Stockhausen/Complete Early Percussion Works ....double CD Stockhausen/Complete Early Percussion Works ....DVD
Stockhausen's early percussion music is among the most visionary of the percussion repertoire. This unique collection features some works which are almost impossible to find elsewhere. Includes Zyklus, a novel composition in terms of its treatment of time and structure and the earliest percussion solo work; Kontakte, a masterpiece for piano and percussion with 4 channel tape; Mikrophonie, calls for six percussionists playing a single instruemnt - a giant tam-tam; Refrain, three performers produce an array of pure tones from their primary instruments to noisy shouted syllable and tongue clicks; Schlagtrio, one of Stockhousen's earliest published pieces, rather than articulating the differences between piano and percussion he is interested in creating a continuum between the two. Available as a 2 CD set or on a single DVD. The DVD edition features full video with stereo, and Dolby Digital or DTS 5.1 surround options. (MODE records)
Aha! I don't know Red Fish Blue Fish, but I am certainly familiar with Steven Schick's work. It is especially interesting to know there will be a DVD version with video. Percussion music in general tends to be more action oriented than other instrumental or vocal performance genres but Mikrophonie I, especially, benefits from being seen as well as heard. Conventional Dolby 5.1 surround should suit its spatial concept very well, but it will be interesting to discover what has been done for the discrete four-channel sound of Kontakte, which ideally would require a different set-up for home listening. I think Steven Schick was the percussionist in the only previous version released in quadrophonic sound, made back in the late 1970s. I was never able to justify the expense of buying the decoding equipment, extra amplifiers, and speakers to try out just this one recording in four channels. These days, the widespread popularity of the 5.1 configuration has at least brought down the expense of accessing such material. It will be interesting to see how well this recording is received.
Very excited to hear this in surround. Don't be fooled by folks saying Dolby and DTS mess up the rear channels. The rear channels can be completely true to the original sounds as well as the fronts. There is no "automatic" filtering when you author a DVD. I wish Stockhausen Verlag would release all the 4 channel works on DVD.
I just listened to this DVD's KONTAKTE in 5.1 and I can confirm this is AWESOME! I haven't heard it in quad in over 20 years, so I can't compare with "true" quad (at Columbia's Miller Theatre with some of Davidovsky's tape works) but on my cheapo $160 Panasonic surround system I can safely say that it gives a totally new dimension to the work and I am not disappointed at all. The only criticism is that the tape part could be a couple notches higher in volume, but that's my personal taste. It also would have been great if they had included a tape-only track, but maybe they didn't want to distract from Schick and Avery's performance. In any case the dvd is absolutely worth it, and I hope this is a trend that will continue with HYMNEN, GESANG..., SIRIUS, COSMIC PULSES... even GRUPPEN and CARRE would totally benefit.
I'm sure they would love to do more of this .. but the market/economics of the situation is rather rough these days .. and business is definitely down year by year, making things harder to pull off. And these projects aren't cheap to produce .. especially if your trying put quality out there! Still, thankful that MODE exists to put out stuff like this. How much longer can they survive? Who knows ..
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!