Note: I opened this thread for all topics/questions which don't fit in any other thread.
So here's a question I have: I remember that Stockhausen once spoke about the fact that some works start with a fading in and end with a fading out (e.g. MITTWOCHS-GRUSS). I also remember that he said he likes to makes it this way because he imagines the music being all the time in the universe and by fading in he brings it down to earth and by fading out he gives it back to the universe. Perhaps he also said this in an other way. Anyway, does anyone know where he said this? I find this remark so interesting... Thanks for all hints!
I am sorry that I cannot tell you when and where Stockhausen said this. Your question, however, reminded me of a remark of Tibor Kneif, musicologist with emphasis on rock music. He said that fading out as a studio technique can be interesting but it also can be the excuse for not finding a convincing ending for a piece. Another part of the quote reads (my translation): „Especially fading out aims at the keeping of mood and finds its explanation in its original function as dance music: The dancing couples shall not be suddenly interrupted in their 'mood' [...] Although fading means necessarily the coming end, it suggests at the same time that 'somewhere', 'far away' the music goes on forever; fading In this sense simulates something like eternity as if the record presented only a small clipping of another world full of music.“ (Sachlexikon Rockmusik 1992, p. 31). I think that the parallels between the remark of Stockhausen and this explanation are obvious. It is this remark which came into my mind when I listened to some pieces of Stockhausen. I did not know your quote and I am sure that Stockhausen had his very own thoughts about the problem of fading but I always somehow thought that this technique was something like an homage to rock and pop music which Stockhausen knew quite well from his time in California.
I am afraid that I cannot answer Christian's question either, though I have a vague recollection of a text in which Stockhausen speaks about the experience of listening to music on the radio, where one can tune in and out, choosing this station or that according to taste. The implication of course is that the other programmes continue, even though one is not listening to them any longer. I do think that Adorján's supposition about American rock music being the source is not a very likely explanation, however. First of all, as far as I can think, Stockhausen first used this device literally at the end of KONTAKTE and, although he did visit America prior to composing it in 1958–60, the fade-out ending in popular music was not at that time the cliché it became in the 1960s. It was of course used in music recordings and radio broadcasts from the late 1920s onward (and not to mention the visual usage in films, from which the term "fade" originates), so that Stockhausen would certainly have been familiar with the device from those sources. One peculiar application sometimes used in the 78-rpm recordings of the 1930s and 1940s, used for pieces of music too long to fit on one side of a disc and when there was no convenient pause in the music, was to fade out at the end of one side, and then fade in again on the next. One very late instance of this technique was the LP release of STIMMUNG.
When Stockhausen gave some lectures at the University of Freiburg in June 1985 the same question arose:
"Das Ganze beschreibt doch einen Drachenkampf. Warum ist dann der Posaunist als Stierkämpfer verkleidet?"
Stockhausen's answer: "Er ist als Torero verkleidet -- warum, weiß ich nicht. Ich glaube, der Torero ist der einzige noch übriggebliene Artist, der professionell Tiere im Kampf tötet, vor Publikum, mit Applaus..."
Karlheinz Stockhausen im Musikwissenschaftlichen Seminar der Universität Freiburg i. Br..., Murrhardt 1986, S. 94.
A typical example for Stockhausen's way of relating persons, things and qualities in an associative way, isn't it? That's the reason for the sound of the goat somewhere in LICHT...
Short but nice: a video clip showing Karl Bartos ("Kraftwerk") honouring Stockhausen who gets the Polar Prize and also says some words - see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5XzbWBxOv8 (why Stockhausen thanks ABBA is not quite clear to me... but as I like ABBA of course it's okay... :-)...)
I´d like to point to a newly published book on Stockhausen. The author is Ivanka Stoianova, the titel is "Karlheinz Stockhausen: Je suis les sons..." and the publisher and year is Éditions Beauchesne 2014. I just got this book of around 350 pages and start to read it this weekend. The chapters have as titles: "La composition: une construction de soi", "Découvertes formelles et structures du temps: ...wie die Zeit vergeht...", "Musique spatiale", "La métaphore lumineuse", "Musique scénique", "L´hommage à Eva. Montag aus Licht", "Wagner et Stockhausen". It ends with "Témoignages" de Doris Andreae Stockhausen, Mary Bauermeister, Suzanne Stephens, Kathinka Pasveer.
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!