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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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Braunfels’ Te Deum in Prague

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 Januar 2015

The New Year has started with three sold-out and highly acclaimed performances of Walter Braunfels’ Te Deum on 7, 8 and 9 January.

The work was performed by soprano Simona Šaturová, tenor Dominik Wortig, the Prague Philharmonic Choir and the Czech Philharmonic (cond. Manfred Honeck) at the Rudolfinum in Prague. It was the first time that the Czech Philharmonic played a work by Braunfels.

Work details

Czech Philharmonic


Braunfels’ The Birds in Osnabrück: “outstanding”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 Juni 2014

vorne: Susann Vent (Zaunschlüpfer), Johannes Schwärsky (Prometheus), Almerija Delic (Drossel); hinten: Heikki Kilpeläinen (Ratefreund), Genadijus Bergorulko (Adler), Chor, Theater Osnabrück (c) Jörg Landsberg

“One of the world’s most outstanding musical theatre productions on the stage of the Theater Osnabrück” (Ralf Döring, Neue OZ, 22.06.2014)

“Too bad that the production will only be running for such a short period of time.” (Christoph Schulte im Walde, nmz online, 23.06.2014)

Yona Kim’s new production of Walter Braunfels’ The Birds [Die Vögel] was premièred on 21 June at the Theater Osnabrück, read the full (German) reviews by clicking the corresponding links above.

The “lyrical, fantastical game in two acts” will be running until 11 July.

Walter Braunfels: The Birds
a lyrical, fantastical game in 2 acts | 120'
24. and 26.06.2014; 04., 06., and 11.07.2014, Theater, Osnabrück; Johannes Schwärsky, Prometheus; Daniel Moon, Wiedehopf; Marie-Christine Haase, Nightingale; Osnabrücker Symphonieorchester, cond. Andreas Hotz

Daniel Moon, Wiedehopf, Theater Osnabrück (c) Jörg Landsberg

Walter Braunfels’ Der Traum ein Leben in Bonn

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 April 2014

Reviews of Will Humburg’s recent production of Walter Braunfels dramatic fairy tale Der Traum ein Leben at the Theater Bonn are out. You can find a collection of excerpts from German reviews here.

Guido Johannes Rumstadt, who is credited with conducting the first stage performance of the work, once wrote: “If you hear Der Traum ein Leben for the first time, you may be surprised by the many reminiscences as well as by the great ‘beauty’ of this music. If one addresses oneself to a proper study of the score, any accusation of eclecticism vanishes. What may have put one in mind of Wagner turns out to be an unmistakable personal style. The instrumentation is as masterful as any of the best operas of the time as are the dramatic cuts in the plot which have the sharpness of film cuts. The irony of the music reminds one of Shostakovich.”

Walter Braunfels (c) Erbengemeinschaft Walter Braunfels

Walter Braunfels: 19.12.1882—19.03.1954

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 März 2014

Erbengesellschaft Walter BraunfelsToday 60 years ago – on 19 March 1954 – Walter Braunfels passed away.

His opera Die Vögel (The Birds), which was premièred on 30 November 1920 by Bruno Walter in Munich’s National Theatre, was a sensational success and proved to be his musical breakthrough. The opera was the most successful world première of the National Theatre of Munich in the 20th century: 50 performances followed 1921 and 1922.

The composer described the opera as “a lyrical, fantastical game”, for Bruno Walter it was “one of the most interesting new works” of his time in Munich, and the critic Alfred Einstein, who compared the opera with Wagner’s Meistersinger [The Mastersingers] and Pfitzner’s Palestrina, saw it as “a work of yearning for the pure realm of fantasy, art, poetry, and at once a fulfilment of this yearning, a leap into a world beyond time and bias.”

World première of Walter Braunfels’ Die Vögel at the National Theatre in Munich, 1920Other works such as Phantastische Erscheinungen eines Themas von Hector Berlioz (Fantastic Appearances of a Theme by Hector Berlioz), Te Deum, Don Gil von den Grünen Hosen (Don Gil of the Green Trousers), the Grosse Messe(Grand Mass) and Don Juan were performed by renowned conductors such as Wilhelm Furtwängler, Otto Klemperer and Max von Schillings and soon became part of the repertoire of almost all German theatres and concert halls, making him one of the most widely performed opera composers of 1920’s Germany.

Read more about Walter Braunfels and listen to excerpts of his music on his dedicated page.

Walter Braunfels: Jeanne d'Arc at the Salzburg Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 August 2013

Walter Braunfels: Die Vögel, world prem.

World première of Walter Braunfels’
Die Vögel, Munich, 30/11/1920.

Tonight, 1 August 2013, Walter Braunfels’ Jeanne d'Arc – Szenen aus dem Leben der Heiligen Johanna will be performed at the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg, with Manfred Honeck conducting the RSO Wien.

Braunfels wrote Jeanne d’Arc between 1938 and 1942, inspired by Hindemith’s opera Mathis der Maler (although life in Nazi Germany, marked by anxiety, suffering and insecurity, may also have played a role). However, nearly 80 years would pass until the concert première took place in Stockholm in 2001, and seven more years until audiences could experience the staged world première at the Deutsche Oper Berlin. It is simply amazing to see this critical and long-lost gem now on the programme of the Salzburg Festival.

If you cannot attend the concert: a recording of it will be broadcast by Austrian radio station Ö1 in two days, 3 August, 19:30 (cet/cest), a web stream is available: listen live.

Walter Braunfels: Jeanne d’Arc
after the pleadings of the year 1431
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(5), hp, pno, alto sax, str; stage music: tpt(4)
1/8/2013, Felsenreitschule; Juliane Banse, Johanna; Bryan Hymel, Hl. Michael; Pavol Breslik, Karl von Valois; Thomas E. Bauer, Erzbischof von Reims; Michael Laurenz, Cauchon; Norbert Ernst, Colin, ein Schäfer; Tobias Kehrer, Jacobus von Arc; Johan Reuter, Gilles de Rais; Ruben Drole, Herzog von La Trémouille
RSO Wien, Salzburger Bachchor, Salzburger Festspiel- & Theater Kinderchor, cond. Manfred Honeck