KLANG: Hours 5 - 12, HARMONIEN Solo & Chamber Works

Work notes indicating 5 sections of HARMONIEN and the original pitch row from KLANG
www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)
No. 85: KLANG - 5th Hour: HARMONIEN (Harmonies)
     for bass clarinet (No. 85.1)
     for flute (No. 85.2)
     for trumpet (No. 83.3)
     2006 [15-16']
No. 86 - KLANG - 6th Hour: SCHÖNHEIT (Beauty) for bass clarinet, flute and trumpet, 2006 [28']
No. 87 - KLANG - 7th Hour: BALANCE for bass clarinet, English horn, flute, 2007 [32']
No. 88 - KLANG - 8th Hour: GLÜCK (Bliss) for bassoon, English horn, oboe, 2007 [30']
No. 89 - KLANG - 9th Hour: HOFFNUNG (Hope) for cello, viola, violin, 2007 [32'30'']
No. 90 - KLANG - 10th Hour: GLANZ (Brilliance) for bassoon, viola, clarinet, oboe, trumpet, trombone, tuba, 2007 [38']
No. 91 - KLANG - 11th Hour: TREUE (Fidelity) for bass clarinet, basset-horn, clarinet, 2007 [30']
No. 92 - KLANG - 12th Hour: ERWACHEN (Awakening) for cello, trumpet, soprano saxophone, 2007 [30']
KATIKATI for flute (No. 85.2 extra), 2006 [4']

Introduction
     While rehearsing LIBRA (part of the science-fiction themed work SIRIUS for vocal soloists, trumpet, bass clarinet and electronic tape), Stockhausen was inspired to write HARMONIEN for bass clarinet (solo), specifically for Suzanne Stephens.  Shortly afterwards, he wrote other instrument-specific versions for flute and trumpet.  HARMONIEN ended up becoming the 5th hour of KLANG, Stockhausen's cycle of works for the 24 hours of the day (of which hours 1 through 21 were completed).

     These 3 individual versions of HARMONIEN were then taken apart and layered on top of each other to form KLANG's 6th hour: SCHÖNHEIT (Beauty), a trio version using the same basic material, split into 5 continuous sections.  This was followed by KLANG hours 7 through 12: BALANCE, GLÜCK (Bliss), HOFFNUNG (Hope), GLANZ (Brilliance), TREUE (Fidelity) and ERWACHEN (Awakening), all of which are re-sequenced, rearranged and expanded versions of SCHÖNHEIT for different instrumental ensembles.  This method of using different instrumental ensembles on different sequences of events of the same basic material is kind of reminiscent of Stockhausen's prior habit of making re-arranged versions of pieces like TIERKREIS and IN FREUNDSCHAFT, combined with the mobile-like mutability of pieces like MOMENTE or MIKROPHONIE I.

CD Covers (© www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)

KLANG 5: HARMONIEN (HARMONIES)
     HARMONIEN, the "ground zero" of these works, is created from 5 pitch groups having 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 notes (derived from KLANG's 24-note pitch row, plus a 25th 1st note repeat).  A group is stated relatively slowly (each time in a different melodic and rhythmic way) and then alternated with 1 to 4 "echos", each made up of usually fast repeating patterns of the group pitches without rhythm, and separated by pauses.  The effect Stockhausen aims to create with the fast repeating patterns is to create "a harmonic effect, like a vibrating chord".  These echoes also change speed and dynamic (and sometimes register).  From a rhythmic standpoint, the initial melodic statements have rhythms derived from the 12 families explored in KLANG's 1st Hour, HIMMELFAHRT (the 12 degrees of rhythmic densities).

     Additionally the piece is split into 5 sections, at the beginning of each, the player turns in a circle.  Just before and during the 5th section there are 2 short cadenzas, first in a lower register, and then a higher register.  Besides this general framework, Stockhausen adds drama and personality using trills, microtonal glissandi, changing vibrato, etc...as well as some extra cadential material between the statement/echo structures (each of which also have a different tempo).

Score
An example of a group statement followed by its echoes is below.  In this case a low 6-note melody is stated, followed by 3 higher register echoes of 3, 2 and 3 ostinato repeats, all with changing dynamics.

Below is part of the treble clef "cadenza" near the end of HARMONIEN.  "Klappentriller" means to trill on the instrument keys but produce nearly the same pitch, producing a kind of warbling effect.
(score excerpts © www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)


KLANG 6: SCHÖNHEIT (BEAUTY)
KLANG 7: BALANCE
KLANG 8: GLÜCK (BLISS) 
KLANG 9: HOFFNUNG (HOPE)
KLANG 11: TREUE (FIDELITY) 
KLANG 12: ERWACHEN (AWAKENING)

     As mentioned earlier, the material from the 3 different solo versions of HARMONIEN was used to create new multi-layered polyphonic compositions for 6 trios (and a septet below, GLANZ).   By juxtaposing these strongly identifiable figures (themes vs. patterns), some very amazing textural counterpoint is achieved.  Because of the different tempos between the 3 layers, Stockhausen sets things up so that every few measures there is an ensemble pause and the instruments realign.  This, and the way that Stockhausen sometimes adds extended rests for individual instruments, keeps things very coherent.  In fact this series of works ends up being possibly Stockhausen's most traditionally lyrical in years, which is quite amazing considering the nature of its parts.  It's quite a feat that these layered "vibrating chords", expressed in so many varying permutations, never feel like unrelated threads, but always an organic whole.  These vertical layers can be explored very simply, but on closer examination each combination reveals its own inner beauty, much like a crystal formation.

     One possible way to visualize the structure of a trio passage in simplified form could be this:


     In this picture I used different sizes to indicate the 3-7 note phrase, followed by small repetitions of grouped characters to show the ostinato "consequents".  The vertical line is to show the realignments that occur between the 3 players (this is not an actual example from the score).   Also in this visualization the larger characters are not exactly large versions of the small characters, since usually the melodic themes are changed in register.  This is of course a very basic "imaginary" example and doesn't include events such as duo and solo moments, as well as times when 2 or 3 players fall into unison. 

KLANG 10: GLANZ (BRILLIANCE) 
      GLANZ is scored for septet, but is actually more like a clarinet-bassoon-viola trio with a featured guest instrument in some of its sections. The featured instrument is included in "insert" material added to the ends of the 1st, 2nd and 4th sections and does not have the usual statement/echoes construction.  The insert for the 1st Section with add'l Oboe recalls the ending of HOPE.  The insert for the 4th Section with tuba features the ending from BLISS.  The Coda is a pre-echo of AWAKENING.

Structure
     This table shows the (re)sequencing of the sections in each work, as well as the role (high, middle, low register) of its individual instruments. 

Section KLANG 6:
Schonheit
(Beauty)
KLANG 7:
 Balance
   
KLANG 8:
 Glück
(Bliss)
KLANG 9:
 Hoffnung
(Hope)
KLANG 10:
 Glanz
(Brilliance)
KLANG 11:  Treue
(Fidelity)
KLANG 12:
 Erwachen
(Awakening)
1st I V
+
E. Hn Solo
IV III Intro +
I
 + Oboe Qrtt
V Intro +
I
2nd II IV
+
E. Hn. Solo
II I II
 + Quintet w. Tpt & Tbn
III IV
3rd III III
 +
Trio
Cadenza
V V III
 + Clr, Bassoon, Vla (w text)
IV III
4th IV II I II IV
 + Tuba Qrtt
I I
5th V  I
 + Coda
III
 + Coda
IV
 + Coda
V
+ Coda
II
 + Coda
V
Stage
Color

turquoise blue

bluish green

yellow-green

yellowish-green

sulphur green

zinc yellow

bright yellow
Voice:








High Flute Flute Oboe Violin Clarinet Eb Clarinet Sopr, Sax
Middle Trumpet Eng. Horn Eng. Horn Viola Viola Bassett Horn Trumpet
Low Bass Clr Bass Clr Bassoon Cello Bassoon Bass Clr Cello
Spoken
Text
 "Lob sei Gott" ("May God be praised")  "Gloria in excelsis Deo /
et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis"
(Glory to God in the highest /
and on earth peace, goodwill to all people) 
"Noten zu Klängen zu Kreislauf zu Glück" ([Written] notes to sounds to circular movement to bliss),
 "GOTT ist GLÜCK" (God is bliss).
 "Dank sei Gott 
Danke Gott für das Werk… Hoffnung" (Praise be to God…
Thank God for the work…
Hope")
 "Gloria in excelsis Deo /
et in terra pax hominibus bonae voluntatis"
(Glory to God in the highest /
and on earth peace, goodwill to all people) 
 "Treue zu Gott"
(Fidelity to God)

 "Erwachen in Gott" (Awakening in God)
As described in
Harmonies and the Path from Beauty to Awakening: Hours 5 to 12 of Stockhausen's Klang" 
(Jerome Kohl)
Perspectives of New Music 50, nos. 1 & 2 (Winter–Summer 2012)

Live Performance
     Each of the hours of KLANG from 6 through 12 have specific colors for their performance attire.  HARMONIEN features several points where the performer spins in a circle to mark the beginning of a new secton.  GLANZ also includes a light sculpture as part of its performance which changes in brightness during the performance.

HARMONIEN Live performed by Fie Schouten, bass clarinet version
HOFFNUNG clip (London Contemporary Orchestra)
BALANCE clip (London Contemporary Orchestra)
TREUE live clip
The group musikFabrik  rehearses GLANZ under Kathinka Pasveer's direction

Images from Score Fronts
www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)

Sound Impressions
     These works are really quite beautiful and hypnotic.  The simple idea of using a pitch row to generate 5 serially-distributed chords and "vibrate" them through repeated ostinato patterns might sound structurally clinical, but Stockhausen uses every trick in the book to add life and drama to these pieces.  Most importantly, he (as always) breaks his owns rules when the needs of the music transcend the conceptual framework of the composition.
     The chamber ensemble works really show off Stockhausen's ability write in a more traditionally lyrical style, and wind up being possibly some of his most accessibly poetic writing since his chamber arrangements for TIERKREIS.  At the same time the juxtapositions of these "looping" phrases with the expanding and contracting melodic shapes provide for some amazingly witty and complex contrapuntal shapes.
     Amazingly enough, Stockhausen's next work, COSMIC PULSES would be a complete change, so much so that even he admitted in one interview that it might not even fall under the category of "music composition"!

Links
Samples and CD ordering:
Purchase Scores
KLANG Wiki
ERWACHEN Youtube clip
The Saxophone Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen (Essay on ERWACHEN, Elizabeth Bunt, PDF thesis)

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