Saturday, February 10, 2007

I dunno

The official Stockhausen website has a new-ish page with video and audio files. I've watched the two files with excerpts from pieces composed for the new 24-hour cycle, Klang. I have not been decisively moved from my old impression about Stockhausen -- that his best work came before he got lost in Kontakte -- and am distinctly uneasy about a certain clunky- or even clumsiness in the writing (or is it supposed to sound so naive?), but the two pieces have some qualities that invite a second hearing. I honestly have no idea what to make of either, and am particularly curious to hear what anyone else makes of the piece for two singing harpists, Freude.

One other thing about Stockhausen that ought to be noted is that, in spite of some serious institutional support early in his career -- in Darmstadt, at the WDR, and, for a time, a Professorship in Cologne, recordings from Deutsche Gramaphone, and publication by Universal Edition -- that support has largely closed down, and he has functioned for the past two decades or so as an independent composer with his own cottage industry for publication, recordings, and even teaching. Opinions about the music aside, this is a significant development for a "big name" European composer, perhaps as significant as the transition from courtly patronage to freelancing that took place in the late 18th century, and it ought to be registered as such.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why do you care about Stockhausen?