EVAs ZAUBER (EVE's Magic) for basset horn, alto flute, piccolo flute, choir, children's choir, 3 synthesizers, percussion, and tape (Sound Scenes)
The Third Act of MONTAG AUS LICHT (MONDAY from LIGHT) 1984-1986 [57 min]
One of the most impressive things about BOTSCHAFT is the exploration of microtonal wind textures, especially in a duet setting. The LICHT super-formula includes some elements of microtones (specifically in the EVE formula's Saturday and Sunday limbs, bars 15 and 17) but in this final Monday Act, Stockhausen worked exhaustively with basset horn player Suzanne Stephens and flautist Kathinka Pasveer to discover new fingerings for their instruments, finding up to 26 steps within a major 3rd (further micro-intervals would be discovered for MONTAG AUS LICHT's Greeting). These effects give the dialogue between EVA and AVE a more vocal, lyrical feel than would otherwise be possible. The beauty of BOTSCHAFT lies in hearing how these two single-line instruments intertwine, moving closer, then apart, and then back again. On Stockhausen Edition CD 35, the duo version of AVE (without choir and electronics) displays this quality a bit more clearly than on the recording for the opera. However, the choir part for AVE is pretty fantastic, and would be interesting to hear on its own as well.
DER KINDERFÄNGER further showcases the flute family, as well as a veritable torrent of Sound Scenes (musique concrete/field recordings). The alto flute part here is extremely vibrant and includes some brilliant vocal writing as well, which makes it a good balance to the "obscene" male vocal parts in LUZIFERs ZORN. The breath control required for this Scene must be formidable. The Sound Scenes here have an even more humorous tinge to them than ever before, and reflect Stockhausen's composition of "trans-real" environments - that is, situations which typically don't happen in real life and take on new meaning when juxtaposed. Each of the elements of the Sound Scenes actually have their own trajectory in space, which makes their effect even more hallucinatory.
ENTFÜHRUNG features the EVE Nuclear formula, probably my favorite of all of the versions of the LICHT melodies. It's quite fitting that this melody is used to spirit away the children of EVE, since it has a very simple and catchy nature. The theme and variation structure of ENTFÜHRUNG also makes this Scene a very accessible one, and provides a splendid showcase of piccolo flute expertise. It's pretty easy to find oneself singing along with the children, as they disappear into the unknown...
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!