Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stockhausen’s grave

He designed it himself. I don’t know what the image on the back is (upper photo), but on the front is some of the generating material for Licht, his extraordinary series of seven operas, one for every day of the week, with a quote from the text of the closing scene of Mittwoch (Wednesday), the really mad one that features the Helicopter String Quartet. Yes, a string quartet playing in helicopters. Separately.

I’m a Stockhausen fan, and love the three of his operas I have on CD, but I have to admit that even by his standards this piece is really barking. You can see a bit of it here:


Phil said...

Hate him as I do, this must be one of his more accessible pieces. Or was he taking the piss??

Stephen Stratford said...

Yes, most string quartet pieces are accessible, even those by Ligeti and Xenakis. But of all Stockhausen's music, the CD of this is probably the easiest to buy on eBay. Maybe because the first 10 minutes or so are the sound of the helicopters getting ready to fly. Tuning up, possibly. Or not.

Anonymous said...

The conductor Sir Thomas Beecham was once asked whether he had conducted any Stockhausen. He replied: "No, but I once trod in some."