100 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
We just sent out our latest newsletter, featuring video interviews with Luke Bedford about his chamber opera Seven Angels, and with David Sawer about The Lighthouse Keepers. Furthermore, the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s A Tribute will soon take place at the Aldeburgh Festival.
Read the full newsletter and enjoy,
This week on the BBC Radio 3 internet stream: Tom Service introduces a concert of works by Luke Bedford. The concert in question took place on 22 May and featured the world première of Renewal and the British première of Wonderful No-headed Nightingale, both of which were performed by the London Sinfonietta under Sian Edwards.
The concert took place at the Konzerthaus, Vienna, Markus Poschner – filling in for James Conlon – conducted the Wiener Symphoniker. You can listen to a transmission of the concert via live stream, the recording will be available for one week after it’s been broadcast:
Alexander Zemlinsky: The Mermaid
Recorded on 7 June 2013 at the Konzerthaus, Vienna
Critical edition by Antony Beaumont (2011)
Wiener Symphoniker, cond. Markus Poschner
Ö1 | Listen live
Sunday, 16.06.2013, 11:03
The revised version of Wolfgang Rihm’s Klanbeschreibung 2 will be premièred tomorrow, 15 June, at the Cité de la musique in Paris. François-Xavier Roth conducts the Ensemble Intercontemporain and the EXAUDI vocal ensemble.
Bálint Varga about Klangbeschreibung 2:
This piece is not a setting of Nietzsche’s poem “Der Wanderer und sein Schatten – ein Buch”; Rihm is not concerned with the intelligibility of the words. Instead, he takes single words and groups of words from the poem, to be sung by the four women’s voices. Entering into this unique world of instrumental and human sounds, the listener seems to be attending a ritual; instruments reply to one another, echo one another or serve to prompt the entries of the hovering women’s voices, either solo or in ensemble. Chords leave a single pitch remaining, sustained lengthily, only to segue to further sonic events where other instruments or voice(s) have their say. Rihm remarks, “Every sound is a sculpture of itself.”
The IX. Hungarian Dance Festival opens with choreographer Velekei László’s new ballet Kodály, which will be premièred by the Ballet Company of Győr on Monday, 17 June in Győr. The two-act ballet features music by Zoltán Kodály, including his Dances of Galánta.
László Velekei about Kodály: “In my new choreography, I will not only address the audience with the play of bodies and emotions. Experience, good or bad, as well as sharing emotions within a community is always elevating. It will reinforce us, it will help us, therefore we will not be left alone. Disaffiliating from apathy, enterprise something daring; knowing ourselves hold out with the other and build something different and new.”
Frank Martin: Le Vin
for 12 voices, 7 strings and piano | 90’
13.06.2013, Staatsoper im Schiller Theater, Berlin; Narine Yeghiyan, s; Anna Prohaska, s; Evelin Novak, s; Virpi Räisänen, a; Katharina Kammerloher, a; Stephanie Atanasov, a; Thorbjorn Gulbrandsoy, t; Matthias Klink, t; Peter Gijsbertsen, t; Arttu Kataja, b; Jan Martinik, b; Ludvig Lindström, b; Staatskapelle Berlin, cond. Franck Ollu
The London Sinfonietta’s Luke Bedford: In Portrait, which took place last month and featured performances of Bedford’s Wonderful No-Headed Nightingale, his latest piece Renewal, as well as Gérard Grisey’s Périodes, received great reviews, and we are proud to share some of the highlights:
“In his latest work, Renewal, British composer Luke Bedford has achieved the rare feat of having written a piece that has everything: dynamism and drive, a singular yet powerfully centred harmonic language, a strong sense of thematic development, an altogether wondrous control of flow and counter-flow, and, above all, moments of transcendent beauty.” (Guy Dammann, The Guardian)
“The music moved with impulsive energy, dismantling material as quickly as it had been gathered together. […] Perhaps the most captivating moment was when Bedford stripped his musical materials down to pure noise. […] The programme as a whole was very well received and it was encouraging to see one of London’s major concert venues lend this level of support and attentiveness to an emerging artist.” (Ninfea Cruttwell-Reade, bachtrack)
The London Sinfonietta will perform Renewal on 16 August in Dubrovnik, Croatia. We will keep you posted.
View the full study score of Wonderful Two-Headed Nightingale:
Exactly 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:
The world première of Cristóbal Halffter’s latest opera Schachnovelle, an opera in one act based on Stefan Zweig’s novella [The Royal Game], at the Kiel Opera House on 18 May 2013 was a resounding success, as exemplified by the audience’s applause and various positive reviews from Deutschlandfunk, Merker and the nmz (which makes an interesting comparison of Halffter’s Schachnovelle and Berg’s Lulu). Wolfgang Haendeler’s excellent libretto should also be highlighted at this point, especially when one considers the original text’s lack of spoken dialogue.
Cristóbal Halffter at the world première of Schachnovelle:
Today the Austrian première of Antony Beaumont’s critical edition of Zemlinsky’s Die Seejungfrau [The Mermaid] will be performed by the Wiener Symphoniker under Markus Poschner, the musical director of the Bremer Philharmoniker and the Theater Bremen. Poschner – filling in for James Conlon – conducts the Wiener Symphoniker for his first time. The performance will be repeated tomorrow.
The rehearsal at the Wiener Konzerthaus is going great, the première will be something to look forward to!
Die Seejungfrau / The Mermaid (1903)
for orchestra | 45’
4 3 4 3 - 6 3 4 1 - timp, perc(2), hp(2), str
Critical edition by Antony Beaumont (2011)
prem. 7 and 8/6/2013, Konzerthaus, Wien; Wiener Symphoniker, cond. Markus Poschner
The 66th Aldeburgh Festival will run from 7 until 23 June. The UE-highlight: the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s A Tribute, which takes place on the last day of the festival at the Snape Maltings Concert Hall at 16:00. This orchestral piece was commissioned by the Britten Pears Foundation and the Royal Philharmonic Society to mark the centenary of Benjamin Britten and the bicentenary of the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Wolfgang Rihm: A Tribute
for orchestra | 20’
2 2 3 3 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, perc(2), hp, str
world prem. 23/6/2013, Snape Maltings Concert Hall, Snape; Hallé Orchestra, cond. Mark Elder
Aram Khatchaturian conducting at the Vienna Musikverein in 1961
110 years ago, on 6 June 1903, Aram Khatchaturian was born in Tiflis. The bookmaker’s son started to play the tenor horn as a youth, taught himself how to play the piano, and was admitted to the Gnessin State Musical College in 1922, where he studied Cello. Seven years later he was accepted at the Moscow Conservatory. In 1933 he married Nina Makarowa, a composer and fellow student. After receiving his diploma in 1934 for his Symphony No. 1, he stayed at the Conservatory for three more years as a postgraduate, establishing himself as a composer. In the 1940s he wrote his ballet Gajane, the Symphony No. 2 and the Concerto in D minor for violin and orchestra. He started to successfully conduct his own works and to teach at the Gnessin-Institute in 1951; five years later, he finished Spartacus, his most famous ballet.
Universal Edition recently published Khatchaturian’s Adagio and Bacchanal from Spartacus in the arrangement for violin and piano by Matthias Fletzberger and Lidia Baich, which creates a colourful and diverse sound image and makes sure that both instruments are equal partners in a musical exchange.
Born on 5 June 1943, Bill Hopkins would have celebrated his 70th birthday today. As Bloomsday is approaching, it might be worth mentioning that the composer wrote his 2 Pomes, based on James Joyce’s Pomes Penyeach, in 1964, and thus is one of the many UE composers who were inspired by the writer’s works – e.g. Hans Zender with his opera Stephen Climax, Karol Szymanowski (7 Joyce Songs), Pierre Boulez and of course Luciano Berio with his Epiphanies and Thema (Omaggio a Joyce).