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Ulrich Offline

Posts: 195

Sun Feb 08, 2015 7:42 pm

I am just busy with JAHRESLAUF. What I am a bit puzzled about is the fact, that in this composition from 1977 the Formel-technique as a method of composition only plays a marginal role. In contrast to the works before and after. Has anyone a suggestion why?

uatu Offline

Posts: 206

Mon Feb 09, 2015 5:59 am

That's an interesting question. My guess would be that it's because JAHRESLAUF originated from a dream, like TRANS and MUSIK IM BAUCH before it, which were also not formula-based. Jerry Kohl characterizes JAHRESLAUF as a Stockhausen "insert" in the context of LICHT, which gives it a precedent of having no formula rules. The thing that makes it part of a larger pattern for me though, is that it includes moving parts for millennia, centuries and years, which fits in with the months of TIERKRIES/SIRIUS, the days of LICHT, and the hours of KLANG. KS does throw in formulas though for the sax solos...(INORI, MANTRA, HARLEKIN). That feels a bit tongue-in-cheek actually...

I guess this is as appropriate a place as any to mention that I updated my blog entry on JAHRESLAUF to include a better presentation of the formscheme if anyone's interested:

Ulrich Offline

Posts: 195

Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:54 am

Yes, I would also say that there are strong reasons to include JAHRESLAUF into LICHT - the reference to time, as you said, and also the fact, that the play deals with a conflict that can easily be related to Luzifer and Michael. My question was: When St. started to compose JAHRESLAUF, he did not have LICHT in mind. But the compositions before were done with the formula-technique. Why not this one? You mention the dream - do you mean by this, that it has something sub-concious in it that does not fit with rational formula-composition?
I feel that the relation of JAHRESLAUF to LICHT, especially to DIENSTAG, is somehow a problem, because JAHRESLAUF is a play, not a serious conflict; the content is more to show that there are certain seductions for a creative life. It is not a conflict where two parties are competeting, for it is impossible for Luzifer to win. What a difference to act 2!

uatu Offline

Posts: 206

Mon Feb 09, 2015 10:11 pm

No I mean he said in an interview that he had a dream (while sleeping) and when he woke up he wrote down the concept. When the interviewer asked him what the dream meant, Stockhausen replied that he had no idea. Perhaps because it was for gagaku orchestra he wanted to test the limits of timbral composition with the ethnic instruments rather than focus on a formula. If anything I would say it's in Moment form, since it has 5 "rounds" and each round is interrelated to the one before or after it, like MOMENTE somewhat. I think Stockhausen allowed himself to re-explore previous forms, since he always stressed that he did not want to destroy the old traditions, but also include them.

I like that it's in DIENSTAG for the escalation of the conflict into INVASION. Whether it's an "insert" or not, I like that a game can become serious. Maybe KS is saying wars are political games? I think it's possible...

ipar1306 Offline

Posts: 234

Tue Feb 10, 2015 12:01 am

My understanding is that it was actually with the composition of JAHRESLAUF that the idea of LICHT first dawned on Stockhausen, and that in it some of the seeds of the rest of LICHT are already planted - especially in terms of the passage of time. But, not yet having conceived the superformula, it is perhaps good that there appears to be no formula composition in it at all, because in that way it stands alone musically, like a background story to the main tale. I know that Stockhausen did not think of the operas of LICHT as following in any particular order, or having any particular beginning, but in some ways I like to think of DIENSTAG as the beginning of the cycle: everything emerging from that context of the passage, and the progress, of time: the seed from which everything else emerges. Of course, my picture would be enormously helped if JAHRESLAUF was based on the nuclear tones of the formulas, but they don't appear to be. But, in any event, I do like to think of JAHRESLAUF as a sort of prelude to LICHT, maybe even something that happened between centuries, millennia, before Act Two of DIENSTAG. So having it musically separated from the rest makes a kind of sense to me.

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! Thomas Ulrich
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