Universal Edition - Blog

Kimbo Ishii conducts Egon Wellesz

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 April 2016

Egon Wellesz (c) Universal Edition

Man hat es hier nicht mit einer Symphonie oder Suite zu tun, in deren Orchester auch ein Klavier verwendet und gelegentlich solistisch bevorzugt wird: Das Klavierkonzert von Wellesz ist ein richtiges Konzert, der Part tritt hervor und lebt sich in Toccaten-Sätzen aus.” (P. Stf., Musikblätter des Anbruch, 1934)

Kimbo Ishii leads the Oldenburgisches Staatsorchester in two performances of Egon Wellesz’ Piano Concerto (William Youn, pno) on 17 and 18 April at the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater.

View the full score

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in Münster

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 April 2016

Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny in Münster (c) Universal Edition, Sarah Standke

Ulrich Peters’ production of Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny was premièred on 9 April and is currently being staged at the Theater Münster.

Find a [German] review on Münstersche Zeitung:

Das große Fressen endet tödlich

Mauricio Kagel composer portrait in Vilnius

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 08 April 2016

Mauricio Kagel (c) Lietuvos Ansamblių TinklasThe pseudo folkloristic character of some movements in Kantrimiusik, their double-hearted, vague folklore, should certainly not lead to double-hearted presentations. The piece purposely doesn't claim any authenticity with regard to sources, it rather works up the usual apocryph music. Every accurate musical interpretation ought to make clear how much parody and caricature or substantiated seriousness it contains. (Mauricio Kagel)

Under the motto “20 years of bilateral collaboration between Belgium and Lithuania” Vykintas Baltakas, the Het Collectief ensemble and LENsemble will be presenting a composer portrait of Mauricio Kagel. For more information and the full program book visit the website of Vykintas Baltakas.

Among the works performed will be Kagel’s Kantrimiusik:

Find out more about the piece

Jenůfa returns to Vienna

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 April 2016

Jenůfa and Katya and Makropulos are constructed like what I’d call in English “a well-made play”. They are linear stories with three acts: a beginning, a middle, an end. (David Pountney)

Tonight David Pountney’s production of Leoš Janáček’s Jenůfa (cond. Ingo Metzmacher) returns to the Wiener Staatsoper.

Read the full interview with Pountney on our MusikSalon

135th anniversary of Béla Bartók

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 25 March 2016

Béla Bartók (c) Universal Edition

It is obvious that if there remains any hope for the survival of folk music [...] an artificial erection of Chinese walls to separate peoples from each other bodes no good for its development.

A complete separation from foreign influences means stagnation: well assimilated foreign impulses offer possibilities of enrichment. (Béla Bartók)

Béla Bartók was born today 135 years ago.

The quote above is taken from a text by the composer on “race purity in music” – read more on our MusikSalon.

Castelletti’s arrangement of Mahler’s Tenth in Rovaniemi

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 March 2016

Storgards John (c) Marco Borggreve

Possibly one of Mahler’s most passionate emotional outbursts and autobiographical creations, Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 is a fascinating journey, not only for performance aspects, but also for musicological and analytical ones, providing a deep psychological pathway into the genius that was Mahler – a mesmerising voyage for the composer, performer and conductor. (Michelle Castelletti)

On 24 March, John Storgårds will conduct the Finnish première of Michelle Castelletti’s arrangement of Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 10 in Korundi.

Read Michelle Castelletti’s full, extensive preface to the score

Read the latest MusikSalon!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 22 March 2016

The latest issue of the MusikSalon is out now!

In an in-depth interview, Georg Friedrich Haas talks about his opera Morgen und Abend. Kasper Holten, Director of Opera at the Royal Opera House, and Michael Boder, who conducted the world première, are also interviewed.

Furthermore, two important works from the UE catalogue will be presented: the violin concertos by Georg Friedrich Haas and Kurt Weill, for which we interviewed the soloists Ernst Kovacic and Benjamin Schmid.

You can watch the trailer here:

In celebration of Michael Finnissy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 11 March 2016

Exaudi (c) Matthew Andrews

Michael Finnissy (c) Michael FinnissyTom Fool’s Wooing for 14 solo voices, was initially conceived for the John Allldis choir, who had performed an earlier work of mine (Cipriano) for 10-voice ensemble. The writing took from 1975 to 1978, three emotionally and financially turbulent years, and by the time it was finished, the choir was no longer in existence. In 2013 James Weeks told me of his intention to finally perform the work, and, after looking through the score, I decided to considerably revise the central folk-play that lends the work its title. (Michael Finnissy)

On 12 and 13 March, the Guildhall School and Exaudi present a weekend of events in celebration of Michael Finnissy’s 70th birthday, which takes place on 17 March. Among the works performed will be the long awaited world première of Tom Fool’s Wooing for 14 voices.

View the full programme

The “other” Wozzeck in Bremerhaven

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 March 2016

Wozzeck (c) Stadttheater Bremerhaven, Heiko Sandelmann

“… once the musicians found their collective feet conductor Marc Niemann was able to exploit the music’s colour, dynamism and swift dramatic pacing to the full.” (Matthew Rye,, 7 March 2016)

Manfred Gurlitt’s Wozzeck– the “other” Wozzeck – is running at the Stadttheater Bremerhaven until 27 April.

Antony Beaumont on Gurlitt’s opera:

“In contrast to Berg’s setting of the same text, Gurlitt interprets the drama with little structural, harmonic or instrumental refinement – not on account of any particular technical deficiencies, but rather because he approaches the subject from the standpoint of spoken theatre.”

Read the full text

Lulu at the Met

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 04 March 2016

(c) Lulu - Metropolitan Opera

On 5 March at 19:05 on Deutschlandradio Kultur: listen to Alban Berg’s Lulu, recorded on 21 November 2015 at the New York Metropolitan Opera.

The programme also features an interview with Friedrich Cerha, in which the composer talks about his realization of the opera’s third act.

Listen live

Cat’s Eye in Glasgow

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 03 March 2016

David Sawer

Vive La Difference: David Sawer’s Cat’s Eye will be performed tonight together with Luciano Berio’s Différences and a new work by Taner Kemirtlek at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland in Glasgow.

Find out more about the event on the website of the Red Note Ensemble.

View the full score of Cat's Eye

American Immersion with Georg Friedrich Haas

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 01 March 2016

Georg Friedrich Haas (c) Substantia Jones

“I had worried that I’d find the darkness oppressive, and that the loss of sight might induce claustrophobia – or, worse, the sense of being taken for a ride by a composer obsessed with control. Instead I found the darkness that settled over the sold-out auditorium to be warm, convivial and conducive to a state of heightened listening in which Mr. Haas’s fragile, searching music took on vivid, sensuous plasticity.”

Corinna da Fonseca-Wollheim has recently reviewed the American Immersion concert series with the Talea Ensemble.

Read the full review on the New York Times

Krenek, Weill & the Moderns

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 February 2016

Kurt Weill Fest

The Kurt Weill Festival kicks off today at the Anhaltisches Theater Dessau.

Artist-in-Residence Ernst Kovacic, Ariane Matiakh and the German Philharmonic Orchestra Rhineland-Palatinate open the festival with works by Weill, Krenek, Stravinsky and Mussorgsky.

Find out more

Happy 90th birthday György Kurtág!

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 19 February 2016

György Kurtág (c) Editio Musica Budapest, Judit Kurtág (Verwendung mit (c) Angabe)

“Anything can be an inspiring experience if you are in the proper receptive state. As long as there is such an experience. The underground can make a strong impression, and even the really ugly outskirts of a city can be beautiful – if you are open.” (from Gyorgy Kurtag: Three Interviews and Ligeti Homages, Bálint András Varga)

Happy 90th birthday György Kurtág!

Friedrich Cerha at 90

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 17 February 2016

Friedrich Cerha (c) Peter Philipp

Friedrich Cerha, the doyen of Austrian composers, celebrates his 90th birthday today, on 17 February.

As a composer, conductor, ensemble founder, teacher and supporter, Friedrich Cerha embodies a pioneering spirit and has opened doors and brought the unknown into local concert halls. His friends and companions congratulate him on his birthday with very personal statements.

Read the birthday wishes