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Thread: Karlheinz Stockhausen

  1. #46
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Hi ON,

    Clarissa and ALGERNON and a few others are all the same person. Peace will now return to the forum. Sorry for the disruption.
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  2. #47
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Dear Ms. RoJo,

    Thank you for bringing the Clarissa, Algernon, and *whatever else* sordidness to a conclusion. We had a great thing going for several months - now back to our regularly scheduled fun - YAY!!!

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  3. #48
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    Indeed, CD; let the fun continue! (Off topic commentary promoting fun is most definitely permitted. )
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  4. #49
    Commodore con Forza Sybarite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rojo View Post
    Hi ON,

    Clarissa and ALGERNON and a few others are all the same person. Peace will now return to the forum. Sorry for the disruption.
    Rojo, none of the moderating team, yourself included, have any need to apologise.

    Glad to hear it's sorted, though.

    Now, as you say, back on topic.

    I think that some guy is spot on.

    But I am going to dare to go slightly further and also attempt to respond to the central tenet of Andrew's comments, and I hope that forum members will forgive me a little anecdotal interlude here.

    When I was at college at the beginning of the 1980s, studying performing arts (including music), we had to listen to modern serious music, including being told to attend a concert of such on campus. I detested it. I'd studied music at school until 'A' level, as well as art; I detested modern, non-figurative art too.

    Fast forward a couple of decades and, for various reasons, I finally experience an adolescence. As a direct result, my mind, if you will, starts to expand, to take on board more and more more information. My vocabulary expanded hugely.

    In the last few years, I have deliberately made efforts to expand my experience of art, music and literature. In the case of art, attending exhibitions started me on a path to seeing modern art differently and as having something 'to say' to me. That reached a fascinating point this year when, during a course on the humanities, a programme approached the question of Jackson Pollock. I've always derided Pollock's work, but the programme very cleverly made me look at it and gave me an understanding of what it is. Earlier this month, I was visiting the Pompidou in Paris and saw my first Pollocks 'in the flesh'. I was able to look at them, appreciate them and enjoy the experience.

    In terms of music, it's been about slowly expanding my horizons, starting mainly from the point of a compilation of John Adams's Shaker Loops and other pieces by Phillip Glass and Steve Reich. I enjoyed (yes, the 'enjoyment' word ) that enough that I have branched out a little further.

    My initial experiences with listening to Stockhausen have made me want to listen to more. I find Stimmung very soothing – almost hypnotic – in a way that reminds me of chant. It is, I think, a sort of modern equivalent of that; very clean, minimalist lines; quite pure and futuristic in a way I've always imagined the future would be, but yet with that link to the past (chant).

    Now, a number of things occur: it seems that, in order to get past convention and allow oneself to explore such art or music with an open mind, one has to open the mind. That is an intellectual exercise. But an appreciation of any form of music (or art) is not the same as liking it. That lecture taught me to understand, on a basic level, Jackson Pollock's paintings. To understand still does not mean enjoyment. It's quite important to stress that one can understand something – and understand it's importance – without needing to personally like it. Over time, a body of serious criticism grows around work that gives us a grounding in why some music (for instance) is 'better' and more important than other music. We can start to understand timelines and development of an artform, so we know that, whether we personally like them or not, Mozart, Beethoven and Wagner were all absolutely crucial to the development of the tradition of serious western music.

    Finally, emotional response. I respond to what I have thus heard of Stockhausen in a similar way to how I respond to chant. It's different to how I respond to Bach or to Beethoven or to Wagner or Johann Strauss II or Richard Strauss – or to different works by any of the above mentioned or countless others. For instance, my emotional response to Mozart's Requiem has often involved tears (there are complex reasons for this and I'm not going to waste space explaining them, but this is something that has occurred on a number of listenings). On the other hand, when I listen to Richard Strauss's Thus Sprake Zarathustra, I feel as though I'm floating in a pool of honey. Both are emotional responses, but both are very different emotional responses.

    But I don't for one minute expect that these are objective responses and that everyone else who ever hears the same pieces will respond in the same way (for starters, no two people will ever hear or see a work in the same way and even one person will never see or hear the same work in the same way twice – that 'living' quality of art is one of things that makes it so powerful). That's why, although emotion is important in terms of dealing with art, it cannot be the ultimate way in which we judge a piece of work. For that, we have to return to that body of serious critical work.

    I hope some of that makes sense!

  5. #50
    Commodore con Forza Sybarite's Avatar
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    Thinking about this some more. Why would anyone want to stay listening to (reading, looking at) all the same things for their entire life without trying other, 'new' things?

    Would such an approach be more or less intellectual than exploring new things?

    Equally, for those who show disdain for modern music (and again, the same can be said of art etc), the process of making music does not just stop when one person has decided that music, as a whole, is perfect where it is. If it hadn't been for innovation, for people breaking the rules, as it were, we'd still be listening to people composing in the style of Hildegard of Bingen, never mind Stockhausen.

    And art in such a situation becomes inevitably stilted and effectively dead.

    Architecture is a perfect example (and funnily enough, there's a thread here about architecture and music). No matter how much people might like the Classical style of architecture, you can't just go on building buildings that always look as though they are directly influenced by the Colosseum in Rome. It's nonsense for a whole range of reasons, not least form and function – the main questions that architects face. You see the result of such an approach in London, where Paternoster Square, which is next to St Paul's Cathedral, has been redeveloped after many years. The public was promised something that would do justice to Wren's masterpiece; Prince Charles stuck his oar. And what did we get? Some piece of cod-Classical nonsense that looks as though a student designed it in their first term out of children's building bricks. It's dire. (Personally, I think they'd have been better the land to Norman Foster or Richard Rogers and letting them create a genuine modern icon to compliment the cathedral)

    But materials change, requirements change (we want – need – to build environmentally sound buildings today, for instance).

    Art changes in similar ways. We can't simply stop the process of developing an artform because we're comfortable with the point that we've reached. Whether we instantly like the results of experimentation and development or not, artists by their very nature have to push ahead, to find new boundaries and new ways of saying things. To do otherwise is to be intellectually stagnant and dishonest. And the same applies to those who enjoy the arts with any aim of seriousness and understanding.


    In that spirit, I downloaded a couple of albums by Frederick Magle this afternoon. And yes, I'm enjoying them, just as I'm sure that I will enjoy the Beethoven concert that I'm going to at the weekend. To embrace the new does not mean abandoning what has gone before.

  6. #51
    Admiral Honkenwheezenpooferspieler Corno Dolce's Avatar
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    Hi Sybarite,

    Some excellent points you bring up. In regards to Pater Noster Square I can only hang my head in shame that the City Commission in charge of that project failed so abjectly. Granted, they are only beholden to those who scratch their back. All that talk about the public good is nothing but window-dressing. I do know of "Bonnie Prince Charlie" and his fetish for *harmonious architecture*, but it usually falls flat. Does Prince Charles have so much sway in what gets built in London Town?

    Cheers,

    Corno Dolce
    *If a man wants God to hear his prayer quickly, then before he prays for anything else, even his own soul, when he stands and stretches out his hands towards God, he must pray with all his heart for his enemies. Through this action God will hear everything that he asks* -Abba Zeno-

    *Protagoras: "Truth is subjective. What is true for you, and what is true for me, is true for me. Your opinion is true by virtue of its being your opinion."

    *Socrates: "My opinion is: Truth is absolute, not opinion, and that you are in absolute error. Since this is my opinion, then according to your philosophy you must grant that it is true."

    "Improvisational Art": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSxVO3EoCRM

  7. #52
    Commodore con Forza Sybarite's Avatar
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    Hi Corno Dolce,

    Thank you.

    Prince Charles has no official say in terms of planning permission, but then again, by dint of who he is, he gets to speak on the platforms that allow him to pontificate about many things, including architecture, with subsequent media coverage.

    The thing is that we Brits are a funny lot with regard modernity. I think, generally speaking, that we're not very sure of it. There's been so much guff in recent years about developments such as the extentions at the National Gallery (Charles complained about that one at length, to such an extent that it delayed the building process and actually saw a new design picked. He notoriously referred to the evolving design as "a monstrous carbuncle") and the proposed Daniel Libeskind one at the Victoria & Albert Museum (now abandoned).

    I think, in keeping with my earlier comments, that this is reflected in the fact that the British don't really have an intelligentsia in the way that occurs on the Continent and that the British do not trust intellectualism and intellectuals; thus the British are uncomfortable with what they don't know (and yet we're great innovators in terms of things like engineering ... but there you go). As a slight aside, it also doesn't unduly surprise me (although it's really rather depressing) that someone like Jade Goody, who made her name on reality TV show Big Brother, became a 'celebrity' and made money because of one thing – she is as thick as three short planks. Her entire success is based on that – and being thick is something that a great many of my compatriots seem to take pride in.

    So I think that the Paternoster development illustrates a number of these things – and I think that it extends to a sense of national confusion that we have at present as we attempt to work out our position in a post-British Empire world.

    You could extend all of this attitude to art – for instance, modern art usually only gets mentioned in the mainstream media in the UK in the run-up to the annual Turner Prize, and that's usually so that people can deride modern art in general and the entries in particular.

    I think it occurs with modern music too. A large forum that I help to moderate, which is primarily a British forum and is mainly about sport, but has a general board, had a thread about Stockhausen on it. And the tenet of many of the comments was that people who said that they enjoyed Stockhausen's work (and other modern music) didn't really – because it's just not possible to enjoy such works – but were only saying so in order to show off and make other people look small. It's this anti-intellectualism. Indeed, the latest issue of Gramophone has an article, a discussion, that essentially asserts the same thing.

    And I think that Clarissa's comments echo the same approach – an approach that is, in my opinion, essentially anti-intellectual itself.
    Last edited by Sybarite; Dec-27-2007 at 23:04.

  8. #53
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso methodistgirl's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but I never heard of this composer.
    judy tooley

  9. #54
    Commodore con Forza Sybarite's Avatar
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    If you want to find out more, Judy, then Wikipedia is always a good basic starting point, and you can listen to some of his work here if you're curious.

  10. #55
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    Cool

    Quote Originally Posted by methodistgirl View Post
    I'm sorry but I never heard of this composer.
    judy tooley
    Hello,

    I think the professors here at Yale University would agree with me in saying that "Wikipedia" is not a scholarly website (as anyone can edit anything on the site, whenever the whim fancies them). And you have to also note that there are 6,574,666,417 people that visit that site each day! It is not an adequate website for the accumulation of knowledge!

    I recommend using Google Books for general information, as well as the Oxford Music Quarterly. Google books allows you to look at real books for free (and as you can see here, it includes many books about STOCKHAUSEN). And the Oxford Music Quarterly is just about the finest Journal dedicated to the STUDY of music in the world!

    Good day to you.,-

    Lord Alfred Douglas Williams
    aka
    Lord Willmore the 3rd
    aka
    Captain Shotover
    aka
    Sinbad the Sailor
    aka
    The Abbe Busoni
    aka
    Baron Danglars
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    Gérard de Villefort
    Last edited by Lord Williams; Dec-28-2007 at 03:57.

  11. #56
    Captain of Water Music some guy's Avatar
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    Hey Sybarite, all those things may be true that you say about the Brits, but not to despair. (Despairing for insufficient reason may also be a British trait!!)

    The U.K. has given the modern world all sorts of talented, innovative, edgy composers and performers, starting with the late great experimentalist, Cornelius Cardew, and the late great improviser, Derek Bailey, and the still very much alive great experimentalist, Christopher Hobbs, and the still alive great improvisers, Tim Hodgkinson and Chris Cutler and Keith Rowe.

    Plus the electroacoustic guys, like Jonathan Harvey and Jonty Harrison, and the electroacoustic gals, like Natasha Barrett.

    And even some old school but still pretty OK U.K.ers like Frank Corcoran, who does both electroacoustic and instrumental. (By "old school" I mean Edgard Varèse, you know.) And the young Scottish lass, Diane Simpson.

    And those are only a very few of all the U.K. folks who are active in new music!!

    I'm just sayin'.

    Michael

    (Anyway, what about that German fellow, Karlheinz? Have you listened to any more of him lately? I just fished out my burn of some LPs I used to own back in the day--Hymnen. What a stunner. Everything Gesang der
    Jünglinge is and more. Plus about eight times longer than Gesang. A lot more turntable work than I remembered. Lots of turntable. Interesting instrument--interesting device that can be used as an instrument, I should say. Everyone knows about D.J.'s and about the zhrrippah zhrrippah sounds of LPs jiggled underneath a stylus. But people have been using turntables in music since 1930, when Paul Hindemith and Ernst Toch put on a turntable concert. Hmmm. Sounds suspiciously like there might be a new thread brewing....)
    Last edited by rojo; Dec-31-2007 at 06:05. Reason: edited as requested

  12. #57
    Captain of Water Music Ouled Nails's Avatar
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    Something both thoughtful and hilarious happened at my workplace a day or two after Stockhausen's passing. Music is always played at noon time, outside, from Alumni Hall (yes, it's a campus), and it's usually a notch above store music. But on that particular occasion, the music programmer aired Stockhausen music, just as I was walking to get coffee. I picked it up and started asking around "Is that Stockhausen?" But members of the student community were mainly concerned with "What's going on?!!" "What's that?!" The Stockhausen effect was noticeable everywhere (What's happening to our routine?!!!) For my part, I desperatly sought confirmation, asking left-center-and right, "Is this Stockhausen's?"
    Last edited by Ouled Nails; Dec-28-2007 at 04:51.

  13. #58
    Vice Admiral Virtuoso rojo's Avatar
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    That's great, ON. What music is usually played there?

    some guy- Bring on the new thread!

    Sybarite- We mods do our best. As a mod yourself, you can probably relate.

    If we're going to share stories that relate to Stockhausen, here's one- I once stayed at the Mondrian Hotel, on Sunset Blvd. in West Hollywood, Los Angeles California. I've read that the painter Piet Mondrian was influential on Stockhausen, and that this is evident in some of his works, in particular Adieu for woodwind quintet. I haven't heard it, but maybe I should look it up; I liked the artwork by Mondrian in the hotel very much, I found it fun. And now every time I see artwork by Mondrian, I associate it with good memories, besides finding it fun.

    Lord W.- Love it.
    Last edited by rojo; Dec-28-2007 at 06:14.
    ''Music, I feel, should be emotional first and intellectual second.'' - Maurice Ravel
    ''The greatest education in the world is watching the masters at work.'' - Michael Jackson


  14. #59
    Captain of Water Music some guy's Avatar
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    I was at a lecture of John Cage's in L.A. in the late seventies or early eighties. One of the heckl... I mean students asked him something like "What do you think of Stockhausen?"

    Cage's first reaction was simply to say "We're colleagues," and not go on to the criticism of Karlheinz the student obviously wanted. But when pressed, Cage finally told this anecdote: Stockhausen was writing a piece for Cathy Berberian which asks her, among other things, to whistle. Cathy could literally do everything--she was the most inspired and inspiring new music vocalist of all, at the time--except that she could not whistle.

    So she couldn't perform Stockhausen's piece. (Cage, one must conclude, never asked her to whistle!)

    [ON: great anecdote of yours, by the way. Made me grin!]

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