Sunday from Light (1998-2003)
for 10 vocal soloists, boy’s voice, four instrumental soloists (bassett horn, flute, trumpet, synthesizer), two choirs, two orchestras, electronic music.

     SONNTAG aus LICHT (Sunday From Light) is the 7th and final opera in Karlheinz Stockhausen's "7 day" LICHT (Light) opera cycle, following MITTWOCH aus LICHT. SONNTAG is characterized as the "Day of Mystical Union" between the LICHT protagonists MICHAEL and EVE. In the opening Scene of this 5-part production, an orchestra atomizes and rotates the themes of MICHAEL and EVE, after which a procession of "Angels" praises their union. The scene "Light Pictures" reflects the courtship between these two characters in a 3-way "shadow-play", and seven "Scents of the Week" are celebrated. Finally, an orchestra and choir take turns to finalize this union with "recollections" of scenes from each day of LICHT. The scenes in SONNTAG do not have a dramatic arc connecting them, instead the actual theme of union between the characters Michael and Eve are achieved through musical, visual, spatial and even olfactory means.

Scene 1: LICHTER–WASSER (SONNTAGS-GRUSS)/(Light-Waters, or Sunday Greeting)
     For soprano, tenor, and orchestra (29 pcs.) with synthesizer. Composed 1998-1999, premiered 1999 during the Donaueschinger Musiktage (Southwest German Radio).
     After an introductory duet, the tenor and soprano soloists lead members of the orchestra to appointed locations situated throughout the audience seating area. After each player has reached his/her spot, a candle is lit (the "Light" of the title). During this opening ritual a complex harmony slowly builds from broad held figures. The main section of this Scene is characterized by short melodic fragments (based in the LICHT Michael and Eve melody themes) passed around by members of the orchestra in two layers. This results in "waves" of melodies circling around the audience hall in separate tempos. This structure is interrupted by several soloistic interludes, as well as a section where some musicians "ascend" to an elevated stage for a narrative scene. At the end, each player drinks from a bowl of water (the "Water" of the title) and depart. 
Further Analysis and Listening Guide

Scene 2: ENGEL-PROZESSIONEN (Angel Processions)
     For choir (a cappella). Composed 2000, premiered 2002 at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam.
     In ENGEL-PROZESSIONEN, the setting is a hall lined with a mixed choir along the rear and side walls (a "Tutti Choir"), singing slow, quiet tones and aleatoric syllables. Promenading through the audience are 7 singing "Angel Choirs" (choir groups of 4 to 6 singers) using texts from 7 different languages. A tenor and soprano lead the choir members in synchronized hand gestures. The 7th Angel Choir, the Angels of Joy, also sometimes sings from the balcony (echoing the "elevated" section of the 1st Scene). During this Scene, the 7 Angel Choirs sing in various vocal combinations (layered configurations of 2-part polyphony) while promenading in ritualistic fashion throughout the performance space. Since the theme of SONNTAG AUS LICHT is "mystical union", the polyphonic EVE and MICHAEL layers of each Angel Choir gradually meld together (Duality to unity) as the Scene progresses into a homophonic texture at the end, at which point each Angel Choir proceeds up the middle of the hall and converges, bringing irises and lilies to form a mountain of flowers. 
Further Analysis and Listening Guide

Scene 3: LICHT-BILDER (Light Pictures)
     For tenor vocalist, trumpet with ring-modulation, basset-horn, and flute/alto flute with ring-modulation. Composed 2002-2003, premiered 2004.
     In this Scene the tenor vocalist and basset-horn soloist navigate through "backwards-ordered" fragments of the Michael and Eve themes. The trumpet and flute play staggered variations of the tenor and bassett-horn (effectively acting as rippling "reflections). The sounds of the trumpet and flute are also processed through a digital ring-modulation effect, which adds a further "warped reflection" to the musical texture (these sounds are projected from the rear of the hall). Throughout this performance the performers also move about the space in motions reflective of the musical material. Divided into 7 sections (one for each day of the week), the polyphonic texture of this Scene is broken up by several interludes based on harmonized duos, trios and quartets. The libretto sung by the tenor soloist is made up of non-grammatical words and phrases which praise God and correspond to the "essences of seven spheres of life". 
Further Analysis and Listening Guide

Scene 4: DÜFTE - ZEICHEN (Scents - Signs)
     For 7 vocalists, boy’s voice, synthesizer. Composed 2002, premiered 2003 at the Salzburg Festival.
     In this Scene, Stockhausen celebrates each of the 7 Days of the Week with it's own Scent and an explanation of its Sign. The main body of this Scene features six vocalists singing in solos, duets and trios, each containing text describing the basic themes of each Day of the Week. During each of the 7 primary "song-scenes" incense is lit (aromatic bowl), banners are unfurled, and hand gestures are made. These songs are separated and supported by ensemble sequences in free-rhythms. A synthesizer adds various embellishments to each of the songs, becoming more and more complex as the Scene develops. At the end are 2 additional songs where a youth from the audience is taken into the sky on a flying horse (the alto song sequence also features a richly-harmonized "Overtone Chant").
Further Analysis and Listening Guide

Scene 5: HOCH-ZEITEN ("High-Times", or "Wedding/Marriage")
     For choir and orchestra. Composed 2001-2002, premiered 2003 at Las Palma.
     HOCH-ZEITEN is performed simultaneously by both a choir and an orchestra situated in two separate halls. Since the theme of SONNTAG is "mystical union", audio/video signals are broadcast from one hall into the other during several "Blend-ins" (physically, however, the 2 musical ensembles are completely separate). Typically, an audience will experience a performance of one group in the first hall, and then move into the other hall as the performance is repeated (in other words, the performers exchange audiences between two performances of the same work). The music itself is based around held tones (drones) making a 5-part harmony (and 5 different languages for the choir), with different types of ornamentation featured. These various ornamental articulations are meant to "speak" to each other, using the 5 languages applied to the 5 layers. In addition to the "Blend-ins", the orchestral version has 7 "Memories", where a featured duet/trio occurs. Here, quotes of musical passages from previous Scenes of the LICHT opera cycle appear. These instrumental "Memories" are also heard in the choral version through the orchestral "Blend-ins".
Further Analysis and Listening Guide

SONNTAGS-ABSCHIED ("Sunday Farewell")
     For 5 Synthesizers. Composed and premiered in 2003.
     In 2004, the music for HOCH-ZEITEN was adapted for 5 synthesizers. Five performer-programmers (Layers 1-5: Marc Maes, Frank Gutschmidt, Fabrizio Rosso, Benjamin Kobler and Antonio Pérez Abellán) worked with Stockhausen to translate the choir version manuscript into synthetic tones, while preserving the linguistic aspects of the text. When staged, video projections of the keyboardists' hands can be projected onto screens above each player. This version can also be performed by 1 synthesizer accompanied by a tape of the other 4 parts, in which case it is named KLAVIERSTÜCK XIX (Piano Piece 19). Another version of this piece exists as STRAHLEN, which is for multiple vibraphones (some processed digitally).
Further Analysis and Listening Guide

Mystical Union
     Sunday From Light celebrates the final convergence and joining of the protagonists Michael and Eve, and therefore minimizes the influence of Lucifer, the LICHT Cycle's antagonist. As Lucifer represents a more conservative, "restrictive" theme, his absence allows this final day of LICHT to have a very open feeling -  evocative of an almost ethereal, open-air ritual celebration. Additionally, this final opera presents refined explorations of elements found in earlier points of Stockhausen's half-century career, from the "pointillistic" orchestral textures of Light-Waters (see PUNKTE), to the movement-based, ring-modulated chamber pieces of Light-Pictures (MANTRA), to the spacially-enhanced ritual drone textures of Angel Processions and High-Times (see STIMMUNG, STERNKLANG, INORI). As a final statement of the LICHT opera cycle however, the composer here unmistakably reaches an apotheosis of sorts for the LICHT superformula.
The color for SUNDAY is GOLD.

LIGHT-WATERS Soprano and Tenor vocal soloists, orchestra, synthesizer
ANGEL PROCESSIONS Choir a cappella (with 4 soloists)
LIGHT-PICTURES Tenor vocalist, bassett horn, ring-modulated flute, ring-modulated trumpet (with synth for controlling ring modulation)
SCENTS – SIGNS Vocal septet (solos, duos and a trio), boy’s voice, synthesizer
SUNDAY FAREWELL   Tape (5 synthesizers (PIANO PIECE XIX))

Released on Stockhausen Edition CDs 58, 67, 68, 69, 73, 74

Additional Arrangements from SONNTAG aus LICHT Stockhausen Edition CD
TUESDAY DUET: Day of Conflict between MICHAEL & LUCIFER (KYPHI) 70 9 DÜFTE DER WOCHE (Song Extracts)
WEDNESDAY TRIO: Cooperation between MICHAEL, EVE & LUCIFER (MASTIX) 70 9 DÜFTE DER WOCHE (Song Extracts)
FRIDAY DUET: Day of LUCIFER's Temptation of EVE (TATE YUNANAKA) 70 9 DÜFTE DER WOCHE (Song Extracts)
SUNDAY DUET: Day of Mystical Union between MICHAEL & EVE (WEIHRAUCH) 70 9 DÜFTE DER WOCHE (Song Extracts)
HOCH-ZEITEN Chor Gruppe 1-5, Tutti 71 HOCH-ZEITEN Choral multitracks
HOCH-ZEITEN Orchester Gruppe 1-5, Tutti 72 HOCH-ZEITEN Orchestra multitracks


Wednesday from Light (1995-97)
for flute, basset horn, trumpet, trombone, string quartet, bass vocal (with short-wave radio), choir, orchestra soloists, synthesizer, electronic and concrete music (staged with dancing camel).

     On MITTWOCH (Wednesday), the LICHT Day of Cooperation and Reconciliation, MICHAEL, LUCIFER and EVE attempt to reach common ground through several avenues: an Earthly council meeting on "love", a floating, reality-leaping orchestra, a helicopter string quartet, and a meeting in interstellar space where a strange camel (LUCI-CAMEL) is elected President, and message bearers disperse out into the universe.

     MITTWOCH aus LICHT (Wednesday From Light) is the 6th opera in Karlheinz Stockhausen's "7 day" LICHT (Light) opera cycle, following FREITAG aus LICHT. The first part of MITTWOCH to be composed was the 3rd Scene's HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT, which was developed from 1992 to 1993, and premiered in Amsterdam in 1995. After the completion of FREITAG in 1994, Stockhausen composed WELT-PARLAMENT (the 1st Scene of MITTWOCH) in 1995 and premiered it in Stuttgart the following year. ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN (Scene 2) and the closing farewell, MITTWOCHs ABSCHIED (the concrete music layer for ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN) were completed in 1996 and premiered that same year in Amsterdam.
     The 4th and final Scene, MICHAELION, was completed in 1997 and premiered the following year in Munich. The electronic music greeting MITTWOCHs GRUSS (also performed by live synthesizer in MICHAELION) was also created in 1997, although its "spatialization scheme" was not finalized until 2003. A full production of MITTWOCH aus LICHT was finally mounted (posthumously) in 2012 by the Birmingham Opera Company in England.

     Like Stockhausen's 2nd and 4th operas (SAMSTAG aus LICHT and DIENSTAG aus LICHT), the four Scenes of MITTWOCH do not have a conventional narrative arc connecting them together. Instead, the theme of "cooperation and reconciliation" between the characters Michael, Eve and Lucifer is achieved through musical, visual, and spatial means. However, the settings for the opera's four Scenes logically progress through escalating environments, from WELT-PARLAMENT's domed skyscraper, to ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN's mid-air "floating" orchestra, to the swooping sky-borne choppers of the HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT, and finally to the deep space "cosmic parliament" of MICHAELION.
MITTWOCHS-GRUSS (Wednesday Greeting)
     As in FREITAG and MONTAG, the Greeting of MITTWOCH consists of primarily electronic music projected in the opera hall foyer before the opera's 1st Scene (it's worth noting that at this point in time, keyboardist/synthesizer programmer Antonio Pérez Abellán began assisting Stockhausen in the creation of his electronic music works).
Scene 1: WELT-PARLAMENT (World Parliament)
     In a glass dome atop a skyscraper (sometimes with doves and helicopters flying past), members of a choral "world parliament" are called into a meeting by the President to discuss the important issues of the day, and more specifically, to debate the meaning of the word "love". This scene is performed by an a cappella choir (12 individual groups) led by a conducting/singing "President". Vocal soloists sing declarations over a polyrhythmic quilt of syllabic choral textures. Near the end, a janitor interrupts the proceedings and the President is called away to move his car. A coloratura soprano is nominated to take his leading role. At the end, the choir groups sing an ensemble tutti figure. 
Scene 2: ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN (Orchestra Finalists
     In this scene, the orchestra is "floating high up in the air from far away...individual soloists fly closer, each of them in/above their own space..."  These "spaces" are realized through aurally-juxtaposed, environmentally-disparate musique concrete sound effects (projected from tape, and later reprised as MITTWOCHs-ABSCHIED). Orchestra Finalists has no sung dialogue or vocal soloists, but instead features a sequence of 11 short "auditions" by different instrumental soloists performing one after another, aurally-embedded amongst the sound spaces projected by the backing collage tape. MITTWOCH's theme of cooperation is represented by the coming together of the separate soloists into a full orchestral tutti at the end of the scene (performing sequences from their audition solo parts).
Scene 3: HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT (Helicopter String Quartet)
     The 3rd Scene of MITTWOCH aus LICHT also omits any kind of narrative vocal dialogue. Instead, Stockhausen breaks the "fourth wall" by holding a press conference describing the Scene itself. In short order, four members of a string quartet leave the hall and climb into the cockpits of four waiting helicopters. Each of the helicopters takes off and, for roughly the next half hour, swoops around the sky above the performance hall, with closed circuit video and sound of the performing string players piped into the hall on 4 screens.
     Musically, the string quartet plays energetic, swooping tremolo figures (derived from the LICHT super-formula theme). At the same time, the sound mixer in the hall blends in the close-miked sound of the helicopter rotor blades. This altitude-enabled performance is also punctuated several times by shouted counting from the string players (in different "voices" meant to suggest ethnic vocal styles from around the world). After the helicopters land, the string players return to the stage, and the Moderator interviews the 8 performers (including the 4 helicopter pilots).
     The final Scene of MITTWOCH AUS LICHT is set at the MICHAELION, "a galactic headquarters for delegates of the universe". Like WELT-PARLAMENT, it also features a meeting of various characters from different locales, and here the end result is a consensus leading to the transmission of a message to the universe. It is divided into 3 main sections, with the 2nd and 3rd sections having sub-scenes...
1. PRÄSIDIUM (Presidency): A meeting is to be held to decide on a new Galactic President, who will also hopefully act as an "Operator" (inter-species translator/mediator). In this opening section, vocal soloists, choir groups and instrumental soloists perform in various layers of polyphony, creating solos, duos, trios, etc...
2. LUZIKAMEL (Lucicamel): In this sequence, a talking camel named LUCICAMEL appears and is eventually made Galactic President. The bass vocal inside the camel is essentially the main soloist here, accompanied by a trombone "Trombonut". The choir groups interact with the bass/trombone duo throughout. This section is divided into 5 sub-sections:
  • LUCICAMEL: A costumed bass vocal (Lucicamel) enters the delegation. His companion, a trombone "Trombonut" also arrives.
  • KAKABEL: 7 large colored globes representing the 7 Days of Licht emerge from Lucicamel's rump.
  • SHOE-SHINE SERENADE: Tenors briefly shoe-shine Lucicamel's left foreleg (the bass cries out appreciatively).
  • KAMEL-TANZ (Camel-Dance): Lucicamel, drunk on champagne, sings and dances in several styles (ballerina, "robot", etc...).
  • STIERKAMPF (Bullfight): Lucicamel and the Trombonut engage in a playful "bullfight". Afterwards, the bass vocal sheds his camel costume and takes his place as the new Galactic President.
3. OPERATOR: The Galactic President (now also acting as an "Operator") interprets signals from a shortwave radio for the delegation. He then individually give audiences to 11 delegates (from different alien races) speaking in 11 different languages (characterized by the use of toy instruments). Finally, 6 delegates (with 6 of Lucicamel's globes) go out into the universe, spreading the message of Michael. OPERATOR is divided into 3 sub-sections:
  • OPERATOR: The Galactic President converses with 11 delegates from different alien races by way of radio signals and toy instruments. Midway, a flute solo (THINKI) joins the proceedings.
  • BASSETSU-TRIO/KARUSSEL (Carousel): The Bassetsu Trio (basset horn, trumpet, trombone) perform variations of the LICHT super-formula, as the choral delegate groups mount a carousel. Six vocal soloists ("Space Sextet") move outwards into the audience space. This section ends with a soprano solo. 
  • "MENSCHEN, HÖRT" (RAUM SEXTETT) ("Mankind, Hear" (Space Sextet)): The ensemble disperses in a "magical" way, as the vocal soloists sing the LICHT super-formula.
MITTWOCHS-ABSCHIED (Wednesday Farewell)
     The background tape used to produce the rotating, transforming "environmental spaces" for Orchestra Finalists is projected at the end of the opera performance as the audience departs.
A Cosmic Conjunction
     After the darkest episodes of the LICHT saga (presented in DIENSTAG aus LICHT and FREITAG aus LICHT), MITTWOCH sees Stockhausen swinging back towards more whimsical fare, imbued with optimism. Although the characters of Michael, Eve and Lucifer do not specifically appear on stage as vocal soloists, the instrumental avatars of Michael, Eve and Lucifer (trumpet, basset horn and trombone) do form a very special "Bassetsu" trio in MICHAELION's musical climax. MITTWOCH's theme of cooperation is cleverly embodied in its four Scenes, with each beginning with a sense of disarray or skepticism, but ending in peaceful unity and collaboration. The table below lists the instrumental forces featured in each Scene and the featured performers on the premier recordings on the Stockhausen Edition label.

WORLD PARLIAMENT Vocal soloists, mixed choir.
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.
ORCHESTRA FINALISTS Orchestra soloists with musique concrete tape.
Rec. 1996, feat. members of the ASKO-Ensemble, Amsterdam.
HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET String quartet, helicopters.
The Arditti String Quartet, rec. 1995, 1996.
MICHAELION Vocal soloists, mixed choir, short-wave radio, flute, bassett horn, trumpet, trombone, synthesizer, tape, toys.
Rec. 2012, feat. the London Voices, Michael Leibundgut (bass), Chloe L'Abbe (flute), Fie Schouten (bassett-horn), Marco Blaauw (trumpet), Stephen Menotti (trombone), Antonio Pérez Abellán (synth) and others.

Released on Stockhausen Edition CDs 66, 51, 52, 53, 54, 55

Stockhausen's MITTWOCH aus LICHT
and its sub-works (click to enlarge).
See also LICHT Works.
Additional Arrangements from MITTWOCH aus LICHT Stockhausen Edition CD
FLÖTE from ORCHESTER-FINALISTEN (Flute & Tape, 1995/96) 57 LICHT Chamber Works (Pasveer/Abellán)
BASSETSU for basset-horn (1997) 82 Brass, Reeds, Percussion & Electronics
THINKI for flute (1997) 57 LICHT Chamber Works (Pasveer/Abellán)
KAMEL-TANZ for bass, trombone, synthesizer (1997) 105 Chamber Works (New Recordings from 2011 to 2015)
KLAVIERSTÜCK XVIII (Wednesday Formula) for synthesizer (2004) 79 Percussion & Electronics
MITTWOCH-FORMEL (Wednesday Formula) for 3 percussionists (2005) 79 Percussion & Electronics
LICHT-RUF (CALL from LIGHT, 1995) 64 Electronic and Concrete Music

2012 Birmingham Production (photos)


Friday from Light (1991-1994)
for soprano, baritone and bass vocal soloists, flute, basset horn, children’s orchestra, children’s choir, 12 choir singers, synthesizer, tape (staged with 12 pairs of dancer-mimes).

     FREITAG is the Day of Temptation where LUCIFER attempts to tempt EVE into joining his revolution against Heaven. At first EVE resists, but the children of LUCIFER and the children of EVE meet and play together. However a Children's War soon shatters the union.

Johannes Cohen, 1995
     FREITAG aus LICHT (Friday From Light) is the 5th opera in Karlheinz Stockhausen's "7 day" LICHT (Light) opera cycle, following DIENSTAG aus LICHT. The composition of the opening and closing electronic music sequences (FREITAGs-GRUSS and FREITAGs-ABSCHIED) began in 1991 and was completed in 1994. The vocal and electronic music "Sound Scene" interludes distributed throughout the main opera (PAARE vom FREITAG) were created in 1992. The composition of the vocal, choral and instrumental "Real Scenes" took place throughout 1991 to 1994. Stockhausen's progress on FREITAG aus LICHT was sometimes temporarily halted due to work necessary for the staged premiere production of DIENSTAG aus LICHT, as well as the creation of the HELIKOPTER-STREICHQUARTETT (Helicopter String Quartet), later to be included in the next LICHT opera, Wednesday From Light.

     FREITAG is the Day of Temptation, where the LICHT antagonist Lucifer (here represented by the character "Ludon") attempts to lure the female protagonist Eve into bonding with his son, "Caino", and joining his revolution against Heaven (and the hero Michael). Distributed between the staged narrative scenes are somewhat disturbing (but sensuous) "Sound Scenes", featuring pairs of frolicking dancers dressed as bizarre animate and inanimate objects. These Couples are aurally heard as distorted blends of human, animal and mechanical sounds. Eventually hybrid "children" are borne from these Couples. Throughout, the underlying electronic music conveys a sense of menace and foreboding.

     Representing a more "human" force, the soprano Eve is accompanied instrumentally by her somewhat more light-hearted companions "Elu" and "Lufa" (a pair of earthy basset horn and flute soloists). The drama between Eve and Ludon comes to a head when a "children's war" erupts between their respective children's choir groups - dramatically staged with toy laser weapons and a giant, flame-breathing rhinoceros. At the end, the Hybrid children of the Sound Scene Couples peacefully float away in a Choir Spiral.

     This is the electronic music used for the audience arrival and departure "Greeting" and "Farewell". This same tape is employed during the main opera scenes as a supporting electronic sound layer.

Friday Greeting and Friday Farewell Electronic Music: Further Analysis and Listening Guide 

FREITAG-VERSUCHUNG (Friday Temptation)
     The dramatic arc of Friday From Light is related through ten vocal scenes ("Real Scenes") grouped into two acts. These plot scenes are separated by the more abstract "Sound Scenes" in which selected pairs of dancers  costumed as related animal and mechanical figures) pantomime exotic sexual activities in sync with the electronic music ("Couples of Friday") projected from 8 speakers. Examples of these paired couples (12 in total) include a man and woman, a cat and a dog, a photocopy machine and a typewriter, a race car and its driver, etc...
  • ANTRAG (Proposal), featuring soprano, bass, flute, basset horn (quartet): Eve (followed by "Elu" (her basset horn companion) and "Lufa" (her flute companion)), emerges descending a rocky path. Lucifer (in the form of "Ludon") greets her, and proposes that she "yields" to his son, "Caino". Eve is doubtful, but they arrange a further meeting to introduce their respective children. In general, this is a fairly subdued scene with contrapuntal dialogue figures in broad (but foreboding) gestures.
  • KINDER-ORCHESTER (Children's Orchestra)/KINDER-CHOR (Children's Choir)/KINDER-TUTTI (Children's Tutti), featuring soprano, bass, children's orchestra, children's choir, flute, basset horn, synthesizer: Eve (with Elu & Lufa) arrives with her children (dressed in white), who arrive playing Western concert instruments. Ludon then arrives with his children's choir (wearing black and red garments), who shake and rattle African rhythm instruments. A "Synthibird" (synthesizer accompanist) also appears. Eve and her young entourage (including Elu and Lufa) play for Ludon's children, accompanied by Synthibird. This opening musical sequence is in a brisker tempo and is based on ensemble melodic figures, supported by restless synthesizer accents. Afterwards, Ludon's children are impressed, and applaud with their percussion instruments. Ludon's children's choir then sings, also accompanied by Synthibird. During this sequence, each of Ludon's 24 children offer brief, playful solos (Ludon also has a "teaching moment" solo sequence here). Afterwards, Eve and Ludon's combined ensembles sing/play angular melodic figures in unison. At the end, Eve, Ludon and their children depart in laughter and joy.
  • ZUSTIMMUNG (Consent), featuring soprano, bass, flute, basset horn (quartet): Eve (with Elu & Lufa) appears before Ludon, who presents Eve with a black talisman. Eve consents to a union with Ludon's son Caino (in order to "advance the evolution of Mankind") and hands the talisman back to Ludon. Musically, this scene is an elaboration of the 1st scene's quartet.
The color for FRIDAY is ORANGE.

  • Appearance of Hybrid Couples: In the second act, the Real Scenes continue to be separated by the paired Sound Scene lovers. However, after the Real Scene FALL, adjacent couples begin to "swap partners" during the Sound Scenes. After each of these "inter-animate" couplings, a "hybrid" ani-mechanical couple appears between the neighboring couples. These new Hybrid Couples (ultimately 6 pairs in all) take on the combined forms of their "parents" (for example, a dog-woman and a man-cat, a car-typewriter and a car driver in a photocopy machine, etc...). As they are borne, they begin singing quiet held harmonies.
  • FALL, featuring soprano, baritone, flute, basset horn (quartet): Eve (with Elu & Lufa) arrives in a boat (broad flute and basset horn lines with synth drones). They greet Ludon's son Caino (a baritone) who sits on the shore of a moonlit lake. Eve and Caino "entwine themselves" and sing a sensuous duet. Afterwards, Eve departs on her boat, as a red comet shoots across the sky (accompanied by the cry of betrayed Michael).
  • KINDERKRIEG (Children's War), featuring children's choir, synthesizer (optional basset horn): In this scene the children of Eve (armed with modern armaments) battle the children of Ludon (armed with primitive wood and stone weapons). The battle sequence ends as a giant winged rhinoceros sends the white children into a retreat. This conflict is musically expressed through contrapuntal "dueling" children's choir melodies and synthesizer sound effects.
  • REUE (Repentance), featuring soprano, flute, basset horn (trio): Eve (with Elu & Lufa) returns to the lake shore where she had had her tryst with Caino. She sings an aria of repentance, supported by her basset horn and flute companions. At the same time, Eve also makes INORI gestures (a form of "sign language") as a parallel layer of regretful beseechment.
  • ELUFA, featuring flute & basset horn: Elu and Lufa musically ruminate upon the drama that has transpired. The 12 "parent" Couples pronounce their repentance and then disappear (although their Hybrid Couple progeny remain, and begin to congregate).
  • CHOR-SPIRALE (Choir Spiral), featuring choir: The 6 pairs of Hybrid Couples unite in a giant candle flame while singing, eventually rising up in a slow spiral movement and vanishing into the Beyond.
    Johannes Cohen, 1995
    Real Scenes Further Analysis and Listening Guide

    Sound Scenes Further Analysis and Listening Guide

    Day of Temptation
         Friday from Light continues the "dark streak" begun in Tuesday from Light. For example, where the Tuesday episode portrayed the war between Michael and Lucifer in "adult" battlefield terms, Friday's conflict is climaxed by a fantastical "children's war" between Eve and Lucifer's children. In many ways Friday is a direct sequel to Tuesday and together they make for a thought-provoking pair.

         Musically, 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 by using WELTRAUM as an electronic background layer (faded in and out), a unified "mood" is established, almost like how a color scheme is applied to a film. The vocally-driven "cybernetic" music of the Sound Scenes also provides a fascinating contrast to the staged performances. Due partly to the vocoder-related abstract sound elements and textures (as well as the strangely-costumed dancers), they provide an exotic contrast to the more "natural" harmony and costuming found in the Real Scenes.

         The vocal, choral and instrumental combinations making up the musical fabric of the Real Scenes are based on somewhat simplified versions of the LICHT "super-formula" (which were introduced and explored in the first three LICHT operas). These simplified thematic forms are based on sensuous "gliding" figures (oftentimes in counterpoint), resulting in possibly some of the most classically-romantic works of Stockhausen's entire oeuvre.

    (from Children's War)
         The table below lists the instrumental forces featured in each act.
    (Outer Space Pt 1)
    Tape (modified vocal and concrete sounds)
    FRIDAY TEMPTATION: Soprano, Baritone and Bass vocal soloists, flute, bassett horn, choir, children’s choir and "orchestra", synthesizer, tape (modified vocal and concrete sounds)
         PROPOSAL (feat. Soprano and Bass vocal soloists, flute, bassett horn)
         CHILDREN'S ORCHESTRA (feat. Soprano and Bass vocal soloists, 2-part children's choir and soloists)
         CONSENT (feat. Soprano and Bass vocal soloists, flute, bassett horn)
         FALL (feat. Soprano and Baritone vocal soloists, flute, bassett horn)
         CHILDREN'S WAR (feat. 2-part children's choir & synthesizer (PIANO PIECE XVII))
         REPENTANCE (feat. Soprano vocal soloist, flute, bassett horn)
         ELUFA (feat. bassett horn, flute)
         CHOIR-SPIRAL (feat. 2-part mixed choir)


    Soprano and Bass processed with concrete music
    (Outer Space Pt 2)
    Tape (modified vocal and concrete sounds)

    Released on Stockhausen Edition CD 50
    • 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.
    Stockhausen's FREITAG aus LICHT
    and its sub-works (click to enlarge).
    See also LICHT Works.

    Additional Arrangements from FREITAG aus LICHT Stockhausen Edition CD
    FREIA for basset horn (1991) 32 Suzanne Stephens (Works 1989-94)
    FREIA for flute (1991) 57 LICHT Chamber Works (Pasveer/Abellán)
    TWO COUPLES (1992/99) 64 Electronic and Concrete Music
    KLAVIERSTÜCK XVI (derived from Sound Scene 12 of FREITAG aus LICHT) for tape, piano, synth (1995) 57 LICHT Chamber Works (Pasveer/Abellán)
    Electronic and Concrete Music for KOMET (1994/99) 64 Electronic and Concrete Music
    KOMET, or Klavierstück XVII for synth, tape (1995) 57 LICHT Chamber Works (Pasveer/Abellán)
    KOMET for a percussionist (Andreas Boettger), electronic and concrete music (1994/99) 79 Percussion & Electronics
    KOMET for a percussionist (Stuart Gerber), electronic and concrete music (1994/99) 82 Brass, Reeds, Percussion & Electronics
    VIBRA-ELUFA for vibraphone (2003) 79 Percussion & Electronics


    (from JAHRESLAUF)
    Tuesday from Light (1977, 1987-1991)
    for tenor, bass and soprano vocal soloists, trumpets, trombones, mobile electronic keyboards and percussion, synthesizers, flugel horn, chamber orchestra, choir, tape (electronic music).

         DIENSTAG is LICHT's Day of War. In this opera, LUCIFER and MICHAEL first confront each other in a "Course of the Years" contest to control the flow of time. In the second half, their armies battle each other in the air and on a futuristic battleground. The forces of LUCIFER eventually penetrate a crystal barrier to reveal "war gamers". In the end, a clownish figure, the "Synthi-Fou" defuses the conflict with his good humor.

         DIENSTAG aus LICHT (Tuesday From Light) is the 4th opera in Karlheinz Stockhausen's "7 day" LICHT (Light) opera cycle, following MONTAG aus LICHT. Act 1, JAHRESLAUF (The Course of the Years), originally started out as DER JAHRESLAUF, a 1977 composition commissioned by the National Theatre in Tokyo (and dedicated to Jaynee Stephens). Scored for traditional Japanese Gagaku orchestra, it premiered in 1977. In 1979, an adaptation featuring traditional European concert instruments was premiered. Stockhausen later incorporated this version of the work into his LICHT opera cycle, which was conceived during this same period. The main difference between LICHT's JAHRESLAUF vom LICHT (1990-91) and DER JAHRESLAUF (1977) is that additional "dialogue" scenes between Michael and Lucifer were added to the beginning and ending of the LICHT staging. This opera version premiered in 1991.

         The opening DIENSTAGs-GRUSS (Tuesday Greeting) was written after work on MONTAG aus LICHT was completed, on a commission for the 1988 600th anniversary of the Cologne University. Act 2, INVASION, was originally a commission for the Ensemble InterContemporain (to mark the 200th anniversary of the French Revolution in 1989), but its completion was delayed because the organization would not agree to perform it once they realized Stockhausen's staging plans. In the meantime, the electronic soundscape underlying INVASION (titled OKTOPHONIE) was created in 1990/91 in collaboration with INVASION's dedicatee Simon Stockhausen (who also performed the synthesizer solo finale SYNTHI-FOU, composed in 1991). The SIGNALS - live instrumental portions performed on mobile vocal, brass and electronics - were composed around the same period. INVASION premiered independently in 1991. The complete DIENSTAG aus LICHT opera premiered in 1993 at the Leipzig Opera.

    (from SYNTHI-FOU with Simon Stockhausen)
         The main theme of DIENSTAG is the struggle between the protagonist Michael and his antagonist Lucifer (with the feminine character Eve appearing in a more tangential role, trying to broker a peace between them or mourning the carnage). The first Act portrays this competition in the form of a "time game", in which the two combatants employ humorous tactics and feints in orders to stop/start time's march. This initial "fight by proxy" leads to the more direct 2nd (and final) Act, which portrays all-out war using mobile sound-warriors in an apocalyptic 3D sound environment. In contrast to the previous opera, MONTAG aus LICHT (which was mostly choral and harmonically consonant), DIENSTAG's 1st Act concentrates on enigmatic, impenetrable harmonies (punctuated by absurdist, non-sequitur interludes), while Act 2's INVASION features harsh brass "bugle calls" and vocal "war cries" roaming around in a dark, murky soundscape (with a soulful flugel horn and soprano aria duet emerging at the midpoint of the Act).
    DIENSTAGs GRUSS/WILLKOMEN mit FRIEDENSGRUß (Tuesday Greeting/Welcome with Peace Greeting, 1988) 
         The opening prologue (Greeting) for Tuesday From Light begins with a short but ominous fanfare from brass and synthesizers, called WILLKOMMEN (Welcome), which clearly displays the fleet-footed strengths of Michael's trumpets (on the rear right side of the hall) versus Lucifer's powerfully staunch and stubborn trombones (stationed on the rear left side). This is followed by the choir-driven FRIEDENSGRUß (Peace Greeting), in which two "choir armies" (situated opposite each other on the right and left sides of the hall) have an "argument". A soprano singer (representing the female protagonist Eve) interrupts several times attempting to calm the disagreement, first standing to the right, then the back (center), then the left, and finally centerstage. After several of EVE's exhortations, the two opposing forces begin to respond, and tentatively agree, "We want peace" (but under certain conditions). 
    Tuesday Greeting Further Analysis and Listening Guide 
    (from the Course of the Years)
    Act 1: JAHRESLAUF vom DIENSTAG (Course of the Years from Tuesday, 1977/1991) 
         In this Act, four dancer-musician groups, each representing one of the four time "continuums" (millennia, centuries, decades, years), dance and play according to their calendar "stations". This motion represents the passage of time, with each of teh four "time layers" going through various musical textures. However, this march of time is halted several times by Lucifer's "temptations" (represented by intruding stage actions), and Michael is forced to intervene with similarly odd "incitements" to prod time forward once again. Some of Lucifer's temptations include a flower reward ceremony, a delicious banquet of food, a motorized monkey car, and a cabaret nude act. Michael's countering incitements include an appeal for audience applause, a fearsome lion, reward money, and thunderstorms. 
    Act 1 Further Analysis and Listening Guide
    Act 2: INVASION – EXPLOSION mit ABSCHIED (Invasion – Explosion with Farewell, 1990-1991) 
         In INVASION, the forces of Michael and Lucifer battle throughout the performance hall (and among the audience) using "sound weapons". Similar in some ways to the Tuesday Greeting, Michael and Lucifer each have their own combat troops with slightly different instrumentation between the two. Both have portable synth and electronic percussion divisions, but Michael's tenor soloist is backed up by a squad of trumpeters, while Lucifer's bass soloist is supported by a trombone troop (troupe). Just as in the Tuesday Greeting, Eve as a soprano appears and makes an appeal for peace. 
         The Act opens with searchlights scanning the sky. Three silvery "airplanes" are shot down by "sound missiles" (aurally represented by electronic timbres moving in 3D space around the hall above the audience). Michael and Lucifer's musical ground troops enter the hall and move in various formations throughout the hall. Eventually the battle converges in front of a mountain side. Lucifer's troops expose a chrome bunker wall hidden in the mountain face. They eventually dismantle the bunker to reveal a crystal wall beneath. A piercing scream causes both forces to temporarily hold a cease fire, revealing a fallen Michael trumpeter center stage. Eve (as a singing Red Cross nurse) enters and cradles the trumpeter's head in her lap, while his spirit rises and is mirrored by a flugel horn player standing above them.
         Eventually, Lucifer's troops resume their attack, while Michael's troops try to defend the crystal bunker. Lucifer's forces cause three EXPLOSIONs to shatter the crystal shell into snow-like crystal dust, revealing a glassy, ethereal environment behind it (titled the BEYOND). This view "behind the curtain" (so to speak) shows a conveyor belt carrying toy soldiers and war vehicles, surrounded by bluish, glass choir singers - the "War Gamers". These strange beings periodically use hand rakes to knock down soldiers and toys to a lower conveyor belt, while a digital tally keeps track of the war's winners and losers (casualties). Soon, a Synthi-Fou (a synthesizer soloist in an outlandish costume) enters, and energetically and happily plays before the War Gamers. The War Gamers become entranced and accompany musically accompany Synthi-Fou. The walls become transforming mirrors, and the War Gamers and Nurses dance off the stage, leaving Synthi-Fou to perform a final cadenza.  
    Act 2 Further Analysis and Listening Guide

    Day of War
         DIENSTAG aus LICHT addresses the serious topic of war, but opens with a somewhat playful Act featuring elements of bawdy humor. Act 2's INVASION however, delivers a much bleaker aural assault, and one can assume that this battlefield portrayal was informed by Stockhausen's own wartime experiences during his youth (his characterization of the War Gamers as controlling forces - safely removed from the hazards of real battle - could also be seen as a political statement to some extent). Ultimately, however, the drama still hews to the LICHT saga, and the Michael, Lucifer and Eve formula themes are interwoven throughout INVASION's musical landscape (although in much more twisted forms then in previous LICHT cycle entries). Although sadly not as perceivable on CD, Stockhausen uses space in many imaginative ways here. The Michael and Lucifer armies initially battle on catwalks hanging above the audience's heads, and the OKTOPHONIE soundscape is projected in a 3D cube space surrounding the audience (the OKTOPHONIE soundscape is often presented independently as electronic music as well). The troops in INVASION employ custom-designed electronic sound armaments, which could be seen as a development from the home-made percussion accoutrements worn by the "6 Mortal Senses" from SAMSTAG aus LICHT (KATHINKAS GESANG).

         The first three LICHT operas were each dedicated to one of the three main characters (Michael, Lucifer and Eve). In DIENSTAG aus LICHT, Stockhausen begins portraying interactions between these established characters in duos and trios. Where DIENSTAG pitted Michael against Lucifer (as a duo), the next installment (FREITAG aus LICHT) would have Eve resisting Lucifer's overtures.

         The table below lists the instrumental forces featured in each act.

    TUESDAY GREETING: Soprano vocal soloist, 9 trumpets, 9 trombones, 
    2 synthesizers, choir
         WELCOME (feat. trumpets, trombones, 2 synthesizers)
         PEACE GREETING (feat. Soprano soloist)
    COURSE OF THE YEARS Tenor, Bass vocal soloists, dancer-mimes, 3 synthesizers, 3 piccolo flutes, 
    3 sopr. saxophones, harmonium, guitar, metal percussion, tape
    INVASION – EXPLOSION with FAREWELL: Soprano, Tenor, Bass vocal soloists, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, 
    flugel horn, 2 synthesizers, 2 percussionists, choir, tape (OKTOPHONIE)
         OKTOPHONIE (8 channel tape)
         PIETA (feat. Soprano and flugel horn)
         BEYOND (feat. male choir (CT, T, B) and tape)
         SYNTHI-FOU (feat. synthesizer soloist (PIANO PIECE XV))

    The color for TUESDAY is RED.

    Released on Stockhausen Edition CD 40
    • DIENSTAGs-GRUSS (Tuesday Greeting, Welcome with Peace Greeting) for soprano (Annette Meriweather), 9 trumpets (inc. Markus Stockhausen), 9 trombones (inc. Michael Svoboda), 2 synthesizers (Simon Stockhausen & Massimiliano Viel), and 2 choirs (Choir of the Musical Comedy, Leipzig Vocal Ensemble).
    • Act 1: JAHRESLAUF (Course of the Years) for tenor, bass, piccolo flutes, soprano saxophones, guitar, percussion, electronics, tape. Synthesizer/samplers replace the harmoniums and harpsichord from the DER JAHRESLAUF version on CD 29.
    • Act 2: INVASION - EXPLOSION with FAREWELL, for soprano (Annette Meriweather) , tenor (Julian Pike), bass (Nicholas Isherwood), 3 trumpets (inc. Markus Stockhausen), 3 trombones (inc. Michael Svoboda), 4 synthesizer/samplers/electronic percussionists (Simon Stockhausen, Massimiliano Viel, Andreas Boettger, and Renee Jonker), tape (OKTOPHONIE). SYNTHI-FOU - FAREWELL features Simon Stockhausen as synthesizer soloist backed by the WDR choir.
    Stockhausen's DIENSTAG aus LICHT
    and its sub-works (click to enlarge).
    See also LICHT Works.
    Additional Arrangements from DIENSTAG aus LICHT Stockhausen Edition CD
    PICCOLO (DER JAHRESLAUF) for piccolo flute (1977) 28 Kathinka Pasveer
    PICCOLO (DER JAHRESLAUF) for saxophone with geisha bell (1977/2004) 78 Saxophone
    SAXOPHONE (DER JAHRESLAUF) for saxophone & bongo (1977) 78 Saxophone
    OKTOPHONIE (Electronic Music, 1990/91) 41 Oktofonie
    SIGNALS to INVASION for Trombone & OKTOPHONIE (1992) 44 Trombone & Euphonium
    SYNTHI-FOU (Simon Stockhausen Solo Synth Phrases, 1991) 42 Synthi-Fou
    SYNTHI-FOU (Simon Stockhausen w OKTOPHONIE, 1991) 42 Synthi-Fou
    SYNTHI-FOU (Antonio Pérez Abellán w OKTOPHONIE, 1991/2004) 82 Brass, Reeds, Percussion & Electronics
    PIETÀ (FlglHn & Soprano, 1990/91) 60 Marcus Stockhausen (ARIES, etc)
    PIETA (FlglHn & Electronic Music, 1990/91) 43 Markus Stockhausen (EXAMEN, etc)
    PIETA (FlglHn & Electronic Music w Soprano, 1990/91) 43 Markus Stockhausen (EXAMEN, etc)
    SUKAT (BstHn & AlFlt, 1989) 32 Suzanne Stephens (Works 1989-94)

    Purchase the Score
    Video Excerpts of Leipzig Premiere (MOV)
    Wikipedia Entry
    Photos of DIENSTAG AUS LICHT at the Leipzig Opera, 1993.