Stockhausen CD 48-66: LICHT Part 2

LICHT, Part 2

     The best, most efficient way to hear Stockhausen's works is through his official record label and publishing house. The Stockhausen Edition CDs are meticulously assembled with often voluminous booklets in English and German, filled with sketches and other documentary artifacts. Almost all of the recordings originally released on Deutsche Grammophon, Wergo, Nonesuch and other labels were reacquired by Stockhausen, and then remastered and repackaged under the Stockhausen Edition catalog. Under the control of the Stockhausen Foundation, Stockhausen's recorded works will never go "out of print", making all of them available to the public. The CD Editions are organized mostly in historical order, although some volumes are focused on particular categories of chamber works (flute, winds, synth, trumpet, percussion, etc...), some concentrate on different renditions of a single composition, and some are new recordings of older works. A detailed, linked listing follows with links to the relevant analysis pages on the main site. All performances conducted and mixed by Karlheinz Stockhausen unless otherwise indicated. All of these discs can be purchased online through the Stockhausen official store. Stockhausen Edition CDs 28 through 82 generally document the 29-hour LICHT opera cycle. In addition to premier recordings of each of the 7 operas (1 for each day of the week), these CDs also document "satellite" chamber works derived from LICHT scenes and material.
The Stockhausen Complete Edition:
      This page covers CDs 48-66, encompassing
  • FREITAG AUS LICHT (Friday From Light, staged version on CD 50)
  • MITTWOCH AUS LICHT (Wednesday From Light, staged version on CDs 51-55, 66)
  • SONNTAG AUS LICHT (Sunday From Light, 1st scene on CD 58)
...as well as important premier recordings of new arrangements for some older pieces. This run also notably includes a new set of recordings of Stockhausen's KLAVIERSTÜCKE (Piano Pieces), as well as the 1968 version of KURZWELLEN originally released on Deutsche-Grammophon.



48 PAARE vom FREITAG (COUPLES of FRIDAY) with soprano, bass, electronic instruments (signal processing and samples) (1992/99).

     CD 48 contains 99 tracks of the isolated electro-acoustic/concrete vocal duets from the opera FREITAG AUS LICHT (Friday from Light). In the opera these brief duets are sequenced and layered into 12 "Sound Scenes" spread throughout the opera, but on this disc they are presented as isolated events. These short vocal duets featuring the voices of Stockhausen and Kathinka Pasveer (who normally plays flutes) are electronically-modulated with various musique concrete field recordings (through vocoder, harmonizer and other signal processing devices overseen by Simon Stockhausen). Additionally, for each of these "micro-duets", a unique background chord (synth patch) is usually also present. Rec. 1999.


49 ELECTRONIC MUSIC with SOUND SCENES of FRIDAY from LIGHT (1991-94)

     This 2 CD set contains the "dark ambient" electronic music (WELTRAUM, or "Outer Space") from the opera FREITAG AUS LICHT (Friday from Light), combined/mixed with the COUPLES of FRIDAY "Sound Scenes" (heard as isolated duets on CD 48). In other words, this is the "tape" parts of the opera without the live performers. The electronic music (without the COUPLES element) is also used as the ambient "entry"and "departure" music for the opera, and this version can be heard on CD 50. As in OKTOPHONIE, Simon Stockhausen was responsible for the sound-programming.


50 FREITAG AUS LICHT (FRIDAY from LIGHT) Opera (1992-94, 4 CDs)

     This 4 CD set contains the complete staged version of FREITAG AUS LICHT (Friday from Light), with all three "layers" presented: WELTRAUM (ambient background sound textures), the 12 "Sound Scenes" created from the PAARE vom FREITAG (electroacoustic/concrete vocal duets) and the 10 "Real Scenes" (live performances with vocals, choir, children's choir, bassett-horn, flute, synth). This electro-acoustic opera especially stands out for it's use of "opposing" children's choir groups.

     The live performers for the 10 "Real Scenes" include Angela Tunstall (soprano), Nicholas Isherwood (bass), Jürgen Kurth (baritone), Suzanne Stephens (bassett horn), Kathinka Pasveer (flute), Massimiliano Viel (synth), choir (Leipzig Opera), 2 children's choirs (Leipszig Children's Choir and Middle German Radio Children's Choir), and children's orchestra ("Johann Sebastien Bach" music school children's orchestra). The 10 "Real Scenes" can also be found as excerpted opera extracts (analagous to "arias" in some respects) on CD 65.
  • FREITAGS GRUSS (Friday Greeting): Ambient electronic music for audience arrival. Rec. 1992/94.
  • FREITAG-VERSUCHUNG (Friday Temptation): Two Acts with an intermission, featuring the above listed personnel performing opera "Real Scenes" separated by the taped "Sound Scenes". Rec. 1996.
  • FREITAGS ABSCHIED (Friday Farewell): Ambient electronic music for audience departure. Rec. 1992/94.


51 WELT-PARLAMENT (WORLD PARLIAMENT, 1st scene of WEDNESDAY from LIGHT) for choir a cappella (1995)

     WELT-PARLAMENT is the 1st Scene from the opera MITTWOCH AUS LIGHT (Wednesday from Light). After the introduction (which includes some incidental hand percussion and a forest of clicking metronomes), 12 vocal groups (and soloists) engage in a dynamic dialogue, representing a world congress in polyphonic "song-babble". The ending features a coloratura soprano solo. Rec. 1995/96, feat. South German Radio Choir Stuttgart conducted by Rupert Huber. Soloists include Rupert Huber, Ingrid Ade-Jesemann, Petra Hoffmann, Eva-Maria Schappe, etc.


52 ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN (ORCHESTRA FINALISTS, 2nd scene of MITTWOCH AUS LIGHT/WEDNESDAY from LIGHT) for orchestra and electronic music (1995/96)

     ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN has no vocal text, but instead features 11 different instrumentalists performing solo recitals against a musique concrete backdrop (environmental field recordings, also used in "tape-only" form as the "Farewell" music in MITTWOCHS-ABSCHIED, CD 55). Rec. 1996, feat. members of the ASKO-Ensemble, Amsterdam.

53 HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT (HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET, 3rd scene of WEDNESDAY from LIGHT) for string quartet and 4 helicopters (1992/93)
   
     The 3rd Scene from the opera MITTWOCH AUS LIGHT (Wednesday from Light) is centered on a string quartet piece, accompanied by the sounds of close-miked helicopter rotor engines, and interrupted throughout by shouted numbers in German (by the string quartet players). In a staged concert, members of the string quartet are flown around the performance hall in 4 separate helicopters. This aspect is left up to the imagination for the CD, although there is a DVD documentary on the project available elsewhere. Prior to and following the piece/flight are "press conferences" which are actually part of the opera scene direction. These are not scripted and have different moderators for different performances (on this CD edition Stockhausen moderates the premiere performance himself in English).

     The Arditti String Quartet are featured in both the live premiere recording and a studio recording on the 2nd CD. The music itself is based on a polyphonic web of string tremolo figures, gliding up and down to form melodic contours, with the shouted numbers corresponding to the LICHT "Lucifer" formula.
  • HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT
    • World premiere performance recording (with moderation by Stockhausen, 1995).
    • Studio recording (1996). This version has no moderation section, but includes an additional 3 minutes of new "Formation" material composed after the premier. The Arditti Quartet also released this studio version on their own label in 1999.


54 MICHAELION (4th scene of MITTWOCH AUS LICHT/WEDNESDAY from LIGHT) for choir (w. misc. whistles, noise-makers, toys), bass vocal soloist (with short-wave radio), flute, basset-horn, trumpet, trombone, synthesizer (playing MITTWOCHS-GRUSS, CD 66), and tape (some relatively minor "signal" melodies) (1997).

     The choral action of MICHAELION is first heard against a textural synth background, interspersed with melodic fragments in various instrumental timbres. Shortly afterwards, the live synth textures of MITTWOCHS-GRUSS support the vocal and instrumental interaction. The bass soloist's shortwave radio part is actually a performance of KURZWELLEN (representing his "language"). The other vocal soloists' noisemaker toys are used to represent other "alien languages".

     This performance was recorded posthumously in 2012 under the supervision of Kathinka Pasveer during a production of MITTWOCH AUS LICHT by the Birmingham Opera Company (directed by Graham Vick). The performers on this CD include the London Voices, Michael Leibundgut (bass), Chloe L'Abbe (flute), Fie Schouten (bassett-horn), Marco Blaauw (trumpet), Stephen Menotti (trombone), Antonio Pérez Abellán (synth). The CD booklet contains pretty much the entire libretto.


55 contains Additional works from MITTWOCH AUS LIGHT (Wednesday from Light):
  • BASSETSU-TRIO (derived from Scene 4 of MICHAELION of WEDNESDAY from LIGHT) for basset-horn (Suzanne Stephens), trumpet (Marco Blaauw) and trombone (Andrew Digby) (1997). Rec. 1999.
  • MITTWOCHS-ABSCHIED (WEDNESDAY FAREWELL), Electronic and Concrete Music (1996) is comprised of manipulated/moving concrete field recordings. It is used as the "departure music" of the opera, as well as the backdrop for the instrumental soloists in ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN, Scene 2 of WEDNESDAY from LIGHT (on CD 52).

56 KLAVIERSTÜCKE I–XIV (PIANO PIECES I–XIV, 1952-1988) with Ellen Corver.

     Although several recordings of Stockhausen's cycle for solo piano have been recorded over the decades (notably by David Tudor and Aloys Kontarsky), this set is the definitive edition, with Corver presenting the first 14 KLAVIERSTÜCKE, working directly under Stockhausen's supervision and incorporating his latest corrections/additions. Stockhausen first started working with Corver in 1982, and these tracks were recorded in 1997/98. The 86-page booklet also includes several essays on the Piano Pieces (although it doesn't reprint the humorous report from the Kontarsky release). Below are links to chapters on this site describing the Piano Pieces.

57 is a collection of independent acoustic and electro-acoustic chamber pieces drawn from four of the LICHT operas, highlighting the flute and voice of Kathinka Pasveer (as well as the synthesizer playing/programming of Antonio Pérez Abellán).
  • ZUNGENSPITZENTANZ (TIP-OF-THE-TONGUE-DANCE, from Scene 3 of SAMSTAG AUS LICHT) for piccolo flute (Kathinka Pasveer), euphonium (Michael Svoboda), synthesizer player (Antonio Pérez Abellán) and percussionist (Andreas Boettger) (1983). This arrangement of the TIP-OF-THE-TONGUE-DANCE also includes the RIBBON DANCE and CHIN DANCE. Rec. 1995.
  • KLAVIERSTÜCK XVI (PIANO PIECE XVI, derived from Sound Scene 12 of FREITAG AUS LICHT) for tape, piano, synth (feat. Antonio Pérez Abellán) (1995). This piece has an indeterminate score, with the performer interacting with the Couples of Friday tape (which is comprised of the modulated voice of Kathinka Pasveer and Stockhausen). Rec. 2000. 
  • FREIA (from FREITAG AUS LICHT's ELUFA scene) for solo flute (Kathinka Pasveer) (1991), rec. 1993.
  • KOMET (COMET, or KLAVIERSTÜCK XVII, derived from KINDERKRIEG (Childrens War) from FREITAG AUS LICHT) for electronic keyboard (Antonio Pérez Abellán) and tape (a unique realization where the voice of Kathinka Pasveer takes on the two children's chorus parts) (1995). This piece has an indeterminate score and requires the synth programmer to come up with a couple dozen "war sounds from toys". Rec. 2000. 
  • ENTFÜHRUNG (ABDUCTION from Act 3 of MONTAG AUS LICHT) for solo piccolo flute (Kathinka Pasveer) (1986), rec. 1993.
  • FLÖTE (FLUTE solo from Scene 2 of MITTWOCH AUS LIGHT, ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN) for flute (Kathinka Pasveer) and electronic music (tape from MITTWOCHS-ABSCHIED) (1995/96), rec. 1996.
  • THINKI (from Scene 4 of MITTWOCH AUS LIGHT: MICHAELION's OPERATOR sequence) for solo flute (Kathinka Pasveer) (1997), rec. 2000.

58 LICHTER – WASSER (SONNTAGS-GRUSS)/(LIGHTS – WATERS/SUNDAY GREETING) for soprano, tenor, orchestra and synth (1998/99).

     This 1st scene from SONNTAG AUS LICHT (SUNDAY from LIGHT) is performed by soprano Barbara van den Boom, tenor Hubert Mayer, members of the SWR Symphony Orchestra, Baden-Baden/Freiberg, and synthesizer player Antonio Pérez Abellán. In this orchestral piece (actually 29 instrumental soloists) and 2 vocalists, the melodies of LICHT swirl around the room as the notes are passed from instrument to instrument. Obviously a stereo representation can't convey the total spatial movement of the theme, but the material is probably more easily absorbed in stereo (?). Amongst the melodic "Waves" are also textural "Bridges" and "Comets". Rec. 1999/2000.


59
     This disc has two longer electro-acoustic works (although they are not particularly related to one another..). RIGHT-EYEBROW-DANCE is a completely new arrangement of a theme from "Lucifer's Dance", and in CAPRICORN, Nicholas Isherwood sings the "Winter" portion of SIRIUS (originally recorded by Boris Carmeli on CD 26) over the SIRIUS electronic tape .
  • RECHTER AUGENBRAUENTANZ (RIGHT-EYEBROW-DANCE, from Scene 3 of SAMSTAG AUS LICHT) arranged for 6 clarinets (including Rumi-Sota Klemm, Antonia Lorenz, Michele Marelli, Roberta Gottardi, Maja Pawelke and Jean-Francoise Charles), 2 bass clarinets (Petra Stump, Heinz-Peter Linshalm), percussionist (Michael Pattmann), synthesizer player (Antonio Pérez Abellán) (1983/2003), rec. 2003.
  • CAPRICORN (from SIRIUS) for bass vocal soloist (Nicholas Isherwood) and electronic music (1977), rec. 2003.

60 This disc spotlights the trumpet and flugelhorn skills of Marcus Stockhausen (also a featured performer on CDs 33, 35, and 43). These four tracks were originally released by EMI Classics in 1998.
  • ARIES (from SIRIUS) for trumpet and electronic music (1977/80), rec. 1995 (also recorded in 1983 for CD 33).
  • IN FREUNDSCHAFT (1977) for trumpet, rec. 1997.
  • HALT (from MICHAELs REISE UM DIE ERDE, 2nd Act of DONNERSTAG AUS LICHT) for trumpet and double bass (Niek de Groot) (1978), rec. 1995.
  • PIETÀ (from INVASION-EXPLOSION, 2nd Act of DIENSTAG AUS LICHT) for flugelhorn and soprano (Annette Meriweather) (1990/91), rec. June 1993 (an earlier take from Feb of the same year can be found on CD 43).


61
     This disc contains two pre-LICHT pieces, one a modernized reworking of an "intuitive text piece" from AUS DEN SIEBEN TAGEN, and the the other an "historical/archival" release from the shortwave radio "plus-minus" series.
  • LITANEI 97 (LITANY 97) for choir and conductor (1997), feat. the SWR Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Rupert Huber, rec. 2000. A very short version is also used as a background texture in Scene 4 of MITTWOCH AUS LIGHT (MICHAELION's end sequence).
  • KURZWELLEN (SHORT-WAVES, 1968) feat. Aloys Kontarsky (pno), Alfred Alings (tamtm), Rolf Gehlhaar (tamtm), Johannes G. Fritsch (vla), Harald Bojé (electronium), K. Stockhausen (filters) (world première Radio Bremen, 1968). This track plus the layer version from CD 13 originally made up the double LP on Deutsche-Grammophon. One of the most obvious differences is that the CD 61 take is a more traditional "live" recording, whereas on CD 13 Stockhausen mixes the tracks so that there is lots of stuff panned around at the mix board. Both are quite rewarding in their own way.
The original DG release had 2 versions (1968, 1969) split over 4 sides. Stockhausen Edition 13 includes the 1969 version, whereas Edition 61 pairs the 1968 version with LITANY 97.


62 3x REFRAIN 2000
     This CD contains 3x REFRAIN 2000 for piano with 3 wood blocks (Benjamin Kobler), sampler-celesta with 3 antique cymbals (Antonio Pérez Abellán), and vibraphone with 3 cow bells and glockenspiel (Andreas Boettger). This is essentially 3 "versions" of REFRAIN (originally composed in 1959, and recorded earlier on CD 6) with the indeterminate notation strip in 3 different orientations (as seen on the cover) and with some minor additions to the coda. In a concert performance, all 3 versions are supposed to be performed in sequence as heard on the CD, separated by verbal introductions. Two versions of this CD are available, one with spoken German introductions by Stockhausen, and one with Stockhausen speaking English. Rec. 2000.


63 features independent acoustic and electro-acoustic scenes from MONTAG AUS LICHT (Monday from Light). These pieces spotlight the talents of bass vocalist Nicholas Isherwood, the "sound poetry" of Alain Louafi, and the flute and voice of Kathinka Pasveer.
  • LUZIFERs ZORN (LUCIFER’S FURY, from Act 1) for bass (Nicholas Isherwood), actor (Alain Louafi), a synthesizer player (Antonio Pérez Abellán), tape (1987), rec. 2001.
  • DIE 7 LIEDER DER TAGE (THE 7 SONGS OF THE DAYS from EVAS LIED, Act 2) version for voice (Kathinka Pasveer) and synthesizer (Antonio Pérez Abellán) (1987), rec. 2001.
  • DIE 7 LIEDER DER TAGE (THE 7 SONGS OF THE DAYS from EVAS LIED, Act 2) version for flute (Kathinka Pasveer) and synthesizer (Antonio Pérez Abellán) (1987), rec.2001.
  • DER KINDERFÄNGER (THE PIED PIPER, from EVAS ZAUBER, Act 3) for alto flute with piccolo (Kathinka Pasveer), 2 synthesizer players (Antonio Pérez Abellán, Benjamin Kobler), percussion (Abellán/Stockhausen), and tape (1987), rec. 2001.

64 presents the "Electronic and Concrete Music of Stockhausen". However, this CD actually opens with two electro-acoustic chamber pieces, newly-adapted from previous works.
  • EUROPA-GRUSS (EUROPE GREETING, 1992/2002) for winds and synthesizers. This is a new work derived from thematic material from MITTWOCH AUS LICHT, featuring the electro-acoustic "Stockhausen Ensemble", rec. 2002.
  • STOP and START for 6 instrumental groups (pairs) (2001), featuring the "Stockhausen Ensemble". This is a new electro-acoustic version of the orchestral composition STOP from 1965 (featured on CD 4). Performers include Antonio Pérez Abellán, Benjamin Kobler, Michael Pattman, Karin de Fleyt, etc. Rec. 2002.
  • TWO COUPLES (Electronic and Concrete Music derived from PAARE vom FREITAG, 1992/99), feat. the voices of Stockhausen and Kathinka Pasveer, and the signal processing of Simon Stockhausen. This piece was prepared as the score for the 1999 Quay Brothers film "IN ABSENTIA".
  • Electronic and Concrete Music for KOMET (COMET, 1994/99) feat. the layered voices of Kathinka Pasveer and the signal processing of Simon Stockhausen. This is the "tape only" version of KOMET, which is also used as accompaniment for the synth and percussion versions of KOMET.
  • LICHT-RUF (CALL from LIGHT, 1995) featuring Simon Stockhausen on synths.

65 10 Scenes of FRIDAY from LIGHT (1992/94)

     This 2 CD set contains just the "live" music sequences (the "Real Scenes") from FREITAG AUS LICHT, excerpted from CD 50. The booklet includes the bulk of the libretto (the children's texts).


66 MITTWOCHS-GRUSS (WEDNESDAY GREETING) - Electronic Music from MITTWOCH AUS LICHT/WEDNESDAY from LIGHT (developed during MICHAELION's 1998 production, this final tape version was created in 2003).

     MITTWOCHS-GRUSS is an 8-channel electronic music work realized with synth patches programmed by Antonio Pérez Abellán. It is featured as the "entrance music" for the opera, and is rendered live during MICHAELION as a background element. Like the electronic music of DIENSTAG AUS LICHT (OKTOPHONIE) and FREITAG AUS LICHT (WELTRAUM) the textures here are organized as relatively slow-moving sound masses. However, MITTWOCHS-GRUSS seems to have more frequent "hard" timbre changes. The synth timbres Abellán developed here would become the "signature" electronic sounds of LICHT moving forward from this point.


To CD 67-82: LICHT Part 3 (2002-05)

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