What is your favourite Stockhausen piece? For me it's so hard to decide because of how many incredible works he composed. I'm leaning towards STERNKLANG being my favourite although I'd rate MOMENTE about as highly. AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN should also be up there although the Stockhausen Edition recording is 7 hours so too long to regularly listen in full.
For me that is an impossible question to answer, because often it tends to be whatever I have listened to most recently. So much of Stockhausen's music I think explores different musical ideas - this is one of the many things that for me makes him unique as a composer - and so there is often something different to marvel at in each piece, and this is what makes it so hard for me to rate one against the other.
If I could cheat a little and say that LICHT is one piece, then maybe, if I was forced under pain of severe torture, to nominate one piece as a favourite, then it would perhaps be that. But already I am cheating, and already I am not sure!
MOMENTE is certainly a work that I love and admire deeply and maybe (just maybe) it is to me the most creative and original piece that Stockhausen wrote.
I had hoped to come to Cologne to see STERNKLANG at the end of April, but it now looks almost definite that that will not happen, sadly. It must be an amazing thing to experience it live!
Often when someone does not know his music at all and asks me to show them something of his, I introduce them to KONTAKTE (in the version with piano and percussion), because I think it is so striking in its use of electronics together with acoustic instruments, and the amazing smorgasbord of sound, and sound connections, that we hear throughout it. But even that can change depending on who is asking me, and what sort of music they already know and love.
Oh and then there is HYMNEN. And INORI. And the KLAVIERSTÜCKE. And ... !
Stockhausen was once asked a similar question by a journalist seeking answers from a number of celebrities from different areas: "What is your favourite colour?" He responded, "On Monday, light green. On Tuesday, red. On Wednesday, yellow. On Thursday, light blue. On Friday, orange. On Saturday, black. On Sunday, gold."
Along these same lines, and noting that his catalogue includes 376 individually performable pieces, I would say: On January 1, Kontra-Punkte On January 2, Klavierstück I On January 3, Klavierstück II On January 4, Klavierstück III On January 5, Klavierstück IV On January 6, Studie I On January 7, Studie II On January 8, Klavierstück V etc. ...
Of course, this only comes out even in a Leap Year, and omits the early works before Kontra-Punkte, but I'm sure with a little artistic license we can arrange for a year to have ten extra days in it.
Hymnen must be up there because that was the first that I saw live. Fantastic moment at the end of Region I where a small fire of broken twigs crackled around the audience i Cologne. But for electronics NOTHING can beat Kontakte - still not surpassed after 60 years of technological advances. Oh, and Gruppen for orchestration. Nuff said. Stay Safe.
In the Seventies there was a series on LP "Greatest Hits" of famous composers, and in that series 2 LPs: Stockhausen's Greatest Hits. I am sorry that I do not have that in my collection, but according to TEXTE 4, 686 in these LPs were excerpts from GESANG, KONTAKTE, CARRE, TELEMUSIK, STIMMUNG, KURZWELLEN, HYMNEN, GRUPPEN, ES, SPIRAL, STOCKHOVEN - BEETHAUSEN (one of my favourites!), MANTRA, AUFWÄRTS. An obvious choice, when we think of the early works, but without KLAVIERSTÜCKE, MOMENTE, MIKROPHONIE ...
I had(/have, but can't find it) that LP. Red with cut-outs of various shapes on the sleeve. But, I do have a copy of all the tracks which I listen to every now and then. I made my own Stockhausen 12/13 which included Formel as well as Oktophonie (parts of both)- listen to that more often.
I have to say, the more I listen to MIKROPHONIE I the more it becomes one of my absolute favourite works of music ever. I think for now I'll say that's my favourite Stockhausen, although it may change. There's something strangely profound about those incessant clanging sounds that I can't really explain!
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!