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Schreker’s Orchestral Music from the Operas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 January 2017

Franz Schreker: Orchestral Music from the OperasIt’s an impressive disc, the selections presenting the composer at his finest, and all performed with precision and feeling, and recorded at the high standards associated with the BIS label, still laudably loyal to the SACD format. (Gavin Dixon, Classical CD Reviews)

Gavin Dixon of Classical CD Reviews on “Franz Schreker: Orchestral Music from the Operas”.

The record is published by BIS Records and has recently been nominated for the Swedish Grammy Awards for classical music.

Read the full review

Franz Schmidt: time to listen afresh

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 December 2016

Franz Schmidt (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

Today marks the birthday of Franz Schmidt, who was born on 22 December 1874 in Preßburg.

In his Guardian-article “How Franz Schmidt became the composer that history forgot” Gavin Plumley pointed out why it is time to listen to the composer’s works afresh.

You can view the full study score of Schmidt’s Symphony No. 2 on Universal Edition for free:

Franz Schmidt: Symphony No. 2

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gruppen in Kyoto

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 December 2016

World première of Gruppen (c) Universal Edition

Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gruppen for 3 orchestras will be performed on 23 December at the Miyakomesse in Kyoto by the Kyoto Symphony Orchestra with conductors Junichi Hirokami, Ken Takaseki and Tatsuya Shimono.

The work was performed for the very first time in March 1958 when it was conducted by Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna and Stockhausen himself.

Happy birthday, Zoltán Kodály

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 December 2016

Photo: Zoltán Kodály (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

If we want to understand other nations, we first must understand ourselves. There is no better means for this than folk music. Getting acquainted with the folk songs of other countries is the best way to get acquainted with other peoples. (Zoltán Kodály)

Happy birthday, Zoltán Kodály. The composer was born today in 1882.

Read Mihály Ittzés’ essay on Zoltán Kodály with the title “A patriot, not a nationalist” – from which the above quote is taken – on our MusikSalon:

A patriot, not a nationalist

Bosch: The Garden of Dreams

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 December 2016

José Luis López-Linares’ documentary film “Bosch: The Garden of Dreams”, produced by LópezLiFilms and the Prado Museum, features music by Arvo Pärt.

Watch the trailer here:

Krenek’s Orpheus und Eurydike: strikingly effective

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 December 2016

Ernst Krenek: Orpheus and Eurydike, Orfeo

“It’s a bit of a patchy, self-indulgent work, but fascinating; the best of Krenek’s angular, expressionist score, mostly atonal though harking back to romantic tonality, is strikingly effective.” (Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 30 November 2016)

Andrew Clements of The Guardian has reviewed Ernst Krenek’s opera Orpheus und Eurydike, recorded at the Salzburg Festival in 1990 under Pinchas Steinberg and now released on Orfeo.

Read the full review on The Guardian

30 years Edition Zeitgenössische Musik

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 December 2016

30 years of Edition Zeitgenössische Musik [EZM]This Saturday, 10 December, 30 years of Edition Zeitgenössische Musik [EZM]will be celebrated at the Deutschlandfunk in Cologne.

Join the event for a free symposium and a concert, including performances by Luís Antunes Pena and Pavlos Antoniadis, Ensemble Garage (cond. Mariano Chiacchiarini), leise dröhnung, Ensemble Musikfabrik, hand werk and Ensemble Modern.

The full programme is available on the website of the Deutscher Musikrat:

View the full programme

RTÉ Contempo Quartet tours Fennessy’s bow your head

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 November 2016

 Bartók Project

David Fennessy (c) Tanya KiangThere’s something uniquely sensual and physical about string music that attracts me as a composer. […] It’s not just about pitches and rhythms – there’s also something in the quality of the sound, something about the effort it takes to produce the note that gives us clues as to the musical meaning. It’s the massive difference between an up-bow with its build up of tension and a down-bow - the release, the out-breath. This piece is all about the right arm – the bowing arm. (David Fennessy on his string quartet bow your head)

The RTÉ Contempo Quartet will perform David Fennessy’s bow your head as part of their “Bartók Project” on 1 Dec at the Limerick City Gallery of Art, on 3 Dec at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork and on 4 Dec at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Find out more

“Pierre Boulez: Die Partitur der Geste und das Theater der Avantgarde”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 November 2016

Martin Zenck: Pierre Boulez: Die Partitur der Geste und das Theater der AvantgardeProf. Dr. Martin Zenck’s book Pierre Boulez: Die Partitur der Geste und das Theater der Avantgarde was presented on 18 November at the Academy of Music in Mainz in a memorial concert for the great composer who passed away this January.

Pianist Pi-Hsien Chen performed both versions of Boulez’ Troisième Sonate pour piano.

Find out more about the book

Hans Zender celebrates his 80th birthday

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 November 2016

Hans Zender (c) Karsten Witt, Wolfram LamparterComposer and conductor Hans Zender celebrates his 80th birthday today, 22 November 2016.

The works which he entrusted to Universal Edition between 1979 and 1990 reflect certain important facets of his intellectual world: the interest in music theatre (his Joyce opera Stephen Climax), the allure of Japanese culture (for example the flute concerto Loshu V), the importance of the voice and, with it, of literature (settings of Mechthild von Magdeburg and Henri Michaux).

We extend our warmest congratulations!

A selection of works by the composer will be performed at this year’s Wien Modern festival on 28 and 29 November:

Hans Zender at Wien Modern

French première of Votre Faust

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 November 2016

(c) Frieder Aurin

When Butor and I drafted the piece in the early 60s, we dreamt of a new form of theatre that would merge the characteristics of (modern) theatre and modern music, while at the same time approaching the baroque opera, the form of the operas of Brecht and Weill, the Japanese Noh and the théâtre de tréteaux, such as the l'Histoire du soldat – while still being completely different. (Excerpt from a letter from Henri Pousseur to Universal Edition)

The French première of Henri Pousseur’s Votre Faust takes place today, 17. November, at the Nouveau Théâtre de Montreuil. Laurent Cuniot conducts the Ensemble TM+.

Find out more

Bálint Varga: Der Komponisten Mut und die Tyrannei des Geschmacks

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 November 2016

Bálint András Varga (c) Marion Kalter

Mut, Angst, Verzweiflung, Tyrannei: dieses Buch versucht herauszufinden, was in den Arbeitszimmern von Komponisten vor sich geht, welcher Kampf mit dem Material, mit den eigenen Grenzen, mit den tradierten Regeln, deren Überschreitung selbst für den 90jährigen György Kurtág einen mutigen Akt darstellt – also welcher Kampf hinter den Noten steckt, die man in den Konzerten zu hören bekommt. Noten, die einem „gefallen” oder „missfallen”, je nach Geschmack, Intelligenz, Offenheit, Neugier und Erfahrung.

Bálint András Varga: Der Komponisten Mut und die Tyrannei des GeschmacksBálint András Varga’s latest book of interviews Der Komponisten Mut und die Tyrannei des Geschmacks has recently been published by wolke. View the full table of contents and the preface here – among the interviewees are UE composers Vykintas Baltakas, Friedrich Cerha, Paul-Heinz Dittrich, Georg Friedrich Haas, György Kurtág, Wolfgang Rihm and Johannes Maria Staud.

You can still listen to Bálint András Varga’s conversation with Albert Hosp on Ö1:

Ö1 extra with Bálint András Varga

Wien Modern opens with das kleine ICH BIN ICH

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 31 October 2016

das kleine ICH BIN ICH (c) Nurith Wagner-Strauss

Es hätte kaum ein besseres Sujet gefunden werden können als das kindliche Dramolett um das Finden der Identität, um Wien Modern in diesem Jahr einzuleiten – aber auch um jene Kinder zu begrüßen, die noch nicht so lang in Österreich sind. (Daniel Ender, Der Standard, 31 October 2016)

Wien Modern has opened with the scenic première of Georg Friedrich Haas’ das kleine ICH BIN ICH.

Read the full review 

Great Hall of the Philharmonie de Paris named after Pierre Boulez

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 October 2016

Pierre Boulez (c) Universal Edition

The great hall of the Philharmonie de Paris has been named for its ‘spiritual father’, Pierre Boulez. The inauguration ceremony took place on 26 October in attendance of French Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay and Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris.

Read more

Bedford shortlisted for British Composer Awards

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 October 2016

Luke Bedford (c) Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung, Manu Theobald

“Ideas in this piece are torn apart by a strange energy and reform in new, dynamic relationships. There is a constant tension between growing and collapsing. That which seems durable can vanish in an instant.” (Luke Bedford on Instability)

Congratulations! Luke Bedford’s Instability for large orchestra has been shortlisted for this year's British Composer Award. We’ve uploaded the full study score for you:

View the score of Instability