Stockhausen Edition no. 36
(MONTAG aus LICHT)
Part 5/8 of the review


CONCEPTION with PIANO PIECE
(Photo: Lelli & Masotti, Archivio Fotografico, Teatro alla Scala)


Act II;
EVAs ZWEITGEBURT
(EVE’S SECOND BIRTHGIVING)

EVAS ZWEITGEBURT is the second Act of MONTAG aus LICHT, with a duration of 66 minutes, scored for 7 solo boy singers / basset-horn, 3 basset-teases / concert grand piano / choir (tape), 21 women actors, girls’ choir / modern orchestra / sound projectionist, in 4 scenes:

1.
MÄDCHENPROZESSION (GIRLS’ PROCESSION)
2.
BEFRUCHTUNG mit KLAVIERSTÜCK (CONCEPTION with PIANO PIECE)
3.
WIEDERGEBURT (RE-BIRTH)
4.
EVAs LIED (EVE’S SONG)


Participants of EVAS ZWEITGEBURT:

7 boys of the days: Krisztina Veress [Monday-boy] – Menyhert Keri [Tuesday-boy] – Eszther Marshalko [Wednesday-boy] – Attila Botos [Thursday-boy] – Eszther Szabados [Friday-boy] – Márta Bénko [Saturday-boy] – Gergely Hutás [Sunday-boy]
COEUR de BASSET: Suzanne Stephens [basset-horn]
Three basset-teases: Rumi Sota [basset-horn] – Nele Langrehr [basset-horn] – Kathinka Pasveer [voice]
Budgerigar as pianist: Pierre Laurent Aimard [piano]
Electric keyboard instruments: Michael ObstSimon StockhausenMichael Svoboda
Trombone: Michael Svoboda
Percussion: Andreas Boettger
Girls’ choir: Girls’ Choir of Radio Budapest, Karlheinz Stockhausen [cond.]
Sound projection: Karlheinz Stockhausen




MÄDCHENPROZESSION (GIRLS’ PROCESSION) (Act II scene 1)

The Venetian blind at the end of the terrace re-opens. It is now obvious that the sea is ice-laden at the shore. Women chop ice blocks with axes. You can see the result of their work in the many heaps of ice that are piling up. Big iron kettles are supported by three legs each. Gas bottles are placed under the kettles. The scene glitters and gleams in the sunlight.


GIRLS' PROCESSION
(Photo: Lelli & Masotti, Archivio Fotografico, Teatro alla Scala)

As they keep working, the women sing (sopranos and altos simultaneously):

Sopranos:


Luna
Meer Samudra ice
Akka Jana
marée HUVVA

Luna
sea Samudra ice
Akka Esa
marée HUVVA


Altos:


Luneva
Wasser water in ice
Glace
Urd – Werdani – Skuld EISVA

Luneva
Wasserfrau acqua in ghiaccio
Glace
Urd – Werdani – Skuld EVA



The lights on stage go out all of a sudden. From backstage the irritated voices of stage-hands can be heard, shouting and cursing, exchanging orders, like: “
Lights!”, “Main switch” etcetera.
Now the sound comes from a surprising direction, as girls commence singing behind the audience. Their costumes are shaped like lily blossoms, and they all hold burning candles.


GIRLS' PROCESSION
(Photo: Lelli & Masotti, Archivio Fotografico, Teatro alla Scala)

The girls sing:


EVE Mother,
we your children jubilate:
Monday EVE-day.
Wonderful is the creator of woman,
wonderful is the painter of her colors,
wonderful is the sculptor of her forms,
the artist of her organs,
the poet of her sounds,
the gardener of her locks,
the watchmaker of her pulse and her cycles.

MONDAY from LIGHT:
Ceremony for thanksgiving to God,
the inventor of woman,
ceremony of admiration for woman,
a musical celebration for EVE,
who, in our universe, for our Earth
is the loving helper
for the rebirth of mankind.

EVA AKKA ESA JANA
We sing to you EVE in gratitude
for the improvement of the human body
from animal to today’s human being
in the paradises of refinement.

ERVA MONDEVA INANNA ASURA
We sing to move you,
to continue to help us,
to procreate healthier, more beautiful,
more musical human beings.

Deliver, give birth EVE,
Found a new paradise of children.



The timbres of the voices – winding curtains of glittering chords – open in a cold-air sensation of remote, outer archipelagos of the Baltic Sea, a winter’s day when the arch of the sun is a low, bowed bridge of fire across the southern horizon, fiery light falling at low angles along the icy expanses, almost blinding… and way out in the open water at the edge of the ice the sea-birds are heard but not seen in the stark light, as if they’re calling from inside a state of bliss, from another world, a promised beyond, and though they’re not pronounced in the score or in the music, there is still the sensation of tolling bells of ice crystals through these chords… in the breath of the chilly air and the vision of the open sea disappearing into the sunlight…
The choral music herein shimmers like the distant ocean seen from a hill inland on a sunny January day. You feel you could spread your arms and simply sail off into the light like a seagull…
The deep male voices in the tape-music drone sound like Tibetan or Tuvinian xöömej (khoomei); eastern overtone throat singing.
At index 2 of CD 3 the voices fall like droplets of crystal through the chill, emitting refracted sound and light in enchanted vibrations of elves’ bells. Some shrill percussive elements from Andreas Boettger amplify this tingling sensation.
The voices at times surround you like showers of tiny, thin ice-flakes tumbling through the air…

It’s a jubilant dithyramb to the Creator; one of the most tender and beautifully sensitive choral passages I’ve heard; chiseled out of the air itself; pure, transparent, soaring, hovering, generously breathed with color and light in dancing figures of gold against blue; like a mirage of towering stupas of Nepal, glimpsed through the mountain passes (of the Himalayas, of the traits of life, of the here, the now…).



BEFRUCHTUNG mit KLAVIERSTÜCK
(CONCEPTION with PIANO PIECE)
(Act II scene 2)

This is a short scene of less than seven minutes. The women are placed behind the girls, visible in the light of the candles. The women call: “Aimard, come Aimard!” One of them urges Aimard, the pianist: “Fertilize EVE for the SECOND BIRTH-GIVING!”
A concert grand piano is driven in from the right on a cargo loader. The piano is unloaded between her legs. The pianist who was born in Act I, with the head and wings of a budgerigar, sits at the keyboard. The girls gather around the black piano, with the women behind them. The budgerigar-pianist plays a piano piece, and the girls hum.


CONCEPTION with PIANO PIECE
The girls walk to the half right of the stage
(Photo: Lelli & Masotti, Archivio Fotografico, Teatro alla Scala)

The women’s call for Aimard to fertilize EVE sounds challenging and womanly tempting, like the invitation to lovemaking that it is. It is as if the woman were sitting on the bedside, patting the mattress in an encouraging way, saying: “C’mon now!”
An incredible sound-scene opens. A bird flies around, panning wildly through the sound space, calling loudly, even intrusively; a crowd laughs, a symphony orchestra plays the last bar of a thunderous classical piece, an audience applauds… and then the low-level drone is the sole source of sound in an even motion, until piano and choir picks up simultaneously.


CONCEPTION with PIANO PIECE
Pierre Laurent Aimard; piano
(Photo: Lelli & Masotti, Archivio Fotografico, Teatro alla Scala)

Counting and wheezing blowing sounds are dispersed in the piece, and the strings of the piano are also played hands on inside the body of the instrument.
The choral segments come and go like moving barricades or the wall of police shields in a latter-day anti-EU demonstration, in shifting fields of chordal power displays, eventually fading out into the soothing drone…


CONCEPTION with PIANO PIECE
Pierre Laurent Aimard; piano
(Photo: Lelli & Masotti, Archivio Fotografico, Teatro alla Scala)



WIEDERGEBURT (RE-BIRTH)
(Act II scene 3)

A baby’s cry is heard. Drums and conch rattles sound, as American Indian children start singing. The women and the girls sing too:


Lun mundun mundun
din mäkrevä
ton
frai dai dai vae – vae vare vae vae Venus
sam da
sononono nononono no!


At this the piano and the pianist are pulled from the stage.
The women turn the EVE-figure to a position where she faces the terrace. The gas burners below the caldrons are lit by some of the girls with their candles. The women bring chunks of ice to the kettles, and soon the ice travels through the state of water until reaching the state of steam. The inside of EVE’s womb starts glowing as a child again cries. The girls sing, and the women place themselves in a prostrated position in front of EVE. The sunlight gradually returns.
As the women raise their heads, three of them approach the opening of the womb, invoking: “
Give us a Monday-child!” The Monday-boy tumbles out headfirst. The three women take care of him, present him to the surrounding women and girls, and carry him off to the background. The procedure is repeated.
Finally all the seven boys have been born. The women change their postures seven times, from their initial prostrated position to an erect pose.


The singing of RE-BIRTH
(Photo: Lelli & Masotti, Archivio Fotografico, Teatro alla Scala)

The girls sing during the RE-BIRTH:


EVE mother,
we your children entreat:
give us a Monday-boy.
Give us a Monday-child.

EVE,
give us the Tuesday-boy,
a Tuesday-child.

EVE,
give us the Wednesday-boy,
EVE, give us a Wednesday-child.

EVE,
give us the Thursday-boy,
a Thursday-child
for the rebirth of mankind.

EVE,
give us the Friday-boy,
for the improvement of the human body.

EVE,
give us a Saturday-boy,
give us a Saturday-child.

EVE MONDEVA INANNA ASURA JUKSAKKA!
We sing to move you,
to continue to help us,
to procreate healthier, more beautiful humans,
more musical Sunday-children,
children blessed by the muses.

Deliver, give birth, EVE,
found a new paradise of children.


Thank you, mother of the world
for the second birth from LIGHT.



RE-BIRTH
(Photo: Lelli & Masotti, Archivio Fotografico, Teatro alla Scala)

The infant that opens the scene is very close, crying a little, then prattling comfortably. The Indians’ drumming and chanting open the wide expanses of North America; prairies, Rocky Mountains, deserts and enormous boiling clouds, towering on high, forging anvils for the thundering gods of lightning.
The girls and the women join in the Indian chanting, singing to the rhythm of the tribal drums of tepee-circled secrecies, but super-imposed, closer yet, louder, more defined in the present.
The synthesizer takes control as the drums fall silent, and the female voices fly up and flutter around like a cloud of butterflies over a parking lot in Waxahachie (or Kettenberg!) (Index 12 of CD 3;
Synthesizer-prelude).


Andreas Boettger; percussion

The choral fragrances rise like sacred incense throughout the scene, the synthesizer whining in droning transparency, with the added twinkles of sparse metallic percussion and the wheezing, tasty exercises of mouthfuls of saliva-moist sounds out of oral cavities – but the main impression of this scene is one of pure a cappella singing; the synthesizer just providing an atmosphere of continuity, like the discreet humming of the human nervous system.




to part 6 of the review




email