Stockhausen Edition no. 43
Eingang und Formel; Examen; Drachenkampf;
Oberlippentanz; Pietà



Karlheinz StockhausenEINGANG und FORMEL (1978) for trumpet – EXAMEN (1979) for tenor, trumpet, basset-horn, piano, soprano, bass, 2 speaker-mimes – DRACHENKAMPF (1980 / 87) for trumpet, trombone, synthesizer player, percussionist – OBERLIPPENTANZ (1983) for piccolo trumpet – PIETÀ-Solo (1990) for flugelhorn & electronic music – PIETÀ-Duo (1990) for flugelhorn, soprano & electronic music.

Stockhausen 43
Durations: CD 1: 63:00, CD 2: 58:00




EINGANG und FORMEL (ENTRY and FORMULA) (1978) [2:31]
Markus Stockhausen [trumpet]


EINGANG und FORMEL (ENTRY and FORMULA) constitutes the beginning of Act II of DONNERSTAG aus LICHT (THURSDAY from LIGHT); MICHAELs REISE UM DIE ERDE (MICHAEL’s JOURNEY ROUND THE EARTH), though the original version in the opera – found on Stockhausen Edition 30 A - D - is scored for trumpet and orchestra, whereas we hear it here as a solo version for trumpet; a concert version. EINGANG und FORMEL is in the opera just a short part of MICHAELs REISE.

LICHT – the entire 7-part opera series – is composed from a so-called super formula, which consists of 3 formulas. In EINGANG und FORMEL the trumpeter plays the 7-limb Michael formula, from the center of the stage. The trumpeter has reached that center point arriving from the right, from the audience’s point of view, playing the EINGANG part of EINGANG und FORMEL, beginning in the lower registers, working his way upwards.

The
FORMEL part of EINGANG und FORMEL is evolved from a nuclear formula. The way Stockhausen has worked this performance out, it results in a complete 7-limb Michael formula. The limbs all have their own timbres derived from the open trumpet, four kinds of mutes and specialized colored noises.
Stockhausen also applies a chromatic scale of 12 different tempi to the Michael formula!

The whole staging is meticulously calculated by Stockhausen, from the spotlight that follows the trumpeter to the spatiality of the sound, steered through panorama potentiometers in accordance with the movements of the player from a mixing console in the midst of the hall, in amongst the audience.

Very detailed explanations of the performance and the recording are supplied in the 130-page booklet that accompanies the two discs.

On the recording you first hear Markus Stockhausen’s swift footsteps coming in from the right, where after he begins to play speedy figures that reach way down into the lower chakras, gradually rising through the pitches, but not slowly or hesitantly, but rather briskly.
The tones are as clear as dew-shining chanterelles in the spruce forests of early Scandinavian Octobers; the motion as inwardly jolly as those of a careless goblin of the same forests!

The
FORMEL begins high up in toe-tip tones, stretching carefully across the floor, watchfully, the trumpet taking on a quite different timbre in the next short section of the FORMEL, and thus it keeps on, changing, changing, with inserted extraneous sounds, clicks of the tongue, wheezing sounds, different playing techniques and so forth.

The little piece
EINGANG und FORMEL proves to be a meditation on sound, concentrated into a mere two and a half minutes.




EXAMEN (EXAMINATION) (1979) [25:22]
Julian Pike [tenor] – Markus Stockhausen [trumpet] – Suzanne Stephens [basset-horn] – Majella Stockhausen [piano] – Annette Meriweather [soprano] – Nicholas Isherwood [bass] – Elisabeth Clarke [speaker-mime] – Alain Louafi [speaker-mime]


EXAMEN is scene 2 of Act I of DONNERSTAG aus LICHT (THURSDAY from LIGHT).
The recording heard on this CD is a 2-channel mix-down of the 24 tracks of the original tape, achieved by Stockhausen and his assistant Steffen Seithel while they watched the television film of the work on a monitor. As a result, the stereophonic positions of the players naturally refer to their perceived positions on the screen, determined by the film director, which is why the spatial placement of sound differs a lot from a staged or quasi concert performance.

In
EXAMEN, MICHAEL is played by three performers; a tenor, a trumpeter and a dancer. EVE is played by a soprano and a speaker-mime, while LUCIFER is played by a bass and a speaker-mine.
The plot is that MICHAEL has to take a triple
EXAMINATION to be admitted to the Advanced School of Music.

In
EXAMINATION 1, MICHAEL the singer envisions seven childhood moments, in the light of his mother:

x x
I.
Mother, my EVE, you taught me crying laughing loving,
singing, what human children feel
.
x x
II.
Showed me the play of your instrument,
play of your basset-horn
.
x x
III.
You loved dancing, dancing… art of dancing: Heaven’s art.
x x
IV.
MOON-EVE, bodily beauty,
beauty of the divine body,
MOON-EVE.
x x
V.
(pulling newly born out of womb)
Yayayaya are you happy,
Lucimon?
We have no more money – isn’t hunting too expensive?
The priest said… are you listening,
Lucimon: do you love me?
x x
VI.
(wants to jump out the window, is dragged back)
Down there is Hell!
Up there is Heaven: I want to go up to the attic!
(is taken by force into the mental hospital, experiences 7 events in the hospital:)
u i a (1. attempt to escape)
LUMINA u i a LUCIFA
(2. imagines caressing
MICHAEL) u e a LUCEFA
(3. erotic gesture to doctor) u e a
LUCEVA
(4. is beaten) i e a
LICHEVA
(5. is put into strait-jacket) i e a
MICHEVA
(6. trembling fingertips to mouth, fingers in front of face like bars, scream for
MICHAEL:) i e a MICHAEL MI-CHA-
(7. sits backwards onto stool, fingers in front of face) –
EL
x x
VII.
EMICHAVAEL EMICHAEL EVAE EVA
EMICHAELMI ECHAMIVAEL
.

(to the jury:)

That was my childhood on this Earth –
experienced through the soul of my mother
LUNEVA
who became human – turned into song, and as a proof of my love,
given to all human children as music by the
Son of Light.
x x

In EXAMINATION 2 MICHAEL goes on to describe his childhood over again, but now in the light of his father, and as a trumpeter.


Karlheinz Stockhausen & Markus Stockhausen 1990
(Photo: Atelier New Age, Cologne)

In EXAMINATION 3 MICHAEL, in the light of himself as a child, describes his childhood through the movements of a dancer, and also through singing and playing his trumpet:

x x
I.
Hear my song:
Helpless I was born out of a human womb,
in order to be acknowledged, heard, understood, maybe loved
by you.
Because if you are moved by my voice,
you love
God the Son, God the Father, God the Mother.
[ossia: you love
God, the most wonderful musician.]
x x
II.
Lucifer! Lucifer! – LuciferLuci.
x x
III.
(hovering ghosts-like) s --- ss ------- f --- sss --- f – sss – f ---- ss --- f.
x x
IV.
MICHAEL’s youth as a musicus at the hunt
x x
V.
(slowly floating about)
(voiceless thrusts of air exhaling and inhaling) Y Y Y (etc.)
x x
VI.
(voiceless, wind) hY ------- hY ------- (etc.)
dodn dadn dädn didn dudn du didu du
Gerthrud,
dudn dodn dadn (etc.)
EVA,
x x
VII.
dudn dadn dädn didn (etc.) du didu du didu du didn dadn dädn dodn (etc.) Sirisusu Siri Sirisu
MOON-EVE, MOON-EVE EVE
stand by me in the examination,
MOON-EVE
x x

INVISIBLE CHOIRS are heard distantly. Even if you cannot make out the words, they are:


The Heavens shall rejoice
and the Earth exult
and the clouds be glad
and
HE shall open the gates of Paradise
and cast away the frightful sword
from mankind
and then shall rejoice
Abraham Isaac and Jacob
and I too shall rejoice
and all the saints will be arrayed in joy


The music is slowly faded in, tuned up; a slow, meandering, spiraling motion of muted trumpet played by Markus Stockhausen and a bronze-like basset-horn played by Suzanne Stephens, gradually filling up the sounding space with Praline-Töne, the beautifully colored sounds of the thin, hard-wound metallic covers of candies, lying in a big glass bowl on the oak table at Christmas time! Yes, these sounds make lustful childhood visions like these rise in me – and even though these are my own private reactions to Stockhausen’s music at the beginning of EXAMEN, I’m sure he doesn’t mind, because he told me once that he enjoyed how his music set off associations and analogies and colors and visions in my mind, directly connected to, or sprung out of, certain private experiences of mine. He didn’t say that in those exact words, but something to that effect, nonetheless. Therefore I’ve always felt at ease with downloading my gut reactions onto these pages, where they serve as mere examples of how one MIGHT react, though the shades and colors of reactions to Stockhausen’s music will vary from person to person, which makes it all the more exciting.



I believe there are two main ways to listen to these pieces. One is to follow the score closely, studying it and following the story in the pieces in their linear evolution. I do that too, sometimes. The other method, which is the one I as a simple listener more often engage in, is letting the sounds pour over me, seep in and out of me, allowing them do their work freely in my mind and spirit. From there I scoop up some immediate reactions and visions, jotting down some of them briefly as they pass in the music, saving them on the fly in these pages.

The basset-horn sounds expand and contract in a gluey, elastic kind of way, always with this honey-like property of tone, gleaming, clean, floating like caramel mix on a metallic sphere in bright lighting, affected by the gravitational pull of the planet, in bulging downwards patterns.
It’s brittle and full simultaneously; brittle like red or silvery or bronze-colored Christmas balls, full like spherical chocolate candies; the tones entangling your hearing in thin bands of audio, wound one and two and three times around your head, like in a Björk video!

The soaring tension between the overtones bend and pry at the fundamentals, appearing like minuscule whirlwinds on your tympanic membranes, rotating like whirling dervishes.

Yes, in this trumpet-basset-horn sound world the tones flex and stretch like reflections from the windows of high-rise buildings in high winds. An enormous energy can be sensed in these flexing surfaces of sound.

The basset-horn also sounds like the vocals achieved by khoomei singers of Tuva or Mongolia, as they mould the spaces of their oral cavities to change the sound around, the way players of Jew’s harps also do. This gives me a peculiar, Eastern, timeless feeling, a light touch upon eternity; a smile of a golden Buddha!

Some commotion is heard; shuffling of feet and the rustling of garments, and then the bass – Nicholas Isherwood - begins his singing, majestically, forcefully, though tenderly.

Footsteps are heard, loudly, and more extraneous stage sounds from the singers / actors. The tenor – Julian Pike – and the pianist – Majella Stockhausen – start simultaneously, briskly, cutting in decisively, almost jubilant, it seems, in corrugated lines of the piano and the vocals – but behind all this the trumpet and the basset-horn keeps molding their garlands of audio.

Kissing sounds are emitted, quite loudly and clearly; the tenor moves back and forth while singing; the musicians let off hissing and blowing sounds, also whispering-counting – and the density increases; the texture tightens, the transparency turns opaque; somebody whistles and all kinds of extraneous sounds appear; whispers, wheezings, some handclaps, takaratakarata exclamations, and so forth, seemingly endlessly.

The music is complex, exciting, highly enjoyable, causing me to turn up the volume, which is already high!

Soprano Annette Meriweather enters into the web of sounds in incredibly beautiful vocals that manifest themselves on high like early rays of light at dawn, illuminating the white streaks of exhaust from soaring, intercontinental jetliners that wing to distant futures...

The characteristic counting goes on and recurs; sechs, siiiiiieben, aaacht, neunnnn…!

Short sections of playing turn almost comical, Stockhausen’s withheld smile detectible in the score as the trumpeter rattles off incredulous, almost jazzy progressions, immediately relieved by mouth-clicks, more counting and loud whispers! Incredible sound worlds!

Played through a good set of speakers, amply amplified, these CDs have invaluable sonic experiences to offer; just dig yourself down, hold on and PLAY!

When the music seems to reflect some jerky ragtime properties in a fleeing moment, and wheezing and blowing is going on, I almost break out in laughter! It’s so good, musically, and simultaneously so fun; incredibly comical – and I greet Stockhausen the Jester for a few bars!

At times the music thins out into a multi-layered transparency, with simultaneous low volume sounds drifting like evening fragrances before your attention. You can almost envision horned and winged creatures out of fairytales in a prehistoric setting, as the wheezing of saliva-rich breaths leave pale traces on the evening windows of your perception…

The
Invisible Choirs emerge audibly in the later part of the work, in short pauses in the immediate sounds of vocal soloists and instruments. The last track of EXAMEN displays Invisible Choirs clearer, but they still make the impression of a reflection of something that happens – or even happened! – below the horizon, in another time, in the Beyond; in fact in a timeless and… placeless place!




DRACHENKAMPF (DRAGON FIGHT) (1980 / 87) [15:19]
Markus Stockhausen [trumpet] – Michael Svoboda [trombone] – Simon Stockhausen [synthesizer player] – Andreas Boettger [percussionist]


DRAGON FLIGHT is a staged and quasi concerto version made up of various sections from Scene 1 of Act III FESTIVAL - of THURSDAY from LIGHT.
The version of
DRAGON FIGHT on this CD commences with the choir song of the preceding moment in FESTIVAL, including the BOYS’ DUET.

In this quasi concert version, the synthesizer, played by Simon Stockhausen, plus Simon’s voice, play the parts of the orchestra, the choir and the soprano saxophones, in a stylized way.
The trumpet – played by Markus Stockhausen - performs some parts that are scored for the singers, i.e. the choir sopranos, the solo soprano and the solo tenor. A percussionist – Andreas Boettger – performs rin, gong and sound plate. Michael Svoboda participates in this quasi concert version on trombone.

In short, the story of
DRAGON FIGHT is a kind of duel between MICHAEL and LUCIFER, in which the two – LUCIFER on trombone and MICHAEL on trumpet - play at each other; shoot at each other. The synthesizer player is always present, at first wearing a mask of death, which he later pulls off to reveal the mask of an angelic youth, and finally pulling off also that mask, showing himself as a regular human.
LUCIFER is the one that looses the trumpet – trombone fight, dragging himself off stage

The synthesizer player utters, at the beginning:


There is no home,
also angels are eternally underway


Towards the end he half-sings:


Children of the clouds rejoice!
The wild animals let themselves be led by children.
Angels’ voices resound.
The Earth rejoices,
and
MI-KA-EL


The synthesizer cuts right in, splicing reality in two immaculate halves, boring ahead, slowly diminishing, as Simon Stockhausen, the synthesizer player, articulates the prefatory words in peculiar, slowly staccatoed wordings, thrown at you one by one like stones hurled in the air, with accented pauses in between, as if he stooped down between each hurl to pick up a new word/stone from the ground. The short two-liner above takes him 1 minute and 32 seconds to get through the first time. This way of presenting the text lines really make you listen hard, anticipating the next word with great expectations.
The space between the words, when only the tense and vibrating sounds of the synthesizer and the very clean timbres of the trumpet are heard, have you hang in a suspended state, or in a feeling of taking giant leaps across wide rifts, from morpheme to morpheme, until the whole sentence is completed.

The third time the text is heard, it is treated in a more solemn and romantic way, in a more loving tonal language, the voice of the singer/talker – Simon Stockhausen – expressing his lines in a lower, calmer voice, sometimes reminding me distantly of Wolfgang Neuss as Moritatensänger in Kurt Weill’s
Dreigroschenoper in the famous Berlin recording from 1958.
The synthesizer sings in the lucid transparency of high altitude cirrostratus clouds, while Markus Stockhausen embellishes the blue of the sky with the shining gold of pure trumpet light. The color of tone, the smell of light; blue and golden fragrances of sound!

When Simon Stockhausen pronounces “unterwegs” in his third run-through, he lingers on the rrrrrs in a corrugated sound poetry articulation that really tickles!

The singer/synthesizer player continues in a humming vocalism that hides inside the sounds of the synthesizer, the trumpet and the ominously emerging trombone. The voice of Simon Stockhausen plays a more important role in this music than I thought from the beginning, staying with the synthesizer as a kind of referee of the action, but he also sinks back into his own playing, sliding his voice across the music like someone jumping onto a horse, moving across the steppe in a bulging slow-motion of elasticity.
It is startling how he lets his voice ride the hilly path of his synthesizer in tracks 58 and 59 of
43 A of the Stockhausen Edition, after his sighing exhalation!

LUCIFER’s tap dancing rattles like castanets as he plays/fires his trombone in a jerky dance motion, like a venomous Joker; an evil batman. MICHAEL’s trumpet thrusts shoot off in fiery volleys, the short tones leaving the instrument in sonic trajectories aimed at LUCIFER.

The counting, up to 13, kicks off at left, and I suppose the mathematician is LUCIFER; Michael Svoboda. The musical battle goes on, interspersed with vocal exclamations – on a backdrop of a soaring synthesizer layer that hangs in the back like a thin sonic curtain. The combat becomes intense, strident – ferocious. Stockhausen’s score at around track 65 pictures a battle welling back and forth, in smoke and noise, flags flying, tones cutting like shining swords through the air.

The rins played by Andreas Boettger emerge in track 66, adding their metallic beauty of light and shrill vibrations to the smoky scene.

The music grows into a forceful wave of invincible might, as it floods the sound space with incalculable auditive properties that rotate, spiral, spin and roll in the general forwards direction, down the bars, down the seconds and minutes of the score, with the collected musical fury of Markus Stockhausen, Simon Stockhausen, Michael Svoboda and Andreas Boettger, riding Stockhausen’s stormy score in their instrumental vehicles, occasionally dipping below the surface of the collected web of sounds, always surfacing somewhere in individual figures and signs.

The second text of the piece is exclaimed towards the end of
DRAGON FIGHT with the accompaniment of tingling percussion, trumpet, trombone and a translucent synthesizer, all combining in the utmost beauty, until the synthesizer player laughs madly in a deteriorating voice that seeps down into a gruesome whimper of an exhalation, like a last tingle of lust or indeed someone’s final breath…




OBERLIPPENTANZ; PROTEST (UPPER-LIP-DANCE; PROTEST) (1983) [14:19]
Markus Stockhausen [piccolo trumpet]


It’s thanks to Markus Stockhausen that the successful piece OBERLIPPENTANZ came into being, because Karlheinz Stockhausen composed the work after Markus Stockhausen had asked his father to listen to the piccolo trumpet. Stockhausen wrote it for LUCIFER’s DANCE; scene 3 of SAMSTAG Aus LICHT (SATURDAY from LIGHT).
There are various instrumentations for
OBERLIPPENTANZ. The one heard here is scored for a solo piccolo trumpet.

Stockhausen says that “
UPPER-LIP-DANCE plays with moods of youthful fire, cheerfulness, the sweep of wind and storm, singing poetically, dreamily, furiously and unfettered again.”

The steps of the performer onto stage is heard, then two sharp piccolo trumpet tones, a pause, and four more short trumpet shots, the two last in a higher pitch – and the work is on its way, unfolding and evolving in all its esprit and magnificence, for a while just adding two more tones each time he plays; then winding out into the meandering line of the melody, applying mutes here and there, wheezing into the mouthpiece and moving back and forth across the sounding space, from speaker to speaker or earphone to earphone, whichever way you’re listening. When the player sometimes applies a continuous, colored airflow, while also moving across the stage, you get a feeling of sweeping motions of veils or stratospheric, electronic winds, or maybe the whistling winds through narrow Tibetan passes at the Rhongpu monastery or the village of Tingri, prayer flyers rattling in the current.

UPPER-LIP-DANCE definitely is nothing for the average piccolo trumpeter. It is exceedingly complex and lively, jumping hither and thither, up and down, here and there, all the while changing its voice, its expression, accelerating, decelerating, shouting loudly, whispering, sweeping across the boards in low-range reconnaissance flight, but suddenly pulling the stick back into the stomach, shooting up like fireworks or playful common swifts; the arrow-like Apus apus of high summer streaking across the sky and down around barn corners in loud, shrill whistles – archetype sounds of summers mature!

In track 87 the piccolo trumpet turns lyrical in a Central European Yiddish style, which I’ve heard from artists like Israeli-born Swedish musician and composer Dror Feiler before, but I think this is the first time I get that notion in Stockhausen’s music. The trumpeter appears here in stark loneliness, himself the only light in a complete darkness; the rest of the world lying in shadows… It’s a splendid passage, demonstrating the inherent strength inside the meek and the soft; the determination and decisiveness in the considerate and empathic; the Mahatma Gandhi way, the Mother Theresa way, the Nelson Mandela way – the Mordechai Vanunu way…

The trumpeter turns ever more thoughtful and introspective, loosing himself in an absent mind, his inner world barley hinted through his unseeing gaze…

In track 89, however, he starts accelerating, winding up through the volume and the pitch, heart rate increasing, cheeks glowing, more oxygen transported to all the cells, anatomy gathering strength through the anticipation of some kind of outbreak…

Various playing techniques in various stage positions follow, and the trumpeter sounds like a number of musicians talking with each other in different trumpet voices – and so, gradually, the dominance of the piccolo trumpet diminishes, as it recedes back into the original state of all sounds, of all atmospheric vibrations: silence.




PIETÀ-Solo (1990) [27:45]
Markus Stockhausen [flugelhorn] – Karlheinz Stockhausen [electronic music]



Stockhausen makes Pietà stage adjustments
with Barbara Hannigan while Marco Blaauw looks on,
at Stockhausen Courses in Kürten 2004
(Photo: Ingvar Loco Nordin)

PIETÀ constitutes part of INVASION – EXPLOSION and FAREWELL; Act II of DIENSTAG aus LICHT (TUESDAY from LIGHT). Here we experience it as a solo version for flugelhorn and electronic music.

From my Swedish point of view it’s notable that Stockhausen composed
PIETÀ while staying in a log house by a lake in Sweden with Markus Stockhausen in 1990.

PIETÀ deals with a fatally wounded MICHAEL, who is laid down across the lap of EVE, in a likeness of the well-known pietà paintings and sculptures of Christ and Mary.
In the duo version, which we hear after this solo version, the spirit of the trumpeter MICHAEL rises out of his body and soars behind EVE, playing his flugelhorn. This is of course the idea also in the solo version, which, however, does not carry the soprano voice.

The electronic music commences the piece in rumbling, vibrant, low registers and soaring, sweeping, veiling upper atmosphere condensations, thus expressing a vertical endlessness; a Jacob’s ladder of immense possibilities.

The havoc of fight, of rolling rocks and tumbling bodies, screams and exclamations, soon worsen the circumstances into a dire situation under the might and power of evil and good clashing, in a frantic friction of fearsome strengths.

Khoomei singing in the electronics whistle on high, as the raging lava flow beneath surges and threatens; butterflies of vulnerable beauty – innocent thoughts – fluttering about in between, in Mid-Heaven.

This all belongs to the electronic music of
INVASION. In these kinds of musical expressions there is no one that beats Stockhausen, not that it’s a common occurrence anytime! You can immediately hear that he is the creator of this wondrous fantasy music, these dream chords.

At track 4 the flugelhorn enters like a blurting horse or an insane wild boar, in deep, hoarse groans, immediately followed by colorful, turgid figures. Remnants of the electronic music – the upper atmosphere transparency – lingers, circling up above as the soloist indulges in all kinds of cinematic gestures of tone down below, on Earth, also involving extraneous noises like blowing sounds, wheezing expressions and so forth – and suddenly the flugelhorn sounds like the last trumpets in
Revelation, fateful, ominous, foreboding… and the electronic music kicks in with might and zeal, declaring that no one is invincible, not even MICHAEL

Kissing sounds that ring out like firing of shot guns are delivered on the fly, as the flugelhornist excels in surreal expressions of virtuosity on the backdrop of the dark, thundering Stockhausen thunderclouds of electronic music, darkening the sky like on that day of the crucifixion, when dark clouds rolled in as the heavens thundered and broke; Cosmos bleeding over Creation, like in a Gustave Doré etching – and a shiver went through the crowd: “Surely he was the Son of God…”

The variety of playing techniques, as well as the variety in the musical composition as such, are immense, to the effect that Markus Stockhausen sometimes seems to mimic the sound of a Second World War Spitfire boring down in spirals through the clouds over Bristol… and sometimes he sounds like a drooling horse, rattling his horse lips, dribbling saliva all around the stable… while oftentimes his flugelhorn emits shiny, silvery shapes of extraterrestrial life forms across the perimeter, resounding in the blind surfaces of objects of undefined matter, unthinkable origin…

His flugelhorn is like a magic vessel, releasing a spirit that can fulfill all foolish wishes of Mankind… sending it into the starving tragedy of the likes of King Midas, who couldn’t eat gold…

Inside the electronic music, metallic spinning tops swagger about in a shower of falling gravel that bounces off the rotating tops in grainy ricochets, trajectories formed and shaped according to cosmic laws, i.e. the power of the original speed outwards from the spinning tops versus the pull of the gravity of the celestial object, the Earth… and the beat goes on…
Forceful tin-sounds blow like the Big Bad Wolf, forcing you backwards up the helter-skelter, making you nauseous, the sudden view from way up dizzying, way inside Stockhausen’s bewildering array of electrosonics.

At track 49 the
JENSEITS part concludes PIETÀ in peaceful, distancing electronics, easing out, disappearing like the tail of a lizard under the leaves, a streak of last light shimmering for a short instance just above the horizon – and then… nothing…




PIETÀ-Duo (1990) [28:15]
Markus Stockhausen [flugelhorn] - Annette Meriweather [soprano] – Karlheinz Stockhausen [electronic music]



Marco Blaauw & Barbara Hannigan
performing PIETÀ
at Stockhausen Courses 2004
(Photo: Ingvar Loco Nordin)

Part of Stockhausen’s text for the duo version of PIETÀ goes:


You fight for Heaven.
May love heal your wounds.
Wonderful
Son of God
MICHAEL musicel dearest
rest – rest – rest

Sound in my heart
Let the man die
Return home
Arise.

Angel choirs
await you,
Master of Heaven.

GOD, your breath
gives you new life
.


At track 58 the soprano – the late Annette Meriweather – enters in a duet with Markus Stockhausen and his flugelhorn. She sings with inserted blowing and hissing sounds, Stockhausen’s electronics present as in the solo version for flugelhorn.

It’s a very different experience with Annette Meriweather present, sometimes in wordless, phonetic singing, her beautiful voice in extended techniques alongside and around the flugelhorn, in front of the veil of rumbling electrosonics.

The performers move around the space – or the sounds of the performers move in space, steered by Stockhausen. The combined sounds that make up this
PIETÀ world take on mythical properties in a kind of magic world of swaying pillars of sound that dance around each other with a rumbling cloudscape behind them, all the way to a distant horizon where a streak of light seeps through the crack between the clouds and the sea.


Marco Blaauw & Barbara Hannigan
performing PIETÀ
at Stockhausen Courses 2004
(Photo: Ingvar Loco Nordin)

The soprano of course brings EVE more obviously into PIETÀ, in a polarization EVE/MICHAELLUCIFER. It is very touching. I remember especially the PIETÀ that Marco Blaauw and Barbara Hannigan performed at the Stockhausen Courses in Kürten in 2004. It was a dazzling event, very beautifully staged and lit, of which I took numerous photographs.

This double-CD of
Volume 43 of the Stockhausen Edition amply confirms Markus Stockhausen’s importance as a trumpeter and flugelhornist in contemporary music, which the playing of an assortment of his father’s works validates.

The combination of works also offers a varied journey through the brilliant and ingenious sound worlds of Karlheinz Stockhausen.




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