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uatu Offline

Posts: 206

Mon Jul 30, 2018 2:37 pm
#11 RE: Opos 1970 ie Stockhoven-Beethausen ie KURZWELLEN with Beethoven remixes reply

The Hopp article is very admirable! I'm glad that was brought up since I totally forgot about it! The brief transcriptions are very cool. However, they also illustrate a point I was trying to make. Oftentimes, when faced with metered diatonic material, there are typically 2 polar approaches: clumsy imitation (sorry, I love expressionist covers, but these just strike me as unrefined, or at least undeveloped...) or complete disregard for the melodic material.

Now please don't misunderstand, I still think that Opus 1970 is better than 99 percent of electroacoustic music out there! But I think this performance could have been rehearsed a few times more and then the resulting tape edited. Also this is just some post-game conjecture as to why it was not recognized in the Complete Edition.

Finally, it's interesting to observe that prior to this session were the Aus Den Sieben Tagen sessions (CD 14), and after this gig was the "2nd go" recording of Prozession which was released on CD 11: both of which are, in my opinion much more successful than Opus 1970. Again, I think Opus 1970 is brilliant, and very rich with invention, but I think compared to the razor-like focus of the other Gruppe Stockhausen pieces this one is a little bit the "b-side" experiment.

I'm very surprised at how much discussion Opus 1970 has generated. Great!

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

uatu Offline

Posts: 206

Mon Jul 30, 2018 4:04 pm
#12 RE: Opos 1970 ie Stockhoven-Beethausen ie KURZWELLEN with Beethoven remixes reply

I should also probably add that for me Beethoven is the greatest composer in history bar none, so perhaps I am more critical of Beethoven "remixes" (although I have done quite a lot of them myself!).
Now, if we were talking about "Mendelssohn Opus 1970", it would be a different story.

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

Ulrich Offline

Posts: 195

Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:43 pm
#13 RE: Opos 1970 ie Stockhoven-Beethausen ie KURZWELLEN with Beethoven remixes reply

In the last days I missed a crucial word - now I got it: remix. Maybe that is the problem why Stockhausen in a way neglected his Stockhoven-piece. The Stiftung today is very allergic against every attempt to use works of Stockhausen in the way of a remix - and I can understand that, because every remix damages the decisive structure of Stockhausen's music; it operates in a way superficially, just taking some notes from the surface and puting them in a sometimes very different context. Thus some kind of alienation happens. And one could say: That is just the thing Stockhausen does with Beethoven. He takes some very familiar motives and just uses them to do his own thing. But for me that is not completely true. For these very familiar motives evoke the whole spirit of Beethoven; they function as a nucleus of Beethoven's genius and his spiritual and artistic message. And through Stockhausen's remix this traditional message is transferred into the language of our time; it is not so taken-for
-granted any longer, but speaks to us in a new way, in an original and sometimes challenging way, totally different from the way Beethoven speaks in a traditional concert, where you have to translate the old language of his music into the way we speak and express ourselves - therefore it happens over and over again, that you do not hear Beethoven, but just a familiar (too familiar) tradition. So I have the feeling: Stockhausen frees Beethoven by his "remix" - and does this with musical means, what he was asked for, when he was asked to give a lecture on B. Therefore I can appreciate this work and would wish, that this could be done with other composers as well. And the means of KURZWELLEN for me are much more appropriate than for instance what Hans Zender uses for his "remix" of Schubert's Winterreise.

ipar1306 Offline

Posts: 234

Tue Jul 31, 2018 5:09 am
#14 RE: Opos 1970 ie Stockhoven-Beethausen ie KURZWELLEN with Beethoven remixes reply

Thank you Thomas for raising this issue of 'remix'. I was about to post on this myself, but you have expressed the issues more articulately and thoughtfully than I think I would have done. I am reminded here again of Stockhausen's response to a request from a music education institution in London for students to use material from some of his electronic works (specifically, GESANG, TELEMUSIK and KONTAKTE) as the basis for 'conducted improvisation, live remixing and sampling'. As I mentioned recently in another thread here, Stockhausen was absolutely livid at this suggestion. He wrote in reply 'if you touch my composed music I will start a world scandal! You must be crazy allowing such a thing. I have worked two years on GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE, 1/2 year on TELEMUSIK (10 hours a day), 2 1/2 years on KONTAKTE: these works are final, my art! It is NOT "material", it is art formed by me! I am very furious about your letter!' It is in TEXTE 16, p 427.

Accepting that this is probably a fairly spontaneous response from Stockhausen, I think it's worth keeping it in mind in thinking about how to approach the Opus 1970 work (which, however, was done 31 years before Stockhausen wrote that response to the letter about his own music, and so it would be dangerous to make too much of a connection between the two). I agree with Thomas that Stockhausen is doing more than a crude remix or improvisation on Beethoven, and I like the thought of it being an exercise in taking Beethoven out of the complacent comfort zones of modern audiences, who so often listen to Beethoven without really reflecting or noticing how profound and revolutionary his music was and is. But maybe ultimately Stockhausen also had reservations about how effective that was, and saw the risks that his efforts would become the very thing he was trying to counter: a cliche that audiences would just listen to, as conducted improvisation, a remix, without really reflecting. It's interesting to ponder - and I guess ultimately places the responsibility back on us in terms of how we listen to this piece, and what we listen for within it.

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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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