Act 1
 vom LICHT

Act 2


Concert arrangement
(score front and CD Notes © www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)
    Act 1 of TUESDAY from LIGHT
    for "Modern Orchestra"
    and Tape (geisha bells, lion roars, jazz, etc...)
    w. 1 Tenor and 1 Bass vocalist (added 1991)
    (staged with 4 dancer-mimes, 1 actor-singer, 3 mimes, 
    little girl, beautiful woman)   
    1977/1991 [61' staged]

Nr. 47 1/2 (ie - 47.2)
for modern orchestra, tape, 1977 [46']
Extract 1: PICCOLO
for solo Piccolo Flute
or Soprano Sax with Geisha Bell, 1977 [3']
Extract 2: SAXOPHON
for Soprano Saxophone with or without Bongo, 1977 [6']

     JAHRESLAUF (COURSE OF THE YEARS) is the 1st 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.  The opening scene is DIENSTAGs GRUSS (TUESDAY GREETING) and the 2nd Act (following JAHRESLAUF) is INVASION - EXPLOSION mit ABSCHIED.

     JAHRESLAUF vom DIENSTAG started out as DER JAHRESLAUF, a 1977 composition commissioned by the National Theatre in Tokyo. Scored for traditional Japanese Gagaku orchestra, the drama apparently came to Stockhausen in a dream, the meaning of which he himself can't fully explain. In any case, he incorporated the novel idea of using groups of instruments to represent 4 different time continuums: millenia, centuries, decades and years (I suppose LICHT and KLANG are in some way a natural development of this line of thought).

     The Imperial Gagaku Ensemble premiered the work (Hikari/Light in Japanese), complete with Noh actor, but this version has never been released in any form.  Apparently the Gagaku musicians had some trouble adapting to Stockhausen's notational methods, since Gagaku music is normally orally transmitted and not notated in Western notation.  Stockhausen also scored the work for European instruments however, with the hope that the players would study the Gagaku style of execution and attempt to duplicate it.

     The basic idea of this drama is that 4 dancer-musician groups, each representing 1 of the 4 time continuums, dance and play according to their calendar "stations", but are frequently halted by temptations, and then incited to begin again.  These temptations and incitements are represented by taped sound effects, often accompanied by stage actions (described below).  The orchestra (mainly harmonium) holds and sustains a single chord quietly and "rigidly" during this "drama window".  Shortly after the work was first conceived, Stockhausen incorporated this work into his LICHT opera cycle, specifically as a contest between MICHAEL and LUCIFER, labeled JAHRESLAUF vom DIENSTAG.  The main difference from DER JAHRESLAUF is that additional "dialogue" between MICHAEL and LUCIFER is added to the beginning and end.

Instrumentation and Group Divisions:
     The 4 "time continuums" each have their own instrumental group, musical content and dancer.  In general, the "Millenia" have the slowest rate of obvious change, and the "Years" have the most active parts, though several times Century and Decade groups also have solos or are otherwise very active.  I haven't been able to find any information regarding why, for example, one Decade sequence is faster than another, but I assume it's for aesthetic balance.

     Besides the solo sections, the content of each group functions very much as a texture, some very smooth, and some very staggered, such as when an ostinato arpeggio is used.  The saxophones mostly play bending notes, in the tradition of Japanese hichiriki technique.  The harmoniums basically play chords or sustained arpeggios (which end up sounding like chords anyways) and at times do no more than swell and diminish as their main activity.

Time Stream : Millenia
European Orchestra : harmoniums
(or synth/samplers)

piccolo flutes anvil
(or steel tube
or geisha bell)

soprano saxes bongo
guitar harpsichord
(or synth/sampler) 
bass drum
Gagaku Orchestra
(links to examples)
: shō
ryūteki  shōko
hichiriki kakko
biwa gakusō (koto) taiko
Num Instr. : 3
3 1
3 1
1 1 1

Form Scheme
(from DIENSTAG aus LICHT CD book, click to enlarge)
     My form breakdown below leaves out the percussion elements for space reasons, but is shown in the above form scheme graphic in the rows above each group.  I also grouped the "Rounds" (my term, not Stockhausen's) by color.  The first column is CD track numbers for Stockhausen Complete Edition CD 29, the second column is for CD 40 (in which the first 7 tracks of the CD are the TUESDAY GREETING).


8 Presentation: Geisha Bells
9 LUCIFER: "MICHAEL, play a Course of the Years with me...
MICHAEL: "...I am not a spoil-sport, (so)..."
LUCIFER: "I will stop time, you will set it in motion again..."
1 10 Entrance: Geisha Bells (Musicians' Entrance Procession)

11 MICHAEL and LUCIFER discuss the rules of the game.

Harmoniums Piccolo  Flutes Soprano Saxophones Guitar & Harpsichord
2 12 Round 1

slow whole notes, legato, vibr./flutter-tongue (if sho), increasing overlap,
pitch range expanding upwards
staccato short notes w. pitch range expanding upwards, increasingly to legato groups w.  pitch range shrinking downwards
bent notes w staggered entrances, separated by short chords, increasing overlap,
rising pitch range
harpsichord dominates over guitar, adding melodic fragments,
pitches expanding upwards
3 13 1st Temptation: Ship's bell sounds, flowers are presented to each of the 4 runners
4 14 1st Incitement: A Girl asks for applause, "so that it can continue!"
5 15 Round

gradually shorter,
pitch range shrinking upwards,
increasing density
(continues through
flute solo and 3rd Tutti)
patterns rising in pitch and expanding in range
(flute solo follows,
then 3rd Tutti)
slow chordal glissandi
(1 chord only in flute solo,
returns in 3rd Tutti)
slow chords
(1 guitar chord only in flute solo,
returns in 3rd Tutti)
6 16 Round 2 Interlude:
Piccolo flute solo (w anvil & harmonium)
7 17 Round

(see image for 2nd Tutti)

pitch range shrinking upwards
(see image for 2nd Tutti)

flute solo cont'd:
patterns w trills 
(see image for 2nd Tutti)

 legato harmonized
chordal figures,
falling register
(see image for 2nd Tutti)

falling & shrinking pitch range 
8 18 2nd Temptation: Table bell, cook with rolling trolley, exquisite food
9 19 2nd Incitement: Lion roaring
10 20 Round 3 Prelude:
Guitar & Harpsichords duo (with subtle harmonium and a flute interjection, see below)
11 21 Round 3

(for guitar/harpsichord duo, harmonium continues process from 3rd Tutti),
short accented chords,
varying dynamics
(in guitar/harpsichord duo,
a couple brief flute figures),
slow siren-like glissandi,
falling/rising pitch range,
staggered chords
(silent for
guitar/harpsichord duo)
wailing chordal glissandi,
beating notes
Guitar & Harpsichord duo
continues from above
12 22 3rd Temptation: Ape on motorcycle, honking
13 23 3rd Incitement: Little girl: "To the winner - 10,000 Marks."
14 24 Round

faster chords,
gradually longer
(register slowly
shrinking upwards
during sax solos)
falling long tones
(a few stray figures
during sax solos section)
wailing chordal glissandi cont'd,
returning to legato harmonized
chordal figures
3 Sax solos
(see below)

shrinking pitch range
(silent during sax solos)
15 25
16 26 Round

 HARLEKIN formula
17 27  INORI formula
18 28  MANTRA formula
19 29 4th Temptation: Slow blues, a woman "Stark naked!" (strip joint)
20 30 Entry Of The Percussionists : "dance rhythm"
21 31 4th Incitement: Sounds of thunder (with acrobats)
21 31 Round

decrescendo & ritardando
crescendo & accelerando
(long individual notes/
irregular accents,
chords accel.)
decrescendo & ritardando
crescendo & accelerando
(morse within the pitch range, accel.)
decrescendo & ritardando
(ind. notes/w. short gliss.)
crescendo & accelerando

decrescendo & ritardando
crescendo & accelerando
(gliss at end)

22 32
23 33
24 34 Final Chord

One Group is chosen as the "winner" and receives the prize money (not on CD)
The COURSE of the YEARS for the following year is announced (not on CD)

35 Musicians' exit procession with portable instruments
36 MICHAEL: "LUCIFER invents strange games..."
LUCIFER: "Bravo MICHAEL...but brace yourself for a much tougher fight!" 

(excerpt from 6th Tutti decrescendo)

Live Performance:
JAHRESLAUF, Leipzig 1993
Orchestra inside globe structure, each dancer mime stays in his own digit.
Leipzig 1993 Performance

DER JAHRESLAUF (Gagaku Version), Tokyo 2014

 JAHRESLAUF, Tokyo 2014

Additional Works:
PICCOLO for solo piccolo flute (or soprano sax and geisha bell) is the solo from "Round 2".  It features scalar runs, large interval leaps, flutter-tongue (sometimes with bending glissandi) and dynamic modulation.

SAXOPHON for soprano sax and bongo drum starts with the legato chordal phrases preceding the 3 saxophone solos and continues through the 3 solo formula traversals.  It has a few extra bars at the end.

Sound Impressions:
     This is a really entertaining work and is one of the many great examples showcasing Stockhausen's sense of humor.  The juxtaposition of a traditional ethnic music texture with Western motorcycles, promises of money, appeals to the audience to applaud and lascivious blues somehow works.  On paper this could be disastrous, but by creating windows of "stillness" to allow these "commercials" to surface, Stockhausen succeeds in making what could be a statement of some kind.  What that statement consists of is left up to the audience.  One other meta-layer at work here is that the music is only an approximation of traditional Gagaku music.  It does have some traditional scales and chords but in general it is an adaptation of sorts.  So these levels of artifice somehow work together to make a serious comedy. On another level, one could say that the orchestra version is an "approximation" of a Gagaku orchestra doing an "approximation" of contemporary classical music....

     One thing I hope someday to hear is the work performed by a traditional Gagaku orchestra.  Some traditional musicians have reported that the score was difficult to execute due to the notational methods used, so it's possible the Gagaku premier was not up to Stockhausen's standard.  Nowadays, the opportunities for traditional ensembles to crossover into contemporary fare are much more common, so I imagine it could be very interesting.

  Finally, I imagine this is a pretty good workout for the "Year Runner" since he has to complete a circuit 357 times (at least in 1977 where 7 x 51 = 357). 

Sound samples, tracks listings and CD ordering:
Purchase the Score
Stockhausen's notes on DER JAHRESLAUF
Video Excerpts of Leipzig Premiere (MOV)
Wikipedia Entry
The Saxophone Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen (Bunt essay on SAXOPHON, PDF thesis)
Albrecht Moritz
Sonoloco Review of DER JAHRESLAUF
Sonoloco Review of DIENSTAG AUS LICHT
DER JAHRESLAUF (1979) on Youtube 
DER JAHRESLAUF (Licht version) on Youtube  
Gagaku Instruments
Essay extract about the Gagaku Orchestra version