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mini-Mahler at the Radialsystem V

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 April 2014

This Sunday, 27 April, the ensemble mini (cond. Joolz Gale) will perform Klaus Simon’s arrangement of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 at the Radialsystem V in Berlin.

Here’s the press release:

“After critically acclaimed concerts in the Philharmonie & Konzerthaus Berlin, as well as on tour, ensemble mini - the outstanding fusion of young musicians from Berlin's top orchestras - performs at the Radialsystem V Mahler’s 9th Symphony in the beautiful new transcription by world-wide leading Mahler arranger, Klaus Simon. Commissioned by the exciting young conductor, Joolz Gale, specifically for 17-person mini-orchestra, the arrangement breathes new life into the essence of the symphony. Huge, heavy and, at the same moment, extremely intimate and fragile, this work, more than any other, has enormous dimensions and yet it sinks into almost complete silence. With ensemble mini, a very unusual sound palate is created, presenting the intimate facets of Mahler’s oeuvre from a fascinating new perspective.”

Memorial concert for Claudio Abbado

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 April 2014

On Sunday, 6 April, 4pm, arte and the Lucerne Festival offer a live stream of the Lucerne Festival’s memorial concert for Claudio Abbado, who sadly passed away earlier this year. Soloists Bruno Ganz and Isabelle Faust, as well as the Lucerne Festival Orchestra and Andris Nelsons will honour the conductor.

From the Lucerne Festival’s website:

Isabelle Faust and Claudio Abbado in 2011 (c) Marco Caselli Nirmal for harmonia mundi“Opening the program will be the first movement from Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, which Claudio Abbado conducted during his last performance in Lucerne in August 2013 — the final concert of his career. Therefore no one will take Abbado’s place on the podium for that selection, for the musicians wish to perform this music in his spirit, without any other conductor. Following this, Bruno Ganz, who visited Abbado just a few days before his death and read him verses by Hölderlin, will recite one of these poems. The program continues with Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto, which is dedicated ‘to the memory of an angel.’ The soloist will be Isabelle Faust, who recorded this very work with Claudio Abbado in 2011. To conclude the concert, they will perform the finale from Gustav Mahler’s Third Symphony, which the composer originally planned to title ‘What love tells me.’ The works by Berg and Mahler will be conducted by Andris Nelsons, who will also lead the Lucerne Festival Orchestra’s four concerts this summer.”

You can watch the stream of the concert on arte.tv and on the website of the Lucerne Festival.

Crowdfunding for Mahler’s Symphony No. 9

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 März 2014


The Camerata RCO of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra has started a crowdfunding project for a CD recording of Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in the arrangement of Klaus Simon. Find out more about the project here.

Mahler in Miniature - UK première of Simon’s The Youth’s Magic Horn

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 Februar 2014

Gustav MahlerTonight, 17 February, the UK première of Klaus Simon’s arrangement of The Youth’s Magic Horn by Gustav Mahler will take place at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama in Cardiff. Mezzo-soprano Kerri-Lynne Dietz and baritone Emmanuel Gendre share the stage with the RWCMD Orchestra (cond. Tomas Leakey).

Gustav Mahler: The Youth’s Magic Horn
for voice and ensemble or chamber orchestra | 70'
Arranger: Klaus Simon
prem.
17.02.2014, Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Cardiff; Kerri-Lynne Dietz, ms; Emmanuel Gendre, bar; RWCMD Orchestra, cond. Tomas Leakey

Ivan Hewett of The Telegraph on Mahler and Janáček

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 Dezember 2013

Leoš Janáček (c) Leoš Janáček Foundation Gustav Mahler (c) Universal Edition


Ivan Hewett’s Classic 50 Nos. 48 and 49 are by Gustav Mahler and Leoš Janáček respectively. You can read the articles by clicking on the names of the composers.

Mahler’s First in Tom Service’s Symphony Guide

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 November 2013

Tom Service: Symphony GuideIn the latest article of his symphony guide series Tom Service of the Guardian writes about Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, and describes the symphony’s opening as “one of the most spellbinding moments of symphonic inspiration in the 19th century”.

Find out more about key recordings of the so-called Titan and read Service’s full article on The Guardian.

Universal Edition is currently working on two versions of Mahler’s First Symphony: an edition that is broadly consistent with the version that has been available from UE to date, but now corresponds to the requirements of the new Gustav Mahler Complete Edition in its academic preparation. And the Hamburg version, which was produced especially for Hamburg; it has distinctly different instrumentation and includes the Blumine movement which was later discarded.

Simon Rattle and the National Children’s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 September 2013

On 11 August, Simon Rattle performed Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 with the National Children’s Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at the Salzburg Festival.

“When I first conducted the Infantil Orchestra 3 years ago in Caracas, I could not believe that children as young as 9 and never older than 14 could not only play all the notes, but also could make such wonderful music. […] This is, quite simply, the future of music. Those of you lucky enough to hear the concerts will see why” (Simon Rattle, Salzburg Festival)

And here it is, a live recording of the full concert at the Felsenreitschule – to quote Rattle once more (from his interview on Haas’ in vain): “Thank God for YouTube”.

Rudolf Barshai and Mahler's Tenth: A lifelong quest for one single note

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 August 2013

Rudolf Barshai (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschNow available on DVD: Oleg Dorman’s documentary about Rudolf Barshai, entitled Rudolf Barshai: The Note – A lifelong quest for one single note, where, among other things, Barshai talks about his completion of Mahler’s Symphony No. 10.

Bernt Feuchtner on Barshai: “Rudolf Barshai conducted the Tenth with the Austrian Radio Orchestra at the end of the 1980s, in Vienna and Montpellier, but soon discovered that the dissatisfaction he felt could not be dispelled by a few corrections here and there. Changing details was pointless: he had to make his own revision. [...] Such refinements, which of course critically determine the overall musical form, could only have become first apparent to a musician like Rudolf Barshai, who has devoted his life to the interpretation of the great European symphonic tradition and lived with Mahler’s music for several years.” (Read the full text).

Listen to an excerpt of the finale from a recording of Barshai conducting the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie in September 2001 at the Konzerthaus Berlin:

A trailer for the DVD is available on YouTube:

Naxos: Rudolf Barshai: The Note – A lifelong quest for one single note

Claudio Abbado – An Interview

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 Juni 2013 (Kommentare: 1)

Celebrating Claudio Abbado’s 80th birthday today, we made a video for an interview with the conductor that we did for our book Gustav Mahler: The conductors’ Interviews.

The conductor talks about the first time he heard Mahler’s music, his experiences with Bruno Walter, Zubin Mehta and Herbert von Karajan, and the death of Mahler’s brother, the “first stroke of fate” in the composer’s life.

The Interview is in German with English subtitles.

88 years of Kurt Weill’s Concerto for Violin and Winds

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 Juni 2013

ensemble mini (c) ensemble miniExactly 88 years after its world première, Kurt Weill’s Concerto for Violin and Winds will be performed by the ensemble mini on 11 June 2013 during their mini-Fest 2013, “Beethoven & Mahler, re-balanced”.

From the ensemble’s press release: “Joining them is Mister X, one of the finest violinists of our time. He has performed with the world's greatest artists and orchestras. BUT he is masked man, without a reputation or identity: no one knows who he is and no one will ever know who he is. His debut with ensemble mini reduces the appreciation of the soloist to the max, challenging the status quo and inviting us into a world where fame, prestige and hype are replaced by quality, purpose and meaning.”

Also on the programme: Cliff Colnot’s chamber orchestral arrangement of Mahler’s Adagio of Symphony No. 10.

Watch the ensemble mini perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 9 in Klaus Simon’s arrangement:

Live stream: Mahler's Symphony No. 8

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 Mai 2013

Symphony No.8103 years after its world première, the hr-Sinfonieorchester and Paavo Järvi will perform Mahler’s Symphony No. 8 – frequently called the Symphony of a Thousand – on 24 and 25 May at the Alte Oper Frankfurt. The choirs will consist of the EuropaChorAkademie, the Tschechischer Philharmonischer Chor Brünn and the Limburger Domsingknaben.

arte live web and the Hessischer Rundfunk will broadcast the concert as a live stream on Saturday, 25 May at 20:00 (CET/CEST).

A biography of Mahler

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 Mai 2013

Jens Malte Fischer: Gustav MahlerFirst published in Germany in 2003, Jens Malte Fischer’s biography of Gustav Mahler is finally available in English, translated by Stewart Spencer. Find out more on The Guardian, where it has been reviewed as “a masterly and indeed monumental biography.”

Also, if you don't know Universal Edition's Gustav Mahler: The Conductors' Interviews yet, you might have a look.

Mahler: World première of the new arrangement

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 Februar 2013

Kaplan: Symphony No. 2 (c) Wolfgang Schaufler

This picture was taken after the first performance of Gilbert Kaplan's new arrangement for chamber orchestra of Mahler's Symphony No. 2 at the Konzerthaus in Vienna.

Although performed by a smaller-than-usual orchestra, it was still an impressive experience.

Gilbert Kaplan conducts Mahler

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 Februar 2013

Gilbert Kaplan (c) Adrian Bradshaw
Marlis Petersen (c) Yiorgos Mavropoulos

The inextricable link between Gilbert Kaplan and Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 is familiar to just about every music lover. The arrangement for chamber orchestra of Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 by Gilbert Kaplan and Rob Mathes makes it possible for chamber orchestras to perform this piece, for which usually more than 100 musicians are needed.

The world première of the arrangement takes place on 17 February 2013 at the Wiener Konzerthaus, with Gilbert Kaplan conducting the Wiener KammerOrchester, the Wiener Singakademie and the soloists Marlis Petersen, soprano and Janina Baechle, mezzo-soprano.

Symphony No. 2
for soli, mixed choir and small orchestra | 80‘
2 2 2 2 - 3 3 2 1 - timp, perc, hp, org, str
17/2/2013, Konzerthaus, Vienna; Marlis Petersen, s; Janina Baechle, ms; Wiener Singakademie; Wiener Kammerorchester, cond. Gilbert Kaplan

Colin Matthews’ Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde

Posted on 10 Mai 2012

Sir Mark ElderSir Mark Elder and the Hallé Orchestra give the world première of Colin Matthews’ new version of Mahler’s Das Trinklied vom Jammer der Erde tonight.

The work is part of a complete performance of Das Lied von der Erde at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

Matthews’ version has a slightly lighter orchestra than Mahler’s original, giving the tenor soloist (tonight Lars Cleveman) a greater prominence.