Universal Edition - Blog

David Fennessy: Piano Trio | Music for the pauses in a conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 June 2013

Here’s a short video from the ON - Neue Musik Köln on Ensemble Preasenz’ In die Nacht mit John und Morton [into the night with John and Morton]:

The video was taken on 28 November 2012 at the Kunst-Station Sankt Peter in Köln and features an excerpt of David Fennessy’s excellent Piano Trio | Music for the pauses in a conversation between John Cage and Morton Feldman.

Among the pieces performed on this evening, which focused on the friendship between Cage and Feldman, were also Feldman’s For John Cage, Steffen Krebber’s Konfusion IV and John Cage’s Imaginary landscape No. 1.

100 years of Stravinsky's Rite

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 May 2013

Luke Bedford (c) Manu Theobald, Ernst von Siemens MusikstiftungThinking back to the first time I heard The Rite as a 13-year-old, I remember being instantly enchanted and terrified by the piece. I had heard nothing like it before and it quite simply opened up the world of twentieth century music to me. And even now, a hundred years on from the première, its force and violent beauty are a thing of wonder.
(Luke Bedford)

1913 certainly was an exciting year for Universal Edition. Two and a half months after Schönberg’s “scandal concert” in Vienna – where the issue was not merely a question of how an audience treated the performers, it was about partisanship at a crossroads of musical history – the world première of Stravinsky’s and Nijinsky’s Le Sacre du printemps took place in Paris on 29 May 1913 and sent shock waves through the European art world. A quick search on the internet is enough to get an overview of some of the devastating reviews that the première received, yet opinions differed: UE composer Gian Francesco Malipiero, who attended the performance, would later remember the experience as an awakening “from a long and dangerous lethargy”.

The Rite of Spring

But it’s not only a temporal proximity that connects these two events: Stravinsky was said to have kept a score of Schönberg’s 3 Piano Pieces, Op 11 – where the last piece is free from any tonal or motivic references – with him at the time he was composing The Rite. Stravinsky in return seems to have been of major importance to Béla Bartók, who wrote his pantomime ballet The Miraculous Mandarin partly as a response to his interest in Stravinsky, admiring the composer’s way of making “these chasing motivic complexes fit into each other by balancing the weight ratios with extreme precision.”

The BBC released an article questioning whether The Rite did actually spark a riot, and the conclusion is drawn that even today, “we cannot be quite sure”. Did The Rite lose its edge in the twenty-first century? What is your opinion?

New Music Dublin: Bedford, Fennessy, and Staud

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 May 2013

Tonight at 21:00 CET/CEST: RTÉ lyric fm broadcasts Bedford’s Chiaroscuro, Fennessy’s Piano Trio and Staud’s Für Bálint András Varga. The concert was performed by the Fidelio Trio and recorded on Saturday 2 March during the three-day New Music Dublin festival.

RTÉ lyric fm offers a live stream, which you can find here.

Luke Bedford: Chiaroscuro
David Fennessy: Piano Trio
Johannes Maria Staud:
Für Bálint András Varga

Fidelio Trio
RTÉ lyric fm | Listen live
Tuesday, 28 May 2013, 21:00

Per Luciano

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 May 2013

Centro Studi Luciano BerioToday, on the tenth anniversary of the death of Luciano Berio, the Centro Studi Luciano Berio devoted a “room” on their website to him. Here, friends, family and colleagues speak with him and about him, expressing their touching memories:

Per Luciano

Luciano Berio: Rai radio 3

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 May 2013

Rai Radio 3The Italian radio station Rai Radio 3 dedicates two radio programmes to Luciano Berio today. At 12:00, Rendering, 4 dédicaces, Fanfara and three other works will be broadcast. Later in the day at 20:30 another programme will present Berio’s (chamber) orchestral works Eindrücke, Requies and Sinfonia.

Rai radio 3 offers a live stream, which you can find here.

Luciano Berio: Rendering
Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, cond. Pascal Rophé
Recorded on 21 October 2005
Luciano Berio: 4 dédicaces, Fanfara, Entrata, Festum
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, cond. Michele Mariotti
Recorded on 7 January 2011
Monday, 27 May, 12:00 | RAI Radio 3 | Listen live

Luciano Berio: Eindrücke
Luciano Berio: Requies
Luciano Berio: Sinfonia

Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI, Neue Vocalsolisten, Dir. Dima Slobodeniouk
Recorded on 1 February 2013
Monday, 27 May, 20:30 | RAI Radio 3 | Listen live

World première of Spider's Web

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 May 2013

Cappella Istropolitana (c) Cappella Istropolitana

The long-awaited world première of Paul Patterson’s Spider’s Web takes place today, 25 May 2013, in Kufstein. Bernhard Sieberer conducts the Cappella Istropolitana, Gwyneth Wentink plays harp.

Paul Patterson: Spider’s Web
for harp and string orchestra | 12’
world prem. 25/5/2013, Stadtsaal Kufstein, Austria; Gwyneth Wentink, hp; Cappella Istropolitana, cond. Bernhard Sieberer

Live stream: Mahler's Symphony No. 8

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 May 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).

Georg Friedrich Haas: in vain

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 May 2013

Tonight Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain will be performed as a part of a composer’s portrait dedicated to Haas at the Schwetzinger SWR Festspiele. Jonathan Stockhammer conducts the Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart.

You can watch an interview with Sir Simon Rattle, in which the conductor identifies in vain as “one of the only already acknowledged masterpieces of the 21st century”, here:

The concert will be broadcast by SWR 2 on 16 June 2013, listen live.

Georg Friedrich Haas: in vain
for 24 instruments | 70’
2 1 2 1 - 2 0 2 0 - perc(2), hp, acc, pno, sax, vln(3), vla(2), vc(2), cb
23/5/2013, Schwetzingen; Radio-Sinfonieorchester Stuttgart, cond. Jonathan Stockhammer

Morton Feldman: new ECM recording of Violin and Orchestra

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 May 2013

ECM - Morton Feldman, Violin and OrchestraECM Records released a new CD this week: Morton Feldman’s Violin and Orchestra, performed by Carolin Widmann and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra under Emilio Pomàrico.

Andrew Clements of The Guardian writes that “[t]his performance is perfectly judged: Carolin Widmann is a fabulously assured and poetic soloist, taking minute care over the smallest, apparently most insignificant details, and Emilio Pomarico ensures that the orchestral playing is equally refined and scrupulous. It's a beautiful, haunting disc.”

Buy the CD

Read the full review

World première of Luke Bedford's new ensemble work Renewal

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 May 2013

Luke Bedford (c) Manu Theobald, Ernst von Siemens MusikstiftungThe world première of Luke Bedford’s new ensemble work Renewal, which was commissioned by the London Sinfonietta, takes place today, on 22 May under Sian Edwards. Furthermore, Bedford’s Wonderful No-Headed Nightingale for 10 players will receive its UK première in the same concert.

Bedford, whom Andrew Burke, chief executive of the London Sinfonietta, described as “one of the best British composers of his generation” has written that “Renewal is about creating something new from the rubble of each previous section. Though the material of any given part might appear stable, it always collapses. The piece is a celebration of renewal and regrowth: written in the full knowledge of its impermanence.”

The London Sinfonietta released an introductory video about Bedford on YouTube which you can watch here:

Renewal (2012/2013)
for 12 players | 22’
1 1 1 0 - 1 0 1 0 - perc, hp, str
Wonderful No-Headed Nightingale (2012)
for 10 players | 8’
22/5/2013, Queen Elizabeth Hall, London; London Sinfonietta, cond. Sian Edwards

A short video on Tectonics 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 May 2013

David Fennessy, STV GlasgowHere’s a short video from the Scottish Television channel stv Glasgow featuring composer David Fennessy and conductor/curator Ilan Volkov. Enjoy.

Tectonics 2013: Impressions

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 May 2013

David Fennessy, Prologue (c) Sarah Standke, Universal EditionThe world première of David Fennessy’s Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon), which opened the second Tectonics Festival in Glasgow on 11 May 2013 (the first took place in Iceland in March 2012), was a great success. Ilan Volkov conducted the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.

Tectonics Festival, Panel (c) Sarah Standke, Universal EditionWe also took a photo of the panel discussion with David Fennessy, Hildur Gudnadóttir, Alvin Lucier, Ilan Volkov and Fiona Talkington in the Candleriggs Bar.

If you didn’t manage to attend the two-day festival, here is a short introductory video of Volkov talking about it. I’d say that the festival’s mixture of genres is a great idea, and am eagerly awaiting to see who will be on the programme next year:

More Wozzeck

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 May 2013

Wozzeck (c) ENOAnother great review of Wozzeck (con. Edward Gardner), this time from The Guardian. Tim Ashley describes Carrie Cracknell’s production of Berg’s “masterpiece”. Highlighting that Cracknell’s production distances itself from a psychoanalytic or symbolic interpretation of the opera (reminding the audience of trauma caused by war and poverty - Wozzeck, played by Leigh Melrose – has just returned from Iraq or Afghanistan), Ashley describes the opera as musically astonishing, Melrose “giving the performance of a lifetime [...], a major achievement for conductor Edward Gardner [...], an outstanding achievement to which no one can remain indifferent.”

Read the full review on The Guardian.

Alban Berg: Wozzeck
Opera in 3 acts | 105’
Further performances: 18, 23 and 25 May, English National Opera, London
Leigh Melrose, Wozzeck; Sara Jakubiak, Marie; Tom Randle, The Captain; James Morris, The Doctor; Bryan Register, The Drum-Major; ENO Orchestra, cond. Edward Gardner

The Boulanger Trio with Friedrich Cerha

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 May 2013

Boulanger Trio, Friedrich Cerha (c) Österreichisches Kulturforum BerlinThe marvelous Boulanger Trio and Friedrich Cerha at the Österreichisches Kulturforum Berlin [Austrian Cultural Forum Berlin].

Newsletter: Renewal and The Mermaid

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 May 2013

UE Newsletter 05/2013Find our latest Newsletter here, covering Bedford, Zemlinsky and Boulez, and world and national premières by Patterson, Rihm, Halffter and Staud.