Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007)

Episodes

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01Memories And Music20160104

New Year New Music

There aren't many composers with a place on the cover of a Beatles LP - Karlheinz Stockhausen's face is top row, fifth from the left on Sergeant Pepper. Stockhausen's name is better known than almost any other composer of our age. Yet even though much of his music isn't well known, by reputation he excites extremes of opinion. An open mind is all you need, when, for the first time on Composer of the Week, as part of Radio 3's "New Year New Music" season "Donald Macleod and his guest, composer, writer and broadcaster Robert Worby introduce you to the mind and music of one of the most original and innovative composers who's ever lived.

Stockhausen's formative experiences growing up in Nazi Germany show up in his music. His preoccupation with flight, mechanical mechanisms and the cause and effect of different sounds can all be traced back to his earliest childhood memories. Born in 1928 into a Catholic family, his father, Simon, was a primary school teacher and his mother, Gertrud came from a wealthy farming family. The family lived in some poverty, but his mother had a musical leaning, playing the piano and singing, while his father enjoyed amateur dramatics. Family life was disrupted when his mother needed to be hospitalised for the treatment of her depression. Thereafter family life for Stockhausen was unsettled. His father went to the front as an officer in 1943 and was presumed dead at the end of the war. In 1941, it's thought that Stockhausen's mother had been a victim of Hitler's "euthanasia policy". Now an orphan, in a devastated, war torn country, a 16 year old Stockhausen dedicated himself to surviving and studying, eventually gaining a place at the music school in Cologne. It was to be the platform on which his career as a composer was launched.

Today Donald Macleod and his guest, composer, writer and broadcaster Robert Worby look at the difficulties of his early years, and Stockhausen's training in Cologne. Once the prohibition of New Music during the Third Reich had been lifted, "modern classics" could be heard once again. Invigorated by this intellectual freedom, Stockhausen made the most of his opportunities, exploring the works of many composers, among them Hindemith, Stravinsky and Schoenberg.

Klavierstücke nos 2, 3 and 4

Herbert Henck, piano

Chöre für Doris

Charlotte Pedersen, soprano

Danish National Radio Choir

Jesper Grove Jorgensen, conductor

Sonatina for violin and piano

Saschko Gawriloff, violin

Aloys Kontarsky, piano

Gruppen

WDR Symphony Orchestra, Köln

Arturo Tamayo, conductor,orchestra 1

Péter Eötvös, conductor, orchestra 2.

Donald Macleod explores Stockhausen's early years and his training in Cologne.

02Darmstadt And Paris20160105

New Year New Music

After a difficult start to life in war torn Germany, Stockhausen's career takes off at Darmstadt and in Paris with Messiaen.

Stockhausen's formative experiences growing up in Nazi Germany show up in his later music. His preoccupation with flight, mechanical mechanisms and the cause and effect of different sounds can all be traced back to his earliest childhood memories. Born in 1928 into a Catholic family, his father, Simon, was a primary school teacher and his mother, Gertrud came from a wealthy farming family. The family lived in some poverty, but his mother had a musical leaning, playing the piano and singing, while his father enjoyed amateur dramatics. Family life was disrupted when his mother needed to be hospitalised for the treatment of her depression. Thereafter family life for Stockhausen was unsettled. His father went to the front as an officer in 1943 and was presumed dead at the end of the war. In 1941, it's thought that Stockhausen's mother had been a victim of Hitler's "euthanasia policy". Now an orphan, in a devastated, war torn country, a 16 year old Stockhausen dedicated himself to surviving and studying, eventually gaining a place at the music school in Cologne. It was to be the platform on which his career as a composer was launched.

A graduate of the Cologne Music School, where he distinguished himself in his formal studies, Stockhausen built up a reputation among avant-garde composers in Europe and America. It was at the Darmstadt Summer School that he first encountered Messiaen's work, which inspired him to go and study with the French composer. Presented by Donald Macleod with composer, writer and broadcaster Robert Worby.

Kreuzspiel (1st movement)

Janet Craxton, oboe,

Roger Fallows, bass clarinet

David Corkhill, James Holland, Peter Britton, percussion

John Constable, piano

Formel

Musicians from the Southwest German Radio Symphony Orchestra

Karlheinz Stockhausen, conductor

Drei Lieder für Altstimme und Kammerorchester

Sylvia Anderson, alto

Sinfonie-Orchester des Südwestfunks Baden-Baden

Kontrapunkte

Ensemble Recherche

Rupert Huber, director.

Donald Macleod on Stockhausen's career taking off at Darmstadt and in Paris with Messiaen.

03Adventures In Electronica20160106

New Year New Music

Stockhausen breaks new ground in the field of electronic music synthesis.

Karlheinz Stockhausen's formative experiences growing up in Nazi Germany show up in his later music. His preoccupation with flight, mechanical mechanisms and the cause and effect of different sounds can all be traced back to his earliest childhood memories. Born in 1928 into a Catholic family, his father, Simon, was a primary school teacher and his mother, Gertrud came from a wealthy farming family. The family lived in some poverty, but his mother had a musical leaning, playing the piano and singing, while his father enjoyed amateur dramatics. Family life was disrupted when his mother needed to be hospitalised for the treatment of her depression. Thereafter family life for Stockhausen was unsettled. His father went to the front as an officer in 1943 and was presumed dead at the end of the war. In 1941, it's thought that Stockhausen's mother had been a victim of Hitler's "euthanasia policy". Now an orphan, in a devastated, war torn country, a 16 year old Stockhausen dedicated himself to surviving and studying, eventually gaining a place at the music school in Cologne. It was to be the platform on which his career as a composer was launched.

After studying in Paris with Messiaen, Stockhausen took a post in the electronic studio at Cologne Radio Station. His work in the field of electronic music far surpassed anything that the studio had created before. Composer, writer and broadcast Robert Worby joins Donald Macleod to discuss why Stockhausen believed electronic music held the key to the future and that in twenty years no-one would be listening to Bach anymore.

Klavierstück no. 5

Herbert Henck, piano

Gesang der Jünglinge

Karlheinz Stockhausen

Refrain for piano, celeste and percussion

Ensemble Recherche

Adieu

Sebastian Bell, flute

Janet Craxton, oboe

John Butterworth, horn

William Waterhouse, bassoon

Antony Pay, clarinet

Karlheinz Stockhausen, conductor.

Donald Macleod on Stockhausen's time in the electronic studio at Cologne Radio Station.

04The Making Of A Revolution20160107

New Year New Music

By the end of the 1960s Stockhausen is seeking new musical directions to express a higher spiritual awareness.

Stockhausen's formative experiences growing up in Nazi Germany show up in his later music. His preoccupation with flight, mechanical mechanisms and the cause and effect of different sounds can all be traced back to his earliest childhood memories. Born in 1928 into a Catholic family, his father, Simon, was a primary school teacher and his mother, Gertrud came from a wealthy farming family. The family lived in some poverty, but his mother had a musical leaning, playing the piano and singing, while his father enjoyed amateur dramatics. Family life was disrupted when his mother needed to be hospitalised for the treatment of her depression. Thereafter family life for Stockhausen was unsettled. His father went to the front as an officer in 1943 and was presumed dead at the end of the war. In 1941, it's thought that Stockhausen's mother had been a victim of Hitler's "euthanasia policy". Now an orphan, in a devastated, war torn country, a 16 year old Stockhausen dedicated himself to surviving and studying, eventually gaining a place at the music school in Cologne. It was to be the platform on which his career as a composer was launched.

By the end of the sixties Stockhausen was enjoying considerable world-wide fame. He spent much of his time touring the world performing with his own Ensemble, visiting a variety of unusual locations, including a set of caves in Lebanon. Donald Macleod is joined once again by composer, writer and broadcaster Robert Worby.

"Am Himmel wandre ich..." (excerpt)

Helga Hamm, mezzo soprano

Karl O Barkey, tenor

Mixtur (excerpt)

Electronics (sine-wave Generators) David Johnson, Harald Bojé, Johannes G. Fritsch, Rolf Gehlhaar

Hudba Dneska Orchestra

Ladislav Kupovic, conductor

Karlheinz Stockhausen, sound direction

Mantra (excerpt)

Pestova Meyer Piano Duo

Jan Panis, Electronics

Stimmung (excerpt)

The Theatre of Voices

Paul Hillier, director.

Donald Macleod discusses Stockhausen's worldwide fame by the end of the 1960s.

05 LASTTowards The Light20160108

New Year New Music

Stockhausen's last thirty years were dominated by a series of seven operas, "Licht" and the 18 completed works in "Klang".

Stockhausen's formative experiences growing up in Nazi Germany show up in his later music. His preoccupation with flight, mechanical mechanisms and the cause and effect of different sounds can all be traced back to his earliest childhood memories. Born in 1928 into a Catholic family, his father, Simon, was a primary school teacher and his mother, Gertrud came from a wealthy farming family. The family lived in some poverty, but his mother had a musical leaning, playing the piano and singing, while his father enjoyed amateur dramatics. Family life was disrupted when his mother needed to be hospitalised for the treatment of her depression. Thereafter family life for Stockhausen was unsettled. His father went to the front as an officer in 1943 and was presumed dead at the end of the war. In 1941, it's thought that Stockhausen's mother had been a victim of Hitler's "euthanasia policy". Now an orphan, in a devastated, war torn country, a 16 year old Stockhausen dedicated himself to surviving and studying, eventually gaining a place at the music school in Cologne. It was to be the platform on which his career as a composer was launched.

In the final part of the series Donald Macleod and composer, writer and broadcaster Robert Worby discuss Stockhausen's two major cycles "Licht" and "Klang", and evaluate the composer's posthumous legacy.

Freude (excerpt)

Marianne Smit, harp and vocals

Esther Kooi, harp and vocals

Tierkreis realised for piano

Elisabeth Klein, piano

Samstag aus Licht (Lucifer's Greeting, for 26 brass players and 2 percussionists)

Matthias Hölle (Lucifer), bass

The University of Michigan Symphony Band

Majella Stockhausen, piano

Karlheinz Stockhausen, sound projection

Donnerstag aus Licht (excerpt Act 1)

Robert Gambill (Michael), tenor

Annette Meriweather (Eva), soprano

basset horn (Eva) Suzanne Stephens

speaker (Eva), Elizabeth Clarke

WDR Rundfunkchor Köln (invisible choir)

Karlheinz Stockhausen, electronic direction

Kontakte (1959/60) (excerpt)

David Tudor, piano and drums

Christoph Caskel, drums

Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gottfried Michael Koenig, electronics.

Donald Macleod discusses Stockhausen's two major cycles, Licht and Klang.