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Jakob Lenz: Georg Nigl is singer of the year in performance of the year

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 October 2015

Jakob Lenz (c) Oper Stuttgart, Bernd Uhlig

opernwelt’s annual survey is out:

Congratulations to Georg Nigl, who has been selected “singer of the year 2015” in Andrea Breth’s “performance of the year” of Jakob Lenz at the opera Stuttgart.

Also congratulations to Marlis Petersen who won “singer of the year” for her title role in Berg’s Lulu at the Bayerische Staatsoper.

You can watch the trailer for the production here:

Wozzeck: a “key work of modern music theatre” in Hof

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 September 2015

Wozzeck, Theater Hof (c) SFF Fotodesign

Wozzeck (c) Universal Edition“Die Hofer Symphoniker unter der Leitung von Arn Goerke geben in fordernden Dynamik dem Musikdrama angemessene Klänge, und dies im Wechsel von subtiler Kammermusik und dröhnendem Aufschrei. Insbesondere die Klangmagie der leisen Intensität macht diese Aufführung von der musikalischen Seite her so bewegend.” (Boris Gruhl, nmz, 22.09.2015)

Alban Berg’s Wozzeck premièred almost 90 years ago, on 14.12.1925 – congratulations to the Theater Hof for their successful new staging of the opera, a work that has lost nothing of its relevance.

Further performances will take place until 25 October, find out more on the website of the Theater Hof.

★★★★★ for Berg and Wellesz

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 September 2015

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Public Domain“[The Sonnets] show Wellesz’s music at that time to be closest to Berg’s, but still retaining echoes of Brahms, Mahler and even Richard Strauss.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 9 September 2015)

Five out of five stars from Andrew Clements for Renée Fleming’s and the Emerson Quartet’s recording of Berg’s Lyric Suite and Egon Wellesz’ Sonnets after Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Read the review on The Guardian

Lulu in Amsterdam and Munich

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 June 2015

Lulu (c) Bayerische Staatsoper

We’ll be sending out our latest newsletter today at 13:00 – it focuses on the current productions of Berg’s Lulu at the Dutch National Opera in Amsterdam and the Bayerische Staatsoper in Munich.

Gert Korentschnig of the Austrian newspaper Kurier has written an extensive [German] review of both productions – read the full article online on Kurier.

★★★★★ for Lulu

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 May 2015

Dmitri Tcherniakov’s current production of Lulu at the Bayerische Staatsoper has received ★★★★★ from BR Klassik.

Read the [German] review on BR Klassik.

Watch a trailer for the production on YouTube:

Lulu at De Nationale Opera

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 May 2015

“It’s almost as if ink becomes the black blood that is spilled throughout the production.”

Watch a behind-the-scenes interview with director William Kentridge on the stage design and the expressionistic woodcuts that are used in Kentridge’s production of Lulu, which premières on 1 June at the Dutch National Opera:

Listening Lab wins the Best Print Award

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 March 2015

Best Print Award

Music Teacher Award

Listening Lab has won the Best Print Award at the Music Teacher Awards for Excellence held on the 12th March in London.

The Listening Lab series provides music educators with practical and inspiring approaches for children, young people and adults to connect with contemporary music allowing for a deeper understanding of the work.

The series so far (by Constanze Wimmer / Helmut Schmidinger and Veronika Großberger / Johannes Voit) has also received recommendations from the Association of German School Musicians.

For more information and sample pages go to:

Listen to Schönberg talk about Berg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 February 2015

But when I saw the compositions he showed me – songs in a style between Hugo Wolf and Brahms – I recognized at once that he was a real talent. (Arnold Schönberg, Los Angeles, 1949)

More voice recordings of Schönberg are available on the website of the Arnold Schönberg Center.

Marital hell – Tim Ashley's opera guide

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 January 2015

Bluebeard’s Castle; wood engraving by Gustave Doré, public domain

Alban Berg: Wozzeck (c) Universal EditionAll five operas, significantly perhaps, were first performed within a relatively short period – 1887 to 1925 – when the nature of marriage as an institution was under scrutiny right across the arts: think of the plays of Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov and Shaw, and the fiction of Henry James, Proust and DH Lawrence. (Tim Ashley, The Guardian, 6.1.2015)

In his final opera guide, Tim Ashley of The Guardian picked five operas that explore marital hell. Three of these picks are UE works: Leoš Janáček’s Katya Kabanova, Béla Bartók’s Bluebeard’s Castle and Alban Berg’s Wozzeck.

Read the full article on The Guardian.

Now available: “an explicit, yet chilly” Lulu

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 December 2014

Walk up, walk up! and spend a pleasant hour,
Fair ladies, noble gentlemen, with me;
Inside my tent you'll thrill – and chill – to see
The beasts I have in my menagerie
Tamed by superior force of human power.

Krzysztof Warlikowski’s production of Lulu at La Monnaie in Brussels was recently released on DVD by Bel Air Classiques. Find out more here.

Barbara Hannigan gives everything she’s got and then some to the title role. Charles Workman is the finely lyrical Alwa; Dietrich Henschel, never bettered, the troubled Schoen. It’s nicely conducted by Paul Daniel, too.

Read Tim Ashley’s review of the DVD on The Guardian.

Teresa Stratas to receive Opera News Award

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 December 2014

Teresa Stratas Opera News has announced that Teresa Stratas will be among five recipients of the tenth annual Opera News Awards. Congratulations!

To the right: Teresa Stratas in the première of Boulez’ and Chéreau’s production of Lulu (in Friedrich Cerha’s orchestration).

World premières of Klaus Simon’s Mahler and Berg arrangements

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 November 2014

Treibhaus Wien, FlyerKlaus Simon conducts the Holst-Sinfonietta tonight at the E-Werk in Freiburg.

Under the title “Treibhaus Wien” [greenhouse Vienna], the world premières of Klaus Simon’s chamber arrangements of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 5 and Alban Berg’s Passacaglia will be performed together with Alban Berg’s 4 Pieces for clarinet and chamber ensemble at the E-Werk in Freiburg.

Find out more on the website of the Holst-Sinfonietta.

Gustav Mahler: Symphony No. 5
world prem. for chamber ensemble | 65'
Alban Berg: Passacaglia
world prem. for chamber ensemble | 5'
Alban Berg: 4 Pieces op. 5
for clarinet and chamber ensemble | 8'
25.11.2014, E-Werk, Freiburg; Julien Laffaire, cl; Holst-Sinfonietta, cond. Klaus Simon

★★★★★ Wozzeck: from poignancy to utter devastation

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 November 2014

“If the evening began poignantly, it ended, as a powerful performance of Berg’s opera must, in utter devastation.”

Find Kate Molleson’s review of a “compelling, beautiful and powerfully claustrophobic” semi-staged performance of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck at City Halls Glasgow on The Guardian.

Have a look at our study score.

Alban Berg: Wozzeck (c) Universal Edition

 

Richard Uttley launches Ghosts & Mirrors

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 October 2014

Pianist Richard Uttley will present his latest recording Ghosts & Mirrors on Wednesday 15 October at 8pm at The Forge in Camden.

Richard Uttley: Ghosts & MirrorsAt the CD launch, Uttley will play a selection of the pieces from the disc and will be joined onstage by Nat Urazmetova, a London-based visual artist who created the artwork for the disc and will mix live visuals in response to the music.

Included on the CD are the Luciano Berio’s 6 Encores and the first recording of Alban Berg’s/Marvin Wolfthal’s Lulu Fantasy, a paraphrase of Alban Berg’s great opera Lulu in the spirit of Liszt’s virtuoso opera arrangements (it was also Richard Uttley who performed the UK première of the piece).

The pianist on working with Nat Urazmetova:

I wanted to work with Nat as the aesthetic of her work is the closest thing I could find to a visual representation of my feelings on the atmosphere and concerns of the works I chose to record for Ghosts & Mirrors. Themes explored by the music include hauntings, rebirth, symmetry and warping – all of which are expressed either directly or obliquely by Nat’s images.

Read the full text on his blog.

Watch live: Arabella Steinbacher plays Berg’s Violin Concerto

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 October 2014

Star violinist Arabella Steinbacher and the NDR Sinfonieorchester (cond. Thomas Hengelbrock) will perform Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto “To the Memory of an Angel” tonight at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg. Watch the whole concert on the website of Arte – the broadcast begins at 20:00:

Arabella Steinbacher (c) Sammy Hart

Read a German interview with Steinbacher on the Violin Concerto on Arte.

The Violin Concerto is part of Universal Edition’s Listening Lab – Materials for communicating music series. Here are sample pages of the bilingual publication: