Universal Edition - Blog

Pallas Athene weint in Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 October 2016

Neue Oper Wien, Wiener Kammerchor (c) Armin Bardel

Pallas Athene weint (c) Neue Oper Wien[Ernst Krenek] saw parallels between McCarthyism and the development of Nazism in Germany. Having survived the Hitler menace in Austria and now, shortly afterwards, living with McCarthyism in the USA, his adopted country, was a great shock to him! Krenek had always been interested in social problems and having just lived through various crises in regard to these problems he turned to writing about them in the most dramatic, illuminating medium for him – opera. […] Pallas Athene weeps is more timely today than ever! (Gladys Nordenstrom Krenek, 16 October 2013)

The Neue Oper Wien’s production of Pallas Athene weint [Pallas Athene weeps] by Ernst Krenek premières on 25 October at the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna. Walter Kobéra conducts the Tonkünstler-Orchester Niederösterreich.

Further performances take place on 27, 28 and 29 October.

Find out more

dark dreams in Tallinn

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 October 2016

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Substantia Jones

The orchestra takes over the melody: the whole orchestra begins to sing. (Georg Friedrich Haas on dark dreams)

Georg Friedrich Haas’ dark dreams for orchestra will receive its Estonian première today, 21 October, at the AFEKT International Modern Music Festival in Tallinn. Michael Wendeberg conducts the Estonian National Symphony Orchestra.

We have prepared the full score for you:

View the full score 

Krenek’s Der Diktator at Carnegie Hall

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 October 2016

Leon Botstein (c) Richard Termine

Ernst Krenek’s 1926 Der Diktator plainly rejects the lush romanticism of Wagner, the sentimental beauties of Puccini. In their place we find a brevity, a condensed sense of time, and a transparent mix of neo-classical and romantic musical rhetoric articulated with new sonorities in a drama made up of fleeting episodes. (Leon Botstein)

Ernst Krenek (c) PfeiferOn 19 October the American Symphony Orchestra presents concert versions of two one-act operas with strikingly different reactions to tyranny: Ernst Krenek’s Der Diktator will be performed together with Richard Strauss’s Day of Peace at Carnegie Hall. Leon Botstein conducts the American Symphony Orchestra.

Krenek composed Der Diktator in 1926, three years after Hitler’s unsuccessful putsch in Munich and two years after Mussolini gained a two-thirds majority in the Italian parliament. Der Diktator urgently highlights the dangers of fascism and predicted the tragedy of National Socialist dictatorship.

Bologna Modern

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 October 2016

Bologna Modern

Bologna Modern runs from 14 to 23 October at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna. Universal Edition is strongly represented, with performances by Georg Friedrich Haas, Wolfgang Rihm, Friedrich Cerha and Alban Berg.

View the full programme

Pasión Tango in Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 13 October 2016

Diego Collatti (c) Diego CollattiOn Friday, 14 October, Diego Collatti, his ensemble Minimal Tango and Uruguayan guitarist Ignacio Giovanetti bring a homage to Astor Piazzolla and Jorge Luis Borges to the stage of the ORF RadioKulturhaus.

Astor Piazzolla’s Tango Nuevo will be performed, as well as compositions and arrangements by Collatti.

Find out more 

Staud receives the Coup de Coeur des Jeunes Mélomanes

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 October 2016

Johannes Maria Staud (c) Priska Ketterer

Congratulations to Johannes Maria Staud, who was awarded the Coup de Coeur des Jeunes Mélomanes for his work Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II) on 4 October by the Fondation Prince Pierre de Monaco.

The work is dedicated to Midori, and was premièred by the renowned violinist and the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in 2014 at Lucerne Festival.

Midori will perform the work’s Japanese première on 19 October at the Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Sylvain Cambreling conducts the Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra. The Austrian-Korean Philharmonic (Soyoung Yoon, vln; cond. Chungki Min) will soon tour Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II), for more information visit our performance calendar.

View the full score of Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II) 

Steve Reich turns 80

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 October 2016

Steve Reich (c) Ian Oliver, Wikipedia; Johannes Feigl

Steve Reich turns 80 today – Universal Edition wishes him a very, very Happy Birthday!

Le Vin herbé in Chicago

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 September 2016

Photo: Frank Martin (c) Universal Edition, Johannes Feigl

This work belongs on every stage. (Eleonore Büning, FAZ)

Frank Martin’s secular oratorio Le Vin herbé – based on Joseph Bédier’s novel Romance of Tristan and Iseultwill be performed today and on 1 and 9 October at the Chicago Opera Theater.

After its first staged performance at the 1948 Salzburg Festival a critic of the Neues Österreich newspaper described the work as “A Tristan with a difference”. The concert version had already been premièred six years previously in Zurich. In its more than 60-year history Le vin herbé has enjoyed countless concert performances and several staged productions. 

Le Vin herbé at the Chicago Opera Theater

Victoria Borisova-Ollas nominated for an MPA Award

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 September 2016

Musikförläggarnas Pris 2016

Victoria Borisova-Ollas (c) Universal EditionCongratulations to Victoria Borisova-Ollas, whose work Vinden som ingenting minns has been nominated for this year’s Swedish Music Publishers Association Prize in the category “Classical Music Award of the Year – orchestra/opera”.

Victoria Borisova-Ollas has previously received Swedish MPA Awards for The Ground Beneath Her Feet (2008) and Golden Dances of Pharaohs (2010), her work Open Ground was nominated in 2007.

The award ceremony will take place on 11 November in Stockholm.

View the full score of Vinden som ingenting minns 

the greatest happiness principle in the BBC Music Magazine

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 September 2016

BBC Music MagazineDavid Sawer’s orchestral piece the greatest happiness principle is featured on a new CD included with the October issue of the BBC Music Magazine, titled “Best of British: Modern masterworks commissioned by Radio 3”.

The work was inspired by the utopian ideas of the English philosopher Jeremy Bentham and by his application of the panoptic principle to prison design.

It was recorded by Mark Wigglesworth and the BBC National Orchestra of Wales.

Read David Sawer’s full work introduction

Kaminski’s Magnificat at the Internationalen Musiktage 2016

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 September 2016

Internationalen Musiktage 2016 – Dom zu Speyer (22 September – 8 October).

Heinrich KaminskiSoprano Cornelia Ptassek, violist Danka Nikolic, the Heinrich-Kaminski-Chorgemeinschaft and the Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss (cond. Fred Buttkewitz) will perform Heinrich Kaminski’s Magnificat on 24 September in the frame of the Internationalen Musiktage 2016 – Dom zu Speyer (22 September – 8 October).

Kaminski’s composed the Magnificat in 1925 and said that it was “… Mary’s hymn of praise, elicited by the shining message of the Annunciation and thus the rejoicing of every soul illuminated by that light.” It was frequently performed – sometimes paired with Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony – until the Nazis banned Kaminski’s works. 

Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart tour Haas’ love poems

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 September 2016

 Neue Vocalsolisten (c) Martin Sigmund

The Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart are performing Georg Friedrich Haas’ 3 Liebesgedichte on their current tour of Asia.

The composer about the works, which were composed for the six musicians of the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart:

For the most part, Stramm does away with syntax in his poems; he orders words to words into an expressive series of substantives, adjectives and pronouns, predominantly conditioned sonically and rhythmically, whereby neologisms may result. He may shape grammatically complete sentences but, if so, they convey nothing contextual; they formulate metaphors and images, linked together in a freely associative manner.

Read the composer’s full text

Dutch première of Sotelo’s Muros de dolor... III

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 September 2016

Søndergård (c) Andy Buchanan

Marucio Sotelo (c) Mauricio SoteloThe torn echo of one of the most dramatic forms of Andalusian Flamenco Singing: the ‘Seguiriya’, revolves at the centre of gravity of our composition for orchestra. A centrifugal movement in the form of a spiral of the musical mass of the orchestra leads us slowly towards a kind of vibrant rhythmic texture in a ternary rhythm: Bulería de sombras. (Mauricio Sotelo on Muros de dolor... III)

Thomas Søndergård and the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra present the Dutch première of Mauricio Sotelo’s Muros de dolor... III on 22 Septemberat HET Concertgebouw.

View the full score

Nigl and Melnikov première Rihm

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 20 September 2016

Georg Nigl Portrait (c) Bernd Uhlig

Baritone Georg Nigl and pianist Alexander Melnikov will be performing the world première of Wolfgang Rihm’s dort wie hier today at the Kölner Philharmonie – together with Lieder by Franz Schubert, Alban Berg and Johannes Brahms.

The Dutch première will take place tomorrow at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ.

View the full programme

Sweetheart come – Letter to Michael in Dublin

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 September 2016

Emma Hauck (c) Public Domain

David Fennessy’s choir work Letter to Michael will be performed today at “Composing the Island: Choirland | 100 years of Irish Choral Music”.

View the full score

David Fennessy on the piece:

”A few years ago I came across an extraordinary piece of art by a woman named Emma Hauck. She was admitted to a German psychiatric ward about a hundred years ago diagnosed with schizophrenia. Whilst a patient there she produced pages and pages of text – thousands of lines in pencil which were addressed to her husband who had ceased to visit her. She simply wrote the words ‘Sweetheart Come’ [Herzensschatzi komm]  over and over again or sometimes just the word ‘come’. Every page is thick with overlapping text and some are so condensed as to be illegible.

I was deeply moved by these repeated pleas and feel strongly that the desperate passion that can be seen on these pages could only really be expressed with voices. I imagine a dense layering of a simple line; each voice adding to the power of the plea…”