Universal Edition - Blog

“The Note. Rudolf Barshai” among the best publications of the last three months

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 November 2013

Rudolf Barshai (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschCongratulations to Oleg Dorman, whose documentary “The Note. Rudolf Barshai, a lifelong quest for one single note” has made it on the list of the best and most interesting publications of the last three months of Schallplattenkritik in the category DVD/Video.

Bernt Feuchtner on Rudolf Barshai: “Rudolf Barshai conducted the Tenth with the Austrian Radio Orchestra at the end of the 1980s, in Vienna and Montpellier, but soon discovered that the dissatisfaction he felt could not be dispelled by a few corrections here and there. Changing details was pointless: he had to make his own revision. [...] Such refinements, which of course critically determine the overall musical form, could only have become first apparent to a musician like Rudolf Barshai, who has devoted his life to the interpretation of the great European symphonic tradition and lived with Mahler’s music for several years.” (Read the full text).

Listen to an excerpt of the finale from a recording of Barshai conducting the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie in September 2001 at the Konzerthaus Berlin:

A trailer for the DVD is available on YouTube:

Naxos: Rudolf Barshai: The Note – A lifelong quest for one single note

Georg Friedrich Haas at the btzm

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 November 2013

ensemble recherche (c) M. KorbelFive works by Georg Friedrich Haas will be performed at the Bludenzer Tage zeitgemäßer Musik [Bludenz contemporary music days], four of which will be performed by the ensemble recherche. The festival runs from 20 to 23 November.

Georg Friedrich Haas on his various versions of „... aus freier Lust ... verbunden ...”:

Each of the work’s ten individual parts is simultaneously a solo piece; to state it differently, the ensemble piece is an interlacing of ten completely independent, autonomous solos. […] As regards pitch, the parts are bound together by an identical harmonic structure, although it is to be noted that in the solo parts “harmony” is thought of primarily as the effect of successive sound events. As for form, caesuras and units are formed in each individual part, not only independently of other instruments, but also simultaneously with them (as a sort of “solidarity”).

The full programme of the festival in Vorarlberg is available here.

Nach-Ruf ... ent-gleitend ...
for flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, viola, violoncello | 16'
„... aus freier Lust ... verbunden ...”
for bass clarinet in Bb | 11'
„... aus freier Lust ... verbunden ...”
for viola | 11'
tria ex uno
for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin and violoncello | 12'
20.11.2013, Remise, Bludenz; ensemble recherche

de terrae fine
for violin solo | 17'
22.11.2013, Remise, Bludenz ; soloist of the Formalist Quartet

Ground Breakers with Staud and Berio at the Stuttgart Ballet

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 November 2013

Heather MacIsaac und Pablo von Sternenfels in workwithinwork (Choreographie: William Forsythe), Foto: Stuttgarter BallettToday, 14 November, is the third chance to see the Stuttgart Ballet’s current production FORT//SCHRITT//MACHER [Ground Breakers], featuring three abstract ballets by three pioneering choreographers.

Marijn Rademaker und Magdalena Dziegielewska in On Velvet (Choreographie: Marco Goecke), Foto: Stuttgarter BallettOn the programme: workwithinwork by William Forsythe (music: Luciano Berio: Duetti per due Violini), Marco Goecke’s on velvet, with music from Edward Elgar and Johannes Maria Staud’s Segue, and the Frank Bridge Variations by Hans van Manen (music: Benjamin Britten: Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge).

Further performances will take place on 1, 7, 8, 10, 15 and 18 December.

An teaser for the performance is available on the homepage of the Stuttgart Ballet.

Staud on Segue:

“When you tell people you’re working at the moment on a piece for cello often you find yourself being asked: ‘Ah, so you mean a cello concerto?’ No, I always answer – not a cello concerto! A music for cello and orchestra.

Perhaps, in the beginning, I coined this expression just as an aid for myself. Naturally I might also have called the work Piece for Cello and Orchestra – or quite simply Cello and Orchestra, as for example Morton Feldman did. Or I could have decided on retro-modern titles like Confrontation, Constellation, …(con)cert(are), or even chosen the totally post-modern Symphonic Sketches for Violoncello and Orchestra.

Read more and listen to an excerpt.

Universal Edition Newsletter November 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 November 2013

Newsletter Universal Edition November 2013
The latest Universal Edition newsletter, with information on world premières by David Fennessy, Wolfgang Rihm, Georg Friedrich Haas, and Alban Berg, is avaialble here.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Georg Friedrich Haas: Greatest Hits in Hamburg

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 14 November 2013

Greatest Hits Hamburg
Georg Friedrich Haas is this year’s composer in residence at the Greatest Hits Festival (14 to 17 November) in Hamburg, a festival for contemporary music created by Laeiszhalle Elbphilharmonie Hamburg and Kampnagel. On the programme will be Haas’ third string quartet, “In iij. Noct.”, and limited approximations for 6 micro-tonally tuned pianos and orchestra, as well as works by Kagel, Reich, Cage, Zender and many more.

Find the full programme here.

View the study score of limited approximations.

Georg Friedrich Haas on limited approximations:

Georg Friedrich Haas: limited approximations, scoreThe twelfth-tone interval is so small that it is no longer heard as an interval, but rather as the shading of a single note. A single tone played by a romantic orchestra has a wider frequency.  The aural effect of a scale in twelfth-tone intervals is thus similar to a glissando. The effect of a cluster of twelfth-tones depends on the register: higher up, it is sharp, abrasive, biting, lower down it is soft, melting, rich. Of course it is also possible to build raw, dissonant chords with twelve-tone intervals – much more differentiated (also in the degree of acuteness) than with the traditional 12 tones per octave. But it is also possible to build much more “consonant” chords then in the traditional twelve-note scale: a close approximation of the twelve-tone scale can be produced in the overtone scale, accurate up to a twelfth of a tone.

Read the full text.

Georg Friedrich Haas: “In iij. Noct.” | String Quartet no. 3
for string quartet | 50'
15.11.2013, Kampnagel, Hamburg; Jack Quartett

Georg Friedrich Haas: limited approximations
for 6 micro-tonally tuned pianos and orchestra | 30'
4 1 4 1 - 6 1 4 0 - pno(6), vln.I(10), vln.II(10), vla(6), vc(6), cb(8)
17.11.2013, Kampnagel, Hamburg; Klaus Steffes-Holländer, Pi-Hsien Chen, Florian Hoelscher, Julia Vogelsänger, Akiko Okabe, Christoph Grund, pno; SWR-SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg, cond. François-Xavier Roth

Mahler’s First in Tom Service’s Symphony Guide

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 November 2013

Tom Service: Symphony GuideIn the latest article of his symphony guide series Tom Service of the Guardian writes about Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, and describes the symphony’s opening as “one of the most spellbinding moments of symphonic inspiration in the 19th century”.

Find out more about key recordings of the so-called Titan and read Service’s full article on The Guardian.

Universal Edition is currently working on two versions of Mahler’s First Symphony: an edition that is broadly consistent with the version that has been available from UE to date, but now corresponds to the requirements of the new Gustav Mahler Complete Edition in its academic preparation. And the Hamburg version, which was produced especially for Hamburg; it has distinctly different instrumentation and includes the Blumine movement which was later discarded.

Melos-Ethos Festival in Bratislava (8 to 14 November)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 12 November 2013

Melos-Ethos (c) Universal Edition, Jana Gajdosikova
Dress rehearsal of Peter Kolman’s 3 Essays on 9 November at the concert hall of the Slovak Philharmonic. Zsolt Nagy conducts the Slovak Philharmonic.

Melos-Ethos (c) Universal Edition, Jana Gajdosikova
Dress rehearsal of György Ligeti’s Atmosphères on 10 November at the large concert studio of the Slovak Radio. Chungki Min conducts the Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Click the link to find out more about the Melos-Ethos Festival in Bratislava.

Gavin Plumley at Universal Edition

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 November 2013

Gavin Plumley, Sarah Laila Standke (c) Universal Edition, Jonathan Irons
Gavin Plumley of Entartete Musik visited us today for a chat in our office. In the picture: our portrait of Emil Hertzka (by Tom v. Dreger), Gavin and our promotion manager Sarah Laila Standke.

World première of Impossibility of being still

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 November 2013

Wen Liu: world première of Impossibility of being still (c) Thomas Albdorf
Franz Michael Fischer, vln; Sylvie Lacroix, fl; Milan Karanovic, vc; Krassimir Sterev, acc; cond. Martin Kerschbaum; Lars Mlekusch, sax.

Elisabeth Dutz, Oesterreichische Nationalbank; Wen Liu; Eric Marinitsch, Universal EditionSnapshots from the successful world première of Wen Liu’s Impossibility of being still for ensemble on Thursday, 7 November, at the RadioKulturhaus in Vienna.

Wen Liu is the winner of the Ö1 Talentebörse composition prize 2012, a cooperation of Radio Ö1, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and Universal Edition.

The Austrian radio station Ö1 will broadcast a recording of the concert on 13 November at 23:03, the live webstream is available here.

Belgian première of K’in

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 November 2013

Hugo Wolf Quartet (c) Annamaria Kowalsky, 2013
Pascal Gallois and the Hugo Wolf Quartet will perform the Belgian première of Johannes Maria Staud’s K’in on 10 November at the Concertgebouw in Bruges. The composer has dedicated he piece for bassoon and string quartet to Gallois and the quartet. Afterwards, Gallois will perform Celluloid for bassoon.

Staud on K’in:

In the Mayan language, K’in means “sun.” It is also the smallest unit in the Mayan calendar, corresponding to one day.

Pascal Gallois (c) Pascal GalloisOn 21 December 2012, when I was in the middle of working on this piece, the world was supposed to end – at least according to some apocalyptic prophets who based their predictions on the Long Count of the Mayan calendar, but who, in truth, had probably read too much H.P. Lovecraft. […]

Read more.

View the full score of K’in.

Johannes Maria Staud: K’in
for bassoon and string quartet | 12'
prem. 10.11.2013, Concertgebouw, Bruges; Pascal Gallois, bsn; Hugo Wolf Quartet

The electroacoustic music of Luciano Berio: “In my end is my music”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 November 2013

Luciano Berio (c) Universal Edition, Eric MarinitschSeveral of Luciano Berio’s electronic music works will be performed together with video works by Devis Venturelli on 7 and 8 November during the Romaeuropa festival at the Opificio Telecom Italia. Among the pieces performed will be Chants parallèles, Visage, and Momenti.

Wozzeck reviewed: “Psychopathology is everything”

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 November 2013

Alban Berg (c) Universal EditionGavin Plumley of Entartete Musik and Andrew Clements of The Guardian have both reviewed the Royal Opera House’s current production of Alban Berg’s Wozzeck. You can find their reviews by clicking on their names.

Alban Berg: Wozzeck
Opera in 3 acts (15 scenes) | 90'
4 4 5 4 - 4 4 4 1 - timp(2), perc(4), cel, hp, str, stage: "Heurigenmusik" - fiddle (2-4), cl, acc, guit, bass tuba, military band - 3 2 2 2 - 2 2 3 1 - perc, pno, chamber orch - 1 2 3 2 - 2 0 0 0 - str(1 1 1 1 1)
Further performances: 8., 12., 15.11.2013, Royal Opera House, London; Simon Keenlyside, Wozzeck; Karita Mattila, Marie; Gerhard Siegel, Captain; John Tomlinson, Doctor; Endrik Wottrich, Drum Major; John Easterlin, Andres; Allison Cook, Margret; Jeremy White, First Apprentice; Grant Doyle, Second Apprentice; Robin Tritschler, Idiot; Royal Opera Chorus, Orchestra of the Royal Opera House, cond. Mark Elder

Wen Liu: Impossibility of being still

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 November 2013

Ö1 Talentebörse
Wen Liu
is the winner of the Ö1 Talentebörse composition prize 2012, a cooperation of Radio Ö1, the Oesterreichische Nationalbank and Universal Edition. Her work Impossibility of being still for ensemble will be premièred tomorrow, 7 November, at the RadioKulturhaus in Vienna.

Wen Liu (c) Wen Liu“The I Ching teaches us that nothing is constant in this world – not things, not people, not even the universe. The book ends with the 64-sided hexagram; despite apparent stationary balance, Nature is in unceasing motion. […] I attempted to unite yin and yang in this piece; the music, every sound, every harmony, everything in motion, intermingling.” (Wen Liu)

Wen Liu: Impossibility of being still
for ensemble | 17'
world prem. 07.11.2013, RadioKulturhaus, Vienna; Franz Michael Fischer, vln; Sylvie Lacroix, fl; Lars Mlekusch, sax; Milan Karanovic, vc; Krassimir Sterev, acc, cond. Martin Kerschbaum

Symphony Guide: Berio’s Sinfonia – a reference machine?

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 05 November 2013

Tom Service (c) Tom Service, The GuardianFinally: Tom Service has posted a symphony guide to Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia, “a flabbergastingly rich strata of writings-on and writings-over”. The work for 8 voices and orchestra, which is dedicated to Leonard Bernstein, was premièred on 10 October 1968 by Berio, the New York Philharmonic and the Swingle Singers.

Read Service’s guide on The Guardian, you will most definitely not regret it.

Luciano Berio on Sinfonia:

The title of Sinfonia (composed in 1968 for the 125th anniversary of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra) is not meant to suggest any analogy with the classical symphonic form. It is intended more etymologically: the simultaneous sound of various parts, here eight voices and instruments. Or it may be taken in a more general sense as the interplay of a variety of things, situations and meanings. Indeed, the musical development of Sinfonia is constantly and strongly conditioned by the search for balance, often an identity between voices and instruments; between the spoken or the sung word and the sound structure as a whole. This is why the perception and intelligibility of the text are never taken as read, but on the contrary are integrally related to the composition. Thus, the various degrees of intelligibility of the text along with the hearer’s experience of almost failing to understand, must be seen to be essential to the very nature of the musical process.

Read the full text.

Arnold Schönberg: The Musical Idea

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 November 2013

Arnold Schönberg: The Musical Idea (c) Hannes Böck
The permanent exhibition “Arnold Schönberg: The Musical Idea” opened last month at the Arnold Schönberg Center in Vienna.

From the Schönberg Center’s homepage: Arnold Schönberg: The Musical Idea Schönberg described a work of art as “a labyrinth where, at every point, every knowledgeable person is aware of the entrance and the exit without needing a golden thread to guide him.” The new exhibition shows just how very exciting it can be to enter a labyrinth and encounter an artistic event at every junction.

Its content and architecture illustrate Schönberg’s lifelong topic of the “idea” in all its representational variety. Music is at the center with painting and other manifestations of his creative drive as multifaceted guidelines toward discovering an artistic figure who was as path-breaking as he was imaginative.

Original manuscripts, documents and visual works from the Center’s archive are supplemented on multimedia presentation levels. Replicas of objects from Schönberg’s living environment allow direct contact with items in his everyday life (letters, calendars, photo albums, music scores, concert programs, etc.). The interactive world map guides one into Schönberg’s living and working environment.

Find out more about the exhibition.