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Work of the Week – Erich Wolfgang Korngold: Die tote Stadt

On 28 May, Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s opera Die tote Stadt will open at Teatro alla Scala in Milan. With musical direction from Alan Gilbert and a cast including Asmik Grigorian as Marietta and Klaus Florian Vogt as Paul, Korngold’s thrilling psychological opera is set to receive a daring production.


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Work of the Week – Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Pique Dame

On 25 May 2019, Tchaikovsky’s Pique Dame opens with Deutsche Oper am Rhein in Düsseldorf in a staging by director Lydia Steier. The story of Pique Dame (The Queen of Spades) is centered on a destitute officer named Hermann, whose obsession with gambling and a secret winning formula of three cards ultimately fails to bring him the success he desires and leads instead to disaster.

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Heinz Holliger 80

Heinz Holliger will be celebrating his 80th birthday on 21 May. He remains active in concert halls throughout the world as a composer, conductor and oboist. His music theatre composition Lunea, premiered last year at the Zurich Opera House, was selected as the best premiere of 2018 by the critics’ jury of the periodical ‘Opernwelt’. In his profound exploration of his favourite poetry – including authors such as Friedrich Hölderlin and Robert Walser – Holliger has extended the borderlines of traditional instruments. He has experimented with advanced innovative musical technique and forged untrodden paths in his creation of new sounds, frequently reminiscent of electronically produced components. His publisher Schott Music offers heartfelt congratulations with an updated catalogue of works and several new publications!


German Record Critic’s Award

The WERGO-CD “Emmanuel Nunes: Minnesang | Musivus” has been awarded the Quarterly German Record Critics’ Award.

Category Contemporary Music:
Emmanuel Nunes: Minnesang | Musivus
WER 73782

“Don’t expect anything simpler from me!” – Emmanuel Nunes (1941-2012) was an artist of almost intimidating ability and self-confident stubbornness – much like his teachers Karlheinz Stockhausen and Pierre Boulez.
Apart from early works and large musical drama projects, his output consists primarily of two large-scale cycles. The first contains nine works, including Minnesang (1975–76) for twelve vocal soloists: a mystical and spiritual work that translates the medieval art of “Minnesang” into modern terms and whose musical effects are founded on the intelligibility of the texts.

Minnesang for twelve vocal soloists a cappella (text: Jakob Böhme) (1975)
Musivus for orchestra in four groups (1998, rev. 2001)

SWR Vokalensemble / Marcus Creed: chorus master / WDR Sinfonieorchester / Emilio Pomàrico: conductor

Statement of the jury


Work of the Week – Gerald Barry: Viola Concerto

18 May 2019, violist Lawrence Power and Britten Sinfonia will give the world premiere of  Gerald Barry’s Viola Concerto with conductor Thomas Adès. The concert at Saffron Hall in Saffron Walden will be the first of two performances of the new concerto this month; the second takes place at the Barbican Centre in London on 21 May 2019.
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Work of the Week – György Ligeti: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra

György Ligeti once referred to his Concerto for Piano and Orchestra as his “artistic credo”. The 25-minute concerto is a tour de force of pianistic discoveries that has captured the imagination of pianists around the world. On 9, 10 and 11 May, Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs the concerto with the San Francisco Symphony, and Ensemble Intercontemporain will also perform it on 10 May in Paris and 11 May in Zurich with pianist Sébastien Vichard. Continue reading “Work of the Week – György Ligeti: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra”


Work of the Week – Ludger Vollmer: The Circle

Adapted from Dave Eggers’ 2013 bestselling novel The Circle, Ludger Vollmer’s new thought provoking opera re-tells the story of a powerful social media and technology company as it seeks to extend its influence further in peoples’ daily live. The Circle will receive its world premiere on 4 May at the Deutsche Nationaltheater in Weimar in a new production directed by Andrea Moses and conducted by Kirill Karabits. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Ludger Vollmer: The Circle”


Work of the Week – Sir Michael Tippett: The Rose Lake

On 17 April, the BBC Symphony Orchestra and conductor Sir Andrew Davis will perform Sir Michael Tippett’s The Rose Lake (1991-93) at the Barbican in London. The work was originally premiered in 1995 following the request of Sir Colin Davis for a new orchestral piece to celebrate the composer’s 90th birthday. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Sir Michael Tippett: The Rose Lake”


Work of the Week – Franz Liszt: Sardanapalo

Franz Liszt’s legacy as a composer is dominated by his virtuosic piano works and evocative symphonic poems. By contrast, the composer’s theatrical pieces remain relatively unknown despite a wealth of evidence, in the form of fragments and compositional sketches intended for his assistant Joachim Raff, that suggest opera was never far from his mind. The most developed of these are Liszt’s sketches for his opera Sardanapalo, which have been painstakingly reconstructed by musicologist, David Trippet. On 9 April 2019, Trippett’s reconstruction will be performed in concert in Novi Sad, Serbia. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Franz Liszt: Sardanapalo”


Work of the Week – Erich Wolfgang Korngold: The Sea Hawk

The 1940 Hollywood film The Sea Hawk is filled with wild sea battles, brave privateers, and pomous palaces; rattling sabres and crashing guns. The music for this early epic was written by composer Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and while the film is seldom shown today, its accompanying score has become a popular concert work. The concert version of The Sea Hawk will receive two performances in April: on the 3rd, the Orchester des Pfalztheaters and conductor Uwe Sandner will perform the piece in Kaiserlautern, and on 7th April at The Assembly Hall Theatre, the Royal Tunbridge Wells Symphony Orchestra and conductor Roderick Dunk will also perform the work. Continue reading “Work of the Week – Erich Wolfgang Korngold: The Sea Hawk”