|DIENSTAG AUS LICHT|
INVASION – EXPLOSION
|MICHAEL and LUCIFER's brass forces behind the audience|
(WILLKOMMEN score front © www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)
Work No. 60
DIENSTAGs GRUSS (TUESDAY GREETING)
(or Willkommen mit Friedensgruß
(Welcome with Peace Greeting))
for soprano with 9 trumpets, 9 trombones, 2 synthesizers, choir, 1987/1988 [21']
Extract 1: WILLKOMMEN (WELCOME)
for trumpets, trombones, 2 synthesizers, 1988 [1'25"]
Extract 2: SUKAT
for basset-horn and alto flute, 1989 [8']
INVASION – EXPLOSION mit ABSCHIED (INVASION – EXPLOSION with FAREWELL) is the 2nd 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, and DIENSTAGs GRUSS is the opening greeting-piece for DIENSTAG AUS LICHT (Tuesday from Light). The opera continues in Act 1, JAHRESLAUF, and concludes in Act 2, INVASION – EXPLOSION mit ABSCHIED (INVASION – EXPLOSION with FAREWELL).
The Greeting begins with a short fanfare by the brass and synthesizers, called "WILLKOMMEN" (Welcome), which clearly displays the fleet-footed strengths of MICHAEL's trumpets (triple-tongued staccato bursts on the RIGHT) versus LUCIFER's powerfully staunch and stubborn trombones (half-note tones on the LEFT). Meanwhile 2 synthesizers play thick chords which gliss (portamento) from 1 chord to the next.
This is followed by the choir-driven "Friedensgruß (Peace Greeting)", a "battle" (or argument) between MICHAEL and LUCIFER's forces. These two "armies" are situated in groupings on the right and left of the hall and are represented by two separate instrumental and vocal groups:
|Alto Choir||Soprano Choir|
|Bass Choir||Tenor Choir|
|Low Synth||High Synth|
|LUCIFER Choir:||EVE:||MICHAEL Choir:|
deny a God and a Beyond
All of you who fight for your religion will die away.
We want peace,
freedom without God!
Need it be?! Be peaceful, please!
Right, or not: get along with each other!
Hear! Whatever you want, whatever you represent, hear!
EVE melodic formula begins:
Children, women, men, hear me: give up the war,
the strife about God and worlds!
(throws kisses to both choirs)
Let everyone listen,
wait and see if you arise after death
Here on Earth may life be holy in each human heart.
May he who has God and also he who denies God
love his neighbor and his neighbor's neighbor
That gives peace, freedom.
We want peace, freedom in God!
stand by us, help us
in the fight for
We want peace, freedom in God!
|MICHAEL's Choir (top)|
Annette Merriweather as EVE (below)
Leipzig 1993 performance
The Welcome is an immediate attention-getter and very accessible. Who doesn't like two brass sections battling it out? The Peace Greeting, like many pieces in the Licht opera cycle, really requires repeated listenings to pick out the subtleties in each of the layers. Each of the 4 kinds of musical forces (male voices, female voices, brass, synths) here has their own battery of moves and counter-moves. The pace is fairly slow however, so you have plenty of time to soak in the details.
|(Score cover © www.karlheinzstockhausen.org)|
Written at the end of 1989, this duet between alto flute and bassett-horn has a very energetic character, and hangs lots of kinetic material around two of the DIENSTAG LICHT formulas.
|Tuesday segment of the LICHT super-formula (MICHAEL, EVE, LUCIFER)|
SUKAT is performed in an unusual theatrical manner, which is precisely described in the score (including costumes, lighting etc.)." - Stockhausen
The unusual theatrical manner Stockhausen refers to above is described by Sonoloco (Ingvar Loco Nordin): "Suzanne Stephens with her basset-horn and Kathinka Pasveer with her alto flute – and both with their long, natural, beautiful hair – conveyed the impression of wild horses snorting and neighing under a starry sky, bowing their heads, waving their manes around, stamping their hooves in a furious expression of freedom!"
Sound samples, tracks listings and CD ordering
Purchase the Score
Stockhausen's notes regarding DIENSTAGs GRUSS' set up.
Video Excerpts of Leipzig Premiere (MOV)