Universal Edition - Blog

Andrew Clements reviews Zemlinsky

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 August 2013

Alexander Zemlinsky, NaxosAndrew Clements of The Guardian reviews the Escher String Quartet’s recording of Alexander Zemlinsky’s String Quartets Nos 3 and 4, which has recently been released on Naxos.

“Alexander Zemlinsky’s four quartets seem underrated. They are among the finest composed in Europe in the first half of the 20th century, but are rarely mentioned in the same breath as those by Zemlinsky’s contemporaries such as Schoenberg and Berg, Janáček and Bartók.”

Find the full review on The Guardian.

Ernst Krenek: witness to the 20th century

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 August 2013

Ernst Krenek: Jonny spielt aufBorn on 23 August 1900, Ernst Krenek was a witness to the 20th century and a prolific composer (and writer), who “lived an extraordinarily rich life, thanks to his multifarious gifts, his insatiable hunger for everything new, his tremendous creative impulse and the historical circumstances which had a bearing on his decision”.

Find out more about Ernst Krenek and listen to his music.

Pierre Boulez: Complete Works

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 August 2013

Deutsche Grammophon - Pierre Boulez: Complete WorksEd Siegel writes on The Artery about Deutsche Grammophon’s recent release of the 13-CD “Pierre Boulez: Complete Works” set and about Boulez’s music in general. There is a nice quote from Bernstein in there (“Curiously enough, the atmosphere he generates is one of great inner-ness and mystery. Perhaps what it really is a new kind of mysticism born of new scientific insights”), but also an interesting take on the warmth of Boulez’s music.

sur Incises, which is mentioned in the article, will be performed in October in Strasbourg by the Ensemble Intercontemporain:


Pierre Boulez: sur Incises
for 3 pianos, 3 harps and 3 percussionists | 40’
3/10/2013, Cité de la musique, Strasbourg; Ensemble Intercontemporain, cond. Pascal Rophé

World premières of Staud, Schwartz and Baltakas in Salzburg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 August 2013

Staud, Schwartz, Baltakas (c) Universal Edition and Marion KalterTwelve composers have been commissioned to write compositions for twelve works of art that were created in the frame of the Salzburg Art Project. The compositions will be premièred on 24 August by the Scharoun Ensemble. Among the composers are Vykintas Baltakas with Eselsbrücke, Johannes Maria Staud with Caldera (für Tony Cragg) and Jay Schwartz with M.

Vykintas Baltakas: Eselsbrücke
for ensemble | 10’
world prem. 24/8/2013, Mozarteum; Scharoun Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker, cond. Matthias Pintscher

Beyond Recall (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

Beyond Recall by Brigitte Kowanz

Jay Schwartz: M
for baritone and ensemble | 12’
1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - perc, pno, str
world prem. 24/8/2013, Mozarteum; Matthias Goerne, bar; Scharoun Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker, cond. Matthias Pintscher

Johannes Maria Staud: Caldera (für Tony Cragg)
for soprano, clarinet and piano (with active page-turner)
world prem. 24/8/2013, Mozarteum; Mojca Erdmann, s; Scharoun Ensemble of the Berliner Philharmoniker, cond. Matthias Pintscher

Beyond Recall at the Salzburg Festival.

Happy Birthday Karlheinz Stockhausen

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 August 2013

Photo Copyright: Archive of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music –, Karlheinz Stockhausen would have celebrated his 85th birthday.

On the photo: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bruno Maderna and Pierre Boulez conducting the rehearsals for the world première of Gruppen on 24 March 1958 in Cologne.

Find out more about Stockhausen and listen to his music.

Tom Service’s guide to Stockhausen.

Happy Birthday Johannes Maria Staud!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 August 2013

Johannes Maria Staud (c) Universal Edition, Jonathan Irons

Learn more about the composer and view his list of works.

Happy 60th Birthday Georg Friedrich Haas!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 August 2013

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Lucerne Festival, Priska KettererLearn more about the composer and view his list of works.

Pärt at the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 August 2013

Cello8ctet (c) Merlijn DoomernikThe Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival, held from 6 July to 25 August, features a special programme that focuses on the music of Arvo Pärt and presents more than 15 works of the composer’s catalogue.

A highlight of this programme will be the Cello8ctet Amsterdam’s performance of seven works by Pärt, all of which he transcribed for 8 violoncellos.

Arvo Pärt on the ensemble: “The octet is a piece of gold, I discovered this group 10 years too late.”

Arvo Pärt: Kanon Pokajanen
for mixed choir a cappella
09/8/2013, St. Michaelis, Hamburg; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, cond. Tõnu Kaljuste

Arvo Pärt: Solfeggio
Arvo Pärt: Missa brevis
Arvo Pärt: Summa
Arvo Pärt: Psalom
Arvo Pärt: Da pacem Domine
Arvo Pärt: Silouans Song
Arvo Pärt: O-Antiphonen

for 8 violoncellos
10/08/2013, NDR, Hamburg; Cello8ctet Amsterdam

Arvo Pärt: Fratres
Arvo Pärt: Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
Arvo Pärt: Adam’s Lament
Arvo Pärt: Salve Regina
Arvo Pärt: Te Deum

10/8/2013, Hamburg, St. Jacobi; Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir; Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, cond. Tõnu Kaljuste

Arvo Pärt: Für Alina
for piano | 2’
11/8/2013, NDR, Hamburg; Ulrike Payer, pno

Arvo Pärt: Lamentate
Arvo Pärt: Tabula rasa

11/8/2013, Hamburg, NDR, Rolf-Liebermann-Studio; Marrit Gerretz-Traksmann, pno; Barnabás Kelemen, vln; Ye-Eun Choi, vln; NDR Radiophilharmonie, cond. Tõnu Kaljuste

Arvo Pärt and the Cello8ctet in Amsterdam

Friedrich Cerha and Martin Grubinger

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 August 2013 (comments: 2)

Newsletter: Friedrich Cerha, Martin GrubingerWe just sent out our latest newsletter focusing on Martin Grubinger and Friedrich Cerha and his Étoile and Concerto for Percussion and Orchestra.

Read the full newsletter here, and subscribe to our newsletter if you would like to be kept informed about our latest news.

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

Service and Maddocks on “the brilliance of Birtwistle”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 August 2013

Harrison Birtwistle at the Salzburg Festival (c) Universal Edition, Wolfgang SchauflerFind Tom Service’s “quick word from Salzburg” on Sir Harrison Birtwistle’s presence (and brilliance) at the Salzburg Festival on The Guardian, where he describes the “Klangforum's performance of the 1984 masterpiece Secret Theatre [as] a Birtwistlean thrill ride of explosivity and stasis; Sylvain Cambreling conducted with uncompromising precision, energy, and hell-for-leather speeds that pushed his players to their expressive and technical limits.”

And while we’re at it: Fiona Maddocks reviewed Gawain Birtwistle's “epic opera, which launched the Salzburg season to noisy ovations and plenty of controversy last week” – for The Observer, you can find the full review here.

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

Birtwistle and Cambreling in Salzburg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 August 2013

Harrison Birtwistle, Sylvain Cambreling (c) Universal Edition, Wolfgang SchauflerSir Harrison Birtwistle and Sylvain Cambreling with the Klangforum Wien before and after yesterday’s performances at the Kollegienkirche in Salzburg during the Salzburg Festival.

Birtwistle’s Cortege, Secret Theatre, Tombeau in memoriam Igor Stravinsky and 9 Settings of Celan were on the programme.

Birrung at the 68th Hitzacker Summer Music Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 August 2013

Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop (c) Sonja Müller

The exceptional Berlin based chamber orchestra Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop will perform Georges Lentz’s Birrung on 1 August at the 68th Hitzacker Summer Music Festival.

The title Birrung (a word that comes from one of the Australian Aboriginal languages and can be translated as ‘stars’) underlines the composer’s “fascination for the vast empty spaces of the Australian landscape with its radiantly beautiful night skies” (Lentz), whereas the piece itself is a small section of Lentz’s large-scale work-in-progress ‘Mysterium’ (Caeli enarrant... VII), a cycle of works that reflects the composers interest in astronomy as well as his religious beliefs.

Georges Lentz: Birrung
for 11 strings | 9’
vln(6), vla(2), vc(2), cb(1)
1/8/2013, Hitzacker; Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop

View the full study score:

Arcana Festival 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 July 2013

Arcana Festival
Here are some upcoming Universal Edition highlights from the Arcana Festival 2013, which runs from 25 July until 6 August.

Georg Friedrich Haas: de terrae fine
for violin solo | 17’
Johannes Maria Staud: Towards a Brighter Hue
for violin | 9’
Beat Furrer: Lied
for violin and piano | 12’
30/7/2013, Stiftskirche Admont; Ernst Kovacic, vln; Mathilde Hoursiangou, pno

Mauricio Sotelo: Como llora el agua ...
for guitar | 12’
31/7/2013, Stiftskirche Admont; Juan Manuel Cañizares, guit

Georg Friedrich Haas: String Quartet No. 6
for string quartet | 20’
1st violin; 2nd violin; viola; violoncello
1/8/2013, Kulturhaus Liezen; Quatuor Diotima

Johannes Maria Staud: Par ici!
for ensemble | 10’
1 0 1 1 - 1 1 0 0 - perc, pno, vln, vla, vc, cb
4/8/2013, Helmut List Halle, Graz; Arcana Ensemble, Dir. Peter Rundel