Author Topic: Stockhausen's Spaceship  (Read 347117 times)

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Offline ritter

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #740 on: May 11, 2014, 10:28:36 PM »
....I will take a look at "Michael's Journey...". I'm curious as to why it would change my perspective on Stockhausen. What should I look (listen) for? Anything in particular?

I think ritter is just essentially advocating something he likes a lot .. it is a wonderful piece, and the recording is excellent.

Well, ritter would hardly advocate the piece if he didn't like it a lot, now would he?  :D

What I think might be of interest to EigenUser is why I like it so much. I think that in Michael's Journey all those elements that make Stockhausen such a forceful musical personality blend into one astonishing whole. The piece is seductive, it's playful, it's musically interesting and challenging, it's very well paced, its "open to the world" (all those jazzy sounds!  :)), it's dramatic in a theatrical sense. In many late Stockhausen pieces, as Pierre Boulez once pointed out (and Boulez has the highest opinion of Stockhausen--in spite of the occasional clash between both men  :laugh: ) , the composer's inventiveness is not balanced by enough self-criticism, and IMHO the results can be uneven, and sometimes verge on the bizarre (or tedious  ::) ). This is certainly  not the case here: Michael's Journey is both interesting and fun to listen to, even devoid of the visual aspects inherent to the piece (this latter point probably--and IMO, crucially--proving it's strength as music per se).

Cheers,
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 01:32:18 AM by ritter »
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Offline EigenUser

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #741 on: May 12, 2014, 04:50:25 AM »
Well, ritter would hardly advocate the piece if he didn't like it a lot, now would he?  :D

What I think might be of interest to EigenUser is why I like it so much. I think that in Michael's Journey all those elements that make Stockhausen such a forceful musical personality blend into one astonishing whole. The piece is seductive, it's playful, it's musically interesting and challenging, it's very well paced, its "open to the world" (all those jazzy sounds!  :)), it's dramatic in a theatrical sense. In many late Stockhausen pieces, as Pierre Boulez once pointed out (and Boulez has the highest opinion of Stockhausen--in spite of the occasional clash between both men  :laugh: ) , the composer's inventiveness is not balanced by enough self-criticism, and IMHO the results can be uneven, and sometimes verge on the bizarre (or tedious  ::) ). This is certainly  not the case here: Michael's Journey is both interesting and fun to listen to, even devoid of the visual aspects inherent to the piece (this latter point probably--and IMO, crucially--proving it's strength as music per se).

Cheers,
Wonderful! Thanks, I'll give it a listen. I heard "Sirius" recently on YouTube and I was intrigued by the jazzy sounds. There was this one (clarinet or basset horn) solo (somewhere in the first half, but I forget) that made me think of jazz.
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #742 on: May 12, 2014, 07:03:16 AM »
I just can't deal with vocalizing by performers, the one Avant thing that dries up my foam.

Offline EigenUser

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #743 on: May 12, 2014, 09:45:43 AM »
I just can't deal with vocalizing by performers, the one Avant thing that dries up my foam.
Even singers? ;D

I'm almost always the same way, but I have performed a violin/piano version of Ligeti's "Mysteries of the Macabre" and I do love that piece (really it is trumpet/piano, but I played the trumpet part on violin). I think that I accept this one because (1) it is from an opera, so there are places where the vocals are filling in what would otherwise be missing, and (2) it is freakin' hilarious. This is the only exception that there is, though.
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Offline Uatu

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #744 on: May 12, 2014, 09:46:50 AM »
I just can't deal with vocalizing by performers, the one Avant thing that dries up my foam.

I gotta admit, that does kinda let out the steam for me too, especially if it's male voices.  Nothing says Saturday Night Live avant-garde music parody like classical musicians yelling out "nonsense" words in German intermittently through a performance.  I have the highest respect for Stockhausen, but I personally wish he could've expressed his "ritual" words in a more hidden manner, like so-and-so did with BACH (Bach I think...).  The girls in Freude don't bother me tho...

Offline ritter

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #745 on: May 12, 2014, 10:30:04 AM »
I just can't deal with vocalizing by performers, the one Avant thing that dries up my foam.
I too am irritated by these vocal interjections, which IMHO more than an "avant thing", are a "late Stockhausen oddity"  ;) I think Boulez, for instance, would rather jump off a bridge than have a flutist even whisper something in one of his pieces.. ;D

Fortunately, these "vocals" ("eins! zwei! vier! DREIZEEEEHN!"  :D ) are few and far between in Michaels Reise . But, for instance, in the later, pre-synthesizer Klavierstücke, I find them particularly annoying  >:( . I really wish some clever musicologist soon discovers the words "ad libitum" in microscopic print in the manuscripts.   :D
« Last Edit: May 12, 2014, 11:32:42 AM by ritter »
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Offline Uatu

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #746 on: May 12, 2014, 11:26:44 AM »
I suppose if one were really desperate they could load the piece into an audio editor and replace all the vocal interjections with shortwave radio noise Hymnen-style.  And then call it the "censored" version.   ;)

Offline ritter

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #747 on: May 12, 2014, 11:36:55 AM »
I suppose if one were really desperate they could load the piece into an audio editor and replace all the vocal interjections with shortwave radio noise Hymnen-style.  And then call it the "censored" version.   ;)
  :laugh: :laugh:
Mmmm...that sounds like a classic case of the cure being worse than the disease, I'm afraid.  ::)
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Offline EigenUser

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #748 on: May 12, 2014, 12:22:32 PM »
I suppose if one were really desperate they could load the piece into an audio editor and replace all the vocal interjections with shortwave radio noise Hymnen-style.  And then call it the "censored" version.   ;)
That's hilarious. I always thought that Stockhausen should come with a warning label on the CD >:D ;D .
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #749 on: May 12, 2014, 03:24:44 PM »
I'm almost always the same way

me too

I too am irritated by these

 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:
 :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

I understand. Much thought has gone into vocalizing since it was introduced, and surely everyone's acquainted with the pitfalls, so that what we're seeing is yjay yjere are certain Composers, Aperghis for instance, who- SOMETIMES- hit that queasy mark of perfection- I mean, who has actually written for full Orchestra with all participants perfecting 'intoning' whilst also playing in that certain special way wherein we SENSE that 'vocal' TIMBRE- quite unique in the universe of sound- and INTEGRATED it perfectly into the TAPESTRY of sound.

Ahhhh, where IS this piece??? And,... no, I haven't heard it here yet. Holliger? Lachenmann? no Sciarrino? no Norgard?

The New Ultimate Performer will have to have a beautiful voice along with terrifying instrumental technique. And, yes, their fashion sense will have to be FIERCE! >:D

Diamanda Galas Plays Stockhausen (ECM;2015) ::)


Offline EigenUser

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #750 on: May 12, 2014, 05:39:13 PM »
Listening to "Michael's Journey" now. I think that the trumpet's "avant-garde" sound is easier for me to listen to -- probably because I like the Ligeti "Mysteries of the Macabre".

Definitely can do without the vocals.
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Offline Uatu

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #751 on: May 12, 2014, 07:15:46 PM »
Diamanda Galas Plays Stockhausen (ECM;2015) ::)
LOL, I suppose if she did one of the KLANG works with vocals and electronics that'd be interesting and cool.  I don't think ECM tho!  Actually I met Diamanda after a Shrei X concert.  Very nice person actually and very professional.  She seems crazy at times but she knows exactly what she's doing.

Anyways, here's a fount of free Stockhausen music in case it hasn't been mentioned here before:

http://classical-music-online.net/en/composer/Stockhausen/95


Offline EigenUser

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #752 on: May 13, 2014, 06:28:14 PM »
Listening to "Mantra" now. I think that this is the most accessible work of his that I've heard and I actually like it so far. The percussive piano writing reminds me of the Bartok "Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion".

I think that the piece I like the least is "Gruppen". I heard it again yesterday and it does nothing for me. It would be impressive to see live because of the setup, but I don't like how it sounds.
« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 06:30:51 PM by EigenUser »
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #753 on: May 14, 2014, 07:10:10 AM »
Listening to "Mantra" now. I think that this is the most accessible work of his that I've heard and I actually like it so far. The percussive piano writing reminds me of the Bartok "Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion".

I think that the piece I like the least is "Gruppen". I heard it again yesterday and it does nothing for me. It would be impressive to see live because of the setup, but I don't like how it sounds.

The 'Gruppen' on Abbado's DG- I just find it the jolliest music, fresh, alive, and happy. The 'Gruppen' on the new Eotvos disc sounds to me like grim '50s serialism. I've had the same reaction to Maderna, and it seems as though the actual recording process for whatever modern piece is very important- the Abbado/DG is more from an acceptable distance, the Eotvos is pretty well up front and somewhat in your face (though not harshly, just very distributed). I seem to prefer modern music recorded slightly away rather than really in the mix. Either way, 'Gruppen' on DG makes me smile, the other one doesn't. (surely every one else feels the opposite)

Offline CRCulver

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #754 on: May 14, 2014, 12:09:34 PM »
The 'Gruppen' on Abbado's DG- I just find it the jolliest music, fresh, alive, and happy.

Ignorance is bliss, then. If you knew the piece well (follow with a score), you'd find that recording riddled with mistakes. It’s one of the most appalling CDs in my collection. This along with hearing of Kurtág’s disappointment at how little Abbado cared about getting his Stele right, on the same disc, really turned me off the conductor.

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #755 on: May 14, 2014, 05:27:59 PM »
Ignorance is bliss, then. If you knew the piece well (follow with a score), you'd find that recording riddled with mistakes. It’s one of the most appalling CDs in my collection. This along with hearing of Kurtág’s disappointment at how little Abbado cared about getting his Stele right, on the same disc, really turned me off the conductor.

Surely it's just the DG sound I like? I understand the Eotvos is correct-err- it's just that his acoustic is just a bit tighter than I'd like, and the DG acoustic just sounds (in my head an idealized) 1955 beer hall. My point is- with Beethoven, eventually, you will get enough recordings where you will find one that pleases every aspect of your (one's) particular set of values. With 'Gruppen' we may only get one two or three more recordings in our lifetimes (conservatively), so, what are the chances Eotvos will rerecord the piece for DG according to my fantasy so I can hear the piece and receive it correctly?

Or flippin' Boulez recording 'Gruppen' for Chandos, or whatever- I just wish the Eotvos disk's ambience exploited the spacial element or - something- (ack, it's good and all, but I'm a sucker for DG sound sometimes... I feel it "swallows" KHS's timbres more so I can digest the proceedings better?).

No one's arguing Abbado's competency... DG sounds good for the wicked and the righteous alike.


Anyhow, I took Abbado for a spin and got most of the way through. KHS's playfulness still came through for me in spots,... and the play of the groups, almost as a fun kid's game, was apparent. The spacial element was somewhat discernible... the acoustic helped AND hindered here (typically cavernous DG- I know I know I just said I liked it!).

I know the 'electric' guitar isn't really, and, yea, sure,... I don't know it's so hard for me to be anal about Harry.

Let's get a Chailly/Concertgeboow,... Salonen/LA,... everybody... Dudamel Plays Stockhausen... Ling Ling Plays Stockhausen... Bernstein/NY $:)

I Will Judge No Stockhausen Before Its Time (Paul Masson)

Offline EigenUser

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #756 on: May 14, 2014, 05:38:41 PM »
Gruppen is one of my favorite pieces, it's pretty intense. And Mantra is a bonafide masterpiece.

So we can verify that you like Tierkreis (for orchestra), Mantra and Michaels Reise.

There will probably be others in the future, especially from the later work (for reasons stated earlier).

Keep exploring and listening, this stuff can definitely grow on you!

[...]

Well, perhaps I should say that I tolerated "Michael's Reise". It had some things that kept my attention, but it didn't click (yet :)). I definitely like "Tierkreis", though. Very pleasant sounding, in fact. It's also fairly short and there's enough happening to keep me interested throughout the piece.

I think that "Cosmic Pulses" is cool sounding, but it's more that I like the 'sound-effect'. I can't say that I hear it as music. Probably because I generally don't like electronic sounds.
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snyprrr

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #757 on: May 14, 2014, 06:24:06 PM »
Did you try this one ..

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3533.msg800600.html#msg800600


James lives in a tower and whenever someone Posts on his Thread a bell rings in the upper chamber and James travels down the flight of Frankenstein stairs to the Computer Room, KHS cape billowing. We know it's you behind that silly mask, james! ;) "You rang?"

Offline EigenUser

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #758 on: May 14, 2014, 06:40:46 PM »
Did you try this one ..

http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,3533.msg800600.html#msg800600

Missed that one. Just started it.

James lives in a tower and whenever someone Posts on his Thread a bell rings in the upper chamber and James travels down the flight of Frankenstein stairs to the Computer Room, KHS cape billowing. We know it's you behind that silly mask, james! ;) "You rang?"
lol :laugh:
Beethoven's Op. 133 -- A fugue so bad that even Beethoven himself called it "Grosse".

Offline Uatu

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Re: Stockhausen's Spaceship
« Reply #759 on: May 15, 2014, 03:23:25 AM »
I think that "Cosmic Pulses" is cool sounding, but it's more that I like the 'sound-effect'. I can't say that I hear it as music. Probably because I generally don't like electronic sounds.

I like electronic sounds but frankly I don't like the sounds KS chose for his later works.  I'm sure this must've been discussed here before, but his synth patches are kind of dated sounding.  It's too bad he didn't choose to record a violin playing all the notes of Cosmic Pulses and then use the computer to do all the spacial panning and "speeding up".  Or even a Garritan sampler, those sound great!