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Krenek’s Orpheus und Eurydike: strikingly effective

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 Dezember 2016

Ernst Krenek: Orpheus and Eurydike, Orfeo

“It’s a bit of a patchy, self-indulgent work, but fascinating; the best of Krenek’s angular, expressionist score, mostly atonal though harking back to romantic tonality, is strikingly effective.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 30 November 2016)

Andrew Clements of The Guardian has reviewed Ernst Krenek’s opera Orpheus und Eurydike, recorded at the Salzburg Festival in 1990 under Pinchas Steinberg and now released on Orfeo.

Read the full review on The Guardian

Pallas Athene weint in Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 Oktober 2016

Neue Oper Wien, Wiener Kammerchor (c) Armin Bardel

Pallas Athene weint (c) Neue Oper Wien[Ernst Krenek] saw parallels between McCarthyism and the development of Nazism in Germany. Having survived the Hitler menace in Austria and now, shortly afterwards, living with McCarthyism in the USA, his adopted country, was a great shock to him! Krenek had always been interested in social problems and having just lived through various crises in regard to these problems he turned to writing about them in the most dramatic, illuminating medium for him – opera. […] Pallas Athene weeps is more timely today than ever! (Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek, 16 October 2013)

The Neue Oper Wien’s production of Pallas Athene weint [Pallas Athene weeps] by Ernst Krenek premières on 25 October at the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna. Walter Kobéra conducts the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich.

Further performances take place on 27, 28 and 29 October.

Find out more

Krenek’s Der Diktator at Carnegie Hall

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 Oktober 2016

Leon Botstein (c) Richard Termine

Ernst Krenek’s 1926 Der Diktator plainly rejects the lush romanticism of Wagner, the sentimental beauties of Puccini. In their place we find a brevity, a condensed sense of time, and a transparent mix of neo-classical and romantic musical rhetoric articulated with new sonorities in a drama made up of fleeting episodes. (Leon Botstein)

Ernst Krenek (c) PfeiferOn 19 October the American Symphony Orchestra presents concert versions of two one-act operas with strikingly different reactions to tyranny: Ernst Krenek’s Der Diktator will be performed together with Richard Strauss’s Day of Peace at Carnegie Hall. Leon Botstein conducts the American Symphony Orchestra.

Krenek composed Der Diktator in 1926, three years after Hitler’s unsuccessful putsch in Munich and two years after Mussolini gained a two-thirds majority in the Italian parliament. Der Diktator urgently highlights the dangers of fascism and predicted the tragedy of National Socialist dictatorship.

Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek (23 May 1924 – 5 July 2016)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 Juli 2016

Gladys Krenek in front of the Krenek-Portrait by Franz Rederer (2001) (c) Petra Preinfalk / Ernst Krenek Institut

Universal Edition mourns the death of Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek.

As Ernst Krenek’s ingenious partner, Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek tirelessly broke new ground for an appreciation of Krenek’s visions – in his spirit, but with the productive imagination of a strong personality.

Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek, herself a composer, died on 5 July in Palm Springs.

Antje Müller of the Ernst Krenek Institut Privatstiftung on Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek:

“A wonderful personality who actively participated with enormous expertise in the propagation of Ernst Krenek’s works, Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek was always friendly and charming up to the end. We will miss her!”

Krenek, Weill & the Moderns

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 Februar 2016

Kurt Weill Fest

The Kurt Weill Festival kicks off today at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau.

Artist-in-Residence Ernst Kovacic, Ariane Matiakh and the German Philharmonic Orchestra Rhineland-Palatinate open the festival with works by Weill, Krenek, Stravinsky and Mussorgsky.

Find out more

UE newsletter: Jeanne d’Arc and Emilia Marty in Germany

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 Februar 2016

Universal Edition NewsletterOur latest newsletter is out now:

- Walter Braunfels’ Jeanne d’Arc in Cologne

- the new critical edition of Janáček’s The Makropulos Case in Berlin

- Krenek, Weill and the Moderns: the 24th Kurt Weill Festival

View it here

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Weill and Krenek at the Kurt-Weill-Fest 2016

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 Oktober 2015


The full programme of the Kurt-Weill-Fest 2016 has been announced. The festival will be running from 26 February until 13 March under the slogan “Krenek, Weill & die Moderne”.

Among the special guests of the festival are artist-in-residence Ernst Kovacic, Nina Hagen and HK Gruber.

The Continuum Ensemble presents Swept Away

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 Juni 2015

Swept AwayMusic in 1920s Berlin and Vienna: cool, sleek, jazzy and very modern. A generation of young composers swept away the 19th century and established a new kind of music that was bold, astringent, accessible and topical. But by 1934, denounced by the Nazi government and their music banned, they were swept away into exile leaving their work neglected and forgotten for over seventy-five years.

Ripe for rediscovery, the exciting opera, chamber, orchestral and vocal music of Ernst Toch, Kurt Weill, Erwin Schulhoff, Mischa Spoliansky, Friedrich Hollander and others of this lost generation is performed in a festival of five concerts over three days, much of it never before performed in the U.K.

Featuring outstanding singers and soloists as well as informative pre-concert talks, the Continuum Ensemble presents Swept Away, a festival that takes place at the Kings Place from 19 to 21 June.

You can find the full programme on the website of Kings Place.

Krenek’s Symphonic Elegy for Webern

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 Juni 2015

Ernst Krenek (c) PfeiferThe Zürcher Kammerorchester will perform Ernst Krenek’s Symphonic Elegy tonight under Thomas Zehetmair at the Tonhalle Zürich.

The motivation behind this composition was the tragic death of Anton Webern on 15 September 1945.

After hearing about Anton Webern’s death on 15 September 1945, Krenek processed his shock and grief in January 1946 in his American exile.

UE newsletter April 2015: Schönberg in expectation

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 April 2015

Newsletter April 2015Our latest newsletter is out now:

- “Schönberg in expectation” by the Neue Oper Wien

- Krenek’s Tarquin at the Staatsoper Unter den Linden

- Study scores of works by Rihm, Krenek and Dünser

View the newsletter online: German | English

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Exile and Persecution

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 Dezember 2014

Ernst Krenek: Jonny spielt auf (c) Universal EditionIn his article “Songs of exiles: rescuing ‘degenerate music’ from the shadows,” baritone Peter Brathwaite writes about the Nazi’s campaign against the so-called ‘degenerate music’ and his own mission to bring this music to a new audience. Together with pianist Nigel Foster, Brathwaite performed a critical song-based reconstruction of the infamous Düsseldorf exhibition of 1938 at the London Song Festival this November.

Find the full article on The Guardian.

We’ve recently updated the Exile and Persecution section of our website. Universal Edition has always been a key publisher of 20th century music; as such, it also provided an artistic haven for a great many persecuted and exiled composers. You can find the page here.

Happy Birthday Gladys Krenek

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 Mai 2014

Gladys Krenek in front of the Krenek-Portrait by Franz Rederer (2001) (c) Petra Preinfalk / Ernst Krenek Institut

Today, 23 May, the Ernst Krenek Institut hosts a birthday celebration and exhibition opening on the occasion of Gladys N Krenek’s 90th birthday.

From the official press release:

“As Ernst Krenek’s ingenious partner, Gladys N Krenek has been tirelessly breaking new ground for an appreciation of Krenek’s visions – in his spirit, but with the productive imagination of a strong personality. Born and educated in Minnesota, she met Ernst Krenek in 1942 at Hamline University in Saint Paul, MN, and a few years later moved with him to California, where she has remained active to this day. After Krenek’s death, she initiated the foundation of the Ernst Krenek Institute in 1997. The Institute’s private foundation in Krems emerged in 2004, of which Gladys N Krenek is the honorary president.”

Find out more on the website of the Ernst Krenek Institut.

Ernst Krenek: three one act operas in Cologne

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 Januar 2014

HfMT Köln: Ernst KrenekTonight, 5.05pm, on WDR: a special on “Musik gegen alle Fronten”, the latest production of the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. Listen live.

Performances of Ernst Krenek’s three one act operas Der Diktator, Das geheime Königreich and Schwergewicht oder Die Ehre der Nation will take place on 31 January and on 1 and 3 February.

Impressions from the Ernst Krenek Forum’s fifth anniversary

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 Oktober 2013

Ernst Krenek Froum (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Laila Standke
Some photographic impressions from the celebrations of the Ernst Krenek Forum’s fifth anniversary on 5 October 2013:

In the picture: the panel discussion Musiktheater, quo vadis? (with Friedrich Cerha, Walter Kobéra, Birgit Meyer, Helene Sommer, and Marie-Therese Rudolph), Alma, the aron quartet performing Ernst Krenek’s String Quartet No. 7, op. 96, and the Ernst Krenek forum’s birthday cake.

The Ernst Krenek Forum celebrates its fifth anniversary

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 September 2013 Ernst Krenek Forum celebrates its fifth anniversary on 5 October at the Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche and at the Ernst Krenek Forum.

Ernst Krenek (c) PfeiferAfter the exhibition opening of Ernst Krenek and Thomas Mann, there will be a discussion entitled Musiktheater, quo vadis?. Marie-Therese Rudolph hosts the discussion, Friedrich Cerha, Walter Kobéra (Neue Oper Wien), Birgit Meyer (Oper Köln) and Helene Sommer (Volksoper Wien) will be the panel members.

At 20:00, the aron quartet performs Ernst Krenek’s String Quartet No. 7, op. 96.

Find the full programme on the homepage of the Erst Krenek Forum.