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Jerry Offline

Posts: 181
Points: 181

Sat Mar 08, 2014 1:56 am
#11 RE: SONNTAG and the theme of union reply

A short question, but answer came there none. The place to expect such wordplay, combining the names of Michael and Lucifer, would be in DIENSTAG, and that is exactly where it occurs. In act 2, at the Second Invasion, the soprano voice in the electronic music sings (I transcribe the IPA text into ordinary letters): "Tiu, Mars, Michaluz, Lumizachel, Kaluzaelmifer, Tius-tag from Light. Flight, fright, fight, Krieg." The voice is modulated through a vocoder, but the syllables can be heard. This is found in the score of INVASION-EXPLOSION MIT ABSCHIED, on page IN-EX 10, beginning at 22'40.6". It is interesting that this comes shortly after the sixteen-minute long "looping" process in the electronic music, where the Michael and Lucifer formulas struggle for ascendancy. I analyse this passage on pp. 127–28 of "Der Aspekt der Harmonik in LICHT", in the Tagungsbericht for the Internationales Stockhausen-Symposion 2000: LICHT (Münster: Lit-Verlag, 2004). It is more or less the musical equivalent of the wordplay in the soprano voice. For the benefit of any interested reader who cannot manage the German, here is a summary in English:

their formulas share a harmonic 'genetic code; in their opening tetrachords, both of which are 0126—only the order in which the notes occur in each formula is different. … When sounded as a chord, it is impossible to say which formula it comes from. Stockhausen exploits this ambiguity, and draws from it a musical process of transformation, at the beginning of OKTOPHONIE (DIENSTAG), in the high chords of the first layer. When this chord … fades up at the start, it could just as well be from the beginning of either the Lucifer or the Michael formula. … After ten minutes, the 'echo' portion of the Michael formula is reached, and the Lucifer formula has returned to its beginning, now in melodic 'loops', first of six notes, then of five, and the rotating sound now slowly traverses the hall from left to right. … with the fourth loop, the tone D is added to the five-tone second half-formula, and the first and last tones are exchanged, virtually completing the transformation, which only needs the replacement of B-flat with G-flat in loop 6 to complete the second half of the Michael formula. But the B-flat fails to disappear, leaving Lucifer's rising minor sixth—after the initial major seventh, the second characteristic rising interval in the formula—stubbornly in place.

This process reflects in a general way the stage action up to this point, by when Michael's troops have mounted an attack, temporarily driving Lucifer's soldiers from the field. With the arrival of reinforcements, the signals preceding a second invasion begin, and simultaneously with this, the high chords in layer 1 of the electronic music resume the initial four-note Lucifer/Michael chord, which now moves in parallel motion over the A-flat-centred opening of the Michael formula. This layer, now travelling in spiral form from right to left, extends only as far as the beginning of the second invasion, where it fades out.

Robin Maconie Offline

Posts: 67
Points: 67

Sat Mar 08, 2014 9:02 pm
#12 RE: SONNTAG and the theme of union reply

Exactly: like Dr Who (or Hu!). These references are lifelong threads, not single events. Hence the "EVA" outburst in CARRÉ (1960) and "MA-KA" in HYMNEN (1967), though of course the name-calling goes right back to KREUZSPIEL (in the sketches, not the final version). How else could it be? The syllable is one thing, but the composer signing himself "Ka Stockhausen" did not happen as far as I am aware until very near the end. If Jerry can show that KS was signing himself as Ka Stockhausen at the time of MOMENTE, he may have a point. Of course the person responsible for the insertion in 1962 was Cornelius KA-DU (full name: KA-KA-DU).

Jerry Offline

Posts: 181
Points: 181

Sat Mar 08, 2014 10:32 pm
#13 RE: SONNTAG and the theme of union reply

Aha! Irrefutable proof that Cardew was not British, as commonly believed, but actually Australian! Or was this instead a clever reference to the Second-World-War British fighter aircraft, the Spitfire?

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I feel that it could be useful to have a discussion-forum on the music of Stockhausen. There are so many people from all over the world, young and old, learned and eager to get into contact with this musical world: musicologists, composers, musicians, music lovers; people who plan concerts - who write books or have to give lectures and so on. So there should be much stuff, many ideas that we can share. And when we have open questions, there may be people who studied just that and could give a hint or a stimulus. A problem might be the English language, but i feel that is the only possibility that many people who are interested can participate. And we can exercise tolerance to mistakes! Thomas Ulrich
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