DIENSTAGs GRUSS, WILLKOMEN, SUKAT

DIENSTAG AUS LICHT
Greeting
DIENSTAGs
GRUSS


Act 1
JAHRESLAUF
vom LICHT


Act 2
INVASION – EXPLOSION
mit ABSCHIED

OKTOPHONIE

MICHAEL and LUCIFER's brass forces behind the audience
(WILLKOMMEN score front © www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)
DIENSTAG AUS LICHT (Tuesday from Light)
Opening Greeting

Work No. 60
DIENSTAGs GRUSS (TUESDAY GREETING)   
    (or Willkommen mit Friedensgruß 
    (Welcome with Peace Greeting))
    for soprano with 9 trumpets, 9 trombones, 2 synthesizers, choir, 1987/1988  [21']

Also:
Extract 1: WILLKOMMEN (WELCOME)     
for trumpets, trombones, 2 synthesizers, 1988 [1'25"]
Extract 2: SUKAT
for basset-horn and alto flute, 1989 [8']

Introduction
     INVASION – EXPLOSION mit ABSCHIED  (INVASION – EXPLOSION with FAREWELL) is the 2nd Act of Stockhausen's dramatic music work DIENSTAG AUS LICHT (TUESDAY from LIGHT), which was the fourth-composed entry of his 7-part, 29-hour opera cycle LICHT (Light).  LICHT is a work for acoustic and electronic operatic forces, divided into the 7 days of the week (one opera for each day).  This opera cycle revolves around 3 archetype characters, MICHAEL, EVE and LUCIFER, and over the 29 hours each of these characters are introduced, come into conflict, face temptation and finally come into union.  The music is almost entirely based on a "super-formula", which is a 3-layered melodic-thematic representation of the 3 characters.  These formula-themes are together and separately threaded throughout the opera's vocal and instrumental fabric.  Story-wise, actors and narrative can (and often do) change from scene to scene, and the libretto text is sometimes made up of non-traditional grammar (or even purely phonetic sounds).  

     DIENSTAG (Tuesday) is the "day of war" between MICHAEL and LUCIFER, and DIENSTAGs GRUSS is the opening greeting-piece for DIENSTAG AUS LICHT (Tuesday from Light).  The opera continues in Act 1, JAHRESLAUF, and concludes in Act 2, INVASION – EXPLOSION mit ABSCHIED (INVASION – EXPLOSION with FAREWELL).

WILLKOMMEN
      The Greeting begins with a short fanfare by the brass and synthesizers, called "WILLKOMMEN" (Welcome), which clearly displays the fleet-footed strengths of MICHAEL's trumpets (triple-tongued staccato bursts on the RIGHT) versus LUCIFER's powerfully staunch and stubborn trombones (half-note tones on the LEFT).  Meanwhile 2 synthesizers play thick chords which gliss (portamento) from 1 chord to the next.

FRIEDENSGRUSS
     This is followed by the choir-driven "Friedensgruß (Peace Greeting)", a "battle" (or argument) between MICHAEL and LUCIFER's forces.  These two "armies" are situated in groupings on the right and left of the hall and are represented by two separate instrumental and vocal groups:

LUCIFER: MICHAEL:
Alto Choir Soprano Choir
Bass Choir Tenor Choir
Trombones Trumpets
Low Synth High Synth
     Each side of the battle maintains a mostly constant outpouring of sound, using different vocal techniques and harmonies to oppose the other, in a kind of "rock, scissors, paper" game.  Long tones, chants, whispering, percussive lip sounds, etc...are all eventually brought into play, as well changes of dynamics and tempo.  The synthesizers maintain a wall of tones, sometimes oscillating and sometimes not.  A soprano singer (representing EVE) interrupts several times attempting to calm the disagreement with song, first standing to the right, then the back (center), then the left, and finally centerstage.  After several of EVE's exhortations, the two opposing forces begin to respond, and agree, "We want peace."  Of course the two sides don't completely come together, since that would deprive the rest of the opera of its ensuing dramatic clashes.  MICHAEL wants to accept God, and LUCIFER wants to reject God.  The texts are basically as follows:

LUCIFER Choir:  EVE: MICHAEL Choir:
We deny a God and a Beyond


LUCIFER 


is right


All of you who fight for your religion will die away.















We want peace,
freedom without God!

(at right)
Stop fighting!

(at center)
Need it be?!  Be peaceful, please!

(at left)
Right, or not: get along with each other!

(at center)
Hear! Whatever you want, whatever you represent, hear!

EVE melodic formula begins:

Children, women, men, hear me: give up the war,
the strife about God and worlds!
Make peace!
(throws kisses to both choirs) 
Let everyone listen,
wait and see if you arise after death
Here on Earth may life be holy in each human heart.
May he who has God and also he who denies God
love his neighbor and his neighbor's neighbor
That gives peace, freedom.  

We want peace, freedom in God!
MICHAEL,


stand by us, help us 


in the fight for


LIGHT
















We want peace, freedom in God!
 

Live Performance
MICHAEL's Choir (top)
Annette Merriweather as EVE (below)
Leipzig 1993 performance
www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)

Sound Impressions
     The Welcome is an immediate attention-getter and very accessible.  Who doesn't like two brass sections battling it out?  The Peace Greeting, like many pieces in the Licht opera cycle, really requires repeated listenings to pick out the subtleties in each of the layers.  Each of the 4 kinds of musical forces (male voices, female voices, brass, synths) here has their own battery of moves and counter-moves.  The pace is fairly slow however, so you have plenty of time to soak in the details.



SUKAT
(Score cover © www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)

     Written at the end of 1989, this duet between alto flute and bassett-horn has a very energetic character, and hangs lots of kinetic material around two of the DIENSTAG LICHT formulas.

Tuesday segment of the LICHT super-formula (MICHAEL, EVE, LUCIFER)
(© www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)
     Stockhausen labels the first few minutes a "Ringing In", and in this section the bassett horn plays large interval ascending tremoli (while overblowing harmonics) and the alto flute uses microtones to descend in sinewy long tones.  The middle section continues with two main textures: tremolo (using both higher intervals and lower intervals to tremolo on) with the Tuesday fragment of the LUCIFER formula as the through line (right), and long tones using the inverted (upside-down) Tuesday fragment of the MICHAEL formula.  The flute and horn take turns playing each of the formula/textures in contrast against each other.  Finally there is a "Ringing Out" sequence, where the flute goes upwards in pitch center using flutter-tongue, and the horn spirals downwards in micro-tones.  Both players also vocalize while inhaling.

     SUKAT is performed in an unusual theatrical manner, which is precisely described in the score (including costumes, lighting etc.)." - Stockhausen

     The unusual theatrical manner Stockhausen refers to above is described by Sonoloco (Ingvar Loco Nordin): "Suzanne Stephens with her basset-horn and Kathinka Pasveer with her alto flute – and both with their long, natural, beautiful hair – conveyed the impression of wild horses snorting and neighing under a starry sky, bowing their heads, waving their manes around, stamping their hooves in a furious expression of freedom!"

Links:
Sound samples, tracks listings and CD ordering
Purchase the Score 
Stockhausen's notes regarding DIENSTAGs GRUSS' set up. 
Video Excerpts of Leipzig Premiere (MOV)
Wikipedia Entry
Sonoloco Review

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