|FREITAG AUS LICHT|
COUPLES vom PAARE
|The flying, fire-breathing rhinoceros from KINDERKRIEG (Children's War). |
for soprano, baritone, bass, flute, basset-horn, children’s orchestra, children’s choir, 12 choir singers,
synthesizer player, with Electronic Music (Sound Scenes on 24-track tape)
Staged with 12 couples of dancer-mimes (ad lib. in concert performances)
The 10 REAL SCENES which make up FREITAG-VERSUCHING are also each published separately as independent concert works, ie - Nr. 64 1-10 ex 64 (extracts 1-10 from Friday Temptation)
Other Related Works:
KOMET (COMET)/KLAVIERSTÜCK XVII for electronic keyboard, electronic and concrete music
KOMET (COMET) for percussionist, electronic and concrete music
FREIA for flute
FREIA for basset-horn
VIBRA-ELUFA for vibraphone
FREITAG-VERSUCHUNG (FRIDAY TEMPTATION) is the collective title for the 10 live vocal and instrumental scenes staged in Stockhausen's opera, FREITAG AUS LICHT (FRIDAY from LIGHT). FREITAG is the 5th-composed entry of his 7-part, 29-hour opera cycle LICHT (LIGHT), which is a massive work of cathedral-like proportions for acoustic and electronic 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).
FREITAG is the Day of Temptation where LUCIFER (here represented by the character LUDON) attempts to tempt EVE into joining his revolution against Heaven and bonding with his progeny, CAINO. It is dedicated to all children. Preceded and followed by "entrance" and "exit" works (FREITAGS GRUSS and FREITAGS ABSCHIED), the main body of the opera (FREITAG-VERSUCHUNG) is divided into 2 Acts. These 2 Acts are constructed from 2 layers of taped electronic and electroacoustic music, and 1 layer of live stage music. In brief, the 3 layers are as follows:
- 12 SOUND SCENES, also collectively known as PAARE vom FREITAG (Couples of Friday): electronic music interludes using electronically-processed male and female voice, coupled with concrete field-recorded elements
- 10 REAL SCENES, also collectively titled FREITAG-VERSUCHUNG (Friday Temptation): vocal and instrumental music produced by the musicians on stage, and which presents the main dramatic arc (discussed here)
- FREITAGS GRUSS and FREITAGS ABSCHIED (WELTRAUM): background electronic music, which is the same tape used for the audience arrival and departure "Greeting" and "Farewell"
- ANTRAG (Proposal): Soprano, Bass, Flute, Basset Horn (Quartet)
- KINDER-ORCHESTER (Children's Orchestra): Soprano, Flute, Basset Horn, Children's Orchestra, Synthesizer
- KINDER-CHOR (Children's Choir): Bass, Synthesizer, Mixed Children's Choir with Soloists (M/F)
- KINDER-TUTTI (Children's Tutti): Soprano, Bass, Children's Orchestra, Children's Choir, Flute, Basset Horn, Synthesizer
- ZUSTIMMUNG (Consent): Soprano, Bass, Flute, Basset Horn (Quartet)
- FALL: Soprano, Baritone, Flute, Basset Horn (Quartet)
- KINDERKRIEG (Children's War): Children's Choir, Synthesizer (optional Basset Horn)
- REUE (Repentance): Soprano, Flute, Basset Horn (Trio)
- ELUFA: Flute, Basset Horn (Duo)
- CHOR-SPIRALE (Choir Spiral): Mixed Choir (3S / 3A / 6B)
|The ELUFA Nuclear formula. I added some colored outlines to Stockhausen's original sketch (reproduced from CD 50's booklet).|
The orange vertical lines delineate the 12 segments, and the red diamonds outline the segment numbers.
The bass staff is an inversion of the treble staff with some added variations.
|LICHT Nuclear formulas: MICHAEL, EVE & LUCIFER|
(from "Into the Middleground: Formula Syntax in Stockhausen's LICHT" - Jerome Kohl)
The top melody (treble staff) of the ELUFA Nuclear formula is derived from combining the EVE and LUCIFER Nuclear formulas and stretching them out (ie - adding and increasing rhythmic note values to the 2nd and 3rd staff measures above). Basically, both of these elaborated Nuclear formulas are played at the same time by a single melody instrument as the treble layer of the ELUFA Nuclear formula, often using glissandi to travel from one pitch to the next (when 2 of the original notes fall on the same beat, they are played in quick succession). Opposing this layer as a mirror-melody, the lower, bass clef voice of the ELUFA Nuclear formula is basically an inversion of the upper layer (upside-down), but also with some exceptions and rhythmic variations*.
The 2 layers are often rhythmically synchronous (as mirrors of each other), so in order to create rich harmonic intervals (dyad chords), the top voice starts its traversal with the 1st note of the EVE Nuclear formula, and the bottom voice starts with the 1st note of the LUCIFER Nuclear formula. Additionally, the original EVE NF is transposed to start on Bb, and the LUCIFER NF is transposed to start on A, so when combined into a single melody, this results in a half-step starting melodic interval in both layers of the ELUFA NF (one rising, one falling). The ELUFA NF is also divided into 12 segments, each with a different tempo, and in Real Scene 1, ANTRAG (Proposal), the mirrored 2-layer ELUFA Nuclear formula is heard in its most basic form (segments 1-6 as a duo, then 1-12 as a quartet, then 7-12 as a duo).
The 12 segments of the ELUFA NF almost all have 1 or 2 long glissandi events (usually in opposite (contrasting) directions), but each also have their own rhythmic "signature" elements. These are summarized below (and can be seen in Stockhausen's sketch shown earlier):
- Basic form, with a rest at the end.
- Beginning and ending have fragments with 1 voice bending against 1 voice held.
- Bass clef voice has a staccato moment in the middle ("ka-ha-ha-hait").
- Sharp consonants in the ending (unpitched).
- Bass has no gliss, but ends with a wide vibrato.
- Treble clef voice has a toneless staccato event ("ke-he-he-he-hel"), followed by a bass voice solo, a pause (both layers), and then contrasting figures (upper layer repeating same note, lower layer swooping figures).
- 4-note motif in bass, shadowed by same motif in treble, then humming vs. vibrato (no extended glissandi in this segment).
- 2 glissandi (beginning and middle), ending in a treble held note and a bass ornament on 2 notes
- Bass layer glissandi are articulated in staccato (treble glissandi are normal).
- The 2 layers dialogue in (mostly) alternating phrases.
- Begins with normal opposing glissandi, ends with a leaping arpeggio in treble and held notes in bass.
- Treble falls and then holds steady, bass joins, rising, and then holds steady.
As found in the 10 Real Scenes, the ELUFA Nuclear formula is usually extremely ornamented, elaborated or "stretched" in some way, so following the formula elements is possibly not as rewarding as just enjoying the melodic and timbral figures as "dialogue". However on repeated listenings, the formulas become more apparent and can add to the appreciation of the musical fabric. The other major melodic material used in the Real Scenes is derived from the PAARE vom FREITAG (Couples of Friday). In these electroacoustic vocal and concrete sound interludes, 12 Couples go through 12 or 13 progressively developed versions of each of the 12 ELUFA NF melodic segments. These Couples are explicitly echoed in a few of the Real Scenes (for example, in KINDER-CHOR).
*Note: In the booklets of the CDs and the in the score forewords, Stockhausen calls the inverted layer the top layer, and the normal layer the bottom layer. This is referring to the parts in ELUFA (the Real Scene), but not for the actual ELUFA Nuclear formula. Since the "normal" layer is usually assigned to the treble staff and the inverted layer is assigned to the bass staff, I use those designations.
The stage production of FREITAG AUS LICHT is very elaborate, and a text synopsis really can't do justice to all of the many rich visual elements. The CD recording is an excellent studio representation of the opera's musical elements and so here I will mainly concentrate on that. The booklet (book, actually) that comes with the FREITAG AUS LICHT CD has much more detailed descriptions, photographs, libretto and score excerpts. Some of the booklet text is quoted, but I tried to paraphrase the main stage actions. The sung text of the Real Scenes generally consists of permutations of various words (see PAARE VOM FREITAG for sample translations) mixed with a few expositional passages. The complete libretto text of the Real Scenes is included in Stockhausen Complete Edition CD 65. The photos in the table are from the score covers of the individual published works (© www.karlheinzstockhausen.org).
|1||1:06||EM Begins (FREITAGS-GRUSS)|
|2||0:32||SOUND SCENE 1 (0:25)
Couple 1 (Woman & Man)
|4, 5||0:53||SOUND SCENE 2 (0:39)
Couple 2 (Cat & Dog), 1
Quartet: Soprano, Bass, Basset Horn & Flute,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-GRUSS starting from CD 50A/7:27
Flute and basset horn play segments 1-6 of the ELUFA Nuclear formula, with brief interjections from EVE, harmonizing w basset horn (calling to LUDON?)
EVE and LUDON (Soprano & Bass) sing the top and bottom layers of the complete ELUFA Nuclear formula, as ELU & LUFA (bst hn & fl) play long held tones and colored timbres
Flute and basset horn play segments 7-12 of ELUFA Nuclear formula with brief interjections from EVE, harmonizing w basset horn (farewell to LUDON?)
|11-13||1:07||SOUND SCENE 3 (0:56)
Couple 3 (Photocopy Machine & Typewriter), 1, 2
|15||5:53||REAL SCENE 2: KINDER-ORCHESTER
Soprano, Children's Orchestra (Flute layer & Basset Horn layer), Synthesizer,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-GRUSS starting from CD 50A/19:41
EVE (with ELU & LUFA) arrives with her white children, who carry musical instruments (orchestral).
LUDON then arrives with his black children's choir, who shake and rattle African rhythm instruments.
A SYNTHIBIRD (synthesizer player) appears as a "phantasmagoria".
EVE and her entourage play for the black children, accompanied by SYNTHIBIRD.
LUDON's children are impressed.
This version is more vivacious than the previous rendition of the ELUFA NF. The Children's Orchestra (mixed instruments, not specifically scored) is divided into 2 groups, each playing a single staff line (heterophonically). EVA and LUFA (Flute) lead one group through the top staff of the ELUFA Nuclear formula. ELU (Basset Horn) and the other children's orchestra group play the lower clef staff. Both layers are stretched out and have additional added rhythmic subdivisions and articulations. (Begins from 0:21)
The 2-staff synthesizer part has melodic and harmonic material from the 12 SOUND SCENE Couples (PAARE VOM FREITAG), in step with the 12 segments of the Children's Orchestra's ELUFA Nuclear formula. The material is derived from the melodic content of the concrete sounds and/or the synthesizer chord accompanying that Couple. For example, the 1st 4 bars are Man & Woman, then 5 bars of Cat & Dog, then 5 bars of Photocopy Machine and Typewriter (synth only), then 4 bars of Race Car & Driver (synth chords with internal glissandi), 8 bars of Pinball Machine & Player (unison rhythm chords), 8 bars of Soccer Ball & Kick (unison rhythm chords with rising tails), 7 bars of Owl & Rocket (Rocket has a rapid rising/falling gliss), etc... The synthesizer also sometimes plays concrete timbres (samples) used in PAARE VOM FREITAG mixed with the synthesizer timbres.
At 3:12, the ELUFA NF traversal repeats with additional variations and elaborations in each of its parts (rhythmic subdivision and additional glissandi). At the end, the black children cheer and rattle their African instruments (at 5:32).
|16||7:52||REAL SCENE 3: KINDER-CHOR
Bass, Children's Choir (Boys layer, Girls layer, with 24 soloists), Synthesizer,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-GRUSS starting from CD 50A/25:34
Now it is time for LUDON and his choir entourage to sing and play (accompanied by SYNTHIBIRD).
During their performance, LUDON signals for each of 24 boys and girls to one by one step out
and hunourously act/sing solos. EVE's children are impressed.
LUDON and the boys in his choir sing an elaboration of the lower voice of ELUFA's NF. The girls sing the top voice. The children also play their hand percussion instruments to add rhythmic commentary. The synthesizer plays mostly chords supporting the children's material. LUDON and his choir sing joyously and with verve. 24 Solos occur (below):
Soloists sing elements from each of the members of the 12 Couples (and often
echoing the 12 matching ELUFA Segments) (from 0:12):
|At 2:48, after the 7th Boy's solo, LUDON has a brief solo exchange with his choir members where he teaches them (?) how to act like a Raven (crouching, standing, shaking tailfeathers, etc...). He eventually leads the children's choir in a pulsed accelerando, and then a rhythmic crescendo.|
| At 5:09, after
a brief silence, the children's choir sings another new strain of the ELUFA NF (with
new, even more fervent rhythmic articulations for choir and synth), featuring the 12
|17||5:07||REAL SCENE 4: KINDER-TUTTI
Soprano, Children's Orchestra (Flute layer & Basset Horn layer),
Bass, Children's Choir (Boy's layer, Girl's layer), Synthesizer,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-GRUSS starting from CD 50A/33:25, which also includes the "kissing noises"
|19-23||1:25||SOUND SCENE 4 (1:15)
Couple 4 (Race Car & Driver), 2, 1, 3, 2 (continued)
|25-29||1:12||SOUND SCENE 5 (1:05)
Couple 5 (Pinball Machine & Player), 1, 3, 2, 4
|31-38||1:37||SOUND SCENE 6 (1:32)
Couple 6 (Soccer ball whizzing & Leg kicking), 3, 4, 2, 1, 5, 6, 3 + 4
|40||6:56||REAL SCENE 5: ZUSTIMMUNG
Quartet: Soprano, Bass, Flute, Basset Horn,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-GRUSS starting from CD 50A/48:55, sometimes with laughing, "Frei-YA", "Cai-NO", etc...
|42-52||5:02||SOUND SCENE 7 (2:14 + 0:16)
Couple 7 (Owl & Rocket), 2, 4, 5, 1, 3, 6
1st Pyramid, Continuation of of Couples 1 thru 7
Final duet Couple 6
ECHO Couple 7 and EM Crescendo
|53, 54||5:08||EM & Fade out (FREITAGS-GRUSS)|
|I N T E R M I S S I O N|
|1||0:28||EM begins (FREITAGS-ABSCHIED)|
|2||3:23||REAL SCENE 6: FALL
Quartet: Soprano, Baritone, Flute and Bassett Horn,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-GRUSS starting from CD 50A/65:07, continuing into CD 50D/FREITAGS-ABCHIED (male voice in background)
|Arrival (of the Boat):
Flute and Basset Horn play long glissandi and held tones with pauses of various durations.
The quartet engage in a slow and elaborate traversal of the ELUFA material, taking advantage of the many slow glissandi to create a timeless yet sensuous musical texture. From 5:30, the 2 voices embrace each other in a somewhat diatonic harmony. By the end, some of the initially-mirrored segments have also come into alignment with each other.
|5||1:19||Tenor: "Eve, Our Children!"|
|6-14||2:11||SOUND SCENE 8 (2:04)
Couple 1 Hybrid (Cat & Man),
Couple 8 (Sighing woman, syringe puncture & Bee-swarm), 4
Couple 2 Hybrid (Woman & Dog), 3, 6, 5, 7
Pyramid Couple 5 Simult. 1-4, 6-7
|16-25||2:51||SOUND SCENE 9 (2:47)
Couple 9 (Pencil & Electric Sharpener), 7
Couple 4 Hybrid (Racecar & Typewriter)
Couple 3 Hybrid (Photocopier & Race driver), 5, 2, 6, 8
ECHO Couple 8
|27||10:13||REAL SCENE 7: KINDERKRIEG
Children's Choir in 2 treble staff layers, Synthesizer,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-ABSCHIED starting from CD 50D/~25:35, bass pattern
Unlike the previous Real Scenes, the 2 melodic layers here are not strictly rhythmically mirrored ELUFA variations of each other. For most of this scene the 2 layers are in opposing melodic counterpoint, with only a few brief moments in mirrored rhythmic unison (3:35, 4:25, 6:53 on). Both layers are in the treble clef, but are separated LEFT (high) & RIGHT (low), and pan across the stereo field at times. The Children's War ends with tutti accents.
The synthesizer part is based on ELUFA chords from PAARE VOM FREITAG, but the performer is free to choose which of the notated pitches to play, as long as they are basically in isolated "point form" (no melodic groups). The synth player also must use samples of children's electronic "war toys" as part of his timbral arsenal. At least 19 distinct families of timbres are to be used, but usually many more are employed.
|29-40||3:43||SOUND SCENE 10 (3:38)
Couple 10 (slurping, licking, drops, bee)
Couple 5 Hybrid (Pinball Mach. - Kicking leg), 7, 3, 1, 3, 2, 1, 4
Couple 6 Hybrid (Soccer Ball & Pinball Mach. Player), 8, 9, 8
|42-58||4:40||SOUND SCENE 11 (4:40)
Couple 11 (Violin & Bow), 4, 11, 4, 3, 4, 5, 11
Couple 8 Hybrid (Woman Sighing - Rocket), 11, 6, 11, 1, 2, 9
Couple 7 Hybrid (Owl & Hypo Syringe), 10
(Couple 10 Exchange of Melodies), 11
|60||4:31||REAL SCENE 8: REUE (Repentance)
Soprano with INORI gestures, Basset Horn, Flute,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-ABSCHIED starting from CD 50D/~48:35
The Soprano here also performs INORI hand gestures during this scene, in effect creating a double layer (though they are usually synchronous). ELU & LUFA engage with EVE in a dialogue (loosely in rhythm, but with many added articulations and ornamentation in the winds), using melodic phrases from the ELUFA NF. The ending is an ensemble harmony phrase ("Darkness will be LIGHT!"). The microtonal stepped scales, tremoli and glissandi of ELU and LUFA contrast against each other and with EVE.
|62-78||4:55||SOUND SCENE 12A (5:02)
Couple 12 (Bird nest & Raven), 1, 2, 12
Simult.: Couple 9 (Pencil Sharpener-Ice Cream Cone) /
Couple 10 (Woman's Mouth-Pencil), 12, 4, 3, 6, 5, 8, 7, 11
Continuation of 1-12 Simult.
2nd Pyramid Continuation of Couples one after another
Synchronous Couples 1-12
Break down of Pyramid 1-12
|80||1:52||SOUND SCENE 12B (1:45)
Couple 11 (Vln-Raven)/Couple 12 (Nest-bow)
|82||7:39||REAL SCENE 9: ELUFA
Duet: Basset Horn, Flute,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-ABSCHIED starting from CD 50D/~62:51 (male voice counting in background with isolated bass pulses, fading out)
|83||5:40||REAL SCENE 10: CHOR-SPIRALE
Mixed Choir: 3S/3A/6B in 2 to 4 layers,
with Electronic Music of FREITAGS-ABSCHIED starting from CD 50D/~70:29 (quiet, high drone in the electronic music)
|84||0:49||EM fade out (FREITAGS-GRUSS)|
|In this image from KINDER-TUTTI, the Children's Orchestra are on the left and|
the Children's Choir are on the right (with LUDON in front of them).
EVE conducts both ensembles in the foreground.
ELU, LUFA & SYNTHIBIRD can be seen in the background center.
(Photo from CD 50)
|The first page of KINDER-CHOR shows the girls choir on the top staff, then the boys choir, then the 1st Boy's Solo ("Large Man"), followed by the Bass part and then the synthesizer part. The melodic material here is based on the 1st segment of the ELUFA Nuclear formula.|
|This 1st page of REUE shows the melodic part portrayed by INORI hand gestures in the top staff. Below that is the Soprano part, then the Flute and Basset Horn parts. The Basset Horn part transposed to its normally-notated clef is included as the 5th staff. In other words, this is a score for a trio with 2 extra staffs acting as annotations.|
KOMET (COMET)/KLAVIERSTÜCK XVII
for electronic keyboard, electronic and concrete music, Nr. 64 7 1/2 ex 64 (Extract 7.2 based on KINDERKRIEG)
In this version of REAL SCENE 7's KINDERKRIEG (Childrens War), the 2-layer children's choir is projected on tape as 2 tracks of Soprano vocal (Kathinka Pasveer). The background electronic music layer from FREITAGS-ABSCHIED is also present on the tape. Just as in REAL SCENE 7, the performer's synthesizer part is based on ELUFA chords from PAARE VOM FREITAG, but he/she is free to choose which of the notated pitches to play, as long as they are basically in isolated "point form" (no melodic groups). The synth player also must use samples of children's electronic "war toys" as part of his timbral arsenal. At least 19 distinct families of timbres are to be used, but usually many more are employed. Additionally, 2 "cadenzas" occur at the performer's choice of location. Each cadenza is played first without the background tape, and then with the tape (so the choice of pitches is actually still dictated by the score).
for percussionist, electronic and concrete music, Nr. 64 7 2/3 ex 64 (Extract 7.3 based on KINDERKRIEG)
This is basically a version of KOMET adapted for pitched and un-pitched percussion, including the 2 cadenzas. Typically, the percussionist also uses samplers as part of his arsenal (malletKAT, etc...). Stuart Gerber wrote an excellent thesis expounding on the choices he made in order to create his performance score (Karlheinz Stockhausen's Solo Percussion Music: A Comprehensive Study (2003), link at bottom).
for flute, Nr. 64 9 1/2 ex 64 (Extract 9.2 based on ELUFA)
The ELUFA Nuclear formula is traversed in 3 cycles using 3 different timbre sets: lower register toneless/vocalized flutter-tongue, glissandi through microtonal fingerings (as well as through embouchure), and combined techniques (including keying noises, harmonics and solo voice).
for basset-horn, Nr. 64 9 2/3 ex 64 (Extract 9.3 based on ELUFA)
This is mostly based on the Basset Horn part from REAL SCENE 9: ELUFA. The ELUFA formula is traversed in 3 cycles, with a brief cadenza/insert before the 7th and last "limb" of the 2nd cycle. In the 3rd cycle the basset Horn uses the flute material from that section of ELUFA (since the basset horn is silent for that part).
for vibraphone, Nr. 64 9 3/4 ex 64 (Extract 9.4 based on ELUFA)
In this work for vibraphone, the performer plays both instrumental parts of ELUFA (single layer of melodic material, then two layers (with cadenza), then back to a single layer). Since microtonal glissandi are not possible, the clustered timbres are enriched through pedalling and mallet techniques.
INDIVIDUAL SCENES from FREITAG-VERSUCHUNG
Nr. 64 1-10 ex 64 (extracts 1-10 from Friday Temptation)
Each of the Real Scenes can be performed independently from FREITAG AUS LICHT, in which case they each have slightly different staging indications and movement schemes.
Stockhausen's concept of placing vocal and instrumental forces next to and in tandem with much more abstract electronic and concrete music works really well, and provides a different experience than the previous LICHT operas. By using WELTRAUM as the background layer (faded in and out), a unified "mood" is established, almost like how a color scheme is applied to a film. For example, in the science fiction "Matrix" films, the "real world" has a blue color scheme filter, while the Matrix world has a green one. FREITAG AUS LICHT uses WELTRAUM (and the original LICHT super-formula) to paint a broad background color, but mixes it in many different combinations to fit (and comment on) the Real Scenes. The vocally-driven concrete music of the Sound Scenes also provides a fascinating contrast to the staged performances. Due to the vocoder-related abstract sound elements and textures (as well as the humorously costumed dancers), they provide a bizarre contrast to the more "romantic" harmony and costuming of the Real Scenes. However, perhaps on a subconscious level at first, the listener can appreciate the fact that the melodic material (The ELUFA Nuclear Formula) is the same for both the Sound Scenes and the Real Scenes, and the tonal centers of the background electronic layer (WELTRAUM) navigate the pitch centers of an exploded LICHT/FREITAG super-formula.
As mentioned above, the Real Scenes have a much more human feel than the Sound Scenes, and in fact, they are possibly some of the most romantically-tinged works (in the classical music sense) of Stockhausen's entire oeuvre. The reason for this is because the ELUFA Nuclear Formula is designed as 2 layers of an mirrored melody, and this basically makes it a harmonized chord melody. The notes are of course shifted around and put through the usual rich variations that Stockhausen is known for, but at the end of the day, the Real Scenes are more or less rhythmically unified (as opposed to the LICHT super-formula, which is 3 completely different melodic layers and totally polyphonic, melodically and rhythmically). The ELUFA NF harmony itself does have a polyphonic melodic element of course, since the melodies are mirrored images, and the use of slow glissandi to connect the notes creates a constant feeling of the 2 voices approaching and departing from each other (which in turn echoes the entire concept of FREITAG AUS LICHT).
The Real Scenes which integrate the ELUFA Nuclear Formula in permutated and exploded form however, actually make FREITAG VERSUCHUNG much more than simply variations of a chord melody. For example, KINDER-CHOR gives the listener another foreground layer in the form of 24 solos from the children, echoing the elements from the Sound Scenes, and KINDER-KRIEG turns fragments of the ELUFA Nuclear Formula into the sounds and cries of war (though as a somewhat more playful fantasy children's game, than the more serious wargame in DIENSTAG AUS LICHT's INVASION). The Real Scene FALL has a wonderful moment where the harmony becomes clearly Romantic in flavor, and the duo for Basset Horn and Flute, ELUFA, gives EVE's ever-faithful companions a chance to expound on these mirrored forms in their own way, ruminating on a set of these melodic fragments at length. But the use of the ELUFA Nuclear formula chord melody unifies all of these scenes in a few ways not used in the previous applications of the LICHT super-formula. Also, it's just nice to have a different melodic formula in the foreground for a change...
As a whole, FREITAG AUS LICHT, has the unique aspect of being 3 distinct sound works (WELTRAUM, PAARE VOM FREITAG, FREITAG-VERSUCHING) all being presented at the same time or in close alternation, yet there is never a sense of chaos (actually there are some pretty chaotic moments in the Pyramid structures of the Sound Scenes, but that is of course pretty fun in its own way). The CD recording is a great representation of the music of FREITAG AUS LICHT, but I do hope to experience an actual staging someday. The CD booklet provides ample photographs, so it's possible to imagine these Couples lighting up/fading away, EVE on a boat, comets in the sky, etc..., but live, I'm sure this must be quite a riveting and haunting experience.
Sound Samples, Online CD ordering:
- FREITAG AUS LICHT (full opera) (CD 50)
- 10 Scenes of FRIDAY from LIGHT (CD 65, REAL SCENES only)
- KOMET/KLAVIERSTÜCK XVII for synthesizer soloist (Antonio Pérez Abellán)
- KOMET for percussionist (Andreas Boettger)
- KOMET for percussionist (Stuart Gerber)
- KOMET without soloist (Soprano and electronic tracks only, Kathinka Pasveer)
- VIBRA-ELUFA for vibraphone (Michael Pattman)
- FREIA for Flute (Kathinka Pasveer)
- FREIA for Basset Horn (Suzanne Stephens)
Ordering FREITAG AUS LICHT's Libretto (German & English)
The World Theatre of Karlheinz Stockhausen: FREITAG AUS LICHT, Premiere (DVD)
The World Theatre of Karlheinz Stockhausen: FREITAG AUS LICHT (English transcript, PDF)
FREITAG AUS LICHT Wiki
Karlheinz Stockhausen's Solo Percussion Music: A Comprehensive Study (Stuart Gerber on KOMET, 2003)
ELUFA (Kazuko Ihara & Rumi Sota, live, YouTube)
KOMET (for percussion, Bonnie Whiting Smith, live, YouTube)
FREIA (basset horn, Michele Marelli, YouTube clip)
VIBRA-ELUFA (Cesar Masano, live, YouTube)
VIBRA-ELUFA (C.Saris, live, YouTube)