EUROPA-GRUSS

No. 72: EUROPA-GRUSS (Europe Greeting)
for Wind Instruments and Synthesizers (at least 8 players)
1992-2002 [12'30"]
Plan of Neuf-Brisach, France
Development
     The idea of a Europe Greeting was first suggested to Stockhausen in 1991 by the sculptor Helmet Lutz.  Originally intended to be the "greeting" work for MITTWOCH aus LICHT, it was later renamed Europa-Hymne, and then finally EUROPA-GRUSS.  It was eventually premiered at (and commissioned by) the French fortress city of Neuf-Brisach in 1992, scored for 8 trumpet soloists with a brass convention's-worth of wind players (divided into 2 high and 2 low group "tutti" ensembles).

The front of Neuf-Brisach with a side view of the Porte de Belfort
(http://sabreteam.free.fr/fortif43.htm)
     In 2002 a reduced version was premiered in Kürten with 12 parts for 10 instrumentalists comprised of:

Soloists
     Flute 1 (Kathinka Pasveer)
     Trumpet (William Forman)
     Saxophone (Julien Petit)
     Clarinet (Suzanne Stephens)
High Tutti Players
     Flute 2 (Karin de Fleyt)
     Bassett-Horn (Michele Marelli)
     Synthesizer 1 (performing 2 parts) (Marc Maes)
Low Tutti Players
     Trombone (Andrew Digby)
     Bass Clarinet (Rumi Sota-Klemm)
     Synthesizer 2 (performing 2 parts) (Antonio Perez Abellan)

Form Structure
The 3 layers with CD track nos. and durations in seconds for each note.  The EVE pitch sequence mirrors the LICHT passage above it (EVE's Wednesday theme in the yellow brackets).
www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)
     The harmonic structure of the whole piece is made from overlaying the EVE Wednesday melody-theme with the core "nuclear formula pitches" of the MICHAEL and LUCIFER themes from the LICHT superformula (the nuclear formula is a kind of tone row theme derived from simplified versions of its respective super-formula voice).  This brief 3-part passage is expanded temporally from 36 seconds to 12 minutes and 14 seconds.  On top of this larger form scheme, Stockhausen uses the soloists to add flavoring and dramatic momentum.

       The soloists as a group play the EVE formula (stretched out as indicated).  One half of the high group plays a non-unison free-rhythm ostinato figure while the other high tutti and the bass tutti play long tones.  After the first minute passes the soloists continue their part but each steps out and plays a short solo passage one after another (in 8 different styles).  After the 8 soloists finish (about 1 minute) they continue the EVE layer and the tutti groups re-enter with various rhythmic variations.  In the next section each of the 3 instrumental groups (soloists, high tutti, low tutti) plays short notes separated by rests.  After the ensemble returns to long tones for awhile, the trumpet soloist does a quasi-improvisational solo based on a few indicated pitches, while the other soloists also perform limited variations of rhythm ("morse code"), pitch and glissandi.  A brief low tutti solo occurs, followed by the return of the full ensemble.

CD Track 1 Bar
1-3
Soloists begin playing stretched out EVE formula pitches, while tutti groups enter with long tones and free ostinato patterns Duration
0:45 (0:55 w. silence)
2 4-12 8 solo phrases, tutti groups rest 1:11
3 13-16 Full ensemble plays 3 part formula 1:50
4 17-32 Ensemble plays formula notes separates by pauses (indicating a rest note in the super-formula) 0:55
5 33-35 Ensemble plays long tones and irregular "morse code" rhythms 0:43
6 36-38 Ensemble moves to new pitch 1:12
7 39-44 Soloists begin playing 3 separate textures, w. 1 extra soloist playing free chord tones (see score excerpt below) 1:48
8 45-47 Extra soloist returns to soloist group playing 1:15
9 48-48 Bass tutti held tone, remaining players rest 0:38
10 49-50 Full ensemble returns 1:55 (2:31 w silence)

Score
At 6'38" the soloists begin 3 independent textures.
www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)
Live Performance
www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)
     The score for large ensembles places the trumpet soloists around the walls of the hall with the 4 brass tutti groups in the 4 corners (high groups in front and low groups in rear).

Sound Impressions
     Stockhausen's works for wind ensembles are always quite grand, especially during the LICHT era, as seen in SAMSTAGs GRUSS, DIENSTAGs WILKOMMEN and DONNERTAGs ABSCHIED.  EUROPA-GRUSS is no exception and must sound pretty amazing with the original commission of 240-plus brass players.  The version on Stockhausen CD Edition 64 for reduced ensemble is quite fine for now, tho, and I assume the fine variations in textures are more apparent in the reduced ensemble.  The whole work is a great example of using a very small amount of conceptual and thematic material and expanding it into a full, spatially-enhanced spectacle.

Links
EUROPA-GRUSS samples, track listings and CD ordering
Purchase the Score 
Stockhausen's Notes on EUROPA-GRUSS
Wiki Entry

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