Those of you interested in spiritual and architectural influences on Stockhausen, and his biography/early years might be interested to know that the website of Altenberg cathedral now has a "virtual tour" with a number of panoramic images.
This a very clean 360-degree panorama of the interior of the cathedral. But it leaves out the unforgettable experience of visiting the place. An ordinary visitor would approach the cathedral by descending into the valley, walking across the grounds, and having the experience of walking through the doors. To me, that is one of the most remarkable things about this site -- its idyllic surroundings. Surroundings which, in Stockhausen's youth, would have been immeasurably more grim, given the work he had of looking after the dead and dying.
Paul, I think you may be conflating two different periods in Stockhausen's life, though possibly the memories of Altenberg comforted him during his time as a stretcher-bearer near Bedburg, which is on the other side of the Rhine and about forty kilometers from Altenberg.
Somewhere I read of Stockhausen as a child in the Altenberg cathedral praying in front of a statue (or was it a painting?) of St. Michael - and now I cannot find the reference any longer. Has anybody an idea?
There is a wooden statue there of Michael, but it is not visible in the panoramic photos. It is not exactly age-old, however. It was carved and installed in the cathedral at the time Stockhausen was a child living in Altenberg (I do not at the moment recall the exact year, I think about 1936). Its style is very much of that era.
I think there are several references to this statue in TEXTE, and also to an impressive painting of Michael in the church in Xanten, where Stockhausen was in a resident teachers' training school during the war.
The panorama function does let you have a look at the statue, though you have to fiddle about with the controls a bit. If anybody does know the exact location of references to the statue in TEXTE I'd appreciate the info, I was recently looking for exactly this (and other stuff) and couldn't find references to this statue exactly, although lots generally to Michael iconography.
KLANG 4. Stunde / 4th Hour – HIMMELS-TÜR (HEAVEN’S DOOR) for a percussionist and a little girl 24 TÜRIN for door, rin and speaker KLANG 11. Stunde / 11st Hour –TREUE (FIDELITY) for bass clarinet, basset-horn, EB-clarinet
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!