Prepared for the web by Jim Stonebraker - Version 1.1 October 4, 2000
August 12th 2000
The Stockhausen Courses Kuerten 2000 have come and gone. Again there were 130 participants, and this time all 5 continents were represented. My next report, which I plan to write on September 29th, will include a detailed report about the courses. The following chronology will catch you up on Stockhausens activities since I last reported (March 1999).
The mix-down of the HELIKOPTER STREICH-QUARTETT (HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET) ended on March 12th 1999. On that day, Wire Magazine made an interview with Stockhausen in the mobile studio (see description in my last report) for their June issue (# 184): www.dfuse.com/the-wire. It is really excellent, so I hope there is a link to it. During the mixing, Stockhausen was so fascinated by the display of the Pro Tool software through which the frequencies of all 8 tracks (4 string instruments, 4 helicopters) could be seen in 8 colours, that he decided to print it at the end of the score of HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET (which is also in colour). This so-called graphic score is actually the only way to precisely depict the sounds made by the helicopters, and the sounds of the helicopters are as important as those of the string quartet because they modulate the sounds of the stringed instruments. Those who have not heard HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET will go on thinking that helicopter rotor blades just drown out everything. But due to the perfect placement of the outboard microphone of each helicopter, a beautiful modulation results.
Those of you who already own CD 53 know what I am talking about. Those who dont
By the way, those of you who own only the Auvidis CD of the studio recording are missing out on 1) the recording of the world première, including Stockhausens moderation (in English) and 2) a big, thick booklet with lots of coloured pictures, including one of the position of the outboard microphones (which could be useful for those of you planning to perfectly record helicopter rotor blades) and many others.
Just before the score went to the printers Stockhausen, taking one last look, discovered that two graphic channels of the helicopters had been exchanged in the downloading process (one can clearly hear in which order the helicopter rotors stop at the end of the piece, and this did not correspond with the graphic score as it was). Each helicopter is graphically represented by a different colour, which is related to that of its corresponding stringed instrument. Many experiments were made with the printer to arrive at exactly the right colours, because it is difficult to see exactly how a colour on the monitor will actually turn out on paper.
In March 1999, Stockhausen returned to Spain for the first time in several years, at the invitation of Riccardo de Quesada and Xavier Guell of Pro Musica, for 3 concerts of his music at the National Auditorium in Madrid. Markus Stockhausen, Kathinka Pasveer, Antonio Pérez Abellán and Suzanne Stephens performed.
1st concert: BIJOU for bass clarinet and alto flute, ARIES for trumpet and electronic music, Xi for flute, TIERKREIS (ZODIAC) Trio Version;
2nd concert: TRAUM-FORMEL (DREAM FORMULA) for basset-horn, IN FREUNDSCHAFT (IN FRIENDSHIP) for trumpet, ZUNGENSPITZENTANZ (TIP-OF-THE-TONGUE-DANCE) for piccolo and synthesizer, TELEMUSIK Electronic Music, MISSION und HIMMELFAHRT (MISSION and ASCENSION) for trumpet and basset-horn;
3rd concert: FLAUTINA for flutes, WOCHENKREIS (CIRCLE OF THE WEEK) for basset-horn and synthesizer player, OBERLIPPENTANZ (UPPER-LIP-DANCE) for piccolo trumpet, AVE for basset-horn and alto flute.
In the afternoon before the final concert, Stockhausen gave the lecture Composer and Interpreter at the university and Kathinka and I played examples from AVE. We stayed an extra day to visit the Prado and were accompanied by a wonderful Spanish artist, who led us to his favourite paintings. That evening we visited a Flamenco performance by excellent young dancers and musicians who later came to our table to greet Stockhausen, admitting that they had been really nervous when they heard that he was going to be there. He, in turn, was completely fascinated and would love to write a piece in which a Flamenco-trained dancer could perform
Riccardo and Xavier are special. Riccardo is Mexican, which explains his courage and vision, and Xaviers family in Barcelona has been the top cultural patron for centuries. The family Guell was instrumental in financing the construction of the famous Gaudi Cathedral of the Holy Family in Barcelona, to mention only one of their many contributions to art. I will never forget their first facs. to Stockhausen: "We are interested in performing LICHT in Spain. Please tell us all of the musical and technical requirements." My first reaction was these were well-meaning, but naive people. Meanwhile, after having gotten to know them, I realise that if anyone will be able to realise LICHT in its entirety, these two would be top candidates. Riccardos now famous, and hopefully not last words: "We want to do something really BIG".
In my last report, I wrote that Stockhausen was mixing down HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET in the "largest mobile studio in the world".
At the end of March and beginning of April 1999, Stockhausen mixed down the 8-track recording of the world première of HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET to 2-tracks for the CD, and did the CD mastering in what must be one of the smallest studios in the world. It is owned and run by a very nice audio engineer, Ansgar Ballhorn. The best part about working there is that it is only 15 minutes from Kuerten in Odenthal, near Altenberg (Scan 1), where Stockhausen grew up. As a boy, Stockhausen would play hit tunes on the piano in a restaurant or for a womens club who met in a restaurant in Odenthal, and would receive soda pop for the gig. If you would like to read more about Stockhausens childhood, it is vividly and beautifully described in detail in the excellent Stockhausen biography written by Michael Kurtz, translated into English by Richard Toop (published by Faber and Faber).
The score of EVAs ERSTGEBURT (EVES FIRST BIRTH-GIVING) went to the printers.
From April 7th to 9th, Stockhausen rehearsed MUSIK IM BAUCH (MUSIC IN THE BELLY) for 6 percussionists and music boxes at the school auditorium in Kuerten with the Anthos percussion ensemble (who received first prize at the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten 1998 for their performance of MICROPHONY I and were now preparing themselves for a similar coup during the 1999 courses).
On April 16th, at the University of Cologne, Stockhausen presented the 20-track ELEKTRONISCHE MUSIK mit TONSZENEN vom FREITAG aus LICHT (ELECTRONIC MUSIC with SOUND SCENES of FRIDAY from LIGHT) which is 145 minutes in length. The Institute for Musicology of the University is one of the few educational institutions in the world who has a permanently installed multi-track set- up and round-the-clock listening facilities, and owns tapes not only of most of Stockhausens multi-track works but of many others.
On April 21st 1999, Uwe Wand, stage director of DIENSTAG aus LICHT (TUESDAY from LIGHT) in 1993 and of FREITAG aus LICHT (FRIDAY from LIGHT) in 1996 at the Leipzig Opera was finally asked (a year and a half after Stockhausen had asked them to do so) by the Bonn Opera to direct MITTWOCH aus LICHT (WEDNESDAY from LIGHT). He was no longer free for the required time-period, but wanted to do it and therefore devised a plan which involved starting the rehearsals earlier in order to arrive at the number of musical rehearsals necessary before starting the staged rehearsals. This was his condition for accepting the engagement.
On April 22nd 1999, Rodney Wilson and Peter Maniura of BBC Television came to Kuerten to discuss a film project Sounds on Music, organised by the BBC in London and NPS in Holland to combine well-known names in music and in film into mutual projects. Their idea was to combine the Quay Brothers with Stockhausen and, after looking at a video of some of their work, in particular The Cabinet of Jan Svankmajer, Stockhausen was enthusiastic and agreed to provide the music for a film which would be created by the Quay Brothers.
On April 26th 1999, Jan Zekfeld from the VARA radio station in Holland came with Monica Damen, manager of the Dutch radio choir, to discuss a commission for a new work for choir for 2002. It is to be a scene of SUNDAY from LIGHT and is entitled ANGEL PROCESSIONS, and will be premièred at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam on November 9th 2002.
On April 28th, Dettloff Schwerdtfeger, director of the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten, gave his traditional thank-you presentation for the elementary school students in Kuerten as a sign of our appreciation that we are allowed to use their school, part of the large school complex in Kuerten (all of which is occupied by the course activities) for the annual Stockhausen Courses. Rumi Sota-Klemm (basset-horn) and Antonio Pérez Abellán (synthesizer) played parts of WOCHENKREIS, and Dettloff explained to the children, among other things, what a glissando is. There was a journalist present who interviewed some of the children afterwards in order to write an article for the local paper. An excerpt from the article reads something like this: Two children, a boy and a girl, were overheard talking with each other about what they had just heard. The little girl said: "Some of it was really weird!" at which the little boy (reputedly an up-and-coming soccer jock) retorted, "Well, what do you expect? After all, we are not on the soccer field!"
At the end of April, the scores of HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET, KLAVIERSTUECK XVI, BASSETSU-TRIO, ORCHESTER FINALISTEN (ORCHESTRA FINALISTS) and the 10 versions for the individual instruments of ORCHESTER FINALISTEN went to press.
On May 11th 1999 we attended a production at the Bonn Opera which was directed by Dr. Paul Esterhazy, head of dramaturgy of the Bonn Opera and the person who, after having been blown over by FREITAG aus LICHT in 1996 in Leipzig, initiated the idea of the Bonn Opera producing MITTWOCH aus LICHT. This had been a lonely endeavour from the start, because apart from the choir director, Sibylle Wagner who was very enthusiastic and supportive (which was very important because the choir has a major role in 2 of the 4 scenes: WELT-PARLAMENT [WORLD PARLIAMENT] and MICHAELION) and the technical director Thomas Meissner, who was very professional and organised (important due to the perfect technical co-ordination necessary for the work, including HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET), there was no one in the administration of the opera who was interested, let alone taking care of the necessary organisation.
After attending the performance mentioned above, there was a meeting of the persons who were to be involved in the realisation of MITTWOCH aus LICHT. The choir had started rehearsals, Mr. Meissner had carried out some experiments with helicopters (the model used in Amsterdam in 1996 for the world première is no longer available), and he had found out that it would be possible to take off and land right in front of the opera house which is on the banks of the Rhine.
On May 15th, 110 Bundeskanzler fire-engine red geraniums were delivered and planted on the grounds of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music. Mid-May is when the Eis-Heiligen (ice saints) have passed and there is no longer any danger of frost. The pinks and violets of the hyacinths, and the reds, oranges, yellows of the tulips and other candy-coloured flowers had long-since wilted, and thus in the lush green of mature spring, there were 110 accents.
Also in May, there were several telephone interviews for the upcoming series of Stockhausen concerts which were to take place in late July at the Schleswig Holstein Festival in northern Germany, where, in addition to several faculty concerts taken from the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten 1999, CARRÉ for four orchestras and four choirs was to be performed. There was allot of excitement surrounding this event, because CARRÉ is so seldom performed.
In May , together with a musicology student in Cologne who has experience in film, Susanne Blankenstein, I launched a long-term project of digitising and editing the over 1000 hours of Hi-8 video films which I have made since 1991 of most of Stockhausens rehearsals, concerts and interviews. The final goal is to make documentary films and DVDs about Stockhausens music for interpreters, musicologists, for schools and for the general public. We are still in the research phase of how to really go about it, looking into different semi-professional software programs and equipment for editing, such as AVID, Media Arts, DV Studio, and Adobe Premiere. Our end format for the edited material will be DV, and our originals are 90-minute Hi-8s as I said before. Any suggestions for saving and making this historically invaluable material available are welcome. I am applying to the state for financial support. Not only will German-speaking schools and other educational institutions profit from such a project, but once these films are ready in German, I want to translate them into English for world-wide distribution. Many of the films are already in English, so will have to be translated into German.
From June 3rd to 6th, Dr. Imke Misch and Dr. Markus Bandur, two highly qualified musicologists (you will recognise both names from my last report, in which I described the November 1998 Stockhausen Symposium at the University of Cologne), worked in the archives of the Stockhausen Foundation for Music on the book which they are compiling Stockhausen at the Darmstadt Vacation Courses. They were hand-picked by Stockhausen for this difficult job. The Darmstadt book will be an important documentary about Stockhausens presence at the Darmstadt Vacation Courses, which was decisive from 1951 -1974 , the year he stopped teaching at Darmstadt, plus 1996. The book comprises correspondence, programmes and other documents which describe exactly what was involved in the planning and carrying out of the courses, and there are also reviews and other journalistic commentaries about the courses and many photographs.
June 14th -16th we attended choir rehearsals at the Bonn Opera, to hear how the choir was progressing with the two large scenes for choir of MITTWOCH aus LICHT, Scene 1 WELT-PARLAMENT and Scene 4 MICHAELION. The members of the choir were very committed and the choir director very helpful and professional, but it became clear immediately that the rehearsal plan for musical rehearsals before the (now earlier) staged rehearsals could begin would not suffice. It included much fewer rehearsals than those which had been necessary for the choir of the South German Radio, the rehearsal plans which Stockhausen had given to Dr. Esterhazy in 1997 and 1998. Frau Wagner immediately made a revised plan, which still included fewer rehearsals than those which had been necessary in Stuttgart, but was the maximum amount of time which the opera choir had at their disposal, now that Boris Goudonov and Cosi Fan Tutte had been shoved into the planning. This new plan was immediately submitted to the general director Dr. Beilharz and other responsible people and was sent to all of the soloists. Summer vacation for the opera began at the end of June and ended at the beginning of August, and Dr. Beilharz did not react to this emergency until about mid-August.
On June 18th, a delegation from the SWR (Southwest German Radio = recent fusion of the former Southwest German (SWF) and South German (SDR) radios) came to discuss final details about the world première of LICHTER - WASSER / LIGHTS - WATERS (SONNTAGS- GRUSS / SUNDAY GREETING) for soprano, tenor, and orchestra with synthesizer in Donaueschingen on October 16th 1999. The group was headed by Armin Koehler, head of the new music department in Baden-Baden, initiator of the commission for LICHTER - WASSER.
Mr. Koehler was accompanied by André Richard, head of the Experimental Studio of the Heinrich Strobel Stiftung in Freiburg, who was in charge of the electro-acoustical equipment, Frank Wild, recording engineer, who has collaborated with Stockhausen on many recordings since 1987 and was responsible for recording the performances, Michael Iber, who was responsible for the overall co-ordination of the project, which has been in the making since 1997, and the person responsible for the installation of the sound equipment and lighting.
On June 26th there were two concerts (one in the afternoon, one in the evening) at the beautiful Johannesburg Castle during the Rheingau festival, performed by Kathinka Pasveer, Markus Stockhausen and Suzanne Stephens: AMOUR for flute, IN FREUNDSCHAFT for trumpet, DER KLEINE HARLEKIN (THE LITTLE HARLEQUIN) for clarinet, TIERKREIS Trio Version. The evening concert was: YPSILON for flute, TELEMUSIK Electronic Music, ARIES for trumpet and electronic music, OBERLIPPENTANZ for trumpet, AVE for basset-horn and alto flute. It is a very conservative festival, so it was not your usual Stockhausen audience. They were very enthusiastic, and I think surprised, that "new music" can be so beautiful. Instead of flowers at the end, we got boxes with bottles of the local Count Metternich wine, since it is wine country.
On July 5th, at the historic Rathaus (city hall) in Cologne, Stockhausen received the great honour of signing his name into the "golden book of the city of Cologne". This is an honour reserved for very few Cologne citizens, so he can be proud. After all, it is his home town, whose importance on the musical map of the world is largely due to his activities as a whole since the 50s and especially because of the works he composed at the Studio for Electronic Music of the WDR such as Electronic STUDIES I and II, GESANG DER JUENGLINGE (SONG OF THE YOUTHS), KONTAKTE (CONTACTS), HYMNEN (ANTHEMS), SIRIUS, OCTOPHONY, ELECTRONIC MUSIC with SOUND SCENES of FRIDAY from LIGHT, CONCRETE and ELECTRONIC MUSIC for WEDNESDAY from LIGHT, etc.
July 12th marked the unofficial beginning of the second annual Stockhausen Courses Kuerten, as rehearsals began for the programme of excerpts of DONNERSTAG aus LICHT (THURSDAY from LIGHT) performed by most of the performers who also performed in the world première of the opera at La Scala in 1981, the new production at Covent Garden in 1985 (see concert-list of the 1999 courses) and all quasi concert performances which have taken place world-wide. The "newcomers" Andrew Digby, tap-dancing trombonist in DRACHENKAMPF who worked with us for the first time in 1998 for the world première of MICHAELION, Holger Wurth, devil's-dragon dancer, who worked with Stockhausen for the first time as "man" in the man-woman couple of dancers in FREITAG aus LICHT, and Antonio Pérez Abellán, synthesizer player in VISION proved once again that new spirits bring renewal, and we are all grateful for the immense amount of work they invested to be able to fit into the ensemble which performs this wonderful and rarely performed programme. During this same rehearsal week, Stockhausen conducted rehearsals of KREUZSPIEL (CROSS-PLAY) for oboe, bass clarinet, piano and 3 percussionists and SCHLAGTRIO (PERCUSSIVE TRIO) for piano and 2 x 3 timpani as preparation for other concerts during the courses. Over 30 course participants came early to attend these rehearsals during the rehearsal week which preceded the official opening of the courses on Sunday, the 18th of July. By the 18th, most of the 130 participants had arrived from 23 different countries, and for the opening Stockhausen gave a talk about the new kind of mobile interpreter who - in his music - must move and play at the same time, and about the kind of new mentality about playing in general which this requires. Then I played DER KLEINE HARLEKIN as a surprise. This was followed by a break of about an hour, and then the opening concert with the DONNERSTAG program took place: MONDEVA (MOON-EVE) for basset-horn and tenor - EXAMEN (EXAMINATION) for tenor, trumpet, dancer, basset-horn and piano - intermission - DRACHENKAMPF (DRAGON-FIGHT) for trumpet, trombone, dancers and synthesizer - ARGUMENT for tenor, bass, trumpet, trombone and synthesizer - VISION for tenor, trumpet, dancer, and synthesizer - ABSCHIED (FAREWELL) for five trumpets. By the way, we have lots of the 80-page programmes of the courses with comprehensive texts in English about all of the works performed in the faculty concerts during the courses, and they may be ordered from us. Some of these texts have never been published before in English.
The daily schedule was similar to that in 1998: every morning from 10 to circa 14 there was the dress rehearsal for the evening concert. Faculty concerts alternated with participants concerts. Every afternoon from 14:30 - 17:00 were the interpreters master classes. Stockhausens composition seminar on WELT-PARLAMENT (WORLD PARLIAMENT) took place from 17:15 - 18:45. At 19 the hall had to be prepared for the evening concert (piano tuner, etc.). We had a few new seminars. The Brazilian composer Flo Menezes gave a kind of overview and introduction into some of Stockhausens earlier works for interested course participants. The dancer and choreographer Michèle Noiret was on the faculty this year, and her master classes were a welcome attraction not only to musicians and composers but to everyone else interested in Stockhausens notation for dance. All of the master classes attracted mixed audiences, because even a flute or clarinet or trumpet master class involves working with movement and stage presence. Antonio Pérez Abelláns synthesiser master class was a great attraction for all participants, and especially for the composers, because he demonstrated programming and making sounds for the Stockhausen works.
An American clarinettist and friend of mine, Mary Jungerman, interviewed all of the faculty and some of the participants on video and wrote an excellent article about how to begin to learn the works by Stockhausen and what it involves musically, physically, psychologically and spiritually. The article was published in The Clarinet magazine in December 1999.
There were many highlights - too many to enumerate - but on several occasions the audience, most of them biased Stockhausen fans of course, just wouldnt stop applauding, as for instance after the world première of KLAVIERSTUECK XVI performed by Antonio. So he played it again. Or, Stockhausen decided on the spur of the moment to perform KONTAKTE for tape alone to round out one of the participants concerts. Some participants had never heard KONTAKTE live, let alone in the perfect acoustical situation we have at the courses. No one wanted to stop clapping or to leave. What joy. The atmosphere surrounding the courses is indeed very special. Many of the participants cannot verbally communicate because of the different languages, but the music is a common denominator - the reason everyone is there - and when everyone feels like a family anyway, the verbal communication is no longer really necessary. The main language of the courses is English. Stockhausen holds his composition seminar in English, and the faculty is flexible depending on whom they are teaching. So language is never a barrier.
The two Fagioli concert grands were transported from Ellen Corvers teaching room to the Suelztalhalle on Saturday the 24th of July, and following the concert that night were moved onto the main stage for the dress rehearsal of MANTRA the next morning. MANTRA for two pianos , performed at 6 p.m. on July 25th by Ellen Corver and Sepp Grotenhuis, Stockhausens preferred performers for the work, was a fitting close for the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten 1999.
Directly following the performance of MANTRA, Stockhausen presented the awards for the best interpretation of his music by participants. The level of performance among the participants had been extremely high, as was the case in 1998. There had been three participants concerts. On July 20th, the young Italian clarinettist Michele Marelli had performed TRAUM-FORMEL for basset-horn. He had given an excellent performance of DER KLEINE HARLEKIN the year before. He was followed by the American Stuart Gerber who gave an outstandingly virtuoso and sensitive performance of ZYKLUS for a percussion player. Following the intermission, Karin de Fleyt performed FLAUTINA for flute with piccolo and alto flute and then Rumi Sota-Klemm and Antonio Pérez Abellán performed WOCHENKREIS for basset-horn and a synthesiser player. In the second participants concert, on July 22nd, Jan Gerdes performed KLAVIERSTUECK V extremely well, followed by Birgit Polter, who was also chosen last year to perform KLAVIERSTUECK IX in a participants concert. This time she played KLAVIERSTUECK VII with her usual precision and feeling for sound. Franziska Sielemann, a young German trumpet player, then performed the very difficult ARIES for trumpet and electronic music. She is an excellent trumpet player and was chosen in 1998 to perform in one of the concerts following the 1998 courses which were given throughout North Rhine Westfalia by outstanding course participants. The second half of the program was KONTAKTE electronic music, which, as I told you, met with such enthusiastic response. It is a Stockhausen classic, but paradoxically very few people have ever had the chance to hear it as intended by the composer, namely four-track, in a perfect acoustical set-up, with the composer doing the sound projection. At the courses we have an optimal sound installation (at least eight-tracks) and excellent equipment set up under Stockhausens personal supervision, i.e. loudspeakers (2 per channel) at the right place, the right height, aimed in the right way, therefore it is easy and sensible to spontaneously decide to perform electronic music, if there is time for it. The third participants concert, on July 24th, ceremoniously opened with MICHAELs RUF (MICHAELS CALL) played by 4 of Markus class (Friedemann Boltes, Simone Ferrinni, Christoph Barth and Franziska Sielemann). This was followed by PIETÀ for flugel horn and electronic music performed by Marco Blaauw, a young Dutch trumpeter who is already a member of the Stockhausen ensemble. He performed in the world premières of MICHAELION and BASSETSU-TRIO, and has several of the Stockhausen works for trumpet in his repertoire. Following the intermission, the Anthos percussion ensemble, mentioned above, gave a stunning performance of MUSIK IM BAUCH for 6 percussionists and music boxes.
First prize went to the German Anthos percussion ensemble, students of Andreas Boettger at the Conservatory of Music in Hannover, for their performance of MUSIK IM BAUCH in the participants concert on July 24th. They had worked extensively with Stockhausen before the courses began and then spent the week working with Michèle Noiret in addition, on the movements. Second prize went to Rumi Sota-Klemm from Japan for her poetic performance of WOCHENKREIS with Antonio in the first participants concert on July 20th. She has studied many of the Stockhausen clarinet works with me since 1987, and in 1988 was one of the basset-teases in EVAs LIED / EVES SONG (scene of the opera MONTAG aus LICHT / MONDAY from LIGHT ), which we performed many times in the period from 1986 (world première in Berlin) through 1988, when the opera was world premièred at La Scala and when we gave several quasi concert performances of MONTAG aus LICHT in Europe. Her ability to move beautifully on stage is unique and her feeling for delicate theatre reveals that she is still Japanese, although she has lived in Germany for many years. In the meantime, she assists me in helping other clarinettists who are beginning to learn the Stockhausen works. Third prize went to the young Belgian flutist Karin de Fleyt (student of Kathinka Pasveer) for her excellent performance of FLAUTINA in the first participants concert on July 20th. She attended the courses with her husband, an organist. Stockhausen has not written very much for organ. They are both coming back this year with ZUNGENSPITZENTANZ for piccolo and synthesizer (smile).
None of us could imagine being able to surpass what we had experienced during the 1998 courses, but everyone who had experienced both years agreed that somehow the courses 1999 had succeeded in following those in 1998, which was not easy to do. The sense of relief that all had gone well filled us all with gratitude, and as we said good-bye to each other, we were already looking forward to 2000. By the way, a total of 273 kilos of Golden Delicious apples were consumed as compared with 305 kilos (Golden Delcious and Granny Smith) in 1998.
The day after the courses ended, Stockhausen flew (in an airplane) to Kiel for a series of concerts of his music there: on the 27th of July was the technical set-up and rehearsal for the first concert; on the 28th the program of DONNERSTAG excerpts which had opened the courses on July 18th was performed by the same performers as in Kuerten; on the 29th, KLAVIERSTUECK XVI - IN FREUNDSCHAFT for trumpet - SCHLAGTRIO for piano and 2 x 3 timpani - AMOUR for flute - BASSETSU-TRIO (of WEDNESDAY from LIGHT) for basset-horn, trumpet and trombone were performed. That afternoon, Ellen Corver had given a piano recital comprising KLAVIERSTUECKE I-V, VII, VIII and IX. In the evening the program was TRAUM-FORMEL for basset-horn, LUZIFERs TRAUM (LUCIFERS DREAM) for bass and piano and KATHINKAs GESANG (KATHINKAS CHANT) for flute and electronic music.
The next day, Stockhausen took part all day in the CARRÉ rehearsals, making many musical corrections, mainly in the balance, which can only be done from the middle of the hall. What each conductor hears is, of course, mainly his own choir and orchestra, and therefore he cannot judge the overall balance. It was to be performed by the "festival orchestra" there, which is basically a youth orchestra comprising young musicians from all over the world. The choir part was sung by the choir of the Southwest German Radio which is the best choir in Germany, and which performed the world premières of WELT-PARLAMENT (Scene 1 of MITTWOCH aus LICHT) in 1996 and of MICHAELION (Scene 4 of MITTWOCH) in 1998 together with their conductor Rupert Huber, who was one of the 4 conductors for CARRÉ. The other three conductors were Pascal Rophé, Peter Rundel and Lucas Vis. There were a few touchy situations, such as when Stockhausen kept complaining about the overly loud tuba (the tuba was a huge Kaiserbaß, and therefore the poor guy playing couldnt get the dynamics down to where Stockhausen wanted them). Finally, in desperation (but jokingly) Stockhausen suggested throwing his (the players) shoes into the bell to mute the sound, which the young American player obediently did (not knowing that Stockhausen actually jokes around sometimes)
The performance went quite well despite the fact that the youth of this planet, as technically proficient as they may be, do not have enough experience with the technical demands of new music (this is not their fault, but rather their teachers faults), and thus they were very nervous, especially since the composer was there listening to every note
The work was performed twice. The first performance was followed by an intermission. After the intermission, Stockhausen gave a brief introduction of how to listen to CARRÉ, during which he pointed out certain sections of the work which were then demonstrated by the orchestras and choirs. He also suggested listening to the second performance with eyes closed. The Schleswig Holstein festival is an extremely conservative festival, and the hall was jam-packed with curious people, most of whom had never heard a note of Stockhausen's music. There they all sat, with eyes closed. Obviously, I was peeking
August 7th-10th the CDs of the electronic music for ORCHESTER FINALISTEN (individual versions for each instrument) and of KLAVIERSTUECK XVI were mastered at Studio Ballhorn in Odenthal.
The end spurt for the preparations for LICHTER-WASSER was now on: Stockhausen practised conducting for several hours daily in his little LICHT house in the woods, where no one can find or disturb him. In his normal house 2 copyists were fair-copying the 29 orchestral parts (80 pages each, all different) with computer, and several musicians were correcting the parts. There were several harried telephone calls about how to notate the tenor horn because everyone had a different opinion: the Strauss book on orchestration said one thing, the orchestra manager said something else, the player proposed yet another notation Once this was finished, the parts were photocopied and bound in Cologne and then sent express to Baden-Baden in 3 batches, starting at the end of August. The two soloists of the work, Barbara van den Boom (soprano) and Hubert Mayer (tenor), came for several days to rehearse with Stockhausen.
On August 17th, Thomas Meissner, the technical director of the Bonn Opera came to Kuerten for a meeting with Stockhausen about the general technical planning of MITTWOCH aus LICHT. He had made a great deal of progress. It was planned to hire the same ground team for the HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET as in Amsterdam, because it had worked so well there. He still did not have the right helicopters but a solution was in sight.
The administration was gradually returning from their summer vacations, and were slowly waking up to the gravity of the situation, namely that their schedule, without the protective influence of a stage director for MITTWOCH, had been filled by other productions, which did not leave nearly enough time for a responsible realisation of the opera. Uwe Wand had still not been hired and his communication with the Bonn Opera was extremely difficult, to the point that he had to search for the person responsible for contracts, Frau Constanze Koenemann, via the Internet, to beg for answers to his questions.
September 7th the final 4 orchestra parts for LICHTER-WASSER were sent to Baden-Baden.
On September 8th, at the beautiful concert hall in Bergisch Gladbach, which is the largest town near Kuerten, there was a concert put on by the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten 1999 in which Michèle Noiret danced her choreography Solo Stockhausen to a recording of TIERKREIS Version for clarinet and piano interspersed with the TIERKREIS music boxes. It was interesting to see her combination of original movements and what she has adapted from her work with Stockhausen. She has danced this work throughout Europe and choreographed it as 70th birthday present for Stockhausen. This was the first time he saw it. The second half of the programme was the Anthos percussion ensemble with MUSIK IM BAUCH. These "follow-up" concerts of the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten are a way of giving further experience to the outstanding participants of the courses each year, because no matter how well things work in the practice room, it is essential to have concert experience with these pieces. The director of the concert hall, which is called the Bergischer Loewe (lion) donates his auditorium once a year for these concerts, free of charge, as a gesture of support.
In August and September, the scores of MONTAGs ABSCHIED (MONDAY FAREWELL) and EVAs ZWEITGEBURT (EVES SECOND BIRTH-GIVING) were being prepared for publication.
Early in September, Stockhausen finally received a facs. from the Bonn Opera asking for a meeting because they were "having problems". This was the first communication since June. Sensing that he may need written evidence, he wrote back that he preferred to communicate in writing and not to talk. After several insistent, even rude facs. communications insisting that a meeting was necessary, they finally wrote that they now realised that there was not enough rehearsal time for MITTWOCH aus LICHT and therefore they proposed to perform only half of it as "work in progress", to be followed sometime ("maybe" in 16 months) by a complete performance of the opera. On September 10th Stockhausen wrote to the Bonn Opera that if they had not managed to organise the opera in the time from 1997 when they had received all the necessary information from him (scores, rehearsal plans, videos, etc.) until now, then it was foreseeable that they would not make it in another 16 months. Besides, a performance of a "torso" of the opera did not interest him because all of the scenes had already had their quasi concert world premières and therefore, it did not make sense to repeat this, especially if they were destined to be inferior (insufficient rehearsal). Further, once a torso has been performed, he did not trust the "maybe" of the Bonn Opera, because there was no one who was truly interested in the realisation of the entire opera. (Meanwhile even Dr. Esterhazy had applied for and become the general director of the Aachen Opera, and Uwe Wand was still not contracted to do MITTWOCH).
On September 21st, 600 vinca minor (200 blue, 200 violet, 200 white) were planted, plus 4 cotoneaster salicifolius floccosus, 15 mariandel, 15 fresien, 4 daphne and various roses (5 Coral Dawn, 5 Golden Olymp, 10 Flame Dance) which had been planted in spring and had not made it through the winter.
Most of Stockhausens time and energy since March 1999, when I wrote my last report, has been spent either composing LICHTER-WASSER, correcting the orchestral parts, practising conducting, rehearsing with the singers, rehearsing with the orchestra, conducting and mixing down the recording, and finally making corrections to the score and to the parts. He was interested to read recently that in an opening speech at a convention of astrophysicists, one of the speakers said that in his opinion, the most precise way of visually mapping details of the cosmos will be a kind of musical notation.
LICHTER-WASSER is about our solar system. In it, Stockhausen has gone into far more detail than he ever has before in using concrete facts, some of which were only established in the past few years or even months thanks to the Hubble telescope and recent astrophysical research. He has always closely followed the most recent discoveries in astronomy and has often been surprised and reassured to note the "coincidences" between the new areas of research and discovery, and those he touches upon in his composition. For instance, recently he read that astronomers are now assuming that there is indeed a tenth planet which has an extremely elongated orbit and returns to the vicinity of the sun and the other planets of our solar system only very rarely at regular intervals of time. He has been mentioning the twelfth planet since MONDEVA (MOON-EVE), a scene of the first act of DONNERSTAG aus LICHT, which was composed in 1978. Several years ago, a book entitled The Twelfth Planet caught my eye, since MOON-EVE comes from there. So I bought it, leafed through it, looked at the ancient Sumerian illustrations, put it on my bookshelf, and forgot about it. I rediscovered it last year and showed it to Stockhausen for the first time. He read it and was stunned, because he had just mentioned the twelfth planet again in the sixth bridge of LICHTER-WASSER. Not only is the text about our solar system. The music is a miniature model of our solar system. Sitting, listening to the work in one of the triangles where the audience is seated (see programme notes which have been on the home page since before the première), the sounds travel past as if they were planets or moons in different orbits. The speeds of these "orbits" are varied and they are different sizes. Each of the 12 EVE-Wellen (waves) and 12 MICHAEL-Wellen has a different pitch around which it is centred, its point of departure. There are musical depictions not only of the different planets in our solar system - with their varying directions of rotation and individual tempo relationships between their rotation on their own axis and that around the sun - but the later Wellen depict the rebels who race through our solar system and who do not have to behave according to our rules. Space is virtually relativated - reversed: the listeners and the musicians generating the sounds are static and unmanifest, existing in the space between the sounds, which are the manifest moving reality. We are the secret, silent witnesses of this musical solar system.
Text of LICHTERWASSER
SUNDAY from/SONNTAG aus LICHT
Entrance of the orchestra
EVA/EVE EVE EVE
MICHA-/Light light light light light light
EL Licht Licht Licht Licht/Li-hight
1st E-wave/1st M-Wave
MICHA-day from LIGHT/EVE of SUNDAY from LIGHT
You are sun,
/You are moon-woman moon-?woman.
Light-spirit of our universe,
/Heavenly water Maria
Son of GOD,
Suns/Solar system of the Earth
Planets and moons/He-
2nd E-wave?2nd M-wave
Nine planet children/or ten/
rotate like the tones in this space.
/I give you
/all sixty one moons yes!
all the beautiful globes?
Messenger of the gods
quick children with
/ZADKIEL guard over Mer-
can sing well there: morning
star and/cury woman
evening star children.
Hermes Mercury The-uth/Mercury of the second Heaven
Beauty Har-mony/Angel of Art in yellow
3rd E-wave?4th M-wave
I constantly rotate
/ANAEL protects you.
give new Ve-
around myslf and around you sun/Iduna
wa-/wonders out of
/your womb EVE, loved
Angel of the Earth MICHAEL
You are holy.?for the entire universe.
Holy /Holy be this
be the Earth,/Ear-
/Spirit awakens to GOD,
to GOD creator of the All, the All,
the All.?Future Future-ture.
5th E-wave?6th M-wave
Mars moons/Mars Phobos
Mars/War, watch out!
/New land for humans.
/miracle of colours
/largest moon of the solar system.
Europa water moon,
thousands of volcanos.
/Leda Himalia Lysithea Elara
teacher of the EVE-children.
/Rotations of all
moons, rhythms/moons, rhythms
sound in the future also for humans:/sound in the future also for ?humans:
Love and wisdom
Seventeen blue Mikail-lights (one too many) ?twelve green ones for
Me-?Four inner moons rapidly circle /Jupiter,
tis Adrasthea Amalthea Thebe
/four with reversed rotation.
Ananke Carme Pasiphae Sinope.
on many courses/on courses
with changing colours,
Saturn sixth planet with eighteen moons.
Thousands of rings of mini-moons: Satar
/Saturn, spirit of double time,
rotates around itself in ten hours,
around the sun in thirty
years,/thirty Earth years.
/Winds of two
/thousand kilometres per
and that with eighteen globes./hour.
Rhea/Titan is the largest,
Phoebe Enceladuhus/Tethys A B C
all/into music through the formulas,
lights waters, dance like lights-waters/avoiding collisions:
As usual, of course
in our unusual items,
we have planned - composed - something special for you,
so that you not only hear the tones
trickling by like clockwork,
but also experience something compact.
Ready/ Conductor, plea-hease - please!
Venus EVE Freia/Venus
Mars Jupiter?Mars Jupiter Juno
all sixteen moons/VA
turn/and its eighteen moons
like the formula notes on Sunday./like the formula notes on Sunday.
we will respond appropriately
and - at no extra cost - will play
this fourth bridge of LICHTS-WATERS
one more time.
Maestroso, for the apotheosis of the millenium!
4th bridge, second time
MICHAEL Ma-a-a-a-a-a Ma-ha-ster,/EVA Maria,
protect our solar system,/bless the sun, the Earth,
all the planets/planets
Sacred is the Earth,/Sacred is this Earth,
/school of humanity.
where you teach mankind,
to study as models for music/to study as models for music
ye hes!/ye hes!
You may allalalal come down:
/All of you come down to us:
(hurry up, we want to continue)
Well, my dears, what do you say to that?!1
Stockhausen, we can start
10th E-wave?9th M-wave
with Uranos/with Uranos
spirit of the Age/spirit of the Age,
father of Cronos.
/seventh planet with fifteen
Uranus rotates backwards
in eighty four years
once around the sun, forwards/Uranus.
and Umbriel Titania Ariel./Miranda.
Neptune?tune, eighth planet
Amphitrite?deep in the sea of the sun.
Aphrodite?Orbit one hundred sixty-five
beautiful blue stormy Miron/years.
Triton?Triton ball of ice
/spouting ice volcanos.
and moo-/rings many rings
turned into music./turned into music.
in my music tune./in my music tune.
11th E-wave/11th M-wave
?backwards for six point four years /around themselves.
Ferryman of the dead across the river Acheron.
Lop-sided course two?Pluto Charon Charun
hundred forty-eight years around the sun.
Messenger of beauty-love.
Nine planets,/Nine planets,
plus moon of the Earth/plus moon of the Earth
and the Sun makes eleven./and the Sun makes eleven.
We also count the twelfth plane/We also count the twelfth planet
12th E-wave/12th M-wave
Twelve eleven ten nine eight sevn six five Earth/Twelve eleven ten nine eight sevn six /five Earth
moon three two one/moon three two one
SUN-DAY DAY da-hay?SUN-DAY DAY da-hay
(orchestra whispers: eros)
(orchestra whispers: palas, junohohoho)
of the mys-
(orchestra whispers: tseres)
(orchestra whispers: vesta)
(orchestra whispers: daktyl)
(orchestra whispers: ais)
(orchestra whispers: planetoids, comets, orionids, Heliopause)
day of the
u-ni-ting ha a a a a a hai-ting/u-
(orchestra whispers: Lights-)
(orchestra whispers: Wa-)
(orchestra whispers: ters)
/union union of
Except for the final duet, which is a scan I have omitted all other phonetically notated sounds. They are an important part of the text and may be seen in the score, once published, or can be sent upon request to those of you who are interested.
On September 26th we travelled to Baden-Baden to begin rehearsals of LICHTER-WASSER. That same evening, in the Hans Rosbaud Studio of the SWR, we were marking the diagonals on the floor with tape and setting up the music stands so that the musicians could get used to the unusual set-up. (See the drawing in the introduction to LICHTER-WASSER). In the rehearsals, the distance between Stockhausen and the last row of musicians was only 15 metres. In Donaueschingen it would be double that. From day one, the musicians were worried that they would not be able to follow Stockhausen, not even if he would beat 4/4, which almost never occurs in LICHTER-WASSER. This piece is the most difficult he has ever written, what concerns tempo changes. It is the most difficult work to conduct and the most difficult for players to follow. And then, each musician is standing completely apart from the others, so there is no group solidarity or support. On top of that, if your eyesight (or glasses) are not top
The rehearsals took place in the Hans Rosbaud Studio, the same place where in 1952, the 24-year-old Stockhausen, with SPIEL for Orchestra tucked under his arm, took part as pianist in the orchestra rehearsals of his own music for the first time in his life. As we were preparing the hall for LICHTER-WASSER he told us the story about how Hans Rosbaud, the conductor of the orchestra back then, had made him play the entire piano part from start to finish in front of the whole orchestra, and then said, "Alright young man, you can stay". SPIEL is the orchestra work (including 10 percussionists) in which a crystal glass must be struck at a certain moment. When the young Stockhausen arrived in Donaueschingen for the final rehearsals, Altgraf Salm, the curator of the Prince of Fuerstenberg, patron of the Donaueschingen festival, jovially invited him to select a crystal goblet from his collection of antique glass as a gesture of his support. Unfortunately, in the world première performance, the percussionist who was to strike the goblet received such an energetic downbeat from Rosbaud that he smashed it to splinters in enthusiasm. That was the first Stockhausen scandal.
Back to LICHTER-WASSER: The orchestra was extremely supportive, despite the unusual playing situation and the extremely difficult music. The players have to follow each other in succession, each playing one note of a melody or figure, sometimes in successions as fast as 16th notes at tempo 120. If someone is slightly too early or too late, the music "trips ". Orchestra musicians are not used to playing alone all the time. But once they realised that this is like "chamber music", the personal interaction started and the musicians began correcting each other and taking individual responsibility as in soloistic chamber music. For two weeks they worked in painstaking detail with Stockhausen and on Friday, October 8th, they played through the piece for the first time. Relieved that they made it through, there was still the Angst about what would happen in Donaueschingen - where the rehearsals were to continue the following week - when the distance between conductor and musicians was doubled (30 metres). For the eventuality that monitors would be needed, several were taken along, but there was really no place to install them without ruining the audience seating, which, as you can see in the drawing, faces the centre in 8 triangles, with the musicians standing in diagonal aisles through the audience.
On October 11th everyone travelled to Donaueschingen for the final rehearsals. We were all holding our breath until the first rehearsal had - successfully - taken place, without needing monitors. After that, day for day, everyone was feeling more secure, and the dress rehearsal on the day of the world première was already excellent. Luckily, it was recorded, because during the first performance there was an accident: The first violist was suffering from the flu but felt he had to play, knowing that if even one player is missing in this piece, there is always a hole in the music. Therefore he took some strong medicine to help lower his fever, but unfortunately fainted into the arms of one of the audience members (who happened to be the programme director of the SWR radio) early in the piece. Strangely enough - probably because the musicians were standing among the audience - not everyone in the audience noticed what had happened. Even Stockhausen was aware that something had happened only when the first clarinettist came in late with an entrance because he, in turn, had been listening for the first viola entrance. The performance continued without further mishap and was amazingly good despite the missing notes. Some Stockhausen connoisseurs even thought it was part of the piece: the composed orchestra strike at the end of LUZIFERs TANZ (LUCIFER'S DANCE) at La Scala in Milano in 1984 was met with dismay by many in the audience because they thought it was real (the composed strike was Stockhausen's reaction to the real choir strike of the La Scala choir in 1981 which paralysed the first three performances of DONNERSTAG aus LICHT). Now in LICHTER-WASSER this mishap was real, and the audience thought it was composed
For the performance the next day, Sunday, October 17th, other musicians took over some of the ill violists notes and solos (rehearsing with Stockhausen early in the morning), and it was an excellent performance. So the recording of the "world première", which was broadcast in November and again on Easter Sunday, is actually a combination of the dress rehearsal and the two performances.
Incidentally, the German postal service issued a series of 4 stamps about the universe a few days before the world première. We had them stamped with "October 16th 1999" in Donaueschingen.
Stockhausen was very relieved when he returned home for a week before returning to Baden-Baden on October 24th to conduct the studio recording of LICHTER-WASSER.
On October 19th the following plants were planted: 450 vinca minor (150 + 150 + 150 in the colours white, blue and violet), 4 Viburnum burkwoodii, 4 Viburnum caricephalum, 4 Viburnum fragrans, 5 rhododendron flavum hybrid (yellow, orange, salmon, pink, red), 5 rhododendron hybrid (pure pink), 3 rhododendron hybrid (light pink), 3 x 2 = 6 knapphill azaleas (red, light yellow, pink), 5 azalea mollis, 30 Turkish poppy (papaver). In addition, Stockhausen asked the owner of the tree nursery to send a few "strong berberis" if he had some, adding "experimenting is better than studying"
In the week he was at home, Miron II, the bird-man of MUSIK IM BAUCH was picked up to be taken to an exposition of toys of famous people entitled "My Favourite Toy", at the Hessen Doll Museum. On October 23rd, he wrote the texts for ANGEL PROCESSIONS which will be sung by the choir in 7 languages: English, German, Spanish, Hindi, Arabic, Swahili, and Chinese. The text is as follows:
1/Angel of Music - THURSDAY from LIGHT
//GOD Holy Spirit of the Cosmos -
//bless the music.
//MICHAEL - Holy Spirit of our Universe -
//protect the music.
//EVE - Holy Mother of Humanity -
//give new life to music.
2/Angel of Heaven - SATURDAY from LIGHT
//Holy, holy, holy is the Heaven,
//in which we humans are resurrected.
3/Angel of Water - MONDAY from LIGHT
//A third millennium is beginning
//since your birth in the water, Christos MICHAEL,
//through EVES childs child Maria.
4/Angel of Earth - TUESDAY from LIGHT
//We praise GOD, the creator of the Cosmos;
//we glorify MICHAEL, the guide of our Universe;
//we thank EVE-Maria for our course of the years on this Earth.
5/Angel of Light - FRIDAY from LIGHT
//Our hearts hear your voices,
/MICHAEL - EVE in God.
//Our eyes read the light,
//radiating in all temptation.
6/Angel of Life - WEDNESDAY from LIGHT
//Joy in the play of life,
//Praise, glory and thanksgiving to you
//GOD - Holy Spirit of the Cosmos.
//Angel of Joy - SUNDAY from LIGHT
//Be glad, GOD loves us;
//Rejoice, GOD guides us;
//Sing, GOD hears us;
//Radiate, GOD sees us;
//Give thanks, GOD helps us
//through MICHEVA EMIVAEL
//on SUNDAY from LIGHT.
Oct. 23rd 1999 St.
Back in Baden-Baden on October 24th, the recording sessions with the orchestra took place daily from the 25th until the 30th, from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Every afternoon, Stockhausen did the multi-track editing, choosing the best takes. It become clear about mid-week that the recording of LICHTER-WASSER was behind schedule and would not be finished by Saturday as planned. This meant that the recording would never be finished , because it would be too complicated and expensive to re-install the necessary technical equipment and to hire the extra musicians (over half of the 29 musicians were extras) for the extensive rehearsals required to get the piece back up to the level it was. Therefore, the orchestra, in a rare display of solidarity, agreed to start recording sessions earlier, shorten their breaks and extend their sessions. For some musicians who had other afternoon or evening jobs hours way, that meant getting up at 5 in the morning to reach Baden-Baden in time. With this kind of united effort, the recording was finished at the last minute on Saturday, October 30th.
On October 28th, in Baden-Baden, we were informed by a friend of Stockhausen in Cologne that he had read in the newspaper that MITTWOCH aus LICHT had been cancelled and that the composer had been "uncooperative in trying to save it " This, and a registered letter which reportedly arrived at Stockhausens home the same day (and which Stockhausens copyist had to accept), was Bonns first and only response to Stockhausens letter of September 10th.
On November 1st, All Souls Day, Stockhausen wrote a response to Bonns announcement (which was full of inaccuracies and downright lies) and he had it sent to the Deutsche Presse Agentur which is the German equivalent of the Associated Press. The next day, it appeared, abbreviated naturally, in many German papers. This is his complete text:
Prof. Karlheinz Stockhausen, Baden-Baden, November 1st 1999
Since October 24th I have been conducting the SWR Symphony Orchestra for a studio recording of my new work LICHTER-WASSER. During the next two weeks, I will mix down this recording.
On Thursday, October 28th, a friend in Cologne sent me a newspaper article (by facs.) which had appeared in the Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger with the headlines "Stockhausen work is cancelled". On the following day, my collaborator here was informed by telephone that a registered letter from the Bonn Opera had arrived at my house in Kuerten, which had HAD to be accepted. I requested that the letter be taken to my lawyer in Cologne, and I informed my lawyer. To date, I have not seen the letter, but know that its contents are about the same as in the newspaper article.
In the newspaper article there are untruths which I would like to correct.
Dr. Beilharz, general director of the Bonn Opera, informed the press that "a realisation of the work, as demanded by the composer, surpasses the organisational and financial capabilities of the Bonn Opera". The truth is that since 1997, the responsible persons of the Bonn Opera have had the scores, recordings, films, and rehearsal plans for concert performances of all the scenes of the opera and - even before I was contracted - had conferred and corresponded with me in great detail about the requirements for staging the entire work. NO "DEMANDS"!
The choir director of the Bonn Opera choir , Ms. Sibylle Wagner, independently made all the rehearsal plans for the scenes with choir. Since signing my contract for the musical direction and sound projection I have "demanded" nothing, absolutely nothing.
According to the technical director Thomas Meissner, the Bonn Opera already had received estimates in 1996 for the technical realisation of MITTWOCH, far before I received a contract. Since May 1998, I have contracts with the opera for the musical direction and sound projection of the staged world première on May 26th 2000, for the rehearsal period from April 16th to May 26th 2000 and 8 performances until June 8th. I never made any "demands", and even recently told the general director that, for me, the rehearsals as planned by Ms. Wagner are sufficient, that Ms. Wagner is responsible for rehearsing the choir scenes, and that the 5 instrumentalists, the extra bass singer from the Southwest German Radio choir and the "bass operator" have known their parts by heart for years. The engagement of these 7 guest artists was approved by the general director, and more than a year ago they were officially asked to perform in the opera, were offered a fee, given the rehearsal plans and performance dates, but to date they have not received contracts.
There is one problem, however, which the general director is trying to conceal. Until this moment, he has not yet contractually engaged a stage director for MITTWOCH aus LICHT. Only in June 1999 did he propose his head of dramaturgy Paul Esterhazy, and I agreed. Shortly after this, Esterhazy informed me that he would be leaving the Bonn Opera in the next season to go to Aachen, and therefore he could not direct my opera. General director Beilharz then asked me if I could suggest someone else. I again named Prof. Uwe Wand, head producer of the Leipzig Opera, who had directed my two most recent operas at the Leipzig Opera. Already two years ago, I had recommended Uwe Wand to the Bonn Opera, with no reaction from their side. General director Beilharz contacted Prof. Wand in June 1999 and was told that Wand was no longer free in March and April 2000. Wand said to me, "If he had asked me a year ago, I would have still been free!"
Prof. Wand then told the Opera Bonn that he could do the stage direction if musical and then staging rehearsals with the choir and the 7 guest soloists could take place already in November-December 1999 and January (and possibly February) 2000.
At this, the choir director changed the rehearsal plan and planned rehearsals according to Prof. Wands conditions. In June 1999 this plan was sent by the dramaturgy department of the Bonn Opera to all participants. Two weeks later, the Bonn Opera closed for summer vacation. Only two months later did I hear that the general director did not agree to these rehearsals due to the costs for the guest soloists and for the sound equipment. On the other hand, on August 17th, the technical director planned all of the necessary details for the earlier rehearsals and promised to immediately ask for estimates from three companies for all of the sound equipment. There was no doubt in his mind that the world première would take place in 2000 in Bonn.
Since then, nothing more has happened, and the foreseen stage director still does not have a contract with the Bonn Opera. Thus, there is no stage director for MITTWOCH aus LICHT.
The stage and costume designer Johannes Conen who - together with Prof. Wand - realised both of my two most recent operas in Leipzig, closed a contract with Bonn in time, and his latest news to me is that he is travelling to the Bonn Opera on November 6th for a "model showing" (Bauprobe) of my opera.
I do no know what my opera "costs". The Stadt-Anzeiger reported that the costs had "doubled". The "single" costs and the "doubled" costs are unknown to me. I only know what my fees are for my participation (they are less than I received for my earlier operas,) and I still feel committed to my contracts which have - since I signed them two years ago - made it impossible for me to accept any other engagements for the time period covered by them. The general director knows that.
In my opinion, general director Beilharz himself created the difficulties he is now facing. He burdened the choir director with two more operas with choir in the time period which had been reserved for choir rehearsals of my opera ( he had promised that the choir would be kept completely free for the entire season in order to learn my work). Without this additional load, the rehearsals which had been planned by Frau Wagner would have been sufficient. In addition, the general director neglected to engage a stage director, to obtain estimates for sound equipment and staging respective to the altered conditions of the stage designer and technical director. He also made the 7 guest soloists wait for more than a year without ever receiving contracts.
Since today, I am also aware of what has been printed in another newspaper: that the Bonn Opera offered to perform MITTWOCH aus LICHT in the next season. The truth is that the head of dramaturgy Esterhazy wrote to me saying that the Bonn Opera would not be able to stage the world première on May 26th 2000 and he offered to perform half of the opera (two of four scenes) as "workshop" performance and maybe a complete performance in fall of 2001 (long after he had left Bonn).
This statement was never published in its entirety.
On this same November 1st he also began the multi-track editing of the orchestra recording and this continued until November 13th. Sadie software was used for this, and all technical information about the editing and mixing is given in the booklet of the LICHTER-WASSER CD (58).
On November 22nd Jerome Kohl arrived to continue work on the English translation of TEXTS ON MUSIC Volumes I and II. He stayed until December 13th and we have reached a point in the meantime where we can predict being finished soon. John McGuire ( composer and associate of Stockhausen since the 60s, who knows and understands the texts in German, and translator of the realisation score of KONTAKTE which has never been published, but which will be someday) is now reading the translation of Volume II. Volume II was originally translated by Richard Toop in the 70s, with Stockhausen assisting. Jerome has edited this translation. John has consulted with Richard Toop during his reading, and then Andrew Digby will read it to make sure we Americans have not been too ruthless with the English language. By that time, it will be possible for Kathinka to do the lay-out. Meanwhile, Volume I will have been finished and the same procedure will be followed. Our goal is to have them at least ready for publication by the end of the year, if not at the publishers. Tim Nevill has translated half of Volume III and is working on half of Volume IV. When Jerome gets the first two volumes off his desk, he will do the other halves of III and IV, and we will keep rolling until we have caught up with the German. Starting with Volume V, many of the texts are already translated because they are the prefaces to the scores.
On December 5th we gave another Stockhausen Courses concert at the Musikhochschule in Dortmund. The dean of the conservatory, Prof. Richard Braun, is a pianist and has performed MANTRA with Pi-shien Chen. He also organised an indoor performance of STERNKLANG (STAR SOUND) as project for the conservatory students in July 1995. Therefore he was enthusiastic about inviting some of the top course participants to perform. The program was: FLAUTINA, played by Karin de Fleyt, then WOCHENKREIS played by Rumi Sota-Klemm and Antonio Pérez Abellán. After the intermission Claire Genewein performed KATHINKAs GESANG for flute and electronic music. It was really an outstanding concert, and the students of the conservatory were amazed to see musicians about their own age performing this music. These works are all performed in special costumes, with movements. There is also special lighting. Bryan Wolf, Stockhausens sound projection assistant during the courses, did the sound and light projection. Claire has her own fold-up mandalas and staircases and curtains, which she transports herself in a mini-bus. Speaking of transport, our hero, who I have until now just briefly mentioned, Dettloff Schwerdtfeger, director of the courses, musicologist and business student, did the transport of the sound and light equipment himself driving a 7-ton truck . Dettloff ( his real name is Michael really!) can do anything, actually. But there was snow predicted, and I was a bit worried. Everything turned out beautifully, even parking the truck for overnight after the concert in front of the archive house of the foundation to avoid the danger of theft in Cologne, because it was too late to return the equipment after Dettloff arrived in Kuerten from Dortmund at 3 a.m. after the concert.
December 16th and 17th we (Marco Blaauw, Andrew Digby and myself) recorded BASSETTSU-TRIO at the Sound Studio N (Nedeltschev) in Cologne after rehearsing for three days alone and with Stockhausen. During the recording we moved as we do during a performance and the microphones were set up in a circle around us to catch our rotations. The process is described in the CD booklet. Stockhausen then mixed it on the following day and mastered it in January together with MITTWOCHS ABSCHIED for CD 55.
On December 23rd Stockhausen - as the one and only honorary citizen of Kuerten - visited the new mayor of Kuerten, to introduce himself and to ask for continued support of the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten. His name is Ulrich Iwanow and he is very interested in the courses and helping them to continue. He will speak at the official opening of the courses on July 29th 2000. Interestingly enough, he is an independent, i.e. does not belong to any party. This is a positive development.
Also on the 23rd, Stockhausen drew a serial planting plan for in front of one of the foundation lots
In January the scores of EVAs ZAUBER and AVE were being prepared for printing, and corrections made to the score and orchestral parts of LICHTER-WASSER. In the process of rehearsing Stockhausen made changes in dynamics for transparency and in tempo for timing, without ruining his large formal process.
In mid-January, the third and final "follow-up" concert of the Stockausen Courses Kuerten 1999 took place at the Folkwang Hochschule fuer Musik in Essen. Two course participants, Sylvia Fischer and Benjamin Kobler performed MANTRA for two pianos to a very enthusiastic audience. Bryan Wolf was the sound projectionist. During the courses every year, we have the complete MANTRA set-up, including the necessary ring-modulators, installed in Ellen Corvers teaching room, because every year there are young duets, often with their own sound projectionist, who apply to learn this piece.
Also in January, Stockhausen decided to write out three new versions of REFRAIN as a process with the title 3x REFRAIN 2000. He composed REFRAIN for three players in 1959. The score is often reproduced in textbooks about notation because it is circular. It comprises 6 systems ( 2 semi-circles of 3 systems each) and a transparent ruler which can be rotated on its axis. On this ruler are notes (refrains) which fit into the staves wherever the performer decides to set the ruler. The performers can thus make their own version. But since it takes allot of work to make a version and since the score is out of print due to the difficulty of printing it precisely (the ruler, made of plastic material, expands and contracts and therefore the notes do not fit into the systems as they should, and result in wrong pitches), Stockhausen decided make three versions of the work himself to provide a new form of this work with spoken explanations about the musical function of the refrains. It will be premièred during the courses this year. Also new will be the fact that the celesta part will be played by sampler-celesta, i.e. a synthesizer. This is not as easy as it sounds, because the timing of REFRAIN depends on the decay of the celesta pitches, and since a synthesizer can be programmed to any decay, it is necessary to program it as if it were a celesta. So, along with advantages, such as no longer being dependent on instruments in poor repair as celestas often are, there are other problems with performing the work with synthesizer. Antonio has finally found good samples of celestas. 3x REFRAIN 2000 includes a composed spoken introduction to REFRAIN, which Stockhausen will give himself in Kuerten, but which can be given by one of the musicians or someone else, when performed elsewhere by other groups. This will be CD 62 and there will be two versions, one in English and one in German.
On January 8th 2000 Stockhausen made a second serial planting plan for the back of the lot for which he had made a planting scheme on December 23rd 1999. We have scanned both of these plans for you to look at, with both the German and Latin names.
On January 15th we returned to Baden-Baden to synchronise the singers for LICHTER-WASSER with the 8-track orchestra recording. They had come to Kuerten on the 8th to rehearse with Stockhausen. We were shocked to see the damage done to the famous Black Forest by the terrible storm which swept southern Germany and France after Christmas. The Black Forest is considerably smaller now: what a loss to the planet.
What now had to be done in the studio in Baden-Baden (until the 22nd) was to synchronise the singing with the orchestra, which had already been recorded. The two singers and Stockhausen wore earphones over which the previously recorded orchestra was played back, and Stockhausen conducted the singers. This was much more difficult than he had expected because despite the exact tempos there are always innuendoes within the tempi as he conducted the orchestra recording, which he then had to perfectly follow so that the singers would be exactly together with the orchestra.
On January 27th, back in Cologne again, we mastered CD 55 (BASSETSU-TRIO and MITTWOCHS ABSCHIED) at Sound Studio N in Cologne.
Markus visited for a day at the beginning of February to begin to write out the graphic score of QUITT, a piece for clarinet, trumpet and flute which Stockhausen composed several years ago, but which none of us have got around to writing out yet. Its principle is similar to Xi or YPSILON, for a melody instrument with microtones and it is allot of work to figure out how many micro-steps fit into a given amount of time with the given tempo, etc. This problem is now multiplied by 3 instruments which have to be co-ordinated. We are still working on it.
Prof. Dr. Christoph von Blumroeder visited to discuss the upcoming Stockhausen Symposium 2000 at the Institute for Musicology of the Cologne University. The cancellation of MITTWOCH aus LICHT by the Bonn Opera threw him for a loop because the symposium was supposed to take place in May around the dates of the performances of MITTWOCH and was to be about MITTWOCH aus LICHT. He had planned his whole curriculum, including seminars, around MITTWOCH, but turned them into the theme LICHT in general. There is allot of research being done in Cologne about LICHT. The Stockhausen Symposium 2000 will now take place in October 2000 and Stockhausen will give two presentations: one on the 20th on the HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET and one on the 21st about MITTWOCHS ABSCHIED.
See the information page entitled About WEDNESDAY from LIGHT
An engineer from Canton loudspeakers (in the last report I told you about Stockhausen posing for an ad) came to take a look at the place where they are going to install 8 of their largest loudspeakers for Stockhausen, in return for his posing in front of one of their loudspeakers in 1999. They want to make a publicity affair out of it, take more pictures, etc. Stockhausen will play the 8-track version of LICHTER-WASSER to demonstrate the loudspeakers for them. When will DVDs have 8 tracks?
Stockhausen worked with Antonio on the synthesizer part of LICHTER- WASSER as preparation for the final montage and stereo mixing which would take place from March 6th to 16th in Baden-Baden. He changed several of the sounds and some aspects of the part, such as removing the low B-flat which had continued through the whole piece in the first performances. They made the montage on two Tascam DA-88s here in Kuerten and Stockhausen will take the tapes with him to Baden-Baden.
Stockhausen started composing the new choir work, ANGEL PROCESSIONS, which - God willing - will be premièred in Amsterdam on November 9th 2002.
On February 26th we flew to London for a Stockhausen Portrait organised by the BBC, which included two performances of GRUPPEN for 3 orchestras by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, conducted by David Robertson (orchestra 1), Martyn Brabbins (orchestra 2) and Pascal Rophé (orchestra 3). Pascal Rophé had also been one of the conductors in CARRÉ in Kiel, and David Robertson conducted INORI with the Ensemble Intercontemporain in Paris in January 1998 (see my last report).
Upon our arrival in the afternoon on the 26th , we went directly to the Maida Vale Studio where the orchestras were still rehearsing in separate rooms. Stockhausen spent about one hour with each orchestra, making corrections. The next day, Sunday the 27th, the orchestra moved into the Royal Festival Hall, where the first tutti rehearsal was to take place in the afternoon. In the forenoon, while the set-up was taking place, Stockhausen gave interviews to Phillip Clark of the magazine Classic CD and to the BBC for the intermission talk of the live-broadcast of GRUPPEN the next evening. He also had a meeting with Alex Poots, a young manager who wants to plan several significant Stockhausen events at the Barbican Centre. (The Barbican Centre is where, in 1985, the huge festival of Stockhausens electronic and live-electronic music Music and Machines was produced by the BBC).
Upon entering the hall about an hour before the rehearsal was to begin, we saw to our horror that the orchestras were much too close together, i.e. not separated at all, but rather formed a continuous, very wide stereo from left to right. This was reminiscent of accounts of the Abbado performance at La Scala several years ago where all three orchestras were more or less on the stage at the front, a mistake which was repeated by him in Berlin a few years ago with the Berlin Philharmonic where the musicians were so close together they could hardly play. (This was when the now infamous DGG recording of GRUPPEN was made.)
Back to London. Not only were the orchestras too close together, they were on different levels: orchestra two was at stage level, orchestras one and three were at balcony level at the sides. So they were more separated vertically than horizontally! Stockhausen tries to foresee every eventuality, but this is something he had never imagined being possible. Of course he knows it is possible since composing LUCIFERS DANCE (Scene 3 of SATURDAY from LIGHT) for vertical (30 meters high!) symphony band, with the audience on a flat floor at the bottom. But he never imagined that the orchestras of GRUPPEN would someday be separated vertically, since it is not composed that way poor composers.
Once the shock subsided he went to work to try to make the most out of an impossible situation. This is something he has a great deal of experience doing. Assisted by the very nice and competent composer and sound technician Ian Deardon, he had the loudspeakers raised to maximum height to avoid the audience getting blasted by the amplified guitar and piano of orchestra II (the Royal Festival Hall is one of those amphitheatres). He also proposed to Mr. Brabbins, conductor of orchestra II, to move his orchestra as far back as possible on the stage. This was immediately done.
I tried many different seats during the rehearsal and never got the horse-shoe sound which had been intended, but it was too late to do anything about this. So we had a stereo version of GRUPPEN, albeit live. David Robertson explained to Stockhausen that the series of BBC Portrait Concerts (the Stockhausen Portrait had been preceded a few weeks earlier by a Berio Portrait and Henze Portrait) were usually on Sunday, but that he had insisted to the organisers that a complete day of rehearsal in the hall was necessary, meaning that the concert would have to take place a day later, on Monday. The promoters of the concert were a bit worried that Monday is not a good night for audiences, but they finally agreed. David was so right. The first hour or so of the rehearsal was spent rearranging chairs, finding sufficient lighting, etc. because neither the conductors could see each other nor their scores properly, nor could all the musicians see the conductors. Once the rehearsal actually could start, then it just took time to get used to the acoustic shock. Hour for hour everyone felt more secure, and the dress rehearsal on Monday morning went very well. In the afternoon, Stockhausen had a short rehearsal on PIANO PIECE IX with Nicolas Hodges, an excellent and conscientious young English pianist, who was to perform it between the two performance of GRUPPEN that evening. Stockhausen then rehearsed with Ellen Corver who was to give a recital of PIANO PIECES I-V / VII - VIII - XI - XIV that afternoon. Then with Roger Wright, controller of BBC Radio 3, he had a public conversation about his recent work. It was held in the Chelsea Room which was packed, with people sitting in the aisles and on the floor. Some of the themes covered were the PIANO PIECES, the LIGHT operas, HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET, spiced with the usual mixture of musical-philosophical-spiritual reflections, and everyone laughed allot.
Returning back to the Royal Festival Hall, now just before the piano recital was to begin, Stockhausen made a brief sound-check (the piano is always amplified for his PIANO PIECES, not to make to piano louder, but rather to make it more present, close-up, like in the days of Schubert when the small circle of friends at the Schubertiades would lie close to the piano ). The hall was already full and expectant. Ellen played as only she can play: not only with the precision, phrasing and lyricism Stockhausen expects, but also with her renowned touch, her colours. The audience was very enthusiastic. You can hear this on CD 56 (3 CDs) which was just delivered.
Following the recital, there was a short break and then the BBC Symphony Orchestra came on stage for GRUPPEN. The first performance was, understandably, nervous, but excellent still. This was followed by Nicolas Hodges who played PIANO PIECE IX. Stockhausen then came on stage to give a brief introduction to GRUPPEN (in English) with examples played by the orchestra. It is really a help to know some of the things to listen for, and this is one of Stockhausens specialities. He his really the best ambassador for his own music and that is why I am so keen to produce a series of films about his music, with his participation in each film in the form of a short interview. This builds bridges to a realm which some are just frightened to approach, let alone touch, and once the first step is made, the world with which we all are so familiar and which is so important to our lives, namely the world of Stockhausens music, is no longer frightening but familiar, beautiful, inspiring and even necessary. In his talk he mentioned the necessity of building suitable auditoriums not only for his music but for the music of others who write spatial music. He also mentioned that he has been saying this since the 50s. One architect who had been listening on the radio wrote and said, "Take a look at the tent I designed for spatial music "
Stockhausen has built quite a massive group of fans in London and England as a whole and many of them seemed to be there that evening because the hall was packed and everyone was smiling at him and at each other. The second performance far surpassed the first one in quality, because now the musicians knew that they had gotten through the first performance so could relax and make music. They did, and it was a memorable evening in every way. Thank you Roger Wright and the BBC Symphony orchestra and their excellent conductors.
The next day, we were picked up at the hotel and driven to a small film previewing theatre where the Quay Brothers were waiting together with Rodney Wilson to show their not-quite finished film The Pencils Dream, which I mentioned earlier. They made this circa 20-minute film to a sound-track which Stockhausen had specially made for this project. He was very moved by their poetic, wistful work and they promised to soon be able to send the finished version. When Stockhausen and the Quay brothers met, there was immediate empathy. In the brief meeting, they told him that as students, for a project in graphic design in Philadelphia, they had chosen to design an LP cover for a Stockhausen recording, and that one of their first jobs as graphic designers was to make the cover for the first edition of the book StockhausenConversations with the Composer by Jonathan Cott (Simon and Schuster).
Returning home on February 29th the planting season had begun and, since Stockhausen had to leave on the 6th of March for Baden-Baden, Stockhausen had to decide and to mark (with sticks) where all the plants which he had ordered from Baaker, a mail order plant nursery in Holland, should be planted: 10 x 8 (different kinds) = 80 lillies, 1 Japanese tree azalea, 25 daisies (chrysanthemum maximum), 25 Burgundy cockades, 5 pink Christ roses (Helleborus), 600 lillies of the valley , 10 astilbes, 38 shadow plants, 72 frost- resistant plants, 3 potentilla, 2 aster alpinus, 6 delospana, 6 herons beak,10 red sedum, 10 bergamot, 2 star bells, 1 eucalyptus, 4 clematis. In the process of sticking his markers at the places where the plants were to be planted, he saw numerous fire salamanders which are very strikingly marked in black and yellow. This is an endangered species in Germany, but they really seem to flourish here. In the book Angels A to Z by James R. Lewis and Evelyn Dorothy Oliver, which I have mentioned in a previous report, it is said that the fire salamander is linked to the archangel Michael.
On March 5th, Carnival Sunday, we risked our lives going into Cologne as the famous and ruthless Koelner Karneval was reaching its climax. It is a good time to leave Cologne, which we did, heading south to Baden-Baden for the final mixing of LICHTER-WASSER which lasted until March 16th.
As usual for mixing (at the WDR and SWR) Stockhausen used the Capricorn 2 x 48 tracks mixing console (manufactured by Neve, which is in the meantime, Siemens ) in the radio play studio 2 of the SWR Baden-Baden. Frank Wild, the recording engineer who has collaborated with him on this mixing console since 1992 assisted him, as did Klaus-Dieter Hesse who was mainly responsible for the multi-track editing (Sadie). Bernhard Mangold (recording supervisor) also assisted, and of course Kathinka Pasveer helped everybody.
On March 9th, Frau Enderle, head of the music department of the Southwest German Radio organised a meeting with producers of the pop station Das Ding (The Thing which is on the web, so some of you may be familiar with it), with Armin Koehler, head of the New Music department of the radio, and Stockhausen to talk about a project in which some of Stockhausens electronic music would be performed in a concert, or concerts together with music by pop musicians. This idea is not new: John Lennon had talked with Stockhausen about a joint concert in the 60s, and 3 years ago Bjoerk started to plan a joint concert.
On the 14th, still in Baden-Baden, a conversation between Dr. Ermen and Stockhausen about the opera LICHT in general was recorded to insert between the two broadcasts of LICHTER-WASSER which took place on Easter Sunday. We sent a news flash to Jim Stonebraker to inform you all about this. I hope many of you heard the broadcast at 8 p.m. on Easter Sunday, then the conversation between Stockhausen and Mr. Ermen about LICHT, followed by the studio recording of LICHTER-WASSER. The conversation was very informative what concerns basic information about the entire LICHT cycle, and the comparison of the live concert recording made in Donaueschingen and the studio production which was produced and mixed for many weeks by Stockhausen was further proof that studio productions of Stockhausen works are a MUST in order to hear the work properly. For those of you who did not hear the broadcast, the CD of the studio production is now available on CD 58.
On the 15th, the eve of our return to Kuerten, Stockhausen gave a very interesting interview about GRUPPEN to an Austrian journalist for the Austrian radio. She had sat for 6 hours in the train from Vienna to Baden-Baden to talk with him. We were happy she did, because it really was a good interview. I hope she sends us the uncut interview, as she promised she would. (She surfs on the web, so maybe she is reading this!)
Upon returning back to Kuerten on the 16th and opening mail, we received the news that the score of EVAs ERSTGEBURT, which had been published in June 1999, had received a prize from the German Publishers Association in the category "scores of 20th century music". That made our day, and is the fourth time that the Stockhausen-Verlag has received this award. The three previous award winners were: in 1992, LUCIFERS DANCE, 3rd scene of SATURDAY from LIGHT; in 1994 JAHRESLAUF (COURSE OF THE YEARS), Act 1 of TUESDAY from LIGHT; and in 1996 WORLD PARLIAMENT, 1st scene of WEDNESDAY from LIGHT. Naturally, we think that all of our scores deserve an award, but the best award for us is knowing that they are finding homes all over the globe and that they are being used for studying and performing. They, together with the CDs, in the hands of top performers are the only thing that can guarantee the future healthy life of the music of Stockhausen.
In April 2000 he began the multi-track editing work for CD 56 of the KLAVIERSTUECKE I - XIV at the Ballhorn Studio in Odenthal. These are the recordings made in 1997 and 1998 at the Hessen Radio by Ellen Corver, which I told you about in my last report.
Unfortunately, there were so many "software bugs", that the editing of the piano pieces took about twice as long as it should have despite calls to Santa Barbara, only to find out that the software had not really been thoroughly tested for multi-track editing. Too often Stockhausen finds himself in such guinea pig situations in which new equipment is being tried out, probably because he is one of the few people who records and mixes multi-track. Finally, on the Wednesday before Easter he decided to move to a different studio for the mixing, because the operating manual for the digital mixing console which Ballhorn had intended to rent for the mixing could not be located, and initial attempts to operate the mixing console intuitively proved futile.
Luckily, Sound Studio N (Nedeltschev), the very well-equipped private studio in Cologne which has been mentioned before, was free. Stockhausen has worked there at regular intervals for 20 years, beginning with the recordings (for the WDR) of VISION (final scene of THURSDAY from LIGHT), LUCIFERS DREAM (1st scene of SATURDAY from LIGHT) and where he has recorded, mixed and mastered several of his CDs (parts of Markus CD 43, parts of Suzees CD 32, BASSETSU-TRIO for CD 55 ), and where the ECM recording of MICHAELs REISE was made. At this very moment I am sitting there as Stockhausen is mixing down 3x REFRAIN 2000 for CD 62. Immediately following the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten 2000 we came here and recorded this and the two versions of KOMET with Andreas Boettger and Antonio Pérez Abellán (which were also premièred during the courses), KLAVIERSTUECK XVI with Antonio, and THINKI for flute with Kathinka.
The owner, Georg Nedeltschev, his son Charley, and technician Dieter Wegner are very helpful and professional. One of Stockhausens all-time favourite sound engineers, Guenther Kaspar, is the studios greatest asset, and that is why Stockhausen loves to work there. He knows the equipment inside out and therefore no time is ever lost with technical disasters like the ones just described.
So, on the Thursday before Easter and the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday following Easter, the mixing and mastering of CD 56 could be completed in this studio. Well, almost completed
May 1st is a national holiday in Germany, as in most European countries (paradoxically, Day of Work). It is quiet, as quiet as only Germany can be on holidays. There is no one in sight, and there are no 24-hour stores, so there is nothing to do except get gemuetlich (cozy) and enjoy the peace. If by 2 p. m. on Saturday you did not buy everything you need until tomorrow, you are out of luck unless you have neighbours who are better organised.
In most German villages there is a May tree, a birch tree about 15 metres high which has been cut down in a local forest, decorated with ribbons and then erected last night. Groups of boys try to steal each others or defend their own trees, and a May tree in the front yard of a private home is a sign that the girl living there has a strong boyfriend (15 metre birches are heavy), or that he has strong friends.
Driving or walking along one of the narrow winding roads in the hilly Kuerten countryside, we pass a number of these May trees, and small groups of timber-frame or houses with slate siding , which has been the local style of houses for hundreds of years. At some places it is possible to see for many kilometres: the idyllic Bergisches Land of rolling hills, blossoming fruit trees in hues of pink and white and lilac, and meadows and forests in all shades of green and yellow are in full spring splendour. The 1000s of daffodils and hyacinths you know about are withering as the tulips have their day to the accompaniment of azaleas, hydrangeas, cherry laurel bushes, rhododendrons, and lilac trees. The only sound is that of the birds singing (this area is a bird sanctuary).
Continuing along this road, we encounter a fairly new, silvery double iron gate which is not in the traditional local style: the left half of the gate is a heart superimposed over three concentric circles, with a cross passing through this horizontally and vertically. Each limb of the cross ends as an open lily blossom, also cruciform. The right side is an inversion of the left side. . This is the sign of SONNTAG aus LICHT (SUNDAY from LIGHT), designed by Stockhausen. As we stand pondering this unusual gate, we can faintly hear a piano being played in the white building behind the gate. We can hear enough to know that it is not a folk song, hit tune or classical music, but sounds rather unusual. We cautiously open the gate, which is unlocked, look through the window and see two men: seated at the keyboard is a young Spanish pianist who has travelled from Spain to Kuerten to play the KLAVIERSTUECKE for Stockhausen, and a few metres away, Stockhausen, seated at a music stand with metronome, pencil and eraser, on a chair to his left. Every now and then - quite often - Stockhausen stands up, goes to the pianist and sings how he wants the passage to sound, to correct a wrong pitch or dynamic, conducting the correct tempo, then conducts the pianists playing. Finally, after about 3 hours, Stockhausen breaks off the rehearsal and tells the pianist, that the recital of KLAVIERSTUECKE which the pianist was supposed to perform in Madrid in June should be postponed until he had made all the corrections necessary. (We were told later by the owner of one of the few restaurants in Kuerten, San Marco, that the young Spaniard had stayed several more days and eaten in his restaurant during his sojourn in Kuerten, and had enthusiastically told everyone how much he had learned in such a short time from Stockhausen but the recital was postponed indefinitely.)
The night before, while the other boys were stealing May trees, Stockhausen was up until midnight checking the 2nd and 3rd studio master CDs of the 3-CD set of his PIANO PIECES which he had just finished editing at Sound Studio N. In the process of checking these masters, he discovered that due to the extremely wide dynamic range of the recordings, and although in the studio the headroom had been 0 dB, it was necessary to raise the usual listening level of his amplifier about 5 dB to arrive at the usual "presence" of the rest of the Stockhausen Complete Edition CDs. Late last night, he conferred with the technician (Dieter Wegner) who had mastered the CDs to make sure that there had been no accidental attenuation, and deliberated with him about the pros and cons of redoing the mastering via limiter and / or compressor to be able to use his standard amplifier setting.
Dieter suggested that he slightly limit and compress the second version of PIANO PIECE XI and send a new master to compare with the non-limited version. Upon listening to this "experiment" which was much less brilliant, Stockhausen decided for the original version. As I said in my last report, Stockhausen used a special microphone configuration which gives a very wide (and deep) stereo impression, as if the listener were the pianist at a piano as wide as the distance between the left and right stereo loudspeakers. There is also a test-track on the CD to test your hi-fi equipment to make sure you are optimally hearing the CD. The recording process is described in detail in the booklet of CD 56, with pictures of the microphone set-up.
On May 2nd, everyone went back to work and planters arrived near the gate described above to plant 14 ivy, 15 clematis, 13 azaleas, 21 rhododendrons, 6 hydrangeas, 3 lilac trees, 13 laurel bushes, and 4 pyracatha according to the serial planting scheme drawn by Stockhausen on December 23rd 1999 (Scan 3). He does not even have to pay for it, since it is part of the landscaping which resulted from the county road construction.
For the rear of the same lot, which belongs to the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, Stockhausen had made a different serial planting scheme (see above) in January. These had already been planted at the end of March. There, there is another heart-gate, exactly like the one described above, but with the sides reversed.
These gates were made by the local village blacksmith, Peter Paul Broich, who usually does things like fix bikes and locks, although he and before him, his father has, on occasion, made cinelli and other percussion instrument stands for Stockhausen and has regularly collaborated with local artists. He has a home page (at the moment, a "starter" page which can be reached under freenet. de P.P. Broich), for which he asked Stockhausen to write a recommendation, and on which he also has a scan of the heart-gate, of which he is rightfully proud. Across the street from the lot just mentioned (in front of the so-called "guest house" of the foundation), he has just finished his most ambitious project to date, namely a 10 metre by 1 metre iron fence, designed by Stockhausen for the sharp curve in which it is situated. If anyone misses this curve, they will land on a flat or sharp or rest or note or bar-line of the first part of the 6th bridge of LICHTER-WASSER, instead of in the front yard of the guest house.
On May 4th, Stockhausen called me to say that we had just received a facs. from Paul Jeukendrup, a sound engineer in Holland - who is supposed to play the tape of Region 3 of HYMNEN in a concert the next day in Holland - saying that somehow the tape had gotten lost in the mail. Just yesterday we heard that a mailman in Cologne has been emptying the contents of his mailbags at the dump So I told Paul that if they dont find it in the next hour, someone should come (2.5 hours by car each way) to pick up another tape. The tape is still missing
We received news from Rodney Wilson at the BBC that Quay brothers / Stockhausen film project The Pencils Dream "has been selected for the Quinzaine des Realisateurs section of the Cannes Film Festival. This is very prestigious. The film is too long for the short category of the festival, but was liked so much that it is included in the more creative section for full length feature films". Further: " once it is fully finished, we would like to come to Cologne to project the film in 35 mm for you. This way you will be able to hear your music in optimum conditions."
Recently, Stockhausen has received several letters from Russia and other countries which were part of the former USSR. It is very interesting that there are a number of excellent musicologists who are working in depth on Stockhausens music. In Russia there is a strict distinction between the "historians" and the "theorists" and a clear hierarchy: the theorists look down their noses at the historians, who are considered only slightly superior to journalists. There is some excellent analytical work being done, and I will list a few names in the hope that this can initiate a direct dialogue among those of you who share common areas of interest and research: Jekatharina Sedowa from Minsk (MITTWOCH aus LICHT); Sveta Tjulina, also from Minsk; Marina Pereverzeva from Irkutsk, Siberia; Konstantin Zenkin from Moscow; Alexander Weljutin from St. Petersburg; Prof. Mikail Saponovs student, Iryna Krytska from Kiev (Ukraine) E-Mail: kalex@ sabbo.net; Mikail Prosnjakov, founder of the Stockhausen Institute in Moscow, is the most knowledgable Russian what concerns Stockhausens music in general, and his professor Prof. Dr. Juri Cholopov (Moscow) is also informed and supportive of disseminating knowledge about Stockhausens work in Russia.
The first week of May, Stockhausen rehearsed 3x REFRAIN 2000 and KOMET for percussion with Andreas Boettger, Benjamin Kobler and Antonio Pérez Abellán in preparation for the world première performances during the courses.
In mid-May, together with an introduction by Dettloff Schwerdtfeger, Kathinka and I performed AVE for the elementary school as our traditional thank-you for the use of their school during the courses. This time, Dettloff explained that "AVE" is "EVA" spelled backwards and that the music is composed in a similar way. This was the first time Stockhausen was personally present at this annual presentation, and thus, by the time he had given about 100 autographs, his composition of ANGEL PROCESSIONS had been interrupted for long enough.
In June 2000 there were three concerts of Stockhausens electronic music in Madrid and one concert (HYMNEN) in Barcelona. The concerts in Madrid took place at the National Auditorium, the same auditorium as last years concert series. Stockhausen was assisted by the Dutch recording technician Robin Verhage and an excellent team of Spanish technicians. The whole was co-ordinated by Bart Mesman in Holland, who played a principle role in the technical organisation of the première of HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET in 1996 in Amsterdam. The loudspeakers were Meyer Sound and the mixing console was a 40-channel Soundcraft.The first evening in Madrid, HYMNEN (2 hours) was performed, the second evening OKTOPHONIE (69 minutes) and KONTAKTE (37 minutes) were performed, and on the third evening ELECTRONIC MUSIC with SOUND SCENES (of FRIDAY from LIGHT), 145 minutes was performed. All concerts were full or very well attended. It is interesting to observe the mixture of people who attend Stockhausen concerts : there is the new music public which is usually more intellectual than emotional, then there are the conservative concert-goers who attend because it is the thing to do, then we have the Stockhausen fans who can only be recognised by the gleam in their eyes because they come from all areas of life, and then we have the freaks who attend because they like everything which is weird. After the final concert in Madrid, a group of them was waiting outside the auditorium when Stockhausen finally came out (a wait of about 45 minutes). They were all dressed in black leather, had pierced earrings everywhere, and asked him many very intelligent questions. When he said "Dont forget what you heard", they said "We have already sharpened our knives!"
The next morning we flew to Barcelona for a concert of HYMNEN which opened the famous SONAR festival, a three-day 24-hours a day festival of "advanced music" (techno and other experimental pop music) which attracts about 50,000 young people from all over the globe. The concert took place at the Tivoli, a beautiful Italianate theater. Italianate theatres are ideal for multi-track electronic music, because the speakers can be installed high enough (in the boxes in the upper tiers), with the audience sitting only in the stalls (ground floor level).The acoustics are dry which makes it possible to hear the movements in space very clearly. Stockhausen has been performing his electronic works in such theatres since the 50s, including the performances of his operas which always include at least 8-track electronic music and, in the case of TUESDAY and WEDNESDAY from LIGHT, octophonic electronic music (the vertical and horizontal surrounding of the audience in a cube), and in FRIDAY from LIGHT 20-tracks surrounding the audience, climbing to the front in a pyramid. You can see the loudspeaker installation schemes in the scores of these works.
Stockhausen spent most of the day on the 13th positioning the loudspeakers and checking the sound. There was a press conference in the afternoon, and he had given several interviews on the 12th. At the SONAR press conference a few journalists had asked what in the world techno had to do with the refined music of Stockhausen. Stockhausen replied that he feels solidarity with any experimental spirit no matter where and who they are. He also said that it was unfair to judge experiments too early and therefore that one should wait to see what comes out of these experiments. These are the words of a 71 year-old who has always been fiercely criticised immediately for almost every new work, and thus he knows how it feels to not receive any encouragement and how lonely that can be. Much of the so-called "serious" new music these days is not new, but very old and far less inventive (and more opportunistic, i.e. commercial) than what is "seriously" being pursued these days in techno music.
Many of the participants in this festival were familiar with Stockhausens recordings and revere Stockhausen as the "Papa of Techno", but few of them had ever experienced a live concert. HYMNEN lasts 2 hours, with an intermission between the first (Regions I and II) and second (Regions III and IV) hours. Stockhausen gave a short introduction, with suggestions of how to listen (eyes closed) and what to listen for (movements). After the concert, there was euphoric applause and cheering and many came to him (by now it was around midnight since the concert had started, as is usual in Spain, at 9:30 p.m.) with specific questions about how he made the sounds and the movements. This was real shop-talk, and seldom happens after concerts, because to ask such questions, you have to know what is involved in making sounds and working with them in a studio. It pleases Stockhausen to know that there is now a whole new generation coming who is capable of at least sensing what is involved in creating a work like HYMNEN or any of his other electronic works.
Everyone was standing around talking when the first guy got up enough courage to ask if Stockhausen would pose with him for a photo, and suddenly there was a long line of men, women and kids who, one-by-one - with their arm around Charley, Carl, Carlo and Karlheinz - got a keep-sake for their studio and their grandchildren.
A week later we were off to Skinskatteberg, Sweden, for another 3-day festival of Stockhausens electronic music, this time with two concerts a day: the first concert in the afternoon (purely electronic music) and the second concert in the evening which also included chamber works.We were picked up at the airport in Stockholm by Ulf Stenberg, organiser of the festival, who was wearing the special Stockhausen T-shirt and Stockhausen sunglasses made for the festival. This electronic music festival takes place every two years, and it is the first time it is dedicated to Stockhausens works. It traditionally takes place during the famous summer night festival (the shortest night of the year) which, in Sweden, is second in importance only to Christmas. Skinskatteberg is a 2 hour drive from Stockholm and is located in the middle of beautiful forests and lakes which reminded me strongly of Wisconsin or Michigan, even with red barns of all of rural America. We and some of the audience stayed in buildings of a rural estate (now a kind of hotel) and were driven the 15 minutes back and forth to Skinnskatteberg once in the morning for and following the dress rehearsal and then in the afternoon for the first concert, and we remained there for the second one. The festival took place in a gymnasium, similar to the Suelztalhalle in Kuerten where the concerts of the courses take place. The acoustics were excellent: 10-track set-up, i.e. 8 x 2 boxes, with the upper level of loudspeakers circa 10 metres high, and lower level circa 2 metres, alternatively 4.5 metres high. The audience virtually lived there (including a tent outside for eating and drinking). Peter Smit and Robin Verhage came with a truck from Holland full of sound (Apogee loudspeakers and Midas mixer) and lighting equipment. In addition, Maria Luckas, who is normally in charge of the Stockhausen archives assembled one of her famous exhibitions of photos, sketches, scores and CDs at a nearby gallery which ran for the three days of the concerts and was transported by Peter with the sound and light equipment.
The programs were: 1st day at 5 p.m. ELECTRONIC STUDIES I + II, GESANG DER JUENGLINGE, KONTAKTE. At 8 p.m. : TRAUM-FORMEL for basset-horn, TELEMUSIK Electronic Music, IN FREUNDSCHAFT for trumpet - intermission - KATHINKAs GESANG for flute and ele ctronic music.
2nd day at 5 p.m.: HYMNEN Electronic Music. At 8 p.m.: BIJOU for alto flute, bass clarinet and tape, ARIES for trumpet and electronic music - intermission - TIERKREIS Trio Version for clarinet, flute with piccolo, trumpet with piano.
3rd day at 5 p.m.: OKTOPHONIE Electronic Music. At 8 p.m.: ZUNGENSPITZENTANZ for piccolo, OBERLIPPENTANZ for piccolo trumpet, DER KLEINE HARLEKIN for clarinet - intermission - AVE for basset-horn and alto flute. The day of our departure (June 26th), Stockhausen gave a very special interview to Stefan Holmstroem and Karl Tiderman of the Swedish radio, in English. It is special because it covers so many diverse topics, and Stockhausen was very relaxed and the interviewer was very informed. They are going to use the material to make two one-hour programs about the Stockhausen festival in Skinnskatteberg. It is so important that I have already asked them for permission to use it, un-cut, for a CD.
Arriving back in Kuerten on the 26th, we repacked our suitcases and headed down to Stuttgart the next day for rehearsals and studio recording (June 27th-30th), concert (June 30th), and mixing (July 1st-3rd) of LITANEI 97 which will soon appear on CD 61, together with the world première of KURZWELLEN. LITANEI is one of the texts for intuitive music of FROM THE SEVEN DAYS.
The choir of the choir of the SWR (now designated as the Vocal Ensemble of the SWR) performed the world première in July 1997, but to date there was no studio production of the work. Finally, this could be scheduled, and Stockhausen was invited to lead the rehearsals and recording. The choir sings /speaks while rotating in a circle (sometimes two halves of the choir in counter-movement) facing the center of the circle. Thus for most of the work, half of the choir has their backs to the audience. Therefore, Stockhausen worked out a microphone set-up which could convey this in a stereo recording.
He decided to speak the text on the CD (in German). Since the work KURZWELLEN is mentioned in the text of LITANEI, he thought it would be a perfect opportunity to bring out a different recording of KURZWELLEN than that on CD 13, because due to its free nature it can be very different from performance to performance. This is the version which was brought out by DGG on LP many years ago.
Returning to Kuerten, rehearsals for SIRIUS were to begin soon and final preparations for the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten 2000 were underway. Stockhausen prepared a new edition of the score of ELECTRONIC STUDY II, because the 1955 edition published by Universal Edition is out of print.
It rained until the day the courses began and then stopped for the courses, and then started to rain again when the courses were over. This is just a hint for the detailed report about the courses which I will write on September 29th (yes, 2000!).
We are still looking for 170,000 DM (not the entire budget) for the courses next year. Last year, we had some generous donations , and need even more help next year, because our state subsidy has now come to a close. With united efforts I am confident that we will succeed, and that is why I am calling for help already.
That ends the chronology for now.
The following scores have been published since March 1999: HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET, ORCHESTRA FINALISTS, the10 separate instrumental versions of ORCHESTRA FINALISTS, BASSETSU-TRIO, KLAVIERSTUECK XVI, MONDAY FAREWELL , EVAs SECOND BIRTH-GIVING (Act 2 of MONDAY from LIGHT), TEXTS of FRIDAY from LIGHT, IN FRIENDSHIP for trumpet and IN FRIENDSHIP for tuba, as well as a new edition of Electronic STUDY II.
The following CDs have been released since March 1999: CD 48 Couples from FRIDAY; CD 53 HELICOPTER STRING QUARTET; CD 55 BASSETSU-TRIO and WEDNESDAY FAREWELL; the CDs of electronic music for performances of KLAVIERSTUECK XVI and the solo versions of ORCHESTRA FINALISTS; CD 56 (3-CD set) KLAVIERSTUECKE I - XIV; CD 58 LICHTER-WASSER; CD 61 LITANEI 97 and KURZWELLEN; CD 62 3x REFRAIN 2000.
The following books about Stockhausen have been published since I last wrote: Paul Dirmeikis Le Souffle du Temps (French) published by Éditions Telo Martius, 1999; Dr. Imke Misch Zur Kompositionstechnik Karlheinz Stockhausens: GRUPPEN fuer dre Orchester (19551957) published by Pfau Verlag, Saarbruecken, 1999, as number 2 in the series Signale aus Koeln; Internationales Stockhausen Symposium 1998 published by the Pfau Verlag, 2000, as number 4 in the series Signale aus Koeln; Karheinz Stockhausens Oper DONNERSTAG aus LICHT, Ziel und Anfang einer Kompositorischen Entwicklung by Dettloff Schwerdtfeger (the first book in the series planned by the Stockhausen Foundation for Music), published in 2000. The book, The Voice of Music. Conversations with Composers of Our Time by Anders Beyer will be published soon by Ashgate Publishing Ltd. It includes a lengthy and important interview (Every Day Brings New Discoveries) made with Stockhausen in 1991.
In addition, the American musicology quarterly Perspectives of New Music, under the guest editoriship of Jerome Kohl, has published the first (Vol. 36 #1) of the planned 3 Festschriften on the occasion of Stockhausens 70th birthday.
Some of you may be wondering what happened to the plan to sell facsimiles of the sketches of GESANG DER JUENGLINGE which we announced a few years ago. As a matter of fact, Lilly Fritz, a musicology and law student in Cologne, and Dettloff's assistant for the courses, has been scanning and working over the scans for over a year, and the end is in sight. So publication is also in sight. Also, please remember that the sketch books which we publish every year for the courses (1998: ORCHESTRA FINALISTS, 1999: WORLD PARLIAMENT, 2000: SIRIUS) are available, as are the programme books which are German / English and include many English texts which have never been published before about the works performed.
To close, some bad news and some good news. The bad news first:
We have just received another alarm that the building in which the Studio for Electronic Music of the WDR is housed has been sold and that the future of the studio (including its contents which include all the tapes made there since the 50s) is highly uncertain. The Stockhausen Foundation for Music, upon receiving the first alarm (in April 2000) send an official application to temporarily take over all of Stockhausens recordings to ensure that they would be properly stored until the fate of the studio was decided. This application was turned down with the consolation that nothing was definite and that we should not worry. We then wrote again saying, yes, we were worried and that they should reconsider, and we received another nein.
Nothing worse could happen, than to have some burocrat decide to temporarily store the tapes in some warehouse without the necessary temperature and humidity control and other conditions necessary for the proper storage of tapes. This would - in a few months - irrevocably damage the tapes which have been taken such good care of and which have remained in such good condition for 50 years. Not only that, but who would organize the actual, physical transportation of these tapes, and monitor the handling of the tapes, etc.?
Stockhausen has written the following letter to the media and to other interested parties. I am including this for your information and urge you to take action in the form of writing to the general director of the WDR, Mr. Fritz Pleitgen , in the interest of all composers who bled at the studio to realize their works, trusting that the West German Radio, as responsible institution, would protect their works. This is no longer necessarily the case, and it is time for a world-wide alarm.
In addition, if the Studio for Electronic Music closes its doors, one of the most important workshops for electronic music will be eliminated for the future generation of composers. The WDR enjoys many priviledges because of its status as public institution, including automatically receiving millions of marks annually from all listeners who listen to the WDR and from the state. They are forgetting that cultural responsiblities are connected with the special status they enjoy, and by behaving more and more like commercial radios, they are endangering this status.
On August 12th, Stockhausen sent the following letter to the media:
Open letter to the editors of all media
From May 1953 until January 1990, I constantly worked at the Studio for Electronic Music of the West German Radio in Cologne. From 1963 until 1977 I was the artistic director, and from 1977 until 1990 the permanent artistic advisor of this studio.
From 1990 until 2000, the composer York Hoeller was the so-called "representative" of the Studio for Electronic Music.
In the period from January 1990 until March 1998, every two years I was allowed to work in the studio for 3 months, and in this time I realised three large works of electronic music , having a total duration of 261 minutes of music.
Today, on August 10th 2000, I was informed by an internal notice that the building in which the studio is housed has been sold, that the equipmet will be transferred to the Conservatory in Cologne or another institution in the state of North Rhine Westfalia, and that the studio must be vacated by 2001.
According to this notice, the technical director of the WDR had said "that the studio would not continue the way it was ", "because it was not programmatically relevant", "it is certain that the shop will be shut up", "we do not want such a handicap", etc.
The last technician in the studio was told to make a "list of the equipment in the studio and to indicate what could be scrapped and what could, for example, be stored at a warehouse".
I, Stockhausen, wrote two letters, one on April 3rd and a second one on April 29th 2000 to the general director of the WDR, Mr. Fritz Pleitgen, requesting that all of the material tapes and original tapes of my compositions which I have produced at the studio since 1953 be handed over in trust to the Stockhausen Foundation for Music for safe-keeping.General director Pleitgen refused my requests. My letters are enclosed together with his refusals.
The public is herewith urged to help the Stockhausen Foundation for Music procure my production tapes from the studio and further, to help me to be able to continue to realise electronic music at the Studio for Electronic Music of the WDR.
P.S. Address of General Director Pleitgen:
WDR, Appellhofplatz 1, 50600 Cologne, Germany
Tel. 0049-(0) 221-220-2100 / 01 / 02 / 03; Fax: 0049-(0) 221-220-20 00.
Address of the Studio for Electronic Music of the WDR, sound technician Volker Mueller: Annostr. 86, 50678 Cologne, Germany.
Tel. 0049 - (0) 221-220 - 3881 (or 2689); Fax: 0049- (0) 221 - 220 - 6292.
Now the good news:
There is a ray of hope for MITTWOCH aus LICHT in Switzerland in 2003, but I wont say more until it becomes more concrete. For SONNTAG aus LICHT we have received a request from Prof. Udo Zimmerman, now the general manager of the Deutsche Oper in Berlin, to stage its world première there in 2003. You may remember that it was Prof. Udo Zimmerman who made the world premières of both DIENSTAG aus LICHT and FREITAG aus LICHT possible in Leipzig. He was a good friend of LICHT. Let us hope that his intention becomes reality.That would be a fitting 75h birthday year.
During the Stockhausen Courses Kuerten 2000, in his daily seminars on SIRIUS we heard allot about Stockhausens awe of the endless universes and galaxies of Gods creation and how he, Stockhausen, is aware of this is in every moment of his composition. On August 2nd, half-way through the courses we read in the newspaper that a new galaxy comprising 4 trillion suns had just been discovered, making it at least twenty times as large as our Milky Way.
At that, the only thing which comes to mind is a prayer Stockhausen wrote in the 70s, which is repeated by all 21 musicians in unison at a certain place in the work STERNKLANG (STAR SOUND), which is to be performed outside in a park during a full moon night in the summer:
GOD you are ALL .
The galaxies are Your limbs ,
the suns are Your cells ,
the planets are Your molecules ,
and we are Your atoms .
Fill us with Your light .