Author Topic: Stockhausen's Spaceship  (Read 344341 times)

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Offline petrarch

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #300 on: May 26, 2011, 04:25:57 PM »
In fact, Pollini is every bit as compelling as Lang Lang, just because he disappears inside the music he’s playing so completely. He’s fascinating in an impersonal way, like a shaman who summons up spirits. That feeling was especially strong in the two Stockhausen piano pieces (Nos 7 & 9) that launched his recital.

Those are my two favorite Stockhausen piano pieces. Well, I would add No 11 to the list too. They are like a study in piano timbre.

No 9 is notorious for beginning with the same chord repeated 142 times in a gradual dying away.

It's actually 140 times. And then the chord repeats 87 times more on the next bar, in another ff -> pppp diminuendo. Bar lengths follow almost closely the numbers in a Fibonacci sequence, although out of order.
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Offline Cato

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #301 on: June 04, 2011, 01:00:43 PM »
Many thanks to James for the information on what must be an expensive collection of Stockhausen works!

Are you buying these from his (former) headquarters in Kürten? 

What is your opinion of the Veni Creator Spiritus from Klang?  Would it be something which might interest the 12-13 year old mind?  (I am thinking of my Latin students.)   $:)
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Offline MDL

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #302 on: June 05, 2011, 04:12:20 AM »
1. Momente for solo soprano, 4 choirs and 13 instrumentalists

 

Momente is a large-scale vocal work, scored for soprano soloist, four choirs, and 13 instrumentalists. The piece addresses the theme of love through a stream of consciousness-like text, exploring extremes of human emotion through the expressive extremes of the vocal parts. Detachment and passion are felt in equal measure throughout the work, whose narrative -- really a succession of discrete events or episodes -- holds together only in the moment-to-moment "free association" of the text, and the episodes do not betray an obvious temporal sequence or overarching structure. The significance of context, the meaningfulness of each isolated moment rather than an overall direction or plan, explains the origin of the work's title.

In each episode or moment, the soprano soloist is supported by organists and percussionists, while brass duos -- trumpet and trombone -- support each choir. The choir members themselves also play percussion instruments, including rattles and metal and cardboard tube drums. Musical material is organized according to complex relationships graphed by Stockhausen to resemble a kind of family tree, wherein specific musical structures are linked together through moments of indeterminacy. A given musical structure is identified by its particular character, namely whether it represents a timbral, melodic, or rhythmic moment. Timbral moments tend to be homophonic, melodic moments monophonic, and rhythmic moments polyphonic. These three elements may blend together, but one of the three will dominate and define each musical structure or event. Musical moments are thus organized according to how they sound, according to their purely sonic, musical character. This represents an important development in musical composition in the 1960s, a break from serial procedures that had dominated serious music since the years following the Second World War.

Momente, a significant work in Stockhausen's oeuvre, has been criticized for its unintelligibility, for its complex structure and the near impossibility of perceiving this structure. Indeed, when the work was performed in Stockhausen's own Cologne, the composer was forced to halt the performance due to audience noise. The performance was eventually completed, however and the vociferous objections to the work by the audience are ironically an important part of the work: Momente is as much a musical-dramatic work as it is a staged confrontation between Stockhausen and his critics. Stockhausen's choirs in Momente even offer their own response to unsympathetic audiences, as the choirs themselves frequently interrupt the performance through their percussion parts, but also by yelling, hissing, and clapping.

Upcoming Performances
Thursday, Nov. 10th  Lissabon, Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation's Grande Auditório  (Information: http://www.gulbenkian.pt )
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I've read about the new ordering of moments in the 1998 version, and I have my doubts about placing the long introductory moment, which so obviously stands apart from the rest of the work and forms a perfect opening, placed after the interval, with the applause moment now opening the work as was the case in the earliest version. How does it compare to the 1972 version? How does the use of sythesizers affect the sound world of the work compared to the original Hammond organs?

Momente is my favourite Stockhausen work, so I might have to invest in the latest version, despite my misgivings.

Thanks, by the way, for the updates. They're fascinating. Do you do anything else with your spare time?  ;D

Offline petrarch

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #303 on: June 05, 2011, 05:05:45 AM »
I've read about the new ordering of moments in the 1998 version, and I have my doubts about placing the long introductory moment, which so obviously stands apart from the rest of the work and forms a perfect opening, placed after the interval, with the applause moment now opening the work as was the case in the earliest version. How does it compare to the 1972 version? How does the use of sythesizers affect the sound world of the work compared to the original Hammond organs?

I have written about this a while back:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3533.msg424231.html#msg424231

In my opinion, the 1998 version is worthwhile.
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Offline MDL

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #304 on: June 05, 2011, 05:20:36 AM »
I have written about this a while back:

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3533.msg424231.html#msg424231

In my opinion, the 1998 version is worthwhile.

Ooh, thanks for reminding me. I read this at the time. I was paying attention, honest! Yes, I think I need to get my grubby mitts on this set. Ta!

snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #305 on: June 09, 2011, 07:25:11 AM »
Perhaps on a single disc order, and the pound exchange is higher than the euro ...but the more you order the bigger discount you get on subsequent discs (yea sure that's just a way to make you spend more but) ... bottomline is that it's much more convenient and easier to order discs online, just a few simple clicks and no bs. And orders arrive lightening fast too. Stockhausen's site is in the dark ages .. they really have to get their shit together.

Anyway ..received in the mail today & am listening now to the new recording of Mantra, sounds wonderful ..



Surely I will have ordered that Naxos cd by the time anyone tells me not to, soooo...

How long ago was it I asked that question? Anyhow, it's cheap,... everything else is... not! I was going to get the Wergo Gruppen/Punkte, but frankly, I compared the YouTube Gruppen (which I believe is the Wergo) to the Abbado cd, and I thought the DG recording 'sounded' great. The YT/Wergo had separation of the orchestras (and the receding image that that entails), but I could hear everything nice and upfront with the DG (though I'm sure that's NOT the point of the piece,... I still like it). I'll stick with Abbado for now (anyhow, I can always hear the other on YT).

But I'm still on board with Mantra. YT has the Kontarskys, and true, that recording, from the first note, is very alive and vivid. Since I have settled on the Naxos (which, from the samples, sounds just fine (and, apparently, it carries the James Seal of Approval!!)), I'm hoping I won't return here to dire warnings, for surely it will be too late!

How much would it cost to get Inouri?

Offline edward

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #306 on: June 10, 2011, 04:09:57 AM »
That new recording is a cheap alternative. It would not be my first choice. The Stockhausen-Verlag (Kontarsky bros) edition is superior. The composers favorite is the Sepp Grotenhuis, Ellen Corver, Jan Panis (supervised by KS) which I haven't heard yet. Sure you would pay more but I'd consider either of those over the Naxos to get the piece in the best light.

And the Eotvos modern recording of Gruppen/Punkte on BMC Records (not Wergo) is superior to the DG Abbado recording.
I think it's unfortunate that it was Mantra that Naxos chose to record, as I've never found it one of Stockhausen's more compelling works.

Thanks for the reminder on the Eotvos Gruppen. The most easily available Gruppen being the Abbado version is also unfortunate, since the original DG recording is infinitely more powerful, compelling and (as far as I can tell) accurate. Eotvos should satisfy my desire for a recording in modern sound, plus I've never heard the '90s revision of Punkte.
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Offline MDL

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #307 on: June 10, 2011, 05:27:28 AM »
I think it's unfortunate that it was Mantra that Naxos chose to record, as I've never found it one of Stockhausen's more compelling works.

Thanks for the reminder on the Eotvos Gruppen. The most easily available Gruppen being the Abbado version is also unfortunate, since the original DG recording is infinitely more powerful, compelling and (as far as I can tell) accurate. Eotvos should satisfy my desire for a recording in modern sound, plus I've never heard the '90s revision of Punkte.

Mantra isn't my favourite Stockhausen piece, but I'm pleased Naxos released it. And I don't think we'll be seeing a Naxos Momente or Carré any time soon (or whatever Stockhausen piece you prefer).

No recording or live performance I've heard of Gruppen comes anywhere near to having the clarity and sense of purpose of the original DG recording. However, the Eötvös is vastly preferable the Abbado.

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #308 on: June 10, 2011, 05:46:41 AM »
That new recording is a cheap alternative. It would not be my first choice. The Stockhausen-Verlag (Kontarsky bros) edition is superior. The composers favorite is the Sepp Grotenhuis, Ellen Corver, Jan Panis (supervised by KS) which I haven't heard yet. Sure you would pay more but I'd consider either of those over the Naxos to get the piece in the best light.

And the Eotvos modern recording of Gruppen/Punkte on BMC Records (not Wergo) is superior to the DG Abbado recording.

Well, Naxos it was,... where is that Grotenhuis available?

snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #309 on: June 12, 2011, 11:41:35 AM »
Soooooooooooooomebody on EBAY is offering a bunch of Verlag stuff this week,... but none of the ones I would have gone for. :'(

snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #310 on: June 14, 2011, 12:37:53 PM »
Currently listening to the Naxos edition .. 2nd time through ..

1. Mantra for 2 pianists (with wood blocks & antique cymbals) and electronics


Mantra (1970), a seminal work in many respects. Stockhausen's return to a largely 'composed' music after a period in which improvisation and intuition had dominated his thinking, the piece has also (especially in recent years) been credited with re-establishing the primacy of melody in modern music. Although the 13-note sequence, from which all aspects of the work derive, has the feel of an autonomous 'theme', its function as a melodic formula is very different from self-sufficient melody in the way that listeners grounded in the standard classics would appreciate. Mantra not therefore being a 'tuneful' piece does not, of course, lessen its qualities as a composition or an experience.

Indeed, it is the very consistency – as methodical as it is inevitable - of this work's evolution that makes hearing it such a pleasure. Working from the principal of its 13 notes giving rise to 13 temporal cycles, Mantra unfolds with an audible logic which is enhanced by the two-piano medium; though the fact that it is described as being for two pianists, who also play woodblocks and antique cymbals as well as transforming their sound via effective use of ring-modulation, helps shift the emphasis from its medium to its presentation in a way which dominated Stockhausen's thinking over the next decade. Here it is the prevailing calm, such as sets the periodic musical eruptions in strategic relief, that constitutes the work's raison d'être – allied to the occasional intrusion of more theatrical or, rather, gestural elements that offer glimpses into another, not unhumorous dimension.

Sympathetic well matched duo on the Naxos – evincing a synchronicity that enables them to access the music's depths as well as its more animated asides. As sound projectionist, Jan Panis ensures the high level of clarity is never at the expense of the music's sonorous texture or beauty of tone. Mantra remains a testament to Stockhausen's creativity and the musicality of his thinking.

Waiting for the proper time of day to listen to this disc. I read the notes, and, I suppose, is this the first instance of Fractal Music? Here it was explained so much clearer than I have actually 'heard' in any music. Perhaps I will be able to hear this Fractal Formula Thing now? We'll see.

This is the first recording with Digital 'Apparatus'.

Anything this duo does interesting?,... any particular tracks?,...

...anyhow...

Cue:

snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #311 on: June 14, 2011, 04:48:26 PM »
I'm on TRK10, which reiterates the notes, very comically (the notes say there is humor, I'm taking that this is one of those times), over and over, sometimes displaced, sometimes not. I especially enjoyed TRK7, where the Ring Modulator makes the vibrato sounds, slowly pulsating under the chords. Wow, now TRK16 comes in with some heavy Ring Mod effects,... neat, nicely integrated. Here in TRK17 I'm hearing what sounds like jazz chords?

I haven't heard the NewAlbion /Yvar version for years, but the whole presentation, sonically, here, is very much more integrated than what I remember the former being. And it's very nice to have 26 Tracks to study with.

No .. that's not how you listen. You don't listen for a 'fractal formula thing' or whatever the fuck that is. Just listen to it and stop with the dorky Qs already. Sheesh.

Woah now, I'm just readin from the notes. :D

Here's the Formula:

1. A  regular repetition
2. B  accent at the end
3. G#  'normal'
4.E  upbeat-group around a central tone
5.F  'tremolo'
6.D  chord (stressed)
7.G  accent at the beginning
8.Eb  'chromatic' link
9.Db  staccato
10.C  seed for irregular repetition 'Morse code'
11.Bb  seed for trills
12.Gb  sfz (fp) - attack 
13.A  arpeggio link


When I played this on guitar (before I listened to the piece), it revealed a pretty cool row,... I could see who 'useful', and actually musical, it was. Of course, once I put the cd on, I couldn't figure out what was going on, but there is a 'sense' of structure throughout,... the notes describe what's going on, and the function of the Ring Modulator.

Being as this was KS's first notated piece for a while, and the circumstances of it coming to be, and the whole 'hitting on the formula thing',... I find all these 'extra' things interesting ALSO, along WITH the music. This piece can certainly stand a little scrutiny.

I like this recording a lot, but I recall from YT the Kontarksy version's electronics were 'dirtier' and cooler sounding, and the playing was more extrovert. This is a very 'nice' performance and recording, and I mean that in the best possible way. Perhaps I'd like to hear even more wacky wildness from the electronics, but this recording's mellow nuance is its own reward I think.

TRK17, I continue listening...



snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #312 on: June 18, 2011, 07:37:11 PM »
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/nEFwlmJRrms" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/nEFwlmJRrms</a>

I'm sorry, but those chicks are HOT!! ;)

 ;D ;D ;D

snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #313 on: June 19, 2011, 04:53:18 AM »
Yes, and the intimate musical dialog is quite 'lesbian'. Stockhausen the visionary. ;D

Yea, I meant to say, What they're DOING is hot!! :o :P :-* ;D


btw- been listening to that Naxos disc a lot. I just like the Refrigerated Laboratory Atmosphere,... 1971,... you can smell the... I don't know what it is, but you can smell it...

Rusty,... is that you?...

I'm starting to 'hear' the formula aspect more,... the sections,... btw, if the formula repeats 13 times, and there are 26 tracks, how are the 13 repeats distributed? Two tracks per repeat? Still haven't got that far into it.

But, I'm starting to just like the 'jamming' quality of this piece (being as it was his first notated piece after his intuitive phase). The ornamentations seem to have a nice, fit-under-the-hand sound, almost jazzy. Yes, I'm hearing some jazzy elements.

Also, I do think some of the humor comes off very well. I'm assuming that these places are where the notes get hung up and repeat endlessly in that mad-scientist-gone-amuck, trying to get-it-right sound. Like, Here...Here...hereherehere...here here...


here


here here

Yea, Mantra has made it into High Rotation. It's just groovy.




btw- whoever sold all that Verlag on Ebay made quite a killing.

Offline petrarch

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #314 on: June 19, 2011, 06:08:26 AM »
I'm starting to 'hear' the formula aspect more,... the sections,... btw, if the formula repeats 13 times, and there are 26 tracks, how are the 13 repeats distributed? Two tracks per repeat? Still haven't got that far into it.

The formula is made of 13 notes, the last one being the same as the first one. It is repeated 12 times, not 13, though the piece ends with a compressed recap of the whole work. Each section has one of the notes of the mantra as the central note, around which superimpositions and transpositions of the mantra arise. The ring modulators are tuned to the central note in each section, which makes the first and last notes of the section sound natural and consonant.

The cover of CD 16 from the Verlag shows the mantra and its mirror image.
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snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #315 on: June 20, 2011, 03:59:02 AM »
Ausmultiplikation

ah yes, I knew him well! ;)

snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #316 on: June 20, 2011, 04:14:58 PM »
Music Review
Hamelin brings waves of notes to Rockport
By Matthew Guerrieri
Globe Correspondent / June 20, 2011



Marc-Andre Hamelin performing Friday at Shailin Liu Performance Center in Rockport. (Michael J. Lutch)
 
Karlheinz Stockhausen’s “Klavierstück IX’’ was a rhapsody in sustain and decay. The music channels effects borrowed from electronic music — the 140 repeated chords of its opening bar reverberating like an Echoplex — but the core is the piano’s resonance, the sound left hanging once a key has been struck. Stockhausen keeps that cloud of reflections buoyed with ingenious, far-out compositional engineering; Hamelin realized it with skillful, exceptional beauty.

Now THAT I'd like to hear!!

Offline petrarch

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #317 on: June 25, 2011, 07:40:18 AM »
Along with a couple of Shostakovich SQs in today's listening rotation for me, is this single brief Stockhausen piano piece ..

1. Klavierstück I

I absolutely love that piece (with Kontarsky, not the Henck nor the Tudor, though I have yet to listen to the Corver). It is all serial, tone row after tone row and composed with group structures, where the articulation, intensity, duration, register and interval direction of the notes provide guideposts indicating how the groups are organized. Contrary to typical serial music, this organization is readily and easily heard, as the groups correspond to clear-cut gestures. The piece as a whole is itself a large-scale group related to the other large-scale groups that are pieces II, III and IV.

It is also a bitch to play. I never got those groups of 7:8 and 11:12 tuplets (which are in turn nested in a 5:4 tuplet) in bar 6 right. The rest of the work is quite manageable in comparison, although there are some nasty bars later on (bar 13 I think and some other one).
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Offline Cato

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #318 on: June 29, 2011, 03:34:36 AM »
Many thanks for the article!

Music should be an intuitive expression of Mathematics.  I become skeptical when it is ascendant in the composer's mind, i.e. if the composer sets out to follow a precise mathematical program, I do wonder about the outcome.  It would seem better if the composer - once the work is finished and the composer hears and reviews it - discovers the subconscious mathematical clockworks in the opus.  Of course the "rules of composition" (no matter the method) are a type of Mathematics.

And even if the mathematical considerations do in fact dominate the composer, the work is not necessarily ipso facto doomed to be "arid." 

Even "free atonality" can be found to have an underlying unity, forced upon it perhaps simply by using 12 notes which will always give rise to certain mathematical possibilities as they combine.

An analogy in Literature: a writer, who cold-bloodedly wants characters to behave in a certain way to symbolize certain things or ideas, will end up with stick-figures in a mediocre story. 

The writer who lets the characters have free will and follows their personalities, rather than consciously forcing them to do certain things, will have greater success.  To be sure, certain kinds of people will predictably behave in certain ways, just like the 12 notes mentioned above.  But at times the characters will do what they want, like C# will want to rise to D at one point, and will want to descend to B at another, when one might expect something else.
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Offline petrarch

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #319 on: July 05, 2011, 05:05:12 AM »
There is no stretching at all, it is complete focused musical composition by a composer right down to the last detail, just in a different medium at a time when it was all very new territory .. no chance, no randomness, no cryptic texts, no issues of authorship, no bullshit etc. Just a composer in a studio using his musical ear & compositional tools and putting a musical composition together.

Stockhausen had been composing for that "new" medium for more than a decade when he tackled Hymnen.

The process of composition included  cataloguing found sounds, pre-recorded sounds, processes and transformations. The painstaking process was one of assemblage, not one where he merely realised the tape according to a thorough precompositional plan "right down to the last detail", like what he had done for Elektronische Studien I & II or Gesang der Jünglinge.

With regards to randomness, there is use of it in works such as Zyklus and even Momente; he was fond of such things as "statistical" events and of sometimes giving a general direction rather than minute details. This aspect of randomness was expressed in scores notated schematically, leaving precise details to the players. The score for soloists in Hymnen is one such score. Furthermore, Hymnen is variable on a larger scale: "Hymnen for radio, television, opera, ballet, record, concert hall, church, outdoors . . . The work is so composed that various scripts or libretti for films, operas and ballets may be prepared for it. The ordering of the characteristic parts and the total duration are variable. Depending on the dramatic requirements, regions may be lengthened, added or left out."

This exploration and careful selection of base materials is no different than, for example, what went into Cage's Music of Changes; in fact, Stockhausen greatly admired this work, with the serial-like construction of and progression through the charts. The work is as precisely notated as you can get, painstakingly assembled from the individual events notated in the charts.
« Last Edit: July 05, 2011, 05:08:17 AM by petrarch »
//p
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