Author Topic: Stockhausen's Spaceship  (Read 342478 times)

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gomro

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #120 on: June 24, 2008, 04:18:14 PM »
A review of the memorial concert in Holland; Punkte, Litanei 97 and the premiere of Glanz...

http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/news/music/la-et-stockhausen21-2008jun21,0,6104263.story

I expect Glanz on CD before long; I've never heard Litanei 97, but it's available from the Verlag. (If I recall correctly, it was one of the very aleatoric pieces that KS returned to in later life to solidify in a closed form.) I have the Gruppen/Punkte recording Eotvos conducted; excellent.

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #121 on: July 04, 2008, 01:04:49 PM »
That is great to hear, James. While Stockhausen continues to be a main focus in my listening, I now spend once more a lot of time with Bach -- the first four concerti for violin and harpsichord (vol. 1) and the entire Clavierübung III (Organ: Wolfgang Rübsam, on Naxos). All I can say is: Simply Amazing.

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #122 on: July 08, 2008, 05:16:32 PM »
From reading interviews Stockhausen revered Bach deeply. Also, the presence is felt in the music, as early back as Choral for instance, it's apparent that he studied Bach, most serious composers study music history, historic figures & works quite throughly anyway it's unavoidable. But KS was very much into expanding ideas of polyphony in his own way, so Bach was undoubtably a inspiration.

Agreed on all counts.

Stockhausen's assistant, Kathinka Pasveer, once sent me a letter about a performance of Mantra in the Thomaskirche in Leipzig where Bach worked later in his life. She was very moved by Stockhausen's words about Bach in his pre-concert speech.

Stockhausen once said that he could never understand how someone could call Bach conservative. I thought this statement was significant, coming from a composer who, mostly successfully, tried to say something new in music with each work.

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #123 on: July 10, 2008, 07:28:30 AM »
James,

I see your points, and in some way Stockhausen even agreed with you. He said, in the context of the creation of Licht, "after twenty-five years of discovery would come twenty-five years of integrating what had been discovered."  (source: Towards a Cosmic Music: Texts by Karlheinz Stockhausen, ed. Tim Nevill).

Certainly, it is true that some of the original ideas that Stockhausen started out with continue in his work – you can and want to invent anew only so much of the very basics of your way of composing. That is probably what Stockhausen meant with above statement.

On the other hand, Stockhausen also said that in interviews that “I still discover new things all the time” and “I do not like to repeat myself”.

And I do think it shows in that he has remained highly innovative throughout. For example, just comparing his works in one limited genre, a cappella choral music, e.g. the works Unsichtbare Chöre, Welt-Parlament, Geburtsfest (the choirs of Montag aus Licht) and Engel-Prozessionen, shows that
a) they are each unlike any of each other and unlike any of his earlier music 1)
b) they are considerably different from any other composer's music

Actually, it was the vocal textures and the harmonies of the choral music of Montag aus Licht that convinced me back in 2000, after I had come to know some of his earlier works, including Gruppen, that Stockhausen is one of the giants, not just a "great composer" -- they made an impression (and still do) of being "bloody brilliant", to use your words. I perceive in all these works I mentioned a tremendous sense of discovery.

And I still cannot get over the originality of Licht-Bilder (2002/03) and Himmelfahrt (2004/05; from the Klang cycle). In the former Stockhausen uses successions of stand-alone brief melodic gestures, and based on them combines the gestural fragmentation heard in some of his early music, e.g. Klavierstücke V and VI, with overt melodiousness in an unheard-of manner. In Himmelfahrt, on the other hand, we have (very) extended melodic lines, but also a polyphony based on simultaneous different tempi that stand in non-linear relationships with one another (played by left and right hand of the organist or synthesizer player) like in Gruppen. But while there the music was gestural, here it is melodic.

In any case, the two works sound utterly unique, even though, as I already alluded to, both incorporate ideas and elements from Stockhausen's earlier music -- yet they put them in radically new contexts.

In fact, I cannot think of any other avant-garde composer who throughout his career has consistently stayed on the forefront of avantgarde without eventually settling into a signature style or different periods with each a signature style in them. Rihm comes relatively close perhaps, but among his many innovative compositions there are also those where he consolidates and mingles earlier styles. Not that this is a bad thing at all (and I think Rihm is more often than not brilliant), but in comparison the originality of Stockhausen blows me away every time 2) . This is also because I perceive Stockhausen's innovations, on average, to be of a greater magnitude (Rihm wrote some spectacularly innovative works as well, yet at least one of them, Jadgen und Formen from 2000, was years in the making with preparatory smaller scores).

Al



1)  a limited amount of textures in Welt-Parlament (1995) is somewhat foreshadowed in Atmen Gibt das Leben (1974).

2)  no, it's not a contest who is the most original composer -- and it is not about confusing originality with greatness (while Stockhausen's music has a lot to offer in the latter department too) --, but I think originality can and should be acknowledged where it is found. And it does provide an added sense of excitement, at least for me.

uffeviking

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #124 on: July 23, 2008, 06:22:43 PM »
Montag aus Licht was my evening listening. I have been saving the discs for an uninterrupted block of time because I knew it requires intense concentration. I was willing to provide the time, but it was a challenge; my fault because I am no admirer of female voices.

In all the time I listened, nothing but female voices; shrieky, screechy, high-pitched ones, and unless it happened while I was dozing off, not one male voice. What gives with those male composers filling my ears with women's noise? I am thinking all the way back to Richard Strauss who had the same hang-up. Any logical explanation?

Offline MDL

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #125 on: July 24, 2008, 07:02:07 AM »
Montag aus Licht was my evening listening. I have been saving the discs for an uninterrupted block of time because I knew it requires intense concentration. I was willing to provide the time, but it was a challenge; my fault because I am no admirer of female voices.

In all the time I listened, nothing but female voices; shrieky, screechy, high-pitched ones, and unless it happened while I was dozing off, not one male voice. What gives with those male composers filling my ears with women's noise? I am thinking all the way back to Richard Strauss who had the same hang-up. Any logical explanation?

I haven't heard Monday yet. Apart from all the screechy voices (!), what was it like? I've got the recordings of Thursday, Saturday and I've heard Friday. Isn't Monday Eve's day or something, which may explain why it's dominated by female voices?

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #126 on: August 29, 2008, 03:06:37 AM »
My journey through Stockhausen’s music:

http://home.earthlink.net/~almoritz/stockhausenjourney.htm

gomro

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #127 on: August 29, 2008, 05:57:53 PM »

Offline mikkeljs

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #128 on: August 29, 2008, 11:23:14 PM »
Have just worked on his nr. 7 Klavierstuck 11 for two days. Now I have studied one bar.  :D

greg

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #129 on: August 30, 2008, 06:57:35 AM »
Have just worked on his nr. 7 Klavierstuck 11 for two days. Now I have studied one bar.  :D
i have enough trouble reading and interpreting the rhythm of the very first bar of the very first piano piece....... 5/4 time in 11:10 ratio, the 7th eighth note to the end being in 7:5 ratio.......

Offline sound67

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #130 on: September 01, 2008, 11:30:41 PM »
Quote
But when Stockhausen unexpectedly passed away on December 5th 2008, we decided to publish it...

I know Stockhausen was ahead of his time, but ...  8)

Thomas
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

Offline Al Moritz

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #131 on: September 02, 2008, 04:21:52 AM »
I know Stockhausen was ahead of his time, but ...  8)

Thomas

You're right. I copied it from the book without paying attention to the mistake there. Thanks for pointing it out, I will correct.

Offline Cato

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #132 on: September 24, 2008, 02:18:28 PM »
On page D9 of the Wall Street Journal for today, September 24, a review of Stockhausen's Gruppen by A.J. Goldman can be found.

The performance took place - appropriately enough, given Stockhausen's flights of fancy - in a hangar at Berlin's Tempelhof airport.  Simon Rattle conducted the Berlin Philharmonic. 

Gruppen was performed twice, and the audience was allowed to switch seats: the reviewer mentions that the concerts were sold out (!) and that hardly anyone left after the first part of the concert.

See

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122221027907968931.html

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Offline Est.1965

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #133 on: October 04, 2008, 09:32:52 AM »
My journey through Stockhausen’s music:

http://home.earthlink.net/~almoritz/stockhausenjourney.htm

This is very interesting indeed.   :o
The author was obviously a 'classic' Classical Music lover but found something (or indeed, a lot of things!) in Stockhausen that he liked too.  This is quite a turnaround, and it has really got me interested.  I have NO Stockhausen whatsoever - I once had something, an LP (Montag), but could not fathom it at all and didn't know how to listen to it. :(
Well, I'm quite excited after reading that article and who knows, Stockhausen might be the answer to the question somewhere else on this forum "What is the future of Classical Music?"  So Stockhaiusen fans, as a beginner and previous Stockhausen knocker based on one LP and personal ignorance, where should I start??
What should I listen for?
I'm also interested in the idea of 'texts' being read through the music - this ida is also new to me, but in many ways it makes sense indeed.

So guys, my mind has been closed to this composer - as James quotes Zappa:  "A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it's not open."  Well, mine has been very closed indeed to Stockhausen, although I do have some Schnittke (is that close?).   :-\

Any info on what I should start with and what I should listen for (if that's appropriate) would be welcome indeed.   :-*
Dear Hans Rott
In the 1980s there was a creative punk group called "Big Audio Dynamite".  I have decided to apply the term to you, my man.  And I still haven't properly finished your Screenplay yet.  Too bad.  Take care anyway old chum, I'm off to listen to Brahms!
Kind regards, John

gomro

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #134 on: October 04, 2008, 09:51:44 AM »
This is very interesting indeed.   :o
The author was obviously a 'classic' Classical Music lover but found something (or indeed, a lot of things!) in Stockhausen that he liked too.  This is quite a turnaround, and it has really got me interested.  I have NO Stockhausen whatsoever - I once had something, an LP (Montag), but could not fathom it at all and didn't know how to listen to it. :(
Well, I'm quite excited after reading that article and who knows, Stockhausen might be the answer to the question somewhere else on this forum "What is the future of Classical Music?"  So Stockhaiusen fans, as a beginner and previous Stockhausen knocker based on one LP and personal ignorance, where should I start??
What should I listen for?
I'm also interested in the idea of 'texts' being read through the music - this ida is also new to me, but in many ways it makes sense indeed.

So guys, my mind has been closed to this composer - as James quotes Zappa:  "A mind is like a parachute. It doesnt work if it's not open."  Well, mine has been very closed indeed to Stockhausen, although I do have some Schnittke (is that close?).   :-\

Any info on what I should start with and what I should listen for (if that's appropriate) would be welcome indeed.   :-*

Schnittke really isn't close.  There's a good New Albion recording of the two-piano work Mantra that won't break your bankroll; it's a pretty good intro to Stockhausen. Check the used discs at Amazon or Ebay and you may find a trio Tierkreis that's very fine, a sort of Stockhausen Lite, but good for easing into the waters.  ECM's chamber version of Michael's Reise is another, but I'm not sure that's still available.  If you want to take the plunge in a big way, go for Stockhausen-Verlag's Inori (for orchestra), Lichter-Wasser (chamber ensemble, soprano and tenor) or Freude (two harps).

Offline MDL

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #135 on: October 04, 2008, 11:18:20 AM »
Stockhausen-festival next month: concerts, masterclasses, workshops, panel discussions, lectures, symposiums...

http://www.southbankcentre.co.uk/festivals-series/stockhausen-festival

I'm going to at least four concerts in that series. I'm wetting my pants with anticipation at the thought of hearing Trans in the flesh for the first time. I wonder if they'll "stage" it as Stockhausen wanted or if it'll be a straightforward concert performance.

Offline Est.1965

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #136 on: October 04, 2008, 12:40:39 PM »
Thank you James and gomro.  I will check these out and get back to this post in the near future.
Dear Hans Rott
In the 1980s there was a creative punk group called "Big Audio Dynamite".  I have decided to apply the term to you, my man.  And I still haven't properly finished your Screenplay yet.  Too bad.  Take care anyway old chum, I'm off to listen to Brahms!
Kind regards, John

gomro

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #137 on: October 04, 2008, 06:13:03 PM »
for Stockhausen go for the works where he was first discovering his own language...the Klavierstucke...or the amazing wind quintet Zeitmasze, the orchestral Gruppen for 3 Orchestras, and for some electronic music try Kontakte. These really capture his essense in thee best possible light.

I've been playing the excellent Gruppen/Punkte disc with Eotvos as principal conductor, and, as usual, I've created an abstract image to illustrate the music, in this case Gruppen:



I guess Saul would be proud...sheesh...

Offline Cato

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Re: Stockhausen and Salvador Dali
« Reply #138 on: October 08, 2008, 09:08:11 AM »
In my more meditative moments I have wondered about the interesting parallels between Salvador Dali and Stockhausen.

Both capable of very intriguing artworks, yet also quite capable of producing kitsch.  Both deliberately outraging the "bourgeoisie".
Both very controlling about the economic nature of their artworks ("Dali Avida Dollars").
Both conducting their later years as cult (or at least cultish) leaders.

This is not to imply necessarily that Stockhausen was a surrealist, although some would hear his music as surreal, along with his psychocosmic beliefs. 
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

greg

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #139 on: October 11, 2008, 04:04:15 PM »
Found this, a section of Stockhausen's last completed work for orchestra
(the one he finished the night before his passing) conducted/premiered by Knussen and Orchestra Mozart...

FIVE MORE STAR SIGNS for Orchestra: Aries, Bologna 16-9-2008
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/bsX7OqgIV7E" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/watch/v/bsX7OqgIV7E</a>
Nice. Hardly sounds like Stockhausen to me, though. Must be a later style thing.