@Joe Maybe, you already know the new biography on Wolfgang Rihm by Eleonore Büning (Über die Linie, Zsolnay 2012). There are many interesting informations regarding the composition classes of Stockhausen in the early Seventies.
@Thomas You know that I always looked at Stockhausen as a catholic composer. Catholicism is "all-embracing" as the very word tells us. Some things were officially accepted by the church - these are dogmatic - other things were not accepted but tolerated - these are e. g. "Volksglaube", again other things were not accepted - these are heretic but nevertheless surrounding the catholic cosmos. I personally know a catholic university teacher who does not believe in trinity - he was twice in Rome and still is an official catholic! Such things happen. Your second point, therefore, hits the nail on the head.
I totally agree with Thomas! We must not forget that the UB is a Christian book, and I would even claim it's more Christian than the Book of Mormon or the belief of Jehova's witnesses (who deny trinity which the UB doesn't). But I want to come back to Joe's remark in posting #45: If - as some claim in this forum - the UB was so unimportant and meaningless why did Stockhausen ask Kathinka to use it for the libretto of KLANG? Stockhausen certainly knew enough spiritual literature so he could have used anything else - Sri Aurobindo, Hazrat Inayat Khan, Jakob Lorber, who ever. But he wanted the UB to be source. In summer 2006 I sent him the German translation as a birthday gift and he was full of joy about it (he didn't seem to know that a German version exists). That must have been the time when he started composing the "Urantian" KLANG hours 14 to 21. Coincidence? Meaningless?
Christian, you can probably get a more precise time-frame from Leopoldo, but we know that Stockhausen did not yet have the idea of the Urantian sub-cycle as of 6 September 2006. In the interview with Iryna Krytska from that day, Stockhausen describes the trio now called SCHÖNHEIT as still being a part of Hour 5 (though its original title, AKKORDE, had been changed to HARMONIEN sometime after mid-July), and COSMIC PULSES was still Hour 6. So, the summer of 2006 is a little early for this idea of the Urantian subcycle, but it certainly must have come to Stockhausen not long after, and certainly before the Rome premiere of COSMIC PULSES on 7 May 2007. Your time-frame certainly fits the facts rather well, even if the result was not instantaneous.
Thanks, Jerry, for this information. I already was in contact with Leopoldo about that and I also sent him a copy of the postcard Stockhausen wrote me on the 15th of August 2006 where he expressed his great joy about the German UB. He must have thought then that I was some kind of editor of it and started ordering :-) - until I allowed myself to say that it's also available in book stores. But on this way I got some nice CDs...;-))) I looked for the name Iryna Krytska in the new TEXTE volumes but didn't find her. Is this interview you mentioned published some-/elsewhere? I'd be interested in it.
Thomas' point is one that I make repeatedly about the UB in my study. For all its bizarre sci-fi trappings, there is hardly a moment in the UB that can't be traced back to some earlier Christian thinkers. Whether it's Joseph Smith (who was, in his own right, just as bizarre) or Origen, the UB invents virtually nothing. In general, I believe the UB's influence is most obvious in the latter operas of Licht (Mittwoch for sure!) but for those who are squeamish about the book, solace can be found in the fact that all of its theological conceits have roots in more reputable thinkers.
That touches on a larger point which is the irrational enterprise of faith in general. For me, the UB is just as absurdist as mainstream Christian theology. I'm not sure why the idea of major and minor sectors confounds some who find no problem accepting the idea of seven heavens or circles of hell. The best summation of all these issues is found in the opening pages of Fear and Trembling, where Kierkegaard demonstrates how the very anecdote that we cite as the foundation of Christian faith is impossible to reconcile with logic.
So what if the UB holds that Lucifer is imprisoned on a satellite planet in Jerusem? Scientologists believe that Xenu is trapped in an electronic cage on a mountain somewhere on Earth. There are Evangelical Christians who fund Israeli settlements in the West Bank because they believe that Christ will only return when Eretz Israel belongs to the Jews. An uncharitable critic would simply shrug at all this and say, "Pick your brand of crazy".
A reasonable theist recognizes that these schismatic views are the result of good intentions and takes them with a grain of salt. I don't think anyone here is a UB fundamentalist, nor was Stockhausen. Faith is, by its nature, an irrational exercise. We can discuss it rationally only up to a certain point, and in that way, it is a lot like music.
@Christian, in post #55: The Krytska interview is titled “Musikalische Magie und zeitliche Ordnung: Gespräch mit Karlheinz Stockhausen (Kürten, 6. September 2006).” I refer to it in my article on the KLANG trios in PNM 50 (which appeared in January 2013). At that time it was still an unpublished manuscript in the Stiftung archives. Kathinka was kind enough to send me a copy for my research when I was preparing lectures on HARMONIEN, BALANCE and HOFFNUNG for the courses in 2009. I had supposed that it might appear in one of the new volumes of TEXTE, but I have not yet seen them. It is interesting amongst other reasons because it was made on the very day that Stockhausen began composing SCHÖNHEIT, and so gives a very precise picture of what his conceptions of KLANG were at that time, before he decided to speed up the process of composing by making the two sub-cycles based on HARMONIEN and COSMIC PULSES.
Joe, there is a moral code or a morality that is built into theology that has existed for centuries. I don't see this particular aspect as irrational, but fundamental. Not to mention all of the great works of art that were inspired by it. Thinking of my favorite composer (JS Bach) at the moment.
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!