This is a really long work, maybe Stockhaisen's longest continuous electronic work? I actually kind of found it to be a bit boring at first, but after giving it some time (and writing about it) now it's up there with OKTOPHONIE. It really requires PATIENCE, which in the fast-moving world of today's media blitz, is not always in long supply...
Sound Impressions This almost totally-electronic work appears at first to be a "drone-piece", since the melodic elements change so slowly, making the changing timbres the initial focus. However upon closer inspection, there is quite alot of "action" going on under the hood. The Greeting and Farewell start off fairly leisurely, but after several minutes other "celestial objects" enter and provide a new narrative to follow. The changing of timbres every 68 seconds in FREITAGS ABSCHIED is quite a lot of fun to listen for. Some of the timbre changes are very subtle, so these are a fun challenge to pick out. The changing "satellite tones" and their unpredictable behaviors are equally fun to follow. The slow expansion/contraction of the bass tremolo also provides a sense of tension, as if a rubber-band were being stretched and released (the microtonal bending of the tone certainly aids that impression).
I'm not sure if this electronic music layer was created before or after the REAL SCENES and SOUND SCENES, but it must have been challenging to create a work which could stand on its own for almost 2 and a half hours, as well as provide a constant background "score" to the more foreground objects in the opera proper (without causing an overloaded sound atmosphere). Though the formal design and organization of the sound materials is all due to Stockhausen, a good deal of credit should go to his son Simon Stockhausen, who programmed the many sound timbres employed in this work. Simon also played an integral part of the creation of the sound timbres in OKTOPHONIE, and this makes WELTRAUM a kind of sequel to that work.
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!