GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Classical Music for Beginners => Topic started by: The Ninth on June 19, 2009, 05:58:32 PM

Title: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: The Ninth on June 19, 2009, 05:58:32 PM
For a while I've wanted to look into the pieces that classical composers have made with synthesizers, computers, and other electronic means of sound manipulation. Stockhausen and Xenakis are two composers I've seen mentioned often in connection with this. I was hoping you guys could recommend some good pieces by them that I could start off with.

And if you feel like recommending electronic pieces by other classical composers, I'd be pleased to see those suggestions as well. Also, I'm more interested in original electronic works than electronic "re-creations" of older works, like those of Wendy Carlos. Thanks!
Title: Re: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on June 20, 2009, 12:41:25 AM
I'm no kind of expert on electro-music, but I've heard a few things I can recommend.

At the top would be Xenakis' La Legende d'Eer, a 45-minute piece based on a parable from Plato's Republic, about a Lazarus-like figure who dies, visits the underworld, then returns to life. This blew me away at first hearing, and it is so intense that I can only stand to listen to it about once a year - more, and my head would explode  :o

There's also a disc on a label called EMF, which contains a number of X's electronic works, including Orient-Occident and Concret PH. It's a decent disc, but doesn't have the knockout factor of La Legende d'Eer.

I don't much like Stockhausen, so I'll let someone else deal with him. Have you tried Varese's Poeme electronique? Or (for a more gentle experience) the works of Vladimir Ussachevsky?
Title: Re: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: The Ninth on June 20, 2009, 01:12:50 AM
Have you tried Varese's Poeme electronique? Or (for a more gentle experience) the works of Vladimir Ussachevsky?
No, but thank you for all the suggestions. I will check them out.
Title: Re: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: gomro on June 20, 2009, 06:06:52 PM
For a while I've wanted to look into the pieces that classical composers have made with synthesizers, computers, and other electronic means of sound manipulation. Stockhausen and Xenakis are two composers I've seen mentioned often in connection with this. I was hoping you guys could recommend some good pieces by them that I could start off with.

And if you feel like recommending electronic pieces by other classical composers, I'd be pleased to see those suggestions as well. Also, I'm more interested in original electronic works than electronic "re-creations" of older works, like those of Wendy Carlos. Thanks!

There is a fantastic disc of electronic and electronic-with-chamber-ensemble works by Arthur Kreiger on Albany, titled Meeting Places.   One of my desert island discs.  As far as Xenakis goes, I second the Legende d'Eer recommendation, with Orient-Occident III coming in second. Stockhausen: of course one must hear Kontakte and Gesang der Junglinge, the early pieces, but -- though they're high-priced -- Oktophonie and Sonntags-Abschied are also very good.

I'd recommend looking into Morton Subotnick, too; Sidewinder, Until Spring, Return and Key to Songs, all must hear pieces.

Title: Re: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: Montpellier on June 26, 2009, 09:05:04 AM
The problem with Stockhausen is that he bought up all those recordings he made for DG. They are now marketed from his site - but with nothing as convenient as paypal or cards. There's also the problem that he made only a limited amount of purely electronic music.  He had all the equipment but it took Robert Moog to put them all in the same box and standardise the voltage control (cV) inputs.

If you can be bothered to get hold of them I'd recommend:
GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE (electroacoustic, based on children's voices)
KONTAKTE (electronic treatment superimposed on a percussion player - one of the more exciting of this kind of work. Lasts about 30 minutes);
TELEMUSIK (electronic music)

Here's his site, if you want to look through what's available.
http://www.stockhausen.org/cd_catalog.html


Title: Re: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: snyprrr on September 05, 2009, 06:12:16 AM
What about that "Voyage Absolut...Andromeda" (paraphrased title...can't remember) by Xenakis. That's a pretty wild and spacey ride.

Then there's Xenakis' S.709 on that EMF disc. That's a diamond laser if there ever was one. This is the only totally electronic disc I have.

I never liked Mycenae-Alpha... though its' graphics are interesting.



Honestly, I can't think of any computer works I really like. I must have some 20th century prejudice. I just don't think you should have to pay for electronic music: it should be free!
Title: Re: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on September 06, 2009, 10:51:04 PM
Though Xenakis was active early within the (at the time) rather new electronic medium his pieces are rather crude & revolting.

Maybe that's why I like them so much  :D
Title: Re: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: steve ridgway on September 01, 2018, 04:29:51 AM
I recently bought a very cheap MP3 compilation from Amazon - Electronic Music - In the Beginning - 50 tracks clocking in at almost 4.5 hours for GBP 6.49. It includes Xenakis' Diamorphoses and Orient Occident which are not as ear piercing as La Legende d'Eer but contain more variation, and Stockhausen's Etude, Gesang Der Junglinge and Studie 1 - plus a wide range of other composers, not all strictly electronic. Many of these recordings appear on multiple compilation albums and downloads, most likely due to having gone out of copyright - searching Digital Music for Karlheinz Stockhausen or Iannis Xenakis then sorting by Song Title will lead to all sorts of stuff 8).
Title: Re: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: some guy on April 02, 2019, 03:07:10 AM
I'd suggest also Hymnen by Stockhausen and Bohor and Persepolis by Xenakis.

But I would highly recommend exploring other composers as well. The world of electroacoustic music is pretty big, and pretty various as well. There are many composers who only do electroacoustic--Dhomont, Ferreyra, Bokanowski, Amacher, Mandolini, for example--as well as the many who do (have done) both electroacoustic and instrumental--Maderna, Berio, Nono, Varèse, Cage, Oliveros, Nelson, Mumma, and so forth.

Lots of stuff out there. Stockhausen and Xenakis represent, in all their enormousness, only a tiny fragment of the totality.
Title: Re: Best electronic pieces by Stockhausen and Xenakis?
Post by: steve ridgway on August 10, 2019, 09:54:23 AM
I'd hope the OP had found something by now but archive.org have free MP3 downloads of Xenakis' Persepolis and Polytope de Cluny at http://archive.org/details/01IannisXenakisPersepolis - or you can play them directly from the page.