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Karlheinz Stockhausen - a platform to discuss his works, to anounce forthcoming concerts and to review them.
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ipar1306 Offline

Posts: 142

Wed Feb 21, 2018 1:44 am
Listening to LICHT reply

Hello all! It seems quite a while since there have been posts here, so I thought it was worth trying to reignite some discussion on this very important forum.

I thought, therefore, that I'd mention the wonderful experience I had a couple of weeks ago of spending an entire week listening to each of the LICHT operas, in full, on their corresponding day, and following each with the score as I did so. I began with MONTAG on Monday, and finished with SONNTAG on Sunday. Of course, to do this you have to at least have the recordings and, ideally, also the scores (there is so much to discover in those scores!) - but if even just access to the recordings is possible for you, it is a venture I would passionately encourage you to take. It was an amazing thing to go through the operas, and the days, in this way - to be so deeply immersed in the world, the universe, of LICHT, and to hear each opera and experience each character and their relationships, in such close proximity. It gave the whole work a sense of totality and coherence which, even though I felt I already knew it all pretty well, was extraordinary. What an incredible achievement of Stockhausen to have created this massive work, where both diversity and cohesion are so intimately enmeshed!

Some moments for me were especially revealing - like, for example, when, after hearing the piccolo taking the children into the sky in MONTAGs ABSCHIED, it appears again in the middle of JAHRESLAUF. Or when Kathinka's ecstatic voice is heard over the raging war of INVASION-EXPLOSION and then again, the next day, over the flute part of ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN. These connections may of course just be coincidental - but nonetheless they drive home the unity of vision that Stockhausen had as he composed this huge work over 26 years. I was always having driven home to me the awareness that LICHT is about a universe that is at once both cohesive and chaotic, where threads and themes are constantly recurring in new places, in new contexts, in new guises.

But perhaps for me the most powerful part of this process was in my decision, after SONNTAG, to again play MONTAGs GRUSS the following morning. It was an astonishingly potent reminder that the cycle of LICHT is a never-ending one.

The whole thing was an incredibly life-affirming, invigorating experience. Do it if you can!!!

Regards to you all!
Ian Parsons

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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