Feedback

If you have any questions at all, please send us a message.
We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.

Universal Edition - Composers and Works

New works

Read here about:

  • World premières (51 in the last 12 months)
  • Arrangements of masterpieces (from Berg to Mahler and Zemlinsky)
  • Publication of new critical editions according to the latest musicological standards.
  • Restauration of historic performance materials.
  • New, attractive performance materials (The Ring, The Nutcracker, La Cenerentola …)

Find out about our latest work in the catagories orchestra, opera, vocal and chamber music.



World premières are marked with WP.

Orchestra

Badinski, Nikolai (*1937)

The Intoxicated Bat (1991/1992)
A surrealistic encounter in dream with Johann Strauß and Johann Sebastian Bach for orchestra | 14′
2 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, perc(2), str

"The idea behind an orchestral composition connected with Johann Strauß occurred to me many years ago in a recurring dream. The overture to his Fledermaus kept filtering through my own musical visions. As at the time I was secretly intensely preoccupied with twelve-tone music and avant-garde concepts, which were forbidden in the GDR, I was very confused. Later this was joined by sounds which I was able to recognise as the first few notes of Johann Sebastian Bach's The Art of Fugue. My conscience was eased, as it were, by 'Papa' Bach. However, something inside me still prevented me from committing this dream-like sound vision to paper. It followed me around for years until in 1991 I wrote the first sketches for orchestra in London and finally finished the score in Berlin. This work has a surrealist character, oscillating between two worlds or epochs which intermingle: the age of Johann Strauß, and our age. Bach functions as a bridge between these epochs here." (Nikolai Badinski)

Bedford, Luke (*1978)

Instability (2015)
for large orchestra
4 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1 - perc(4), hp, org, str

WP 01.08.2015, Royal Albert Hall London / Great Britain, BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Dir. Juanjo Mena

"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. The piece will include the Albert Hall organ, a detuned orchestra and possibly the first use of a cricket bat in an orchestral piece". (Luke Bedford) The work was commissioned by the BBC Proms and will be premiered at this year's festival.

Berg, Alban (1885-1935)

5 Orchester-Lieder (1912)
nach Ansichtskartentexten von Peter Altenberg for soprano / mezzosoprano and middlesized orchestra | 10′
Arranged by Eberhard Kloke
2 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, perc(2), hp, pno, str

Berg's superb musical interpretation of Peter Altenberg's texts transcends the ostensible discrepancy between the brevity of the texts and the sweeping momentum of the music. This is Alban Berg's first composition for orchestra. Eberhard Kloke, who received international acclaim for his arrangements of Lulu and Wozzeck, has also scaled down this orchestral song cycle so that it can be performed by either a medium-sized orchestra or an ensemble of 13 players.

Passacaglia (1913)
Fragment for large ensemble resp. small orchestra | 5′
Arranged by Klaus Simon
1 1 2 1 - 1 1 0 0 - perc, hp, cel, str

WP 25.11.2014, E-Werk Freiburg / Germany, Holst-Sinfonietta, Dir. Klaus Simon

Klaus Simon has also arranged a second, rather more extensive version (Freiburg Version) of Berg' Passacaglia fragment based on the same instrumentation as the Four Pieces for Clarinet and Ensemble Op. 5 so that these two short pieces, both from 1913, can easily be combined on concert programmes.

Borisova-Ollas, Victoria (*1969)

Vinden som ingenting minns (2015)
for choir and orchestra

WP 03.12.2015, Örebro / Sweden, Swedish Chamber Orchestra, Dir. Thomas Dausgaard

Cerha, Friedrich (*1926)

3 Sätze (2012)
for orchestra | 13′
3 2 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(4), hp, str

WP 09.04.2016, Musikverein, Großer Saal Wien / Austria, RSO, Dir. Cornelius Meister,

The sketches for the "Three Movements for Orchestra" were made back in 2011 while working on Three Orchestral Pieces. The score was then completed in March and April 2012. The eruptive drama and subversive insubordination of "Intermezzo" from the "Three Orchestral Pieces" is set aside here, as is the statuesque element of "Tombeau". The first piece thrives on the juxtaposition and interplay of rhythmicised layers. The second is dominated by cor anglais and flute solos in a contemplative vein. To begin with, the orchestra plays only interjections and brief interludes; it is not until the final stage that it gains a character of its own, culminating in pp string chords. The third piece is lively and concertante, albeit with a rather sombre episode in the middle. It demands a good measure of virtuosity from the orchestra." (Friedrich Cerha)

Nacht (2012-2013)
for orchestra | 20′
3 0 5 3 - 6 3 5 0 - perc(6), hp(2), pno, str

WP 17.10.2014, Baar-Sporthalle Donaueschingen / Germany, SWR-SO Baden-Baden und Freiburg, Dir. Emilio Pomàrico

"I like working at night - sometimes until the crack of dawn. At night I feel time belongs to me. In the daytime: I belong to time. (…) The night sky seems so vast: I love watching shooting stars in August - luminescent dots darting at breakneck speed across the dark stillness. These occurrences intensify in my imagination: myriads of shooting stars stream down from the heavens, rapidly forming "curtains" on the move. My work is structured by these "curtains". They keep reappearing, gradually becoming slower and weightier as the piece progresses. Then fewer fall from "above" and they no longer shine as brightly. In-between there is the material that has turned into sound in those nocturnal hours." (Friedrich Cerha). The Neue Zürcher Zeitung wrote: "A masterpiece."

Tagebuch (2012)
for orchestra | 15′30″
3 2 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(3), hp, str

"Following the weighty, expansive "3 Orchesterstücke": "Berceuse celeste", "Intermezzo" and "Tombeau", with their 'confessional' expression, the far simpler eleven "Skizzen" for orchestra, which were written in autumn 2011, are short, easily understandable pieces with clear musical writing. Whilst working on this, I explored a number of musical situations, leading me to write 8 pieces in an epigrammatic style, even more pared-down and transparent than the "Skizzen". I called the composition "Tagebuch" - German for diary - because almost every piece was written in a single day. Naturally, the pieces vary widely in character; some also have titles such as Scherzo, Intermezzo or Etüde. I was interested in conveying the spontaneity of diction; light, fast brushstrokes with no pretensions apart from the desire to be good music. What was most important to me was that the listener should be wholly unaware of the compositional work that still went into it." (Friedrich Cerha)

Dünser, Richard (*1959)

Entreacte (2014)
for ensemble or chamber orchestra
1 1 2 1 - 2 1 1 1 - timp, perc, hp, cel, str (soloistic or max. 6 5 4 3 2)

WP 21.04.2015, ems lounge Wien / Austria, Amadeus Ensemble-Wien, Dir. Walter Kobéra

Einem, Gottfried von (1918-1996)

Hunyady László (1981)
3 Gaben für Orchester for orchestra | 16′

New in the UE catalogue: Count Laszlo Hunyady was the biological father of Gottfried von Einem, who only met him twice as a child. It is from him that Gottfried von Einem inherited his musical talent. It was not until long after the Count died - in spectacular circumstances while hunting big game in Africa in 1927 - that von Einem felt an affinity with his father and composed this orchestral piece in his memory in the early 1980s.

Ludi Leopoldini (1980)
Konzertante Abwandlungen eines Themas Kaiser Leopolds I. for orchestra | 19′

New in the UE catalagoue.

Fennessy, David (*1976)

Hirta Rounds (2015)
for 16 strings | 12′

WP 02.07.2015, Prinzregententheater München / Germany, Münchener Kammerorchester

"As a consequence of collaborating with the Munchener Kammerorchester on my forthcoming new music-theatre work for the Munchener Biennale in 2016, they invited me to compose for them a new concert piece for strings with the stipulation that it be unconducted. This aspect has been key in the conception of the entire piece and it led to me to think about how I could write chamber music for sixteen individual players. Splitting the strings into smaller groups opened up the possibility of many different fluctuations in tempo occurring simultaneously and what has resulted is at once some of the most simple yet complex music I have composed thus far." (David Fennessy)

Haas, Georg Friedrich (*1953)

13 Bilder aus der Oper „Die schöne Wunde“ (2002-2003/2014)
konzertanter Ausschnitt (2014) for 6 voices and chamber orchestra | 35′
2 1 2 1 - 2 2 2 1 - perc(3), hp, acc, pno(2), sax, vln(4), vla(2), vc(2), db - MusikstatistInnen: vc(5), db(3)

WP 26.04.2015, Theatersaal Witten / Germany, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Dir. Titus Engel


concerto grosso Nr. 1 (2014)
for 4 alphorns and orchestra | 30′
3 3 3 3 - 6 3 3 1 - timp, perc(3) - strings (12 10 8 6 6)

22.04.2015, Tonhalle Zürich / Switzerland, Tonhalle Orchester, Dir. Kent Nagano, HORNROH modern alphornquartet Balthasar Streiff, Heléne Berglund, Rudolf Linder, Michael Büttler

"Alphorns are not seen as symbols of folklorist (un)culture, but rather as the source of another dimension of intonation (overtone chords), used to create contrast and to expand the traditional twelvetone tuning of the symphony orchestra." (Georg Friedrich Haas) Haas not only has the alphorns provide the pure overtone chords but also deliberately introduces pulsing beats that are played by the orchestra as well. The fascination of this work owes much to this "concerto grosso" interplay.

concerto grosso Nr. 2 (2014)
for chamber ensemble and orchestra | 22′
CHAMBER ENSEMBLE: 1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - perc(1), acc, pno - vln(2), vla, vc, cb // ORCHESTRA: 2 2 2 2 - 3 2 2 1 - timp, perc(3) - vln.I(10), vln.II(10), vla(8), vc(7), cb(6)

29.10.2014, Konzerthaus Wien / Austria, ORF RSO Wien, Dir. Cornelius Meister

""concerto grosso no. 2" also sees two worlds collide: the contrast between the intimacy of chamber music and the fullness of an orchestra. "concerto grosso no. 2" was a highlight, all lucid textures and gutsy elemental harmonies," wrote the Guardian. And Andrew Clark from the Financial Times added: "In the 18-minute [piece], the ear is teased and stimulated by a constantly developing/enveloping skein of siren sounds."

dark dreams (2013)
for orchestra | 23′
3 3 3 4 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(2), hp(2) - strings (16 14 12 10 8)

06.10.2014, Carnegie Hall New York / USA, Berliner Philharmoniker, Dir. Simon Rattle

"That listeners can lose themselves in the maelstrom of sound and emotion and that these impart themselves directly without the need for much explanation" - this was the wish expressed by Georg Friedrich Haas before the premiere of dark dreams, written for Simon Rattle and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, who included it in the repertoire of their European tour and even at their concert in Carnegie Hall. "dark dreams" is the first work that Haas composed in America, where he holds a post as Professor of Composition at Columbia University. It goes without saying that "dark dreams" makes use of microtonality. However, towards the end, a clear melodic structure suddenly emerges, with the bassoon playing a solo. Haas: "After the lengthy soundscape development that precedes it, such linearity comes across as something of a foreign body - a foreign body with expressive powers." A foreign body with a strong pull and a surprising ending.

Halffter, Cristóbal (*1930)

Concerto grosso (2013)
for string quartet and orchestra | 25′
2 2 3 2 - 3 2 0 0 - perc(3), cel, str(16 14 12 10 8)

WP 19.02.2014, Theater am Marientor Duisburg / Germany, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Dir. Giordano Bellincampi, Auryn Quartett

This work is "a game in the best sense of the word". The orchestra competes with an instrument that "has four heads" (Cristóbal Halffter). Here and there, it merely provides an accompaniment, then at other times it interferes - and sometimes it even picks up on impulses and propels the action forward. A very productive contest indeed.

Elegías a la muerte de tres poetas españoles (1975/2013)
for orchestra | 30′
3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1 - perc(4), hp, e.org, str(16 14 12 10 8)

WP 24.10.2014, Auditorio Nacional Madrid / Spain, Orquesta Nacional de Espana, Dir. Ramon Tebar

"Elegías a la muerte de tres poetas españoles" (Elegies on the death of three Spanish poets) was composed in summer 1975. Here, Halffter pays tribute to poets Antonio Machado, Miguel Hernandez and Federico Garcia Lorca, all of whom were victims of fascism and displacement. The composer's hope that such events will never happen again are conveyed impressively through this music. This moving confessional work is now also available in a reduced version.

Imágenes (2013/2014)
for orchestra | 26′
3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1 - perc(4), hp, cel, str(16 14 12 10 8)

WP 23.09.2015, Madrid / Spain, Orquesta Sinfónica de Madrid, Dir. Pedro Halffter Caro

The title is clearly inspired by Claude Debussy's Images. In his two-movement work (I. Scherzo - "En la pradera de San Isidro", 1788; II. Adagio -"Romería de San Isidro", 1821-1823), Halffter alludes to Francisco de Goya's Black Paintings. In the Adagio, however, he also builds a bridge to the final String Quartet op. 131 composed by Goya's contemporary, Ludwig van Beethoven, in 1825.

Lentz, Georges (*1965)

Jerusalem (after Blake) (2011-2014)
from 'Mysterium' ("Caeli enarrant ..." VII) for orchestra and electronics
3 3 3 0 - 4 3 3 0 - perc(4), pno, cimb, e.guit, st (14 14 12 10 8)

WP 16.01.2015, Philharmonie Luxembourg / Luxembourg, Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg, Dir. Duncan Ward

""Jerusalem (after Blake)" was influenced by the literary and graphic works of William Blake (1757-1827), the brilliant visionary of English romanticism. "Jerusalem - The Emanation of the Giant Albion", Blake's last and most important book, is in a certain sense the pinnacle of his oeuvre and one that has absorbed me for years. In this book, Blake writes about the fall of man, about the end of time, the apocalypse. How about our time? When a passenger aircraft is flown into a skyscraper very deliberately, when innocent people are beheaded in front of the camera, when we hurtle towards the abyss in the face of looming ecological disaster - looking at all this, I find it no exaggeration to say that we live in apocalyptic times too. I am devoting the end of the work to the 239 victims of another air disaster, flight number MH370, which disappeared off the face of the Earth in March 2014." (Georges Lentz)

Mahler, Gustav (1860-1911)

Symphony No. 1 (1884-1888/1896)
in 4 movements | 55′
4 4 4 3 - 7 4 3 1 - timp, perc, hp, str

WP 09.05.2014, Laeiszhalle Hamburg / Germany, NDR SO, Dir. Thomas Hengelbrock

This version of "Symphony No. 1" was produced especially for Hamburg; it has distinctly different instrumentation and includes the Blumine movement which was later discarded.

5. Symphonie
in 5 Sätzen for chamber ensemble | 65′
Arranged by Klaus Simon
1 1 2 1 - 2 1 0 0 - perc(2), hp, harm, pno - str

WP 25.11.2014, E-Werk Freiburg / Germany, Holst-Sinfonietta, Dir. Klaus Simon

Klaus Simon's arrangements of Mahler's Symphony No. 1, 4 and 9 have already been performed in major international concert halls. His reduced version of Mahler's "Symphony No. 5" has recently been completed and has already been performed in Freiburg and Hamburg. This version has been arranged for a total of 18 musicians, although the string parts can naturally be played in string sections instead.

Pärt, Arvo (*1935)

Silhouette (2009)
Hommage à Gustave Eiffel for string orchestra and percussion | 7′
0 0 0 0 - 0 0 0 0 - perc(4), str(16 14 12 10 8)

Arvo Pärt has just completed an extensive revision of Silhouette.

Swansong (2013)
for orchestra | 6′
2 3 3 2 - 4 2 3 0 - timp, perc(2), hp, str

17.06.2015, Paris / France, MDR Sinfonieorchester, Dir. Kristjan Järvi

Cardinal John Henry Newman (1801-1890), theologian, poet and thinker, was one of the most influential personalities in the England of his day. To mark the 200th anniversary of his birth, Arvo Pärt set to music one of Newman's best-known texts, "Littlemore Tractus". Originally conceived as a choral work with organ accompaniment, Pärt further developed it for orchestra even though the text on which the work is based is no longer heard. Since its premiere in January 2014, the work has matured in a process involving several revisions.

Rihm, Wolfgang (*1952)

2. Klavierkonzert (2014)
for piano and orchestra | 25′
2 1 3 2 - 2 1 1 0 - perc(2), hp, str

26.03.2015, Philharmonie im Gasteig München / Germany, Münchner Philharmoniker, Dir. Christoph Eschenbach, Tzimon Barto, pno

The "Piano Concerto No. 2" has clear classicist leanings, its arc spanning from Bach to Bartók and on to Ligeti - yet it is still pure Rihm. "Positively sensual, feel-good music, in the best sense of the word," wrote the Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper. In the reduction and analysis of the sound, Rihm explores as yet untapped stimuli. Expansive sound explorations, executed with consummate skill.

Gedicht des Malers (2014)
(Poème du Peintre) for violin and orchestra | 15′
2 2 2 2 - 4 2 3 1 - timp, perc(2), hp, str

04.04.2015, Grand Théâtre de Provence Aix-en-Provence / France, Orchestre National du Capitole de Toulouse, Dir. Tugan Sokhiev, Renaud Capuçon, vl

"Like a painter, the solo violin - assisted by the orchestra's recurring rhythmic patterns - conjures up powerful brush strokes and contours, building up passionate culminations only to have this impulsive, extremely technically demanding espressivo die away calmly. A masterful roller-coaster of a piece with bountiful rhythmic and dynamic finesse, which found its ideal interpreter in the brilliant Renaud Capuçon, to whom Rihm also dedicated this opus." (Die Presse)

Hornkonzert (2013-2014)
for horn and orchestra | 20′
1 2 3 2 - 0 1 2 1 - timp, hp, str

WP 19.08.2014, KKL Luzern / Switzerland, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Dir. Daniel Harding, Stefan Dohr, hn

Rihm had long toyed with the notion of writing a "Horn Concerto" for Stefan Dohr, the principal horn player with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. While György Ligeti's Horn Concerto makes use of further horns in the orchestra, Rihm chooses to do without, instead giving the soloist lines of exceptional cantabile appeal and rooted in an astonishing colour palette, without allowing the underlying virtuosity to become strikingly visible. A new repertoire piece in the making!

Transitus (2012-2013)
for orchestra | 15′
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(2), hp, str

WP 05.05.2014, Teatro alla Scala Milano / Italy, Filarmonica della Scala, Dir. Riccardo Chailly

"Transitus" is a work commissioned by La Scala in Milan with a request that it should allude to the works of Richard Strauss. When asked if he had been influenced by Strauss' virtuosity as an orchestrator, Rihm replied: "Virtuosity is not a value in itself: any star pupil can be a virtuoso. What is really important is what energy is moved - and how much energy is moved! There is so much virtuoso music that doesn't go anywhere. No movement, just everything shaking, flailing and glistening. But music is all about conveying energy. The quality of a piece of music is determined by its energetic charge and flows. In his finest moments, Strauss creates an incomparable maelstrom of relentless flow."

Trio Concerto (2014)
for violin, violoncello, piano and orchestra | 25′
2 2 2 2 - 2 1 1 0 - perc(2), str

WP 17.09.2014, Philharmonie Berlin Berlin / Germany, WDR SO Köln, Dir. Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Trio Jean Paul: Ulf Schneider, vln; Martin Löhr, vlc; Eckart Heiligers, pno

On hearing Rihm's "Trio-Concerto" for the first time, one would be forgiven for wondering whether an unknown work by Gabriel Fauré had been discovered in the vaults of his estate. The difficulty associated with the instrumentation is plain to see. If the trio is understood as "one" solo instrument, one circumvents the subtle sound possibilities associated with the instrumentation at the same time - a problem with which not only Beethoven struggled. However, unlike the latter, Rihm has the piano trio begin and then, with growing intensity, mixes in the orchestra in constantly new nuances of tone. Brilliant and very rewarding.

Über die Linie VIII (2012-2015)
for orchestra | 30′
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(3), hp, str

WP 08.03.2015, Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe / Germany, Badische Staatskapelle, Dir. Justin Brown


Verwandlung 6 (2014)
Musik for orchestra | 15′
2 1 2 1 - 4 1 2 0 - timp, perc(3), hp, pno, str

WP 04.06.2014, Philharmonie Essen / Germany, Essener Philharmoniker, Dir. Tomáš Netopil

This work completes the Verwandlung cycle for the time being. Here, too, Rihm makes use of far-reaching transformation processes in his sounds, for instance when a rattle sounds the first rhythm and four percussionists are used in the course of the work. Technically speaking, "Verwandlung 6" does not contain much in the way of pitfalls. However, the great challenge in performing Rihm's orchestral works remains the process of expending and conveying their inherent energy.

Schwartz, Jay (*1965)

Delta – Music for Orchestra IV (2013)
for orchestra | 25′
4 4 4 4 - 6 4 4 1 - Kontrabass (5-stringed), perc(3), vln.I, vln.II, vla, vc

"Delta - Music for Orchestra IV" experiments with the phenomena of periodicity and synchronicity of a pendulum and waves, and in this way again combines Schwartz's affinity for physics with the poetic and aesthetic dimensions of sound.

Staud, Johannes Maria (*1974)

Moment, Leute, Moment! (2014)
for orchestra | 10′
2 2 2 2 - 2 2 2 1 - perc(3), pno, str

WP 01.03.2015, Bozar Bruxelles / Belgium, Orchestre National de Belgique, Dir. Stefan Blunier

"This work was commissioned by the National Orchestra of Belgium for the 2014/2015 season in memory of 100 Years of the First World War. A short scene from my opera Die Antilope (2013/2014) is taken as the musical starting point. With new, dynamic ideas, this is then developed exponentially in this three-part orchestral work while continually treading a line between swirling orchestral density and an iridescent delicacy that comes close to that of chamber music." (Johannes Maria Staud)

Oskar (Towards a Brighter Hue II) (2014)
Musik für Violine solo, Streichorchester und Schlagzeug for violin solo, string orchestra and percussion | 18′

WP 27.08.2014, KKL Luzern / Switzerland, Luzerner SO, Dir. James Gaffigan, Midori, vln

"Towards A Brighter Hue" for solo violin (2004) was commissioned for the ARD International Music Competition. Midori was so taken by this piece that she asked Staud to compose a work for violin and chamber orchestra, which she premiered at Lucerne Festival. In his work "Oskar", Staud has clearly built on elements from "Towards A Brighter Hue", but would not be Staud if he did not surprise us with an array of tonal delicacies as well.

Zimt (2008-2010)
Ein Diptychon für Bruno Schulz for orchestra | 35′
5 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - perc(5), hp, cel, pno, basset hn, str

WP 06.09.2014, KKL Luzern / Switzerland, Lucerne Festival Academy Orchestra, Dir. Matthias Pintscher

The first time Johannes Maria Staud read the stories by Jewish-Polish poet Bruno Schulz, he was deeply moved and learnt to see the world "with completely new eyes". This led Staud to write his two orchestral works "On Comparative Meteorology" and "Contrebande", exploring Schulz's mysterious world of enchanted gardens, labyrinthine attics and warrens of the shtetl but without "duplicating or even illustrating them". The complete version premiered in Lucerne is called "Zimt".

Zemlinsky, Alexander (1871-1942)

Suite aus der Oper "Eine florentinische Tragödie"
erstellt von James Conlon for orchestra
Arranged by James Conlon

Chamber Orchestra/Ensemble/Chamber Music

Bedford, Luke (*1978)

Falling Falling (2014)
for clarinet, horn, violin and violoncello | 4′

WP 14.12.2014, Berkhamsted / Great Britain, Chroma

"Due to the very constricted harmonic world (essentially there is one scale repeated at the octave and a quarter-tone) I felt as a counterbalance, the structure had to be turbulent. There are sudden changes in mood and tone, from fast to slow music, but the harmonic progression seems almost unchanged by this. The vitality of the piece comes from how each section interacts, crashes into or emerges out of its neighbour." (Luke Bedford)

Berg, Alban (1885-1935)

4 Stücke (1913)
nach den Klarinettenstücken op. 5 for clarinet and ensemble | 8′
Arranged by Klaus Simon
1 1 1 1 - 1 1 0 0 - perc, hp, vln, vln, vla, vc, cb


5 Orchester-Lieder (1912)
nach Ansichtskartentexten von Peter Altenberg for soprano / mezzosoprano and 13 players | 10′
Arranged by Eberhard Kloke
1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - perc, hp, pno, vln, vla, cb

Berg's superb musical interpretation of Peter Altenberg's texts transcends the ostensible discrepancy between the brevity of the texts and the sweeping momentum of the music. This is Alban Berg's first composition for orchestra. Eberhard Kloke, who received international acclaim for his arrangements of Lulu and Wozzeck, has also scaled down this orchestral song cycle so that it can be performed by either a medium-sized orchestra or an ensemble of 13 players.

Passacaglia (1913)
Fragment for chamber ensemble | 5′
Arranged by Klaus Simon

Alban Berg had conceived his Passacaglia fragment, elaborated up to bar 102, for a large orchestra. This is clear from the short score adapted by Siegfried Borries in 2000 for very large orchestra in accordance with Berg's notes. Since then, this version has also commanded considerable attention. Klaus Simon has arranged the Passacaglia for ensemble. With its fragmentary character, borderline tonality (Klaus Simon has retained the D minor key signature even though the tonic is never really confirmed...) and atonality, the work provides an interesting insight into Berg's approach to composition. Those familiar with Berg's music will have no difficulty recognising him in this arrangement.

Cerha, Friedrich (*1926)

6 Postludien (2014)
for organ | 25′

WP 22.02.2016, Konzerthaus Wien / Austria, Martin Haselböck, Hans Haselböck, org

""The preludes" for organ were completed in 2011, the "Inventions" shortly afterwards in 2012. I pursued the direction of these works, also drawing on my experience gained while recording the pieces with organist Wolfgang Kogert. The "Six Postludes" - the title is a reference to the inner triad of the three organ works - were written in late autumn 2013. Compared with the preludes, they are less playful in a pointed, aphoristic sense and more voluminous - one might say that they are more "earnest", richer in formal concentration. Conceived as a conclusion to my group of works for organ, they have at the same time become a pivotal point for exploring their material in subsequent pieces for other instrumentation. The "Postludes" are dedicated to my friend Hans Haselböck, who has constantly encouraged me to write for organ, on his 85th birthday." (Friedrich Cerha)

8 Stücke (2012)
for three clarinets | 19′30″

WP 15.06.2014, Musikverein Wien / Austria

"The pieces were written for Ernst Ottensamer, clarinet soloist with the Vienna Philharmonic, and his two sons, and they vary greatly in character. They make use of all styles of playing - from flowing legato cantilena to capricious short staccato, the latter occasionally veering into caricature. The forms are generally derived from the rhapsodic development; there are no reprises and hardly any motivic links." (Friedrich Cerha)

Einem, Gottfried von (1918-1996)

3. Streichquartett (1981)
| 23′

New in the UE catalagoue.

5 Lieder (1958)
for high voice and piano | 6′

New in the UE catalagoue.

Laudes Eisgarnenses
Zwei Sätze for four horns | 7′

New in the UE catalogue.

Lieder vom Anfang und Ende (1981)
nach Texten von Lotte Ingrisch for medium voice and piano | 12′

New in the UE catalogue

Fennessy, David (*1976)

BIG LUNG (2008)
for 2 electric organs and 2 percussionists | 24′ Concert hall version

WP 06.03.2015, University of Manchester Manchester / Great Britain, Psappha Ensemble

"Almost as soon as the premiere of BIG LUNG was over back in 2008, I had wondered about the possibility of making a 'concert hall' version of the piece that didn't require a church organ. One of the aspects of the piece that can get lost in a reverberant church acoustic is the precise interplay between the right and left hands of the organ. By splitting the manuals between two separate electric organs in the new version, my hope is that the inner workings of the piece will become much more audible. Whilst the majority of the percussion music remains unaltered, the character of the piece will be inevitably transformed and I'm really looking forward to hearing the piece in a new way!" (David Fennessy)

Hauptstimme (2013)
for amplified solo viola and ensemble | 17′
1 1 1 1 - 0 0 0 0 - Rhodes piano, perc, e.guit, vln, vla, vc, cb

"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)

PPP (2004)
for ensemble and electronics | 50′

07.04.2015, Novi Sad / Serbia, David Fennessy, e.guit; Horia Dumitrache, Péter Szücs, Bogdan Bikicki, bass cl; Vladimir Blagojevic, acc; Vladimir Bogdanovic, vc; Dunja Crnjanski, pno

Haas, Georg Friedrich (*1953)

String Quartet No. 8 (2014)
for string quartet | 22′

WP 21.10.2014, Stadtcasino Basel / Switzerland, JACK Quartet


Anachronism (2013)
for ensemble | 13′

WP 14.02.2014, New York / USA, Ensemble ACJW

In "Anachronism", associations with minimal music are a key element - even though "the time structure and compositional processes are far removed from the historical reference points" (Georg Friedrich Haas). In an interview with the New York Times, Haas recalled old newspapers in which photographs were essentially a rough pattern of individual dots. "Anachronism" takes a similar approach. Haas's harmonic world is projected in the grain of a "relentlessly pulsating 11/8 time signature".

Dido (2012)
for soprano and string quartet | 9′

29.11.2013, Mozarteum Salzburg / Austria, Arditti String Quartet, Sarah Wegener, S


Saxophone Quartet (2014)
for saxophone quartet | 12′

WP 26.04.2015, Philharmonie Köln Köln / Germany, SIGNUM saxophone quartet


„I can't breathe“ (2015)
for solo trumpet

WP 08.02.2015, Kölner Philharmonie Köln / Germany, Marco Blaauw, tpt

In "I can't breathe", in memoriam Eric Garner for solo trumpet, Haas remembers African-American Eric Garner, who was killed when being physically restrained by US police. He was asthmatic and was put in an illegal chokehold by a police officer. His last words were: "I can't breathe."

Janácek, Leoš (1854-1928)

Pohádka
for solo violoncello and ensemble | 12′30″
Arranged by Reinbert de Leeuw
1 2 2 1 - 2 0 0 0 - hp, str

WP 27.10.2014, Musikverein Wien / Austria, Ensemble Kontrapunkte, Dir. Peter Keuschnig, Raphael Flieder, vc

"Pohádka" (Fairy Tale) was originally a chamber work for cello and piano written by Janacek in 1910 and reworked twice later on in 1912 and 1923. It is now available in a version for solo cello and ensemble by Dutch conductor, pianist and composer Reinbert de Leeuw. "Pohádka" is based on the epic poem by Russian author Vasily Zhukovsky ("The Tale of Tsar Berendey") and reflects Janacek's interest in Russian culture. Janacek's work consists of three movements which explore the mood of the fairy tale with tender lyricism.

Mahler, Gustav (1860-1911)

Adagietto aus der 5. Symphonie
for chamber ensemble | 10′
Arranged by Klaus Simon

Klaus Simon's arrangements of Mahler's Symphony No. 1, 4 and 9 have already been performed in major international concert halls. His reduced version of Mahler's "Symphony No. 5" has recently been completed and has already been performed in Freiburg and Hamburg. This version has been arranged for a total of 18 musicians, although the string parts can naturally be played in string sections instead. The "Adagietto" is also available as a separate movement.

Kindertotenlieder
for medium voice and chamber ensemble | 20′
Arranged by Eberhard Kloke


Kindertotenlieder
for high voice and chamber ensemble | 20′
Arranged by Eberhard Kloke


Rückert-Lieder
for deep voice and chamber ensemble | 22′
Arranged by Eberhard Kloke


Rückert-Lieder
for high voice and chamber ensemble | 22′
Arranged by Eberhard Kloke

Rihm, Wolfgang (*1952)

Harzreise im Winter (2012)
for baritone and piano | 13′

05.08.2014, Haus für Mozart Salzburg / Austria, Christian Gerhaher, Bar; Gerold Huber, pno


Sehnsucht und Nachtgesang (2014)
zwei Goethe-Lieder for medium voice and piano | 10′

WP 19.06.2014, Regentenbau Bad Kissingen / Germany, Anna Prohaska, S; Eric Schneider, pno


Sextett (2013-2014)
for clarinet, horn and string quartet | 15′

WP 18.09.2014, Muziekgebouw aan 't IJ Amsterdam / Netherlands, Quatuor Danel, Jörg Widmann, cl; Bruno Schneider, hn


Sound As Will (2011/2014)
for trumpet and ensemble | 18′
1 1 2 1 - 1 2 1 1 - perc(3), hp, acc, pno, alto sax(Eb), t.sax(Bb), vln, vla, vc, cb

WP 18.10.2014, Donauhallen Donaueschingen / Germany, Klangforum Wien, Dir. Ilan Volkov, Marco Blaauw, tpt

Every composer, particularly of our time, is very much dependent on good performers. Wolfgang Rihm is fortunate in that virtuosos constantly look to his music for new challenges - and they are fortunate to have a master like Rihm to provide these challenges. At the premiere in Donaueschingen, trumpeter Marco Blaauw demonstrated that he is able to meet even the highest technical requirements with an enchantingly radiant tone. A highly complex chamber piece that lacks nothing in sensual charm.

Sawer, David (*1961)

Bronze and Iron (2014)
concert version for brass quintet | 10′

"I find bandstands incredibly evocative, full of ghosts and child-like memories, whilst being at the same time perfectly functional and practical platforms for popular, outdoor performance. The idea of composing a piece that would draw the public's attention to these unique, surviving monuments in free, open and public spaces immediately appealed. My piece heightens the theatricality of these spaces through the spatial arrangement and movement of the five players, both singly and in groups, approaching, standing and moving in and around the bandstand, aiming to catch the audience by surprise." (David Sawer)

Coachman Chronos (2014)
for 9 players

WP 01.10.2015, Science Museum London / Great Britain, Aurora Orchestra, Dir. Nicholas Collon

This work was written for the NMC project Objects at an Exhibition, a collaboration between the Aurora Orchestra and the Science Museum, London. "As soon as I saw the splendid 1820 Royal Mail coach in the 'Making the Modern World' gallery, I was reminded of Thomas de Quincey's essay on motion, 'The English Mail Coach', and especially the moment where he describes how, by contrasting the speed of movement with the speed of thought, the driver of the coach is able to think clearly, thereby narrowly avoiding disaster. In a world which increasingly emphasises speed, clarity can perhaps be best achieved when time stands still." (David Sawer)

Schönberg, Arnold (1874-1951)

Gurre-Lieder (1901)
for voice and piano early version

Schwartz, Jay (*1965)

Music for Chamber Ensemble (2006)
for ensemble | 17′
1 1 2 1 - 2 1 2 0 - perc(2), vln, vln, 2 2

06.12.2014, Cité de la musique Paris / France, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Dir. Matthias Pintscher

""Music for Chamber Ensemble is a geometry of lines and curves and intersections following the musical laws of horizonal time and vertical intervals, and the architectural laws of structureand proportion. In the structure of Music for Chamber Ensemble, lines originating from diametrically opposed points follow a course whose metamorphosis leads to a catharsis. All events point to or take their reference from this catharsis. It is my objective in my work to craft the architecture of a piece into a single scope of time. My guidelines are principles of architectural harmony, as well as the employment of empirical and intuitive methods of experimenting with time and musical memory, which yield results that correspond often astonishingly to principles of proportion millenia old." (Jay Schwartz)

Staud, Johannes Maria (*1974)

Donum (2006-2015)
(Segue II für Pierre Boulez) for violoncello | 4′30″

WP 22.03.2015, Amphithéâtre Paris / France, Marc Coppey, vc

Troiani, Lorenzo (*1989)

Empedoclea II. Über Materialismus (2013)
for ensemble | 8′

WP 16.05.2014, Parco della Musica Roma / Italy, PMCE - Parco della Musica Contemporanea Ensemble, Dir. Tonino Battista

"Working with the ruins, showing the "negative of the picture". What is usually marginal, becomes the center. That's basically what "Empedoclea II does." My music can be considered as a voice heard from a distance. Landscape and filters deform and distort the song, which is always moving." (Lorenzo Troiani) This piece won the Concorso Valentino Bucchi / Fondazione Musica per Roma composition competition in 2014.

Valle-Lattanzio, Alejandro del (*1986)

Flügelbrausend (2014)
for ensemble | 28′

WP 02.12.2014, Muth Wien / Austria, Dir. Marie Jacquot, Shkelzen Doli, vln; Thomas Lechner, perc; Sylvie Lacroix, fl; Friedrich Kleinhapl, vlc; Hidan Mamudov, cl; Edi Köhldorfer, e.guit

This piece is first and foremost a celebration of "effervescent" musical joy; a eulogy to God. The title comes from Nietzsche's "Thus Spake Zarathustra": "Thus did my wise longing, born in the mountains, cry and laugh in me; a wild wisdom, verily! - my great pinion-rustling longing." The construction of this instrumentation with its palette of expression begins with the marimbaphone, the sound of which I feel to be "primal" or essential, with its particular disposition towards iterative rhythms. Then two woodwinds, which expand the tone colour of the marimbaphone and allow it to resonate. On the other hand, there are two string players with a fuller timbre - richer dynamic nuances that need neither air nor space for the tones to die away. Finally the electric guitar, an extremely flexible instrument that builds a bridge between these two worlds with timbres that I particularly love, and that contains within it the entire world of electronic instruments." (A. del Valle-Lattanzio)

Zemlinsky, Alexander (1871-1942)

7 Lieder von Nacht und Traum
for medium voice and ensemble (chamber orchestra) | 20′
Arranged by Richard Dünser
1 2 1 1 - 2 0 0 0 - hp, basset hn, vln, vln, vla, vc, cb

WP 27.10.2014, Musikverein Wien / Austria, Ensemble Kontrapunkte, Dir. Peter Keuschnig, Peter Weber, Bar

Richard Dünser has compiled "Sieben Lieder von Nacht und Traum" of Alexander Zemlinsky's songs - a selection from op. nos. 2, 5, 6, 8 and 10 - into a cycle and has arranged them for medium voice and chamber orchestra.

Kammerkonzert (1896)
nach dem Trio op. 3 for ensemble | 25′
Arranged by Richard Dünser
1 2 3 1 - 1 0 0 0 - hp, vln, vln, vla, vc(2), cb

Zemlinsky composed his "Trio" Op. 3 for clarinet, cello and piano in 1896 at the tender age of 25. It is an early stroke of genius that already gives a clear indication of Zemlinsky's own voice emerging, even though his debt to Brahms and Mahler is still very much in evidence. In line with Alban Berg's "Chamber Concerto" and as a bridge to this, Richard Dünser has now arranged this "Trio" for 15 solo instruments or small orchestra. The Mahler reference in the slow movement is further emphasised by the use of strings and harp. The world premiere will be held in Vienna's Musikverein in the 2015/16 season.

Vocal and choral works

Fennessy, David (*1976)

Letter to Michael (2014)
for choir (16 voices) a cappella | 7′

"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 "Herzensschatzi komm" (Sweetheart Come) over and over again or sometimes just the word "komm" (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…" (David Fennessy)

Haas, Georg Friedrich (*1953)

nocturno (2013)
Musik für Frauenchor und Akkordeon (ossia: Klavier) for female choir and accordion (ossia: piano)

The piece is to be performed in complete darkness, which means that the musicians have to memorise their parts, i.e. all choir members and the accordionist or pianist only require a score for rehearsals.

Pärt, Arvo (*1935)

Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima (2014)
for mixed choir a cappella

WP 27.08.2014, Fondation Beyeler Basel / Switzerland, Dir. Jaan-Eik Tulve

Inspired by his visit to Fatima, scene of a famous Marian Apparition in 1917, Arvo Pärt wrote a small choral piece based on a passage from Psalm 8.3 "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise". The choral piece is dedicated to painter Gerhard Richter.

Opera/Ballet

Bedford, Luke (*1978)

Through His Teeth (2013)
Chamber opera for three singers and eight players | 60′

"Can this be the best British opera in years? [...] Drop everything and go!" (Anne Ozorio, Opera Today, 09 April 2014) Following the success of his first opera Seven Angels, Luke Bedford's chamber opera Through His Teeth was enthusiastically received by audiences and critics alike. David Harrower's libretto is based on the true story of a conman who pretended to be an MI5 agent and seduced and effectively kidnapped several women without using any force. 16 short scenes are either propelling the story forward or looking back on it in the form of interviews. Commissioned by the Royal Opera House in London, Bedford's one hour long chamber opera was premiered at Linbury Studio Theatre on 3 April 2014, directed by Bijan Sheibani.

Brand, Max (1896-1980)

Maschinist Hopkins (1928)
Oper in 1 Vorspiel und 3 Akten | 135′
Arranged by Werner Steinmetz
2 1 1 1 - 2 1 2 1 - perc(3), pno, alto sax(Eb), str

WP 00.10.2016, Wien / Austria, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Dir. Martin Sieghart

With "Maschinist Hopkins", Max Brand had his finger firmly on the pulse of his time. By 1933, this Zeitoper had been performed over 200 times and Brand looked well on the way to becoming a famous composer. But following the world economic crisis and the rise to power of the National Socialists, he emigrated to New York in 1937 via Geneva and Rio de Janeiro. In 1929, a critic wrote the following about the opera's premiere: "One of the most beautiful albeit most difficult elements in the performance is the irreality of the machine room at night. Here, Brand made the audacious attempt to bring the motionless machine to life; just as he captured the romance inherent in the language of the woods from its murmurs and whispers, he conveys here the language of wheels, pistons and iron gears awaking". For EntArteOpera Linz, Werner Steinmetz has reduced the score to 35 players, making the work accessible to smaller stages as well. Performances: 11, 16, 24 and 26 Sept 2015, Tabakfabrik Linz.

Foerster, Josef Bohuslav (1859-1951)

Eva (1895-1897)
Opera in 3 acts
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc, hp, org, str

"The music of Josef Bohuslav Foerster, a contemporary of Janácek, has not been performed for decades, even in his homeland. Yet anyone who saw his opera "Eva" in Wexford or heard the live recording of the performance cannot help but wonder why he has been neglected all this time." (Jürgen Gahre in Fono Forum 04/06) Foerster took the subject for this tragic opera from Gabriela Preissová's play "Gazdina Roba" (Gazdina = housekeeper, landlady; roba = an opprobrious term for a woman who leaves her husband). The opera centres on a social conflict: Eva, a poor seamstress and Mánek, the son of a rich farmer, are in love, scorning the barriers of social status. However, in accordance with the social and religious laws of the time, Mánek's mother and the village people disallow their love. Desperately seeking a way out of the intolerable situation, Eva drowns herself in the waters of the Danube.

Gurlitt, Manfred (1890-1972)

Soldaten (1929/1930)
Tragische Oper in 3 Akten | 120′

17.01.2015, Theater Osnabrück / Germany, Osnabrücker Symphonieorchester, Dir. Andreas Hotz, José Gallisa, Herr Wesener; Almerija Delic, Frau Wesener; Susann Vent-Wunderlich, Marie; Erika Simons, Charlotte; Jan Friedrich Eggers, Stolzius; et al.

Manfred Gurlitt had singled out Jakob Lenz's "The Soldiers" as a suitable subject for an opera some 35 years before Bernd A. Zimmermann. However, following a series of performances in the 1930s, his work was forgotten. Manfred Gurlitt was au fait with the opera repertoire and musical currents of his time and channelled all this knowledge into "Soldiers". His moving, wonderfully cantabile music with almost impressionistic soundscapes ranges from gentle chamber pieces to romantic symphonic works. Theater Osnabrück brought the forgotten opera back to the stage with great success in January 2015.

Halffter, Cristóbal (*1930)

Schachnovelle (2010-2012)
opera in one act opera | 115′
4 3 4 3 - 4 4 4 1 - perc(4), alto sax(Eb), t.sax(Bb), e.pno - vln. I (12-16), vln. II (12-14), vla. (10-12), vc. (8-10), cb. (6-8)

WP 18.05.2013, Opernhaus Kiel / Germany, Philharmonisches Orchester Kiel, Dir. Georg Fritzsch

Together with his librettist Wolfgang Haendeler, Halffter has succeeded in bringing Stefan Zweig's novel to life on stage in a faithful, gripping adaptation. Two FAZ critics described "Schachnovelle" as "the premiere of the year". The Neue Musikzeitung wrote: "The style of the Madrid composer has essentially remained true to itself over these six decades, with some additional development in terms of detail: it is 'old-school' modernism. The speed of flow, intonations and fine colours of the composition, which adheres first and foremost to its own laws and rules, corresponds freely to the space and timing allowed by the text, and in particular to its psychological constellations. The clearest audible influence is the operas of Alban Berg." With such effusive praise, it should only be a matter of time before a followup performance takes place.

Janácek, Leoš (1854-1928)

The Makropulos Affair, The Makropulos Case (1925)
Opera in 3 acts | 120′ revised edition by Jirí Zahrádka
4 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1 - 1. Horn in F (Banda interna), 2. Horn in F (Banda interna), 1. Trompete in F (Banda interna), 2. Trompete in F (Banda interna), Pauken (Banda interna), timp, perc(3), hp, cel, str

WP 21.11.2014, Janácek-Theater Brno / Czech Republic, Dir. Marko Ivanovic , Emilia Marty, Gitta-Maria Sjöberg; Albert Gregor, Ales Briscein; Solicitátor Vitek, Petr Levicek; Kristina, Eva Sterbová; etc.

In the new critical edition of the opera "The Makropulos Case" by Leos Janacek, the performance material has been completely reworked on the basis of all the preserved sources. The revision of the score involved a comparison of the autograph score with three copies that originated during the composer's lifetime. The new critical edition therefore presents the work in a form that corresponds to the greatest possible extent to the ideas of the composer. In addition, the new edition includes valuable notes by the renowned Janacek conductor Sir Charles Mackerras on practical performance. The editor is Jiri Zahradka, the curator of the Janacek Archive at the Moravian State Museum for 20 years and scholarly editor of critical new editions of many other Janacek works, including Sarka, The Excursions of Mr. Broucek, The Cunning Little Vixen, Sinfonietta (in preparation) and chamber music. The new critical edition will be fully available from the 2015/2016 season.

Pärt, Arvo (*1935)

Adam's Passion (2015)
a production by Robert Wilson based on "Adam's Lament", "Tabula Rasa", "Miserere" and "Sequentia"

WP 12.05.2015, Noblessner Foundry Tallinn / Estonia, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra, Dir. Tõnu Kaljuste, Lucinda Childs, Michael Theophanous, Endro Roosimäe, Erki Laur, Tatjana Kosmõnina; soloists, actors, drama and dance students

Theatre magician Robert Wilson is paying homage to Arvo Pärt with a musical and theatre production that will be premiered in May 2015 in Tallinn. The production consists of a chamber orchestra, a choir, five solo singers, actors and a group of local drama students. For this project, Arvo Pärt has selected three major compositions from his oeuvre: the two choral works "Adam's Lament" and "Miserere", and the double violin concerto "Tabula rasa". This is joined by "Sequentia", a new work composed by Pärt especially for this production. The unique collaboration between these two great artists is an event of international importance. It is also being filmed for a television documentary.

Rossini, Gioachino (1792-1868)

Der Barbier von Sevilla
for soli and ensemble | 60′
Arranged by Uwe Sochaczewsky version for children

WP 25.07.2015, Große Universitätsaula Salzburg / Austria, salzburg orchester solisten, Dir. Duncan Ward, Mitglieder des Young Singers Project, Solisten

One of the world's most-performed operas has now also been made accessible for children and the whole family courtesy of Uwe Sochaczewsky: the story of Figaro, the smart, resourceful and charming "Barber of Seville" who uses his brilliant tricks to help his friend Almaviva to free his beloved Rosina, is not only the story that sets the scene for The Marriage of Figaro, but is also a milestone in operatic history. The young audience is given the gentlest of introductions to the world of opera while learning how a "complete work of art" comes into being and experiencing Rossini's brilliant melodies and one of the most turbulent stories in operatic literature. (Salzburg Festival)

La Cenerentola (1816/1817)
for solos and ensemble | 65′
Arranged by Alexander Krampe version for children
1 1 1 1 - 1 0 0 0 - acc, mar, vln(2), vla, vc, cb

04.11.2014, Teatro alla Scala Milano / Italy, Orchestra dell’Accademia del Teatro alla Scala, Dir. Maxime Pascal

Fewer than five weeks before the planned premiere on 25 January 1817, Rossini and his librettist decided, following a good dinner, to write an opera based on Charles Perrault's fairy tale Cinderella or The Little Glass Slipper. Few would contest that this fairy tale is one of the loveliest and most accessible stories in world literature. The children's version only permitted itself one minor correction to the original: the glass slipper, which once fitted on the dainty foot of Cenerentola, urgently needed to be returned to the piece instead of the wretched bangle with which Rossini and his librettist had replaced it ... The same can be said of Rossini's music as of the story itself - one is utterly compelled to listen. The 12-piece orchestral scoring, including accordion and marimbaphone, reproduces the original version in dazzling colours and with a fitting temperament.

Staud, Johannes Maria (*1974)

Die Antilope (2013-2014)
Oper | 75′
2 1 2 2 - 2 2 1 1 - perc(2), acc, pno, alto sax(Eb), str

WP 03.09.2014, Luzerner Theater Luzern / Switzerland, Luzerner SO, Dir. Howard Arman

"The opera tells the story of a young man, Victor, a character that draws on Victor Krap (Samuel Beckett, Eleutheria) and Bartleby, the Scrivener (Herman Melville). Victor, a nonconformist social outsider, escapes from an increasingly claustrophobic company party (complete with stagnant and meaningless party chit-chat) by jumping out of the window. This results in Victor stumbling through an absurdly distorted urban world, his "journey through the night" leading him to the strangest situations, sometimes menacing and appalling, sometimes funny and grotesque, always wavering on the threshold between real and unreal." (Johannes Maria Staud, Durs Grünbein)

Zemlinsky, Alexander (1871-1942)

Eine florentinische Tragödie (1916)
Oper in 1 Aufzug for soli and ensemble or chamber orchestra | 60′
Arranged by Roland Freisitzer
1 1 3 1 - 2 1 1 0 - timp, perc(2), cel, pno, str

WP 11.05.2015, Musikverein, Brahms-Saal Wien / Austria, Ensemble Kontrapunkte, Dir. Peter Keuschnig, Alda Caiello, Dietmar Kerschbaum, Steven Scheschareg

In keeping with the chamber drama character of the material, Roland Freisitzer has also arranged a chamber version of the opera. This chamber version makes do with just 16 instruments (optionally with string sections). Such a radical reduction of the orchestra called for significant alterations to the work so that, by changing and re-weighting the instrumentation, the absence of certain instruments in the score is not seen as a shortcoming but rather as a means of bringing Zemlinsky's superb harmonic ideas to the fore once again. All of which makes for riveting chamber music theatre!