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Pärt and Richter at the Whitworth Art Gallery

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 Juli 2015

Richter, Pärt, the Whitworth (c) Jan Chlebik

Pärt’s singers repeat the same song, seven times in succession. Every time it sounds different. Richter’s four grey diptychs, hanging opposite the Birkenau panels, play a further formal game of similarity and difference (the paint hidden from us on the reverse of glass sheets). (Adrian Searle, The Guardian, 9 July 2015)

Arvo Pärts Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima has successfully been presented together with several works by Gerhard Richter at the Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester. In the frame of the Manchester International Festival (2 until 19 July), Vox Clamantis performed Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima on 9, 10 and 11 July, for the rest of the exhibition, local choirs will present the piece. Find out more on the website of the Manchester International Festival.

Find reviews on the collaboration on the websites of The Guardian, BBC and The Telegraph.

Watch a video by the Manchester International Festival on the event:

Visit our #ArvoPart80 blog

Musik 21 Festival: “Klang-Körper”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 Juli 2015

Musik 21

The Musik 21 Festival “Klang-Körper” kicks off today and will go on until Sunday!

Prominent guests of the festival will be pianists Tamara Stefanovich and Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who will be performing a selection of Pierre Boulez’ piano pieces, including Structures, Deuxième Livre for 2 pianos.

Furthermore, the Kairos Quartett will be performing Georg Friedrich Haas String Quartet No. 3 „In iij. Noct.” – a piece in which darkness is not present merely as an absence of light, but becomes the key theme of the work – on Saturday.

Find out more on Musik 21’s website.

Der Ferne Klang in Mannheim

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 Juli 2015

Tatjana Gürbaca’s new production of Franz Schreker’s Der Ferne Klang will première tonight at the Nationaltheater Mannheim.

A little while ago, we interviewed conductor Ingo Metzmacher on the music of Franz Schreker. Watch the [German] interview here:

Read an English translation of the interview

Steve Reich's Clapping Music app out now

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 Juli 2015

 

Finally! Steve Reich's Clapping Music app is out today. Download it for free from the app store or find out more on www.clappingmusicapp.com.

High scorers on the app will be auditioned to perform the piece live with the London Sinfonietta in special events.

Fennessy’s Hirta Rounds in Munich

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 Juli 2015

David Fennessy (c) Tanya KiangKomponist und Musiker agieren auf Augenhöhe. (Rita Argauer, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 30 June 2015)

The Süddeutsche Zeitung has published a preview for tonight’s world première of Hirta Rounds by David Fennessy at the Prinzregententheater. The piece was written for the Münchener Kammerorchester with the stipulation that it be unconducted.

Read the full preview

View the full score of Hirta Rounds:

The New Yorker reviews the Ojai Music Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 Juli 2015

Ojai Music Festival

Songbirds softened the severities of Boulez’s Improvisations sur Mallarmé, as if Messiaen, Boulez’s bird-loving teacher, were providing commentary.

Alex Ross has reviewed The Ojai Music Festival for The New Yorker.

Read the full text online

Irish première of Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 Juni 2015

Tonight sees the Irish première of David Fennessy’s Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon) at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. The work is part of a trilogy that was inspired by Werner Herzog’s Conquest of the Useless.

Watch an interview with the composer:

View the full study score and listen to an audio excerpt.

Day of the Giants in Johannesburg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 Juni 2015

Pierre Boulez (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

Join Jill Richards and Waldo Alexander in their celebrations of the 90th birthday of Pierre Boulez: the “Day of the Giants” – an informal, informative and interactive day of fun and music – takes place on 28 June from 11:00 until 17:00 at the Goethe-Institut in Johannesburg.

On the programme: Boulez’ Anthèmes (with live electronics), Domaines, Deuxième Sonate as well as John Cage’s 4′33″ and four new compositions in response to the works of Pierre Boulez.

Find the full programme on the Facebook event page.

Nicolas Hodges plays Birtwistle

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 Juni 2015

Birtwistle: slow frieze, antiphoniesNicolas Hodges presents a recording of Birtwistle’s major works from the 1990s. Among them is the first recording of the revised version of Antiphonies, performed by pianist Nicolas Hodges and the WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln under Stefan Asbury.

Bálint Varga on Antiphonies:

This work is not a “piano concerto” in the way the term is usually understood; it is a struggle between the solo instrument – perhaps a struggle for survival – and the menacing, often demonic powers of the orchestra.

The winds and percussion dominate the sonic character while the strings, except for one short melodic fragment, remain in the background. Slow forte sections unleash the full orchestra, between moments of Impressionistic calm, where the piano part seems like an improvisation, a fantasia - until the struggle resumes …

Find out more on the website of Nicolas Hodges.

Listen to the music of Jay Schwartz

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 Juni 2015

Jay Schwartz (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

We’ve prepared a short playlist of the music of Jay Schwartz for you – the composer will be celebrating his 50th birthday on 26 June.

Find out more about Jay Schwartz.

BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week: Arvo Pärt

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 Juni 2015

Arvo Pärt, Torino (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

The Estonian composer Arvo Pärt is nothing short of a musical phenomenon. He can lay claim to being the most popular of contemporary composers.

Arvo Pärt is this week’s BBC Radio 3 Composer of the Week. Donald Macleod presents the series, the first three episodes carry the titles The Soundtrack of an Age, The Soundworld of the Composer and Silence Is Like Fertile Soil.

Find out more on BBC Radio 3

Bluebeard at the Wiener Festwochen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 Juni 2015

Herzog Blaubarts Burg - Foto: Bernd Uhlig

The Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester and Kent Nagano will be performing Bluebeard´s Castle by Béla Bartók at the Wiener Festwochen: Andrea Breth’s production premières tonight with follow-up performances on 21, 23 and 25 June:

Read a (German) interview with director Andrea Breth on Kurier.

We are happy to say that the opera in 1 act will also be performed tonight at the Xinghai Concert Hall in Guangzhou. Find out more on their website.

Wilson’s Man-o'-War in Dublin

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 Juni 2015

Ian Wilson (c) Steve Rogers

Tonight the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and conductor Gavin Maloney present the Irish première of Ian Wilsons Man-o'-War at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

The piece was described as “extremely disturbing and technically impressive” by the Independent on Sunday, Michael Dervan of the Irish Times wrote that it “unleashes orchestral violence with the abandon of Edgard Varèse” and praised the “strong performances from the NSO”.

We’ve prepared an audio excerpt and the full digital score for you; find them here.

Arvo Pärt awarded the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 Juni 2015

This Monday, 15 June 2015, Heinz Fischer, the president of the Republic of Austria, ceremonially presented the Austrian Decoration for Science and Art – which is the state’s highest decoration for remarkable services in this field of activity – to Arvo Pärt.

The decoration has been awarded since 1955, and the fact that the number of its recipients is strictly limited, makes it special. There can be only 72 people wearing the decoration at the same time, half of which are Austrian citizens and half foreign nationals.

Find out more on the website of the Arvo Pärt Centre.

Arvo Pärt, Heinz Fischer

Watch an excerpt from the concert that was held during the ceremony:

Boulez at 90 in Aldeburgh

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 Juni 2015

Aldeburgh Music

The legend of Pierre Boulez as a towering icon of the avant garde precedes him, but what I want to bring to our retrospective is my overriding impression of his humanity. Pierre is a man who is passionate, loyal and very human – an outstanding leader but also modest and generous. (Pierre-Laurent Aimard)

From today until Friday, the Aldeburgh Music Festival honours Pierre Boulez with a range of performances of the composer’s works, including A Pierre Dream: A Portrait of Pierre Boulez.

Find the full programme on the website of the Aldeburgh Festival.

Earlier this year, Universal Edition interviewed Pierre-Laurent Aimard for our digital magazine MusikSalon. You can watch the interview here or read a transcript on our MusikSalon: