Dear Jerry, very interesting what you report of 1996 but I think it is a new thread: Stockhausen and other composers of his time. I don´t know how to open a thread. I think it would be quite interesting because Stockhausen often stated in his later period of life that he did not have time enough to gather information about other composers´ work. Was that true? Or was he reluctant due to other reasons? What about mutual influences?
Dear Adorján, I opened this thread for you. It's easy to open a new thread: Go on the item (Works, General Items etc.) you want to open a new thread in and there you will see the existing subjects. In the corner right above, in the grey field you will find "Create new thread". Okay?
Adorján asked: "Why is the materialized Michael returning to his celestial residence when the „original“ Michael never left it?" Oh, he did - at least as long as we follow the UB for Michael went down to earth in order to incarnate as Jesus of Nazareth!
I very much like Morag's term: "resonance" - that also includes somehow vague correspondencies. Stockhausen did not want to establish a religious school; for me he points to a certain direction and what people do with it, is up to them. Therefore I think it is not appropriate to press the words and the pictures and concepts he uses. When you have a certain insight by listening to the music, looking at the stage, reading the texts, then it is fine - even if it is an insight Stockhausen would not thought of. Or is that too vague? When I look at myself I feel a certain apologetic impetus towards the composer. I do want that he is taken seriously, and therefore I do not like the idea that he himself identified with Michael.But, besides this motive I cannot imagine that he thought: Dec 5 2007 Michael died and went back to heaven; from this day on what is told in DONNERSTAG and in all the other days is purely retrospective. That seems absurd.
I don’t know whether one should look at this incarnation problem in a way that is too literal. I can imagine an approach which has different levels. For instance, I proposed earlier on this blog to look at Stockhausen’s work from a biographical point of view. This idea was not liked very much here but nevertheless: One could interpret much of LICHT as a „große Konfession“ - please think of DIENSTAG and the war experiences, DONNERSTAG of course, FREITAG with respect to the problem of seduction, MITTWOCH and the fascination with flying, etc. So this would be one way. Another possibility could be the Urantia book approach: The question of incarnation would be discussed from that theologico-philological view point. Next possibility could be an intrinsic operatic approach, a so to say self-referential way by analyzing and comparing the libretti. What Ulrich wrote about Michael dying with Stockhausen seems to me too static - if many incarnations might be possible as Stockhausen said, with every production anew, then it is very much likely that Michael’s Stockhausenian incarnation dies but lives on in many new other incarnations. But what I want to say may be illustrated by another conviction of Stockhausen: namely that he came from Sirius. As far as I know he believed that in a certain way he explained in a film „Stockhausen und seine Kinder“ which is not sold by Stockhausen-Verlag. There he said to an interviewer that he sometimes meets people who said to him that they come from Sirius, too. He used to answer them: Why too (Wieso auch)? It has no sense to speak to people about such things who do not have the same spiritual experiences. That means that he believed in certain hermetic inner experiences. Therefore, many ridiculed him and it is this Ulrich fears. But there is nothing ridicule in believing in inner experiences others would reject because they are afraid of them or would rationally „explain them away“ (weg erklären). On the other hand it is possible to interpret Sirius on another level as the ideal place for a musician where the public is not passive but creative and everything is realized in a second. So it is also a goal, an aim for human beings to get to.
I must say that Stockhausen's Sirius remarks never bothered me in any way. If there is one who has the right to say that he comes from Sirius, and if there is one I consider saying the truth - then it is Stockhausen. Who else? ;-)
I think it is not by chance that in his later decades St. did not like to talk about that Sirius-Thing etc. He also must have realized that for many people by these utterances he repelled many people. I feel that are very private statements (or obsessions) we need not know. The music in itself has enough challenges! Another level is the Urantia Book, because that is important to understand a certain level of his works.
Thomas Ulrich is not quite correct saying that in later years Stockhausen didn't like to talk about his "home" star Sirius. In the BBC film by Charles Hazlewood from the year 2000 I think he likes. He says that the fact that people are laughing about this statement and thinking he is a little bit mad doesn't bother him. And he adds: "I come from Sirius. I'm sure. Why am I so occupied by Sirius and feeling that Sirius is the home of musicians? And I was trained there and this and that. So why am I staring so many times at the Sirius through the window of my working room (...)? I feel strongly related to Sirius".
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!