30 August 2008

Stockhausen - Licht-Collage

 The German radio station SWR2 had a long association with Stockhausen, and broadcast over several years extracts from his enormous opera cycle - Licht - which has an opera for each day of the week. On 22nd August, it would have been the 80th birthday of Karlheinz Stockhausen, who died last year, and SWR2 broadcast a sequence of extracts from each opera, interspersed with commentary from Stockhausen himself in interviews with Reinhard Ermen. So, in the space of about 3 1/2 hours, a condensed version of this enormous cycle could be heard, including some of the more well-known episodes, such as Welt-Parlament and Helikopter-Quartett.

The commentary is in German, but is conversational and easy to follow, starting with an explanation of how the idea for the cycle came to Stockhausen in a temple in Kyoto after he had completed Sirius. Many of the ideas and themes which make up the mythology of Licht receive extended commentary. Moreover, I think you can get a sense of how Stockhausen began this with an idea rooted in a compositional framework he controlled, how a surrounding mythology emerged and entered his dreams and very being, his struggle with and acceptance of that and a final sense of weariness, relief and transcendence.

The picture above is Max Ernst's Birth of a Galaxy, which seems appropriate for something on this scale.


Tantris said...

FLAC would have been enormous, so this is offered in MP3 @ 320;


King Kennytone said...

Blimey, nice work chaps

|||¬ _-_______

glmlr said...

Nice to see a different angle appearing on I. Sol!

centrifuge said...

too timely to be anything other than tempting... we've been talking about stockhausen elsewhere! thanks tantris, i'll download this and give it a listen.

Anonymous said...

Truly fascinating share. Excellent selections from LICHT, with insightful commentaries by Stockhausen - at last I'm able to get the full scope of the LICHT beast. I must admit the CD versions are not only horribly expensive (have spent my money on two of them so far) but also a bit...hm...langatmig. A digest version is just right for people like me :D - Many MANY thanks!! Adam Eleven

Anonymous said...

Here's some background information on this broadcast (in German), which is actually entitled:

Karlheinz Stockhausen: LICHT
7 Tage in dreieinhalb Stunden
Eine Collage von Reinhard Ermen



continuo said...

The music is fantastic. On CD1, 'Extract 4-Montag' and 'Welt-Parlament' are mindblowing. An awesome choice of excerpts, though I could do without Stockie's comment. Thanks a lot to Tantris for the perfect ID tags and cueing of tracks.

Tantris said...

Richard Barrett has very kindly pointed out the correct identification of the extracts, which I'll summarise here;

(1) Dienstag, Jahreslauf (bells)
(2) Sonntag, Licht-Bilder
(3) Samstag, Licht-Formel
(4) Montag, Montags-Gruss
(5) Montag, Befreuchtung mit Klavierstück
(6) Dienstag, Dienstags-Gruss
(7) Dienstag, Jahreslauf
(8) Dienstag, Jahreslauf
(9) Dienstag, Pietà
(10) Mittwoch, Mittwochs-Gruss
(11) Mittwoch, Helikopter-Quartett
(12) Donnerstag, Donnerstags-Gruss
(13) Donnerstag, Donnerstags-Gruss
(14) Donnarstag, Michaels Jugend
(15) Freitag
(16) Freitag, Kinder-Chor
(17) Freitag, Kinder-Tutti
(18) Freitag, Kinder-Krieg
(19) Samstag, Luzifers Traum
(20) Samstag, Luzifers Traum
(21) Samstag, Luzifers Tanz
(22) Sonntag, Hoch-Zeiten
(23) Sonntag, Sonntags-Abschied

Tantris said...

Here are some links to interesting sites about Stockhausen;

(i) A commentary on each of the operas that make up Licht;


(ii) Essays (very readable and approachable) on Stockhausen's music by Al Moritz;


Anonymous said...

Hi thanks very much for posting the 3.5 hours Licht Collage !

Nigel Curtis

Anonymous said...

Which piece is the track 10 of cd 1 ???

is the 5.43 minute (Extract 10 )

Anonymous said...

This is SO EXCITING! So happy I stumbled upon your site. I have developed an insatiable appetite for all things Stockhausen, and it's so hard to get your hands on ANYTHING from his LICHT cycle. THANKS Gentlemen!!

Minimme said...

thanks a LOT for sharing this :)

Peter said...

Something tells me this is not going to be cocktail lounge muzak.

Thanks very much for the listen!

Brutuslondon said...

Just saw Mittwoch in Birmingham - a fantastic experience. Would you be able to reload these links as they have died?

Tantris said...

New links (mp3 @ 320);




James Flagg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.