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.


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) »

3 frühe Lieder » (1900-1908)
for high voice and orchestra | 4′
Arranged by Chris Gordon

WP 29.05.2015, Liverpool / Great Britain, Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, Dir. Vasily Petrenko, Lisa Larsson, S

On the 3rd of May 1917, the sixth anniversary of their wedding, Alban Berg gave his wife Helene a special gift: a vocal score containing ten songs from 1907, the year of their first meeting. We are familiar with seven of those songs as Alban Berg's 'Seven Early Songs'. In 1927/28, Berg orchestrated 7 songs from the original 1917 'wedding gift' cycle, following Helene Berg's suggestion to offer a selection of his early songs in orchestral versions to the public. The three remaining songs 'An Leukon', 'Die Sorglichen' and 'Schließe mir die Augen beide' were orchestrated by Chris Gordon. The complete "Ten Early songs" of Alban Berg received their world première on 29 May 2015 in Liverpool, where they were performed by Lisa Larsson and the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under Vasily Petrenko.

Borisova-Ollas, Victoria (*1969) »

... and time is running past midnight ... » (2014)
for orchestra for orchestra | 9′
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(3), hp, pno, str

WP 22.10.2015, Berwaldhallen Stockholm / Sweden, Swedish RSO, Dir. Joana Carneiro

New in the UE catalogue "'…and time is running past midnight...' is rather short orchestral 'post-scriptum' to my first opera 'Dracula'. Though not containing any direct musical or scenographic quotes from the almost two hours long performance this composition certainly is a sort of an echo of the intense emotional atmosphere of the 'Dracula' score. The listener should of course feel free from having any associative bonds to the subject of Bram Stoker`s vampires and their adventures. The main theme of this composition, reflected mostly in the rhythmic structure of the score is the time which is running rapidly towards an unknown future." (Victoria Borisova-Ollas)

Vinden som ingenting minns » (2015)
for choir and orchestra
2 2 2 2 - 2 2 3 0 - timp, str

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

"The Nobel Prize winning novelist Pär Lagerkvist was brought up in a strictly religious home but broke away from his Christian background later in his life. Unlike many of his colleagues though he never became ostentatiously critical of religious beliefs and symbols as such. Much of his poetry, especially 'Evening Land' from 1953, has a clear tendency to investigate a position of human being in the world where God is no longer present. Throughout the entire collection of poems we can feel the duplicity of that position. If Divine does not exist anymore why are we still trapped by the fear of its probable apparition in everyday life in form of angels, strangers clad in shining armour, dreams, memories? There is also a number of poems in 'Aftonland' where the author brings up the subject of our fear for the situation when all the traces of human existence are falling into total oblivion - and our constant longing for it." (Victoria Borisova-Ollas)

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, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, 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)

Dünser, Richard (*1959) »

Entreacte » (2014)
for ensemble or chamber orchestra | 15′
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

Richard Dünser has composed a piece that functions as a transition between the two Schönberg pieces "Erwartung" and "Das Buch der hängenden Gärten". His work is titled "Entreacte" and can also be performed on its own. The conductor of the première, Walter Kobéra, remarked: "Richard Dünser succeeds in pursuing Schönberg's paradigm shift in the harmony. He no longer deploys it functionally, but rather uses it to intensify the tone colours. It is the expressiveness of his score that fascinates."

Halffter, Cristóbal (*1930) »

Concerto » (2014)
for viola and orchestra | 25′
3 3 4 3 - 4 3 3 1 - perc(4), hp, str(14 12 10 8 6)

WP 07.02.2016, Kieler Schloss Kiel / Germany, Philharmonisches Orchester Kiel, Dir. Daniel Carlberg, Nils Mönkemeyer, vla

Composed in 2014, the "Concerto for Viola and Orchestra" has two movements and was inspired by a viola solo from Halffter's opera "Schachnovelle" (Chess Game), in which the instrument symbolises the loneliness of the imprisoned Dr Berger. Halffter calls the viola a "noble instrument" and maintains that its sound has long fascinated him. Accordingly, Halffter's Concerto sees the viola cover the full range of its expressive power: from virtuoso to very intimate.

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, Auditorio Nacional de Música 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.

Pärt, Arvo (*1935) »

Greater Antiphons » (1988/2015)
for string orchestra | 15′

WP 28.05.2016, Disney Hall Los Angeles / USA, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Dir. Gustavo Dudamel

When the Los Angeles Philharmonic and its new chief conductor Gustavo Dudamel invited Pärt to compose a piece, he recalled the orchestra's particular string sound, its wealth of colour and its enormous dynamic breadth and the idea spontaneously came to arrange a purely a capella work from 1988, the Seven Magnificat Antiphons (also known in English as Greater Antiphons), for string orchestra. The work's seven sections correspond to the seven verses, each of which begins with an invocation. Pärt rearranged the vocal score and created a purely instrumental version; thus the work appears sonically in a completely new light, while its context rises to another artistic level.

Rihm, Wolfgang (*1952) »

De profundis » (2015)
for choir and orchestra | 15′
2 2 2 2 - 2 2 2 1 - perc(2), str(12 10 8 6 4)

The first two words of Psalm 130 ("Out of the depths I cry unto thee, Lord") are the title of Rihm's new work for chorus and orchestra. As in Deus passus, Rihm talks again here about finalities with a deceptively simplified musical language; waiving technical difficulties does not at all preclude profound utterance - as so often, the apparent simplicity is actually the difficulty.

Duo Concerto » (2015)
for violin, violoncello and orchestra | 25′
2 2 3 2 - 2 1 1 0 - perc, hp, str

WP 15.10.2015, Carnegie Hall New York / USA, Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Mira Wang, vln; Jan Vogler, vc

New in the UE catalogue

Schwartz, Jay (*1965) »

Quaerendo invenietis – Music for Orchestra V » (2016)
for string orchestra | 16′
vln.I(14), vln.II(12), vla(12), vc(10), db(5-stringed)(8)

WP 07.05.2016, Philharmonie Köln / Germany, WDR Sinfonieorchester Köln, Dir. Michael Wendeberg

Quaerendo invenietis - Music for Orchestra V, for string orchestra, transforms the royal musical motive from Bach's "Musical Offering" and quotes Bach's inscription for the canons: quaerendo invenietis "…seek and ye shall find…". Slowed down by a hundred times, Schwartz lets the motive unfold, gliding all the while, until massive clusters materialize.

Sotelo, Mauricio (*1961) »

Red Inner Light Sculpture » (2013)
for violin, bailaora (ad lib.), flamenco percussion (ad lib.) and string orchestra | 20′

New in the UE catalogue

Chamber Orchestra/Ensemble/Chamber Music

Bedford, Luke (*1978) »

Three Caves » (2015)
for trumpet and piano | 10′

WP 22.01.2016, St Anne's College Oxford / Great Britain, Simon Desbruslais, tpt; Clare Hammond; pno

New in the UE catalogue "All three pieces are named after chambers in the Three Counties Cave System. Each one explores a different musical space: I. 'Echo Aven' - Opening with the piano in its lowest register, the trumpet plays echo-like patterns, gradually slowing each time; II. 'Short Long Drop' - The piano is now in its highest register, introducing a faster, falling figure, which is gradually taken up by the trumpet. This builds to the piece's loudest section, which vanishes almost as soon as it has arrived; III. 'Far Waters' - In the longest of the pieces, an extended piano solo covering the whole range of the instrument, leads to the trumpet's entry. At the end, high, dripping chords in the piano combine with the trumpet's long, expressive notes. The trumpet is tuned a quarter-tone lower than the piano. The piece explores the expressive possibilities of the search for consonance, despite the unreachable differences in their tuning." (Luke Bedford)

Unconformities » (2015)
for saxophone quartet | 12′

WP 04.08.2015, Kendal Town Hall Kendal / Great Britain, Apollo Saxophone Quartet

Unconformity is a geological term for a discontinuity resulting in the juxtaposition of vastly different ages of rock. In this piece I wanted to achieve a similar effect: musics of seemingly different ages which are smashed together; a volatile structure; not a smooth flow of time, but battered, broken history. I was keen to take advantage of the saxophone's agility and large dynamic range. To some extent, the broken-up structure of the piece grew out of this desire. Two of the saxophones are tuned a quarter-tone down, adding an inbuilt tension into the ensemble. This opens up a wide range of expression; from harsh and angular to calm, strange beauty. (Luke Bedford)

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)

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) »

Octet » (2015)
for 8 trombones | 20′

WP 10.09.2015, Münster Basel / Switzerland, Trombone Unit Hannover

As with my "String Quartet No. 9" and my piece for solo trumpet "I Can't Breathe", I am also attempting to compose micro-melodies in my "Octet" for eight trombones, almost didactically approaching quarter-tones and sixth-tones up to eighth-tone steps, which must be intonated meticulously. The piece is composed for a space with a long reverberation time. The musicians must stand closely together so they can hear themselves precisely. The work is not conceived as a polyphonic tissue; rather, it is a largely homophonic mass of sound, only occasionally splitting up. (Georg Friedrich Haas)

Holst, Gustav (1874-1934) »

The Planets »
for ensemble or chamber orchestra | 50′
Arranged by George Morton
1 1 1 1 - 2 1 1 0 - perc, pno, str(1 1 1 1 1, max. 6 5 4 3 2)

WP 18.07.2015, Southwold / Great Britain, Sheffield Rep Orchestra, Dir. George Morton

New in the UE catalogue

Magdaleno, Juan de Dios (*1984) »

String quartet No. 2 ‘Lorenz’ Traummusik’ » (2015)
2. Streichquartett for string quartet | 13′

WP 03.12.2015, Muth Wien / Austria, Minetti Quartett

Juan de Dios Magdaleno is the winner of the 2014 Ö1-Talentebörse Composition Prize. "'Lorenz Traummusik' relates to the American mathematician Edward Lorenz, considered the father of chaos theory. I concentrate in the piece mainly on the various temporal aspects of music, microtonality, characteristics of 'Klangfarbe' and musical application of chaos theory, which particularly interests me at the moment. 'Lorenz Traummusik' is subdivided into 24 short formal sections, in which I attempted to explore concepts such as 'nonlinear development' and 'alteration from the musical viewpoint'. In the course of the piece, a nonlinear musical discourse evolves in a state of continuous development, thereby constantly recontextualising the qualities and behaviour of the various elements which form the work's differing constituent parts." (Juan de Dios Magdaleno)

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.

Rihm, Wolfgang (*1952) »

Dort wie hier » (2015)
Zyklus aus einem Heine-Gedicht for baritone and piano | 18′

New in the UE catalogue

Funde im Verscharrten » (2015)
for baritone with soprano and piano | 10′

WP 06.07.2015, Regentenbau Bad Kissingen / Germany, Sarah Mzali-Aristidou, s; Wolfgang Holzmair, bar; Jan Philip Schulze, pno

In line with the motto of the Kissinger Sommer in 2015 - "European Neighbours", the "LiederWerkstatt" (song workshop) with Wolfgang Rihm and 6 other composers was given the task of addressing the contrast between near and far, strange and familiar, from Romanticism to the present day. In "Funde im Verscharrten" Rihm set four poems by the Swedish writer Gunnar Ekelöf, who is among the most significant Swedish 20th-century lyricists, for baritone with soprano and piano. The poems were translated into German by Nelly Sachs.

Geste zu Vedova » (2015)
for string quartet | 11′

WP 21.10.2015, Fondazione Vedova Venedig / Italy, Minguet Quartett

Vedova's work is shaped by positing. Boldly articulated verticals remain above all in the memory - are they the residue of blows? - of architecture? - black characters in turmoil. I wanted to respond musically with similar designs. Vedova's physical appearance also had something of a flaming vertical aspect for me; he seemed like a stroke of black lightning driving into the ground. Or was he the trace of a sudden eruption? His work was like that: vibration of strength, energy, vector of an eminently deliberate historic consciousness. A gigantic reservoir of highly reflective Venetian art seems to explode through Vedova's rigour and wildness: over the surface and beyond - into space. The Plurimi turn space into rhythm like a mighty musical energy as Vedova pinpoints its seismograms. A quickened self - I myself? - hails from afar with a gesture which is only an aftershock. (Wolfgang Rihm)

Toccata capricciosa » (2014-2015)
for piano | 10′

WP 26.01.2016, Grand Auditorium Luxembourg / Luxembourg, Cathy Krier, pno

New in the UE catalogue

Sawer, David (*1961) »

Coachman Chronos » (2014)
for 9 players

WP 03.10.2015, 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)

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) »

2 Lieder » (2004-2015)
for baritone, piano and tape | 8′30″

WP 23.10.2015, Gare du Nord Basel / Switzerland, Niklaus Kost, Bar; Jürg Henneberger, Klav

New in the UE catalogue

Auf die Stimme der weißen Kreide » (2014-2015)
(Specter I-III) for large ensemble | 30′
2 1 2 1 - 1 2 1 1 - perc(3), pno, vln, vln, 2 2

WP 19.09.2015, France 3 Alsace Strasbourg / France, Ensemble Modern, Dir. Emilio Pomàrico

Inspired by the texts by author Josef Winkler, who was motivated by the sculpture "The Specter of the Gardenia" by Marcel Jean to write an idiosyncratic, surreal monologue, Johannes Maria Staud has translated his poetic images fluctuating between anger and tenderness into a work for ensemble. "I have attempted to write instrumental music that is very much inspired by these verbal image fields, by these aphoristically evocative things." (Johannes Maria Staud) (see also "Specter of Gardenia")

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

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

"My "Donum" is also an attempt to thank Pierre Boulez. As various and protean as they may be, his works move, provoke and inspire me anew every time I become involved with them. They also reinforce my conviction that intellect and emotion, mental acuity and musical variegation, economy and imagination - indeed, clarity and complexity, too - need not be contradictory, but that they can amalgamate wonderfully on a superior level without losing their radicality." (Johannes Maria Staud)

Par là! » (2015-2016)
for ensemble | 11′30″
1 1 1 1 - 1 1 1 0 - perc, pno, vln, vla, vc, cb

Wheat, not oats, dear. I'm afraid. » (2015)
for seven instruments | 11′

WP 10.10.2015, Helmut List-Halle Graz / Austria, Ensemble Recherche

New in the UE catalogue

Webern, Anton (1883-1945) »

2 Lieder » (1918/1919)
nach Gedichten von Karl Kraus for voice and ensemble
1 0 2 0 - 1 1 1 0 - perc, hp, vln, vla, vc, cb

New in the UE catalogue

4 Stücke op. 7 » (1910)
for violin and ensemble | 5′
Arranged by Richard Dünser
1 1 1 1 - 1 0 0 0 - perc, hp, vln, vln, vla, vc, cb

New in the UE catalogue: "Webern composed the 4 Stücke (Four Pieces) in 1910; he made the definitive revision in 1914. Stylistically, they are aphorisms, extremely dense, concentrated in substance and form; they are only 9, 24, 14 and 15 bars long respectively. In my arrangement, I attempted to bundle this concentrated energy with instrumental colours, to accentuate contrasts and textures and to juxtapose this differentiated sonic world with the solo violin, which reproduces Webern's original text, unchanged in its virtuosity and expressiveness and exploring the greatest variety of violin sounds." (Richard Dünser)

Zemlinsky, Alexander (1871-1942) »

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

WP 06.06.2016, Musikverein, Brahms-Saal Wien / Austria, Ensemble Kontrapunkte, Dir. Peter Keuschnig

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

Finnissy, Michael (*1946) »

Tom Fool's Wooing » (1975/1978)
for 14 voices | 20′

WP 12.03.2016, Milton Court Concert Hall London / Great Britain, Guildhall New Music Ensemble, Dir. James Weeks

"Tom Fool's Wooing for 14 solo voices was originally intended for the John Alldis Choir; they had already performed one of my earlier works (Cipriano) for 10-voice ensemble. When it was finished, the choir had already disbanded. In 2013, James Weeks informed me that he wanted to perform the work at last. I looked at the score again and decided to thoroughly rework the central folk play which gives the piece its name. The play remarks satirically on courtship and wedding preparations; it is coarse and vulgar. I framed it with amorous verses from Eastern Europe and ancient Greece, together with excerpts from Epithalamion by Edmund Spenser. The main piece forms a stark contrast; two of the singers play drums, the rhythm is homophonic and simple." (Michael Finnissy)

Pärt, Arvo (*1935) »

Kleine Litanei » (2015)
for mixed choir a cappella | 5′

WP 10.12.2015, Virgilkapelle Wien / Austria, Dir. Erwin Ortner

"Christian Kircher of the Vienna Museum approached me with the idea of contributing a short piece of music to the reopening of the wonderful medieval Virgil Chapel on Stephansplatz. I thought of a composition which could be taken as an invitation to prayer or contemplation. The 'Kleine Litanei' is an invocation of Saint Virgil, Bishop of Salzburg and one of the great theologians and thinkers of the early Middle Ages. It is dedicated to the Arnold Schönberg Chorus and its choirmaster Edwin Ortner, all of whom I have admired for many years. They are among the interpreters of my music who seem to understand my world at once." (Arvo Pärt)

Rihm, Wolfgang (*1952) »

Missa brevis » (2015)
for choir a cappella | 25′

This piece, for a capella chorus, was commissioned by the Bavarian Radio. By now, the word has spread that Rihm's music always has a cantabile heart; in writing for the choir he interlaces the broad cantilena with great technical mastery.


Borisova-Ollas, Victoria (*1969) »

Dracula » (2013)
Oper in 2 Akten for soli, choir and orchestra | 120′
3 3 3 3 - 4 3 3 1 - timp, perc(3), hp, keyb, keyb, tape, str

The classic novel by Bram Stoker, recounted from the perspective of an emancipated woman. A composition commissioned by the Royal Swedish Opera.

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, Brotfabrik 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.

Fennessy, David (*1976) »

Sweat of the Sun » (2015/2016)
after ‘Eroberung des Nutzlosen’ by Werner Herzog for 2 actors, ensemble of singers, 23 players and sampler | 80′
0 0 1 0 - 0 0 3 0 - perc(2), cel, e.guit, sampler, str(4 4 3 3 2)

The German director Werner Herzog shot the film "Fitzcarraldo" in 1982. Herzog comments on the shoot in a diary, which was published under the title "Eroberung des Nutzlosen." The messianic pathos of language and images that describe the events in the diary is in contrast to the awareness of the uselessness of the project. The music theater piece "Sweat of the Sun" is a zoom shot on the head of a demoniac. The radical subjective perspective of the text "Eroberung des Nutzlosen" is intensified, broken up, and expanded into a three-dimensional depiction of space, scene, and sound in the music theater piece "Sweat of the Sun." The performance forms a "landscape" consisting of orchestra, actors, vocalists, and audience: the tale of the protagonist unfolds out of this landscape – it 'is' more or less his tale.

Haas, Georg Friedrich (*1953) »

Morgen und Abend » (2014/2015)
Oper for soli, choir and orchestra | 90′
3 3 3 3 - 4 2 2 1 - str, timp, perc(2), acc

29.04.2016, Deutsche Oper Berlin Berlin / Germany, Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Dir. Michael Boder, Johannes, Christoph Pohl; Erna, Helena Rasker; Signe/Hebamme, Sarah Wegener; Peter, Will Hartmann; Olai, Klaus Maria Brandauer

Jon Fosse tells the story of Johannes the fisherman, a simple man in the autumn of his years. He recalls his past life, the two people who meant most to him - his wife and his friend Peter, who have both long since passed away. Johannes' yearning will come to an end on this day. When his daughter comes to check on him the following morning, she finds him dead.

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

19.02.2016, Deutsche Oper Berlin Berlin / Germany, Orchester der Deutschen Oper Berlin, Dir. Donald Runnicles, Emilia Marty, Evelyn Herlitzius; Albert Gregor, Ladislav Elgr; Vitek, Paul Kaufmann; Krista, Jana Kurucová; Jaroslav Prus, Derek Welton; Dr. Kolenaty, Seth Carico; Janek, Gideon Poppe; Hauk-Sendorf, Heinz Zednik;

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 was paying homage to Arvo Pärt with a musical and theatre production that will be premiered in May 2015 in Tallinn. The production consisted 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 was joined by "Sequentia", a new work composed by Pärt especially for the production. The unique collaboration between these two great artists was an event of international importance. It was 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)

Staud, Johannes Maria (*1974) »

Specter of the Gardenia oder Der Tag wird kommen » (2014-2015)
for actor and large ensemble | 60′
2 1 2 1 - 1 2 1 1 - perc(3), pno(2), vln, vln, 2 2 1

WP 25.09.2015, Helmut List-Halle Graz / Austria, Ensemble Modern, Dir. Emilio Pomàrico, Johannes Silberschneider, Sprecher

Composer Johannes Maria Staud meets the writer Josef Winkler. Their joint work, specially developed for steirischer herbst, is a subtle interplay of music and text. Not an opera, but an installation-based concert performance, a contemporary music theatre experiment. "Specter of the Gardenia oder Der Tag wird kommen" - surrealist Marcel Jean's sculpture inspired Winkler to create an unusual surrealist monologue. In close collaboration with the writer Staud developed the composition for twenty-two instrumentalists of Ensemble Modern. "I have attempted to write instrumental music that is very much inspired by these verbal image fields, by these aphoristically evocative things." (Johannes Maria Staud)

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!