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Ulrich Offline



Posts: 157

Thu Mar 20, 2014 6:05 pm
DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

I am just beginning to study DONNERSTAG, again - to get an overview and then to go into the single scenes. Therefore again I am reading in the interviews on this opera. Now I have the strong impression that for Stockhausen not just the music, but also the spiritual content of the operas is extremely important - that you get a clear impression who Michael is, in which way he is active, how you can correspond to him with your life. And therefore I think it is essential to go to the Michael-traditions, biblical traditions, traditions of Christian culture, also the Book Urantia, to get an appropriate idea of what is going on. For Stockhausen wants to teach us with all the operas to live in harmony with time, with the special quality of every day. And I think that was originally also the idea for KLANG: to give us the impression what it is, that each hour transports as a spiritual content, message or task so that we can live more consciously. When we examine KLANG I get the suspicion that Stockhausen in his first sketches faces this task, but then did not take time enough just to elaborate this project, to meditate on the special character of the hours, to study the traditions dealing with this theme, and thus the single hours are quite different, but not in connection with the meaning of the special time of the day. FREUDE could easily be the 12th hour. Therefore this extra-musical dimension here is not so important, while in LICHT it is central - even the musical structure serving the message that the day wants to tell us.

Jerry Offline



Posts: 146

Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:35 pm
#2 RE: DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

It may be of interest that there is a dissertation in progress at this very moment, which will investigate the various traditions upon which Stockhausen drew for the character of Michael, and examine this character throughout the LICHT cycle. Since it is still in progress, I cannot speak at any greater length about it, and the author is not (as far as I am aware) a member of this forum.

So far as KLANG is concerned, it does seem that Stockhausen may have started out with the idea of representing the character of each hour, but we can see from the displacement of COSMIC PULSES from Hour 6 to Hour 13 that by this stage the original plan is no longer in operation. As I have said in my article in PNM 50 on the trios of Hours 6–12, since they are all permutations of the same basic composition, they share the same general character of an early morning outdoor serenade, or aubade, which is most appropriate to Hour 6, but increasingly less so for the subsequent hours toward noon. This stretching out of seven of the hours, along with the displacement of COSMIC PULSES and its extension into the eight pieces that follow in the cycle, were of course a decision Stockhausen cannot have found easy to make, but the choice was clearly about how many pieces he thought he might be able to complete in the time he had left on this earth.

Ulrich Offline



Posts: 157

Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:48 pm
#3 RE: DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

I look forward to read this dissertation, hopefully in a near future. Please let me know when it is published!

Christian Offline



Posts: 124

Fri Mar 21, 2014 9:50 pm
#4 RE: DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

Having my Stockhausen Books not available at the moment, I cannot prove it but I think that at the very beginning of sketching LICHT Michael was still the archangel of the biblical tradition and became the Urantia Book's Creator Son later. I hope I can write more about that soon.

Jerry Offline



Posts: 146

Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:22 pm
#5 RE: DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

Christian, perhaps you can explain: are these two completely unrelated Michaels?

Christian Offline



Posts: 124

Sun Mar 23, 2014 7:59 pm
#6 RE: DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

Hi Jerry, that depends what "related" means...
The Michael of the Urantia Book (and LICHT) is the Creator Son of Nebadon, incarnated in his 7th bestowal as Jesus of Nazareth. You can read this in UB paper 33, section 1 (see http://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-stan...-local-universe). He therefore is not an angel.

Beside of this, the UB knows archangels, too. In the UB they have their own chapter in paper 37, section 3 (see http://www.urantia.org/urantia-book-stan...-local-universe). Reading this chapter you will find that the archangels are much more below the Creator Son in the cosmic hierarchy. And I guess that's the reason why no names of the archangels are mentioned in the UB. That means that the UB knows nothing about an archangel Michael!

But what about the relation between Michael and the archangels? Following the wonderful UB Concordex by Clyde Bedell there seems to be no strong relation between Michael and the archangels. An exception is an information in paper 46, section 3. I quote:
(522.4) 46:3.4 "The Jerusem sending station is located at the opposite pole of the sphere. All broadcasts to the individual worlds are relayed from the system capitals except the Michael messages, which sometimes go direct to their destinations over the archangels’ circuit."

An "archangels' circuit" is used in planetray emergencies:
(1254.4) 114:5.4 "This rather loosely organized and somewhat personally administered planetary government is more than expectedly effective because of the timesaving assistance of the archangels and their ever-ready circuit, which is so frequently utilized in planetary emergencies and administrative difficulties. Technically, the planet (Urantia) is still spiritually isolated in the Norlatiadek circuits, but in an emergency this handicap can now be circumvented through utilization of the archangels’ circuit. Planetary isolation is, of course, of little concern to individual mortals since the pouring out of the Spirit of Truth upon all flesh nineteen hundred years ago."

Could I answer - at least a little bit - your question?

Ulrich Offline



Posts: 157

Sun Mar 23, 2014 9:56 pm
#7 RE: DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

Especially for DONNERSTAG it is quite obvious that the Urantia Book plays a very important role in the concept of Michael. But is that a contradiction to Michael as an archangel? I would think the influence of the (somehow "orthodox") judeo-christian tradition for the figure of Michael stays to be also important; as I think Stockhausen was not interested to follow totally and meticulously the Urantia Book in a so to speak fundamentalistic way, but he was inspired by both traditions and took whatever for him felt appropriate - the more when you admit that also the Urantia Book belongs to the Christian tradition in a wide sense; my favourite thesis is, that the UB is the attempt to bring Christian doctrine to the age of modern space-concepts, of the experience of the vast dimensions of the cosmos, and therefore it served Stockhausen well.

Robin Maconie Offline



Posts: 67

Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:08 pm
#8 RE: DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

Ulrich: surely it is compounding a fallacy to speak of "tradition" in relation to the Urantia Book. There is a stronger image of Michael in the art of Hieronymus Bosch. He is dressed in red.

Jerry Offline



Posts: 146

Mon Mar 24, 2014 3:09 am
#9 RE: DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

Thank you, Christian, for explaining how we might distinguish the Michael of the Urantia Book from the Michael of the Bible. Now to return to your original question, the earliest sketches I know of for the protagonists of LICHT are the ones published in TEXTE 5, pp. 140, 147, 149–51. I do not see anything in them that clearly differentiates the character of Michael from that of the Urantia Book. That is, he is never described as an archangel.

The earliest sketch of all, from 18 March 1977, does not actually name him at all, bur does propose a work to be titled LICHT, for baritone, choir, and tape, and separately suggests someting for three singers, three instruments (trumpet, trombone, and clarinet), and two dancers.

The next sketch (on p. 147) is from an uncertain day in March 1977, and names the three characters Eva, Michael, and Luzifer. It also has "Michael / Christ" and "Lucifer / Caligastia". I would say this is a fairly strong indication that Stockhausen was already thinking of the Urantia Book. Interestingly, in this sketch Michael's "solo" day was to have been Tuesday, and Eve's day was Friday. Michael's traits here are "solo trumpeter", "solo tenor", and "Jünglingstanz (Kriegertanz)".

By the next sketch, dated 20 March 1977, the definitive day-associations have been established, but the only additions to Michael's character are "Liebe, Weisheit". There is some indecision, however, about whether JAHRESLAUF will be part of Tuesday or Monday.

On p. 148 is the "Situation: Gottes Theater" sketch from March 1977. Michael is not named here, though there is a reference to Gabriel, and a somewhat indirect reference to the theme of incarnation.

The sketch on p. 149 is dated 28 April 1977, and is the one in which Stockhausen tries out the possibility of four protagonists, adding Adam to the other three. On this sketch, Sockhausen adds emblems for his characters, including the three concentric blue rings for Michael (without the fleur-de-lis cross) and the Lucifer symbol from the Urantia Book.

On p. 150 is a sketch dated 26 May 1977, in which Michael is equated with Hercules (annotated "Dragonslayer (star constellation") and Roland.

A sketch marked simply "May 1977" printed on p. 151 develops the characters a little further. Michael "presents himself in the body (trumpeter) of a uniformed soldier." Lucifer and Michael are contrasted here: "Lucifer: SELF DETERMINATION, Freedom from" and "Michael: Freedom for what?" There is also a note suggesting some mutable sexual identities: "Körper, von Michael: Frau am G-Tag; Luzifer transformiert seinen in Homosex.; Eva ihren in Lesbierin etc." I'm not sure that any of this has a bearing on whether Stockhausen's Michael is clearly to be identified with the biblical Michael and against the Urantia Book Michael, but it is all very interesting.

Robin Maconie Offline



Posts: 67

Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:06 am
#10 RE: DONNERSTAG aus LICHT reply

In the texts for ...Atmen gibt das Leben ... Christ "the secret messenger, disguised as a man with a normal body (?), rides in to earth on a ray of muons to bring the news to the captured planet that the cause is not yet lost" (Texte 4, 244 - 45) and there is mention of Adam and Eva, but not Michael. Please explain. This is a time of debate over having four or three main protagonists, resolved in favour of three (M, E, and L) in part I suspect for the practical reason that the Synthi-100 could only handle three layers at a time.

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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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