tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE's Reviews > Stockhausen on Music: Lectures and Interviews

Stockhausen on Music by Karlheinz Stockhausen
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I've been on a Stockhausen spree lately. I've compiled a list of all the pieces I've got recordings of by him, I've been looking at some scores, I've been listening to the recordings over & over. Stockhausen died last December & w/ him goes one of the last of the composers that were so important to me in my youth: Cage, Messian, Feldman, Xenakis.. & now Stockhausen. I'm listening to his "Kontakte" (the version that includes intrumentalists) as I write this. I have 3 Stockhausen bks - I definitely read this one & I definitely read one of the other 2 but I'm not sure wch one so I'll be taking an educated guess.

Stockhausen definitely took a few knocks in his life - his mom was in an insane asylum & was one of the 1st people executed by the nazis in their "racial cleansing". His dad was a nazi. As a friend of mine sd: "Sounds conflicted!". Even as an old man, he had trouble getting his massive wk-long opera performed - at one point the Italian musicians revolted in typical union style against the long hrs of rehearsal required. Stockhausen incorporated the revolt into the opera. Henry Flynt protested Stockhausen's "Originale" when it was performed in NYC - but then Flynt's a musical retard in contrast to Stockhausen. So, to hell w/ you Henry! Stockhausen's former assistant, Cornelius Cardew, wrote a whole bk denouncing him called "Stockhausen Serves Imperialism".

For that matter, even I've had criticisms of the guy: his rejection of master trombonist Vinko Globokar's claim of co-authorship in the structured improvisations "From the 7 Days". Stockhausen's having fasted for 7 days while he wrote those pieces b/c he was upset over artist wife's Mary Bauermeister leaving him doesn't impress me much either..
I've fasted for 28 days so// whatever! BUT THE MUSIC, the music.. It's absolutely wunderbar. So, forget the rest, Stockhausen, I miss you already.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
February 6, 2008 – Shelved
February 6, 2008 – Shelved as: music

Comments Showing 1-4 of 4 (4 new)

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message 1: by Ben (new)

Ben So far this is my favorite book on Stockhausen's music, though there are others I need to read. Many of his ideas made much more sense to me after reading this. Once in a (rare) while somebody hits me up for composition, improvisation, or arranging lessons. I tell them honestly that I don't have any truly original ideas to share with them, and direct them to the library to pick up several books instead. This is one I usually recommend.


tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE Have you ever looked at the score for Klavierstücke I? I shd show it to you sometime if you haven't - it has triplets w/in triplets in wch there's only one played note & the rest, rests. I always knew that serialist pieces by Stockhausen & Boulez were like this but seeing them really drives it home. It wd be interesting to conduct a very strict analysis of, say, the differences between Aloys Kontarsky's & Herbert Henck's performances of this (& other such pieces) to see just how damned precise these guys are really capable of being. The main thing that impresses me about this score is that Stockhausen was YOUNG when he wrote it & was feeling no-holds-barred about introducing incredible difficulties. Perhaps not so oddly, I find the actual piece to be not very exciting listening - in contrast to, eg, the "intuitive music" pieces w/ simple text instructions.

I have a piece called "Reductionism 1" wch when I 1st used a computer program to notate I made in something like 17/32 just as a joke - to show that I, too, am a 'complicated modernist composer'. I then changed it to 4/4. Either time signature is ridiculous b/c the piece itself has no rhythmical regularity whatsoever. But putting it in 4/4 at least gets rid of the distraction of thinking that there's a meter to be followed. I shd've just made it 1/1!


message 3: by Ben (new)

Ben Klavierstücke I is one of the best looking pages of music I've ever seen. It is indeed very audacious for a composer so young. In fact, for the Finale course I teach at CMU, the first couple of systems of that page make up one of the last assignments in the class.


tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE In that case, you have to look at the score w/ me sometime so we can discuss it! It is astoundingly particular. By the way, I suspect that Sunday night's yr big nite for doing the internet stuff, eh?!


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