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 Concerts
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uatu Offline




Posts: 205

Sat Jun 30, 2018 7:32 pm
GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

Nice article about the conductors' preparations for GRUPPEN (for 3 orchestras) in London:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/29/arts/music/gruppen-stockhausen-tate-modern.html

You can also read about the genesis and objectives behind GRUPPEN in my own analysis here: https://stockhausenspace.blogspot.com/2014/12/opus-6-gruppen.html

I saw GRUPPEN at the Armory in New York a few years ago and it was pretty great. If you go obviously try to get a seat exactly equidistant from the 3 orchestras for the best effect!

- Ed Chang
- Stockhausen - Sounds in Space: Analysis, explanation and personal impressions of the works of the avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
- http://stockhausenspace.blogspot.com/

ipar1306 Offline



Posts: 187

Sun Jul 01, 2018 4:55 am
#2 RE: GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

I am very much looking forward to this in Lucerne in September. I'd be really keen to know how the London performances go, and how Simon Rattle manages it. I recently read Stockhausen's very scathing critique of Claudio Abbado's performances, both live and on the DG recording, and I am always a little tentative when I know of big-name conductors taking on his work without having worked directly with him, or with those who have: I always fear that their confidence in their own abilities will override their awareness of their need to learn. Of course this might not be true of Rattle, but then I would not have expected it of Abbado either.

Has anyone heard Rattle's performance?

Ulrich Offline



Posts: 175

Sun Jul 01, 2018 12:08 pm
#3 RE: GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

I attended both performances of GRUPPEN in Berlin with the Berlin Philharmonic. When Claudio Abbado was responsible it really was a scandal, a desaster, I could not believe that: All 3 groups of musicians on the one podium of the Philharmonie, no sound in space at all, a total confusion. I was horrified indeed. After the performances I was quite determined to "booh", but my neighbour just did so, and that obviously was directed against Stockhausen and the contemporary music generally; so I stayed silent. But I was quite furious about that and could not believe, that Abbado, the close friend to Nono, could do this... Years after that desaster the performance with Rattle in a very big hall in Tempelhof airport - very very good and impressive and an unanimous success; 2000 people who attended this concert were quite enthusiastic, and me too! So in Tate modern it should be great!

ipar1306 Offline



Posts: 187

Mon Jul 02, 2018 2:43 am
#4 RE: GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

Thank you Thomas - that is encouraging news about Rattle. I was quite surprised when I read about Abbado - Stockhausen said he had written to him before the performances to help provide some guidance but received no reply. I have always respected Abbado's conducting, especially as he was such a strong advocate for new music, but I was very shocked to hear that he could make such a mess of GRUPPEN, and especially when the composer himself had offered to help guide him. It is such a disrespectful way for a conductor to behave - because it is more than just a bad performance: this sort of thing can turn people away from new music altogether, especially when people are hearing it for the first time, and get a totally wrong impression of how the music should sound.

I am excited now to be waiting for GRUPPEN in Lucerne!

uatu Offline




Posts: 205

Mon Jul 02, 2018 3:57 pm
#5 RE: GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

The New York Times article describes Stockhausen's meeting with Rattle - very funny! The man had EARS!

Also the Rattle GRUPPEN was broadcast as part of his series on avant-garde music. It can be seen and heard here, but the picture is squeezed for some reason:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lW1JWE5zzDU



I wonder what happened between Stockhausen and Pintscher? Probably a clash of egos... :)

- Ed Chang
- Stockhausen - Sounds in Space: Analysis, explanation and personal impressions of the works of the avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
- http://stockhausenspace.blogspot.com/

uatu Offline




Posts: 205

Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:44 pm
#6 RE: GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

The Rattle Tate concert is now available online (for 1 month):

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b86rdx

- Ed Chang
- Stockhausen - Sounds in Space: Analysis, explanation and personal impressions of the works of the avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
- http://stockhausenspace.blogspot.com/

uatu Offline




Posts: 205

Wed Jul 04, 2018 9:04 pm
#7 RE: GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

Finally had a chance to give this recording with the London Symphony Orchestra a good listen.

My quick take on it is that it's a very clean, precise and controlled performance, highly refined (as one would expect from the LSO, probably the most "refined" modern orchestra in the world right now). Having said that, Gruppen here somewhat falls short in having an impact as an explosive work, for all of the same reasons. In contrast, the 1958 premiere recording with Stockhausen, Boulez and Maderna sounds like a "gauntlet being thrown", with KS essentially reveling in his audacity. The orchestra there (Cologne Radio Symphony, heard on "Zeitgenössische Musik In Der Bundesrepublik Deutschland 4 (1950-1960)") also sounds more "raw" and "unhinged" with the electric guitar on the verge of tube distortion.

Still, it's wonderful to have the piece performed (almost seemingly biennially at this point), and will be looking forward to hearing reports from Luzerne. I suspect that performance may fall somewhere in between...

- Ed Chang
- Stockhausen - Sounds in Space: Analysis, explanation and personal impressions of the works of the avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
- http://stockhausenspace.blogspot.com/

ipar1306 Offline



Posts: 187

Thu Jul 05, 2018 3:21 pm
#8 RE: GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

Thank you for these reflections, Ed. I have not yet had a chance to listen, but am looking forward to doing so over the next few days, when I can set aside some proper time to listen with the score. It will be very interesting to hear what these conductors do, and to listen for the things you have mentioned.

I will of course report on the Lucerne performance!

ipar1306 Offline



Posts: 187

Fri Jul 06, 2018 4:46 am
#9 RE: GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

I've finally had a chance to listen, with the score. It's really hard for me to get a strong sense of the performance because I can only listen through my computer (I'm sure there's another way, but I'm not very technologically literate on these things), and so the sound is very flat and lack on dynamics, so ultimately it all sounded rather flat to me. I certainly got a sense that it was performed accurately, and it felt like it should sound exciting if I could hear it in better conditions. But, from the perspective that I did hear it, I agree with Ed's analysis in the sense that there was a tameness to what I heard as opposed to the unbridled energy, even in the most delicate moments, of Stockhausen's own recording (the one on the Stockhausen-Verlag edition, with Stockhausen. Maderna, and Gielen conducting). But I cannot stress enough how much the playback equipment - my computer - was a factor in this.

uatu Offline




Posts: 205

Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:24 am
#10 RE: GRUPPEN at the Tate Museum reply

Yeah, it seems that the gear and possibly internet router may have a big effect on the sound. In fact I listened to this at work (through an encrypted stream) and it sounded horrendous. The next day I listened again at home and it was much better...ah well, get what you pay for :).

- Ed Chang
- Stockhausen - Sounds in Space: Analysis, explanation and personal impressions of the works of the avant-garde composer Karlheinz Stockhausen.
- http://stockhausenspace.blogspot.com/

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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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