Universal Edition - Blog

Rihm’s conquest in Cologne

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 May 2016

“Artaud’s theatrical work is not a historical drama; it is a phantasmagoria about ambivalence” (Wolfgang Rihm on Die Eroberung von Mexico)

In case you’ve missed the Oper Köln’s [German] introductory trailer for Wolfgang Rihm’s Die Eroberung von Mexico, you can watch it here:

Alejo Pérez conducts Peter Konwitschny’s production, which has already been shown at the Salzburg Festival. Further performances take place on 13, 20, 26 and 29 May.

View the full score

Korzhev plays Krenek

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 May 2016

Ernst Krenek: Krenek: Piano Concertos 1-3

Read Graham Rickson full review of Mikhail Korzhevs and Kenneth Woods’ “Krenek: Piano Concertos 1-3” on the arts desk.

Inside the Score: Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 April 2016

Inside the Score

This lecture-recital, accompanied by projections from the stage, will read between the ledger lines and unlock the secrets behind one of the Second Viennese School’s most passionate scores.

On Tuesday, 10 May, writer and broadcaster Gavin Plumley, the Quatuor Tana and soprano Julia Sitkovetsy will present Inside the Score, a lecture-recital that explores Alban Berg’s Lyric Suite.

Tickets are still available – or you can watch the live stream from the comfort of your own home.

Inside the Score: Berg’s Lyric Suite


80 years “In Memory of an Angel”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 April 2016

Alban Berg (c) Universal Edition

It’s been 80 years to the day since the world première of Alban Berg’s Violin Concerto “In Memory of an Angel”.

Alban Berg: Violinkonzert – listening labIn February 1935 Alban Berg was approached by the American violinist Louis Krasner with a request to write a violin concerto. The resulting concerto – the last work that Berg completed – was first performed on 19 April 1936 by Krasner and the Casals-Orchestra in Barcelona.

The first issue of the Universal Edition listening lab is dedicated to Berg’s Violin Concerto:

Find out more about our listening lab

Kimbo Ishii conducts Egon Wellesz

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 April 2016

Egon Wellesz (c) Universal Edition

Man hat es hier nicht mit einer Symphonie oder Suite zu tun, in deren Orchester auch ein Klavier verwendet und gelegentlich solistisch bevorzugt wird: Das Klavierkonzert von Wellesz ist ein richtiges Konzert, der Part tritt hervor und lebt sich in Toccaten-Sätzen aus.” (P. Stf., Musikblätter des Anbruch, 1934)

Kimbo Ishii leads the Oldenburgisches Staatsorchester in two performances of Egon Wellesz’ Piano Concerto (William Youn, pno) on 17 and 18 April at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater.

View the full score

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in Münster

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 April 2016

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in Münster (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Standke

Ulrich Peters’ production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny was premièred on 9 April and is currently being staged at the Theater Münster.

Find a [German] review on Münstersche Zeitung:

Das große Fressen endet tödlich

Mauricio Kagel composer portrait in Vilnius

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 April 2016

Mauricio Kagel (c) Lietuvos Ansamblių TinklasThe pseudo folkloristic character of some movements in Kantrimiusik, their double-hearted, vague folklore, should certainly not lead to double-hearted presentations. The piece purposely doesn't claim any authenticity with regard to sources, it rather works up the usual apocryph music. Every accurate musical interpretation ought to make clear how much parody and caricature or substantiated seriousness it contains. (Mauricio Kagel)

Under the motto “20 years of bilateral collaboration between Belgium and Lithuania” Vykintas Baltakas, the Het Collectief ensemble and LENsemble will be presenting a composer portrait of Mauricio Kagel. For more information and the full program book visit the website of Vykintas Baltakas.

Among the works performed will be Kagel’s Kantrimiusik:

Find out more about the piece

Jenůfa returns to Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 April 2016

Jenůfa and Katya and Makropulos are constructed like what I’d call in English “a well-made play”. They are linear stories with three acts: a beginning, a middle, an end. (David Pountney)

Tonight David Pountney’s production of Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa (cond. Ingo Metzmacher) returns to the Wiener Staatsoper.

Read the full interview with Pountney on our MusikSalon

135th anniversary of Béla Bartók

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 March 2016

Béla Bartók (c) Universal Edition

It is obvious that if there remains any hope for the survival of folk music [...] an artificial erection of Chinese walls to separate peoples from each other bodes no good for its development.

A complete separation from foreign influences means stagnation: well assimilated foreign impulses offer possibilities of enrichment. (Béla Bartók)

Béla Bartók was born today 135 years ago.

The quote above is taken from a text by the composer on “race purity in music” – read more on our MusikSalon.

Castelletti’s arrangement of Mahler’s Tenth in Rovaniemi

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 March 2016

Storgards John (c) Marco Borggreve

Possibly one of Mahler’s most passionate emotional outbursts and autobiographical creations, Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 is a fascinating journey, not only for performance aspects, but also for musicological and analytical ones, providing a deep psychological pathway into the genius that was Mahler – a mesmerising voyage for the composer, performer and conductor. (Michelle Castelletti)

On 24 March, John Storgårds will conduct the Finnish première of Michelle Castelletti’s arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 in Korundi.

Read Michelle Castelletti’s full, extensive preface to the score

Read the latest MusikSalon!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 March 2016

The latest issue of the MusikSalon is out now!

In an in-depth interview, Georg Friedrich Haas talks about his opera Morgen und Abend. Kasper Holten, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, and Michael Boder, who conducted the world première, are also interviewed.

Furthermore, two important works from the UE catalogue will be presented: the violin concertos by Georg Friedrich Haas and Kurt Weill, for which we interviewed the soloists Ernst Kovacic and Benjamin Schmid.

You can watch the trailer here:

In celebration of Michael Finnissy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 March 2016

Exaudi (c) Matthew Andrews

Michael Finnissy (c) Michael FinnissyTom Fool’s Wooing for 14 solo voices, was initially conceived for the John Allldis choir, who had performed an earlier work of mine (Cipriano) for 10-voice ensemble. The writing took from 1975 to 1978, three emotionally and financially turbulent years, and by the time it was finished, the choir was no longer in existence. In 2013 James Weeks told me of his intention to finally perform the work, and, after looking through the score, I decided to considerably revise the central folk-play that lends the work its title. (Michael Finnissy)

On 12 and 13 March, the Guildhall School and Exaudi present a weekend of events in celebration of Michael Finnissy’s 70th birthday, which takes place on 17 March. Among the works performed will be the long awaited world première of Tom Fool’s Wooing for 14 voices.

View the full programme

The “other” Wozzeck in Bremerhaven

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 March 2016

Wozzeck (c) Stadttheater Bremerhaven, Heiko Sandelmann

“… once the musicians found their collective feet conductor Marc Niemann was able to exploit the music’s colour, dynamism and swift dramatic pacing to the full.” (Matthew Rye,, 7 March 2016)

Manfred Gurlitt’s Wozzeck– the “other” Wozzeck – is running at the Stadttheater Bremerhaven until 27 April.

Antony Beaumont on Gurlitt’s opera:

“In contrast to Berg’s setting of the same text, Gurlitt interprets the drama with little structural, harmonic or instrumental refinement – not on account of any particular technical deficiencies, but rather because he approaches the subject from the standpoint of spoken theatre.”

Read the full text

Lulu at the Met

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 March 2016

(c) Lulu - Metropolitan Opera

On 5 March at 19:05 on Deutschlandradio Kultur: listen to Alban Berg’s Lulu, recorded on 21 November 2015 at the New York Metropolitan Opera.

The programme also features an interview with Friedrich Cerha, in which the composer talks about his realization of the opera’s third act.

Listen live

Cat’s Eye in Glasgow

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 March 2016

David Sawer

Vive La Difference: David Sawer’s Cat’s Eye will be performed tonight together with Luciano Berio’s Différences and a new work by Taner Kemirtlek at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

Find out more about the event on the website of the Red Note Ensemble.

View the full score of Cat's Eye