraid of imitating. I joined the Schönberg school to write my Poèmes de Mallarmé.
(Maurice Ravel, La revue musicale, 1931)

Pierrot is a transitional discipline, a Zwischenfach for which there is neither school nor tradition to speak of today. […] It is certainly a work which – once you have become immersed in it – never lets you go again.
(Friedrich Cerha, Zur Interpretation der Sprechstimme in Schönbergs Pierrot lunaire, 1974)

Find further information regarding future performances of Pierrot lunaire on our performance calendar.

Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire released on Stradivarius

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 September 2013

Pierrot lunaireA new recording of Schönberg’s Pierrot lunaire and Evangelisti’s Die Schachtel has been released on the Italian label Stradivarius, featuring soprano Livia Rado and the Ensemble Prometeo under Marco Angius. In his recent review on The Guardian, Andrew Clements argues that it is hard to “think of a better, more lucid recording of Pierrot Lunaire currently available on CD”.

Stradivarius offers quite a few excerpts of the recording.

In March 1912, seven months before the première of Pierrot, Schönberg wrote in his diary: “And I am unconditionally approaching a new kind of expression – I can sense it. The sounds now are virtually becoming a bestially direct expression of sensual and intellectual feelings – almost as if everything had been directly propagated.”

100 years Gurre-Lieder

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 Juni 2013

Arnold Schönberg - Egon Schiele100 years after their world première, the Gurre-Lieder will be performed in the 100th season of the Wiener Konzerthaus: Kent Nagano will conduct the Wiener Symphoniker on 21 and 22 June. Schönberg worked on his Gurre-Lieder from 1900-1911, a period in which he left the work’s style far behind. Still, at its 1913 première in the Vienna Musikverein the piece enjoyed overwhelming success; Schönberg’s pupil Webern wrote: What a moment of my life! Unforgettable… The sensation of this tumultuous noise thrills me to the point where I swoon…

Arnold Schönberg: Gurre-Lieder
for solos, choir and orchestra | 130’
8 5 7 5 - 10 6 6 1 - timp, perc, hp(4), cel, bass tpt, bass tbn, str
21 and 22/6/2013, Konzerthaus, Wien; Wiener Symphoniker, Wiener Singakademie, Cor de Cambra del Palau de la Música Catalana, Herren des Chores des Slowakischen Nationaltheaters, cond. Kent Nagano

Voicing Pierrot

Posted on 30 Juli 2012

Jane ManningVoicing Pierrot
A practical, analytical and personal guide to the vocal part of Schönberg’s Pierrot Lunaire

Jane Manning’s new book is a practical and highly personal view of the work, based on her 47 years’ experience.

The book is a wide-ranging an insightful guide for the potential performer, and a CD of the instrumental parts is provided to aid practice.

“… a precious gift of experience: mandatory reading not only for all future performers of the work but for lay listeners who seek insight into vocal artistry in general …” (Bayan Northcott, 2012)

Jane Manning
Voicing Pierrot

First published in 2012 by
Southern Voices
38 Diamond Street
Amaroo, ACT 2914

UK contact address
45 St. Vincent Crescent
Glasgow G3 8NG

Available from
Alba Musick
55 Otago Street
Glasgow G12 8PQ

Szymanowski’s Hagith in Buenos Aires

Posted on 24 Juli 2012

Hagith - Teatro Colón

Baldur Brönnimann conducts Karol Szymanowski’s opera Hagith and Schönberg’s Erwartung at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires.

Read Jorge Aráoz Badí’s review in La Nacion – fascinating to read that the Argentine première of Erwartung 53 years ago was coupled with Luigi Dallapiccola’s Volo di notte.

Here is an interview with Baldur Brönnimann on the Clarín website.

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.

Schönberg, Roger Federer and Boulez on the web

Posted on 30 August 2011

Feder vs Djokovic with Schönberg notation

From the web today, part 1

“Noten für Roger Federer”
A slide show of a tennis match between Federer and Djokovic complete with Arnold Schönberg’s tennis notation (from the Zurich Tages-Anzeiger, with thanks to @alexrossmusic for the tip).

From the web today, part 2

Pierre Boulez: “Ce qui m’intéresse, c’est la pointe de l’invention”
Read the full interview in Le Monde (with thanks to @iIRCAM for the tip).

Wolfgang Rihm on Schönberg’s Op. 31

Posted on 27 Mai 2011

Schönberg in the garden

We’re still celebrating Schönberg’s estate being included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register, so here’s another chance to hear Wolfgang Rihm talking (in German) about Schönberg’s Variations Op. 31.

Here are translated excerpts.

By the way, the photo above is available as a mousepad (would you believe it!), as is this one.

Schönberg recognised by UNESCO

Posted on 26 Mai 2011

Arnold SchönbergWe’ve just heard the incredible news that Schönberg’s documentation, archived at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna, has been included in the UNESCO Memory of the World Register.

Congratulations Schönberg!

Read our news item here.