Arvo Pärt in his 80th year
Scenic world première of Gurre-Lieder in Amsterdam
Foerster’s opera Eva rediscovered
Rihm’s Sextett premièred in Amsterdam
Klaus Simon’s arrangement of Berg’s 4 Pieces for clarinet and ensemble in Rovaniemi
Artistic director Miyata Keiko has opened the New National Theatre’s fifth season with a production of The Threepenny Opera. The work forms the ninth production in the series “JAPAN MEETS─A Look at the Lineage of Contemporary Drama”. The production will be running until 28 September.
On 15 August, German chanteuse and actress Ute Lemper joined the Scottish Chamber Orchestra for an evening of “Weimar Republic decadence” at the Edinburgh International Festival, with music by Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler and Igor Stravinsky.
The two-and-a-half-hour long programmewill be available for stream for four weeks on BBC Radio 3, where you can also find a list of works performed.
On Saturday at 22:30 CET/CEST, Robert Worby presents a focus on Georg Friedrich Haas, with performances recorded earlier this year. On the programme: Introduktion und Transsonation (Klangforum Wien, cond. Ilan Volkov), the Concerto for baritone saxophone and orchestra (Marcus Weiss, sax; BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, cond. Ilan Volkov) and the String Quartet No.2 (Arditti Quartet).
Listen to Hear and Now on BBC Radio 3.
Tonight’s performance of Transitus forms a prelude to the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s Trio Concerto for violin, violoncello, piano and orchestra. The Concerto will be performed by Trio Jean Paul and the WDR Sinfonieorchester under the baton of its chief conductor Jukka-Pekka Saraste.
View the full score of Transitus.
Wolfgang Rihm: Trio Concerto
for violin, violoncello, piano and orchestra | 25'
prem.17.09.2014, Philharmonie; Trio Jean Paul: Ulf Schneider, vln; Martin Löhr, vlc; Eckart Heiligers, pno; WDR SO Köln, cond. Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Wolfgang Rihm: Transitus
for orchestra | 15
17.09.2014, Philharmonie; WDR SO Köln, cond. Jukka-Pekka Saraste
Read the full programme of the Musikfest Berlin:
Do today's composers draw inspiration from life experiences or from, say, the natural world? What influences, past and present, have influenced recent composers? How essential is it for a composer to develop a personal style, and when does this degenerate into self-repetition?
These are questions about which some of the most important composers of the late twentieth and early twenty-first century often have quite strong feelings – but have seldom been asked.
For Three Questions for Sixty-Five Composers, Bálint András Varga, long-time member and companion of Universal Edition, has put these questions to 65 composers. Eight additional interviews have been included in the German edition of the book, which is published by ConBrio and was released earlier this month, on 5 September: Drei Fragen an 73 Komponisten.
A [German] preview of Varga’s interview with Alfred Schnittke is available on nmz.
We are proud to see that 24 of the interviewees are published by UE:
Gilbert Amy, Luciano Berio, Sir Harrison Birtwistle, Pierre Boulez, Friedrich Cerha, Edison Denisov, Morton Feldman, Georg Friedrich Haas, Mauricio Kagel, Ernst Krenek, György Kurtág, György Ligeti, Arvo Pärt, Henri Pousseur, Steve Reich, Wolfgang Rihm, Peter Ruzicka, Alfred Schnittke, Gunther Schuller, Johannes Maria Staud, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Tōru Takemitsu, Gerhard Wimberger and Hans Zender.
Listen to the Proms première of Friedrich Cerha’s Paraphrase on the Opening of Beethoven's Symphony No. 9, which was performed together with Beethoven’s Ninth at the Prom 75 by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra (cond. Alan Gilbert).
In the programme, Gilbert introduces the Paraphrase as “highly atmospheric […] [It] sets up kind of a wonderful stepping-stone from which you can enter the world of Beethoven 9. To me it sort of opens the world of possibility […] it lets the Beethoven really stand on its own.”
The composer on Paraphrase: “I hope very much that the gap between my Paraphrase and Beethoven’s work will not be perceived as an irreconcilable divide between two foreign elements, but that the pieces can instead be experienced as two related elements.”
View the full score of Cerha’s Paraphrase on Universal Edition.
Arnold Schönberg’s birthday gift from his pupils for his 50th birthday: a beautiful album with their photographs and dedications. Read the whole book on the website of the Arnold Schönberg Center.
But the music’s real triumph lies in its unfaltering sense of movement. […] From start to finish the work treads like some implacable giant, and because its two main climaxes emerge from the bowels of a unitary experience they generate a violence and despair that transcend rhetoric. The word is on the tip of my pen and I can withhold it no longer. There are elements of greatness in this work. (Peter Heyworth, The Observer, 04.06.1972)
Based on the homonymous allegorical painting by the sixteenth-century artist Pieter Bruegel, the 30-minute piece was first performed in 1972. This recording is from a performance by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Pierre Boulez.
Happy Birthday Arnold Schönberg!
This is the perfect opportunity to make mention of the “Schoenberg at 140” conference, which starts today, 13 September, the day of Arnold Schönberg’s 140th anniversary.
The conference is hosted by Department of Music and Performing Arts of the Canterbury Christ Church University, panel topics include 1914: “Pierrot” and His War – Arnold Schönberg’s melodrama Pierrot lunaire and the image of war, The Uncanny Topic in the Fünf Orchesterstücke Op. 16: A “Key” to Schoenberg’s Unconscious and also “Aber Verleger und Autoren können auf Dauer nicht Freunde sein.” Arnold Schoenberg and his Publishers.
View the full programme.
In the second episode of Hear and Now’s “The Arditti Quartet at 40” a performance of Wolfgang Rihm’s Fetzen and Fetzen 2 will be broadcast. The quartet was recorded earlier this year during a three concert marathon at the Barbican Centre’s Milton Court. The programme is presented by Ivan Hewett.
More Universal Edition radio highlights are available on our Performance Calendar.
Happy 79th Birthday Arvo Pärt!
To initiate the upcoming celebrations and honour the composer in his 80th year of birth, Universal Edition will be collecting upcoming performance dates, reviews, new CD releases and more on a dedicated blog. If you’ve got anything to share, let us know via hashtag #ArvoPart80 – get tweeting!
Bertolt Brecht’s and Kurt Weill’s school opera Der Jasager will be performed today by Eszter Novák and students of the University of Theatre and Film Arts at the Budapest Festival Theatre. Zsolt Jankó conducts the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
The school opera goes back to the Japanese fable Tanikô, a play from the Nôh theatre. Weill composed Der Jasager in the first half of 1930, pausing only for the turbulent première of Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny on 9 March 1930. The term “school opera” gave Weill a number of possibilities for combining the concepts of “education” and “opera”: the opera teaches the composer – or a whole new generation of composers – to approach the operatic genre in a new way. But it is also a question of re-training the process of operatic performance, with the end goal of staging the work so naturally and simply that children become the ideal performers. And finally, Weill also considered “school operas” as meant for use in schools: “it is thus essential that a piece for schools should give children the opportunity to learn something, beyond the joy of making music.”
Jill Richards, South African concert pianist and an acclaimed performer of new piano music, will perform Georg Friedrich Haas’ Ein Schattenspiel on 11 September at this year’s Unyazi Festival, which is part of the Fak’ugesi Digital Africa festival, in Johannesburg.
The concert pianist writes about her experiences with Ein Schattenspiel on her (highly recommended) blog:
But of course the interesting thing about Ein Schattenspiel is the real time sound processing. What I play is picked up, delayed, pitch shifted upwards by 50 cents and then played back. I am playing with myself, and need to read the “other” piano part so as to play in time with it. This is pretty interesting sometimes as I have perfect pitch and the pitch shifts play gentle havoc with my eyes and ears…what I read is not exactly what I hear!
Also the time delay becomes shorter and shorter, so it starts to feel like a real game of catch up – if I play too slowly, I will be overtaken by my “other” self.
Read the full text on Jill Richards’ blog.
An introduction to Ein Schattenspiel by Therese Muxeneder is available on the festival’s website.
Watch their trailer here:
The Financial Times has reviewed the “hauntingly honest portrait of an era on the brink of extinction, with the frangible beauty of a fairytale castle soon to be crushed forever”, read the full text.
Furthermore, the Arnold Schönberg Center is presenting an exhibition on Arnold Schönberg in The Netherlands and Gurre-Lieder, find out more.
Arnold Schönberg: Gurre-Lieder
for soli, choir and orchestra | 130'
scenic world première, 02.09.2014, Het Muziektheater, Amsterdam; Waldemar, Burkhard Fritz; Tove, Emily Magee; Waldtaube, Anna Larsson; Bauer, Markus Marquardt; Klaus Narr, Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke; Sprecher, Sunnyi Melles; Chorus of the Dutch National Opera; KammerChor des ChorForum Essen; Netherlands Philharmonic Orchestra, cond. Marc Albrecht; directed by Pierre Audi
further performances: 07., 12., 15., 18., 21. and 23.09.2014
The “Proms Saturday Matinee 4: A Portrait of Sir Harrison Birtwistle” starts at 4pm CET/CEST (i.e. Berlin, Paris, Vienna), and will be broadcast live on BBC Radio 3.
On the programme: Verses for Ensembles, Dinah and Nick's Love Song and Meridian:
Harrison Birtwistle: Verses for Ensembles
for 3 instrumental ensembles | 28'
Harrison Birtwistle: Dinah and Nick's Love Song
for 3 melody instruments and harp | 5'
Harrison Birtwistle: Meridian
for mezzo-soprano, 2 female choirs and instruments | 27'
06.09.2014, Cadogan Hall; Christine Rice, ms; Exaudi; Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, cond. Oliver Knussen