Universal Edition - Blog

Ö1: Schwartz and Staud at the Salzburg Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 October 2013

Johannes Maria Staud, Jay Schwartz (c) Universal Edition; Salzburg Festival (c) Salzburg Festival

Zeit-Ton broadcasts the second part of the Salzburg Festival’s Beyond Recall project today, for which twelve composers were commissioned to write compositions for twelve works of art that were created in the frame of the Salzburg Art Project. These compositions were premièred on 24 August by the Scharoun Ensemble.

Today’s broadcast starts at 23:03 CET/CEST and will include recordings of Johannes Maria Staud’s Caldera (für Tony Cragg) and Jay Schwartz’ M.

Ö1Listen live to Zeit-Ton on Ö1.

The ensemble intercontemporain performs sur Incises

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 October 2013

Pierre Boulez: sur Incises (c) Universal Edition
Pierre Boulez’ sur Incises will be performed on 27 October in the frame of the Pollini Project at the Teatro alla Scala. Matthias Pintscher conducts the ensemble intercontemporain.

Excerpt from a conversation between Wolfgang Fink and Pierre Boulez:
Fink: Incises […] is rather short, extremely brilliant and with a sense of perpetual motion. Now sur Incises originates from this piece and goes beyond the scope of pure piano sound.

Boulez: Yes, it is an ensemble for three pianos which in a way represent the main instruments, three harps and three percussions of certain pitch, also timpani, steel drums, glockenspiel etc. I composed the piano piece Incises for the Umberto Micheli Piano Competition which is greatly supported by Maurizio Pollini. First I had in mind to transform this piece into a longer one for Pollini and a group of instrumentalists, a kind of piano concerto although without reference to the traditional form. The literature in concerto form does not appeal to me any more. Therefore I produced a piece for three pianos assuming that there already exists enough interesting literature for two pianos and ensembles, especially in the modern age - take for example Bartok's "Sonata for two pianos and percussion".

Read more.

Pierre Boulez: sur Incises
for 3 pianos, 3 harps and 3 percussionists | 40'
27.10.2013, Teatro alla Scala, Milano; ensemble intercontemporain, cond. Matthias Pintscher

Vykintas Baltakas: world première at the Transit Festival

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 October 2013

Transit FestivalWibert Aerts premières Vykintas Baltakas’ Eine kleine Nachtmusik tomorrow, 26 October, at the Transit Festival (25 to 27 October) in Leuven.

The composer about the piece for solo violin: “This miniature, played on only one-string on the violin, is a lullaby which I’ve been singing to my daughters for several years. My music in this piece was partially inspired by fractal ideas where a large image is created of many small images of the same shape. I couldn't think of a better title than Eine kleine Nachtmusik. However this is the only reference point to Mozart, borrowed with great respect.”

Vykintas Baltakas: Eine kleine Nachtmusik
for violin solo | 5'
world prem. 26.10.2013, Leuven; Wibert Aerts, vln

Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for Church Music in Holborn

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 October 2013

The Parish Church of Saint Alban the Martyr, HolbornOn Sunday, October 27th 2013, the Church of Saint Alban Holborn in London has its annual Solemn Mass of Thanksgiving for Church Music. Each year, a different composer is chosen for this service, and this year it is Arvo Pärt. Among the pieces performed will be the Berliner Messe and The Beatitudes.

Find out more on the church’s homepage.

Arvo Pärt: Berliner Messe
for mixed choir or soloists (SATB) and organ | 25'
Arvo Pärt: Cantate Domino canticum novum
for mixed choir or soloists (SATB) and organ | 3'
Arvo Pärt: The Beatitudes
for mixed choir (SATB) and organ | 7'
Arvo Pärt: O Morgenstern from 7 Magnificat-Antiphonen
for mixed choir a cappella | 15'
Arvo Pärt: Pari intervallo
for organ | 6'
27.10.2013, Church of Saint Alban Holborn, London; Edward Batting, org; Curch of Saint Alban Holborn Choir

Uk première of in vain

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 October 2013

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Lucerne Festival, Priska KettererPhilip Cashian, composer and Head of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music, writes about Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain on the London Sinfonietta’s blog. André de Ridder and the London Sinfonietta will perform the UK première of in vain on 16 November at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival.

“it often seemed that supernatural forces were at work […] it was often hard to believe that these otherworldly sounds were coming from acoustic, not electronic, instruments […] a masterpiece.” (The New York Times)

Sawer’s Flesh and Blood shortlisted for the 2013 British Composer Awards

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 October 2013

2013 British Composer Awards Amazing news from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA): David Sawer’s Flesh and Blood has been shortlisted for the 2013 British Composer Awards in the “vocal” category. The 11th British Composer Awards will take place on 3 December 2013 at Goldsmiths' Hall, London, BBC Radio 3 will provide exclusive broadcast coverage of the Awards on 7 December.

More about the awards.

View the full vocal score and find our more on David Sawer’s Flesh and Blood.

How to get into Stockhausen’s head:

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 October 2013

Karlheinz Stockhausen, Bruno Maderna and Pierre Boulez conducting the rehearsals for the world première of Gruppen on 24 March 1958 in Cologne.
Tom Service of The Guardian writes about last Saturday’s Hear and Now on BBC Radio 3. The programme focused on Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Gruppen and took “a closer look at the German composer's electronic masterpiece from the same period, Gesang der Jünglinge,” featuring excerpts from previously unbroadcast session tapes. The stream will be online until Sunday.

Luciano Berio, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Cathy Berberian and Luigi Nono (in the background) meet in Darmstadt in 1956.Talking about Gruppen: here is Andrew Clement’s review of the London Sinfonietta’s performance of the piece for 3 orchestras (the orchestra was joined by the Royal Academy of Music’s Manson Ensemble), conducted by Martyn Brabbins, Baldur Brönnimann and Geoffrey Paterson. Plus there is a collection of reviews from the orchestra’s own blog.

Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4 is Ivan Hewett’s Classic 50 No 42

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 October 2013

Béla Bartók (c) Universal EditionThe third movement of Béla Bartók’s String Quartet No. 4 has made it on Ivan Hewett’s list of 50 classics by the world’s greatest composers.

Hewett on Bartók: “He wanted to escape from Germanic ideas of what music should be like, with its ‘tyranny of major-minor’ as he called it. And here, in the villages of his homeland, was a music that was miraculously free of those ideas. It was modal, and full of odd asymmetrical rhythms - as were the Rumanian, Bulgarian, and Turkish melodies that found their way onto Bartók’s cylinder recorder, as he tramped around Eastern Europe in search of old melodies.”

Find the full article on The Telegraph.

Simon Rattle premières Rihm’s IN-SCHRIFT 2

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 October 2013

Wolfgang Rihm, Simon Rattle (c) Universal Edition, Schaufler
Simon Rattle and the Berliner Philharmoniker dedicated their gala concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Philharmonie on 20 October to the theme of “space music”. Among the pieces performed was the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s IN-SCHRIFT 2. The 15-minute orchestral work is closely linked to IN-SCHRIFT, which is one Rihm’s most performed orchestral works.

(German) reviews of the evening are available on Der Tagesspiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, and the Berliner Zeitung.

Happy Birthday Georges Lentz!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 October 2013

Georges Lentz (c) Stanley CicconeHappy Birthday Georges Lentz!

Find out more about the composer.

Lentz’ Birrung for 11 strings will be performed by the Bourbaki Ensemble on 27 October at the Boronia Park Uniting Church, Sydney.

Georges Lentz: Birrung
for 11 strings | 9'
vln(6), vla(2), vc(2), cb(1)
27.10.2013, Boronia Park Uniting Church, Sydney; Bourbaki Ensemble

Contemporary music month on bachtrack

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 October 2013

Arvo Pärt (c) Roberto MasottiOctober is bachtrack’s contemporary music month, and it is great to see that Arvo Pärt is featured in the special on Minimalists, and that Pierre Boulez – together with Stockhausen, Berio, and others – is regarded as one of conemporary music’s “Cutting-Edge Heavyweights”: A generation of composers growing up amongst the carnage of Hitler’s Europe [that] turned their faces away from the traditional language of music, which seemed forever tainted by that world, in search of a new musical grammar.

Boulez on Boulez:

Helmut Lachenmann, Nuria Schönberg-Nono and Christopher Fox: a discussion

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 October 2013 (comments: 1)

Tom Service (c) Tom Service, The GuardianHelmut Lachenmann, Nuria Schönberg-Nono and Christopher Fox talk about new music (and about John Cage at the Italian quiz show Lascia o Raddoppia) in the post-war music discussion of the Southbank’s Rest is Noise festival.

The discussion is about one hour long, and it is definitely worth listening to:

Find out more about the interview on Tom Service’s blog.

Rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Hauptstimme at the hcmf

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 18 October 2013

David Fennessy with the Red Note Ensemble, conductor Garry Walker, and violist Garth Knox (c) Richard GreerPhotos from another (intensive) day of rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Hauptstimme, showing the composer, violist Garth Knox, conductor Garry Walker, and the Red Note Ensemble. The piece for amplified solo viola and ensemble will be premièred on 16 November at the huddersfield contemporary music festival.

David Fennessy on Hauptstimme:

The notion of the individual and how he/she contributes or functions in a group setting as well as how that group can meaningfully make a collective statement has been central to a number of my works over the years – starting with graft for string quartet (2000), through to 13 Factories for ensemble (2009). Once again, it seems to be at the core of this new piece for solo viola and ensemble.

For much of the time, the solo viola is buried in a thick ensemble texture with the primary goal merely to be heard. Once it has achieved this, a more complex question emerges – what to say?

David Fennessy with the Red Note Ensemble, conductor Garry Walker, and violist Garth Knox (c) Richard GreerAlso on the programme: James Dillon's New York Triptych, the third and final instalment in a series of three-part pieces, and Bruno Mantovani's D'un rêve parti, a brief homage to the auld alliance.

Many, many thanks to Richard Greer for taking – and sending us – these photos!

Find a blog entry by John Harris, chief executive and artistic co-director of the Red Note Ensemble, in which he writes about the preparations for the ensemble’s concerts at the hcmf on the festival’s guest blog.

UE Newsletter October 2013

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 October 2013

Universal Edition Newsletter

Here it is: our latest newsletter, focusing on 8 UE world premières that take place within the next 29 days.

If you want to receive our newsletter via e-mail, you can of course sign up for it here.

Full Stream of Jagden und Formen – Sasha Waltz

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 October 2013

Jagden und Formen, Sasha Waltz, La Monnaie/De Munt The La Monnaie/De Munt offers a stream of the full performance of Wolfgang Rihm’s Jagden und Formen (Zustand 2008), with choreography by Sasha Waltz. The video was recorded on 14 and 15 September, Franck Ollu conducts the Orchestre symphonique de la Monnaie.

You can watch the full performance by clicking here or on the image to the right. The video will be online until 20 October 2013.