Over these past few weeks I have been reflecting a lot, as I imagine many people have, on the huge role that music can play in our lives during difficult and stressful times. And these times now - and those that lie ahead - with the COVID-19 pandemic, are of course creating a lot of stress, and so many different ways, for people everywhere. People are worried about their health, the health of the people they love, they are worried about their jobs and income, and they are often dealing with the hardship of physical isolation.
I know this Forum has not been super-active lately, but I think it would be great if we could try, when we can, to check in here and make contact with one another during this time.
For me, Stockhausen's music can play a massively positive role in hard times. His music always has such a spirit of hope and joy coming through, and often he manages to reach into a transformative depth that really can make a big difference, if we give the music the time and focus it deserves. Two pieces that I have been listening to over the past few days, which have especially communicated much of this to me, have been MITTWOCHS-GRUSS and FREUDE. MITTWOCHS-GRUSS is, to me, like the universe itself taking us into its heart and comforting us; and FREUDE just sparkles with happiness and optimism. I played it on the radio on the weekend and quite a few people sent in messages to say how beautiful they found it to be. I love to hear people being touched and strengthened by music.
Of course, there is much else than just these two pieces - and I would love to hear what music of Stockhausen other members of this forum have been listening to and finding comfort in. His music has so much to give us, and I think it is good if we can share that with one another as much as possible.
Please keep well everyone, and let's all work hard to look after ourselves and each other.
Dear Ian, what a nice idea to create this topic! Yes, you are absolutely right: Stockhausen's music can be very helpful and strengthening in these days - for me, too, FREUDE is the work of this time, and, in addition, the old classic GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE. And for me it is not a mere accident, that these two works are explicitly religious... For me as a person who up to now feels well, I think one of the problems is, that a constant stream of thoughts goes through consciousness, over and over again, thoughts that are not really helpful but pulling you down. As a meditation teacher I know how many people suffer from that extremely - meditation luckily has some tools to overcome that. And one of the remedies is art, is literature and music, demanding music: Corona-thoughts are pushed into the background and you come into contact with a world of purity and beauty. But I feel, really great music of our time, that was created in the last decades of the 20th century, needs live performance, and that is not possible in these weeks. But things will change! Best wishes from Berlin - Thomas.
This is a great idea! I nominate GRUPPEN and STERNKLANG. These pieces to me express the joy and energy of discovery and the beauty of life. Also this one isn't by Stochkausen, but Boulez's STRUCTURES 1A I find to be such a positive and optimistic piece even though for some reason it seems to be a target of criticism. I listened to FREUDE recently but it didn't quite click with me - I guess I'll need to hear it again! I'm listening to MITTWOCHS-GRUSS right now and it is incredibly beautiful.
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!