Aus den sieben Tagen

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Karlheinz Stockhausen on 2 September 1972 at the Shiraz-Persepolis Festival of Arts, where parts of Aus den sieben Tagen were performed on 7 September (Stockhausen 1978, 158-59) Shiraz 39.jpg
Karlheinz Stockhausen on 2 September 1972 at the Shiraz-Persepolis Festival of Arts, where parts of Aus den sieben Tagen were performed on 7 September (Stockhausen 1978, 158–59)

Aus den sieben Tagen (From the Seven Days) is a collection of 15 text compositions by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed in May 1968, in reaction to a personal crisis, and characterized as "Intuitive music"—music produced primarily from the intuition rather than the intellect of the performer(s). It is Work Number 26 in the composer's catalog of works.

Contents

History

The seven days of the title were 7–13 May 1968. Although this coincided with the beginning of the May 1968 protests and general strike in Paris, Stockhausen does not appear to have been aware of them at the time. These texts were written at Stockhausen's home in Kürten during the first five of those days, at night or late in the evening. [1] During daylight hours, including the remaining two days, Stockhausen wrote "many poems," as well as reading Satprem's book on Sri Aurobindo, and experienced "many extraordinary things". [2] Some of the poems appear in Stockhausen's third volume of Texte zur Musik. [3]

The first of the pieces to be officially premiered was Es, performed in Brussels on 15 December 1968 on a concert of the Rencontre de Musique Contemporaine, by the Stockhausen Group, joined by Michel Portal, Jean-Pierre Drouet, and Jean-François Jenny-Clark. Setz die Segel zur Sonne followed, as part of a concert at the Théâtre National Populaire, Palais de Chaillot in Paris, on 30 May 1969. [4] However, an earlier, unofficial performance of both Es and Treffpunkt, by the Arts Laboratory Ensemble with Hugh Davies and trombonist Vinko Globokar with Stockhausen at the potentiometers, took place on 25 November 1968 in London, as part of the Macnaghten Concerts. [5] [6] ) Unbegrenzt was first given 26 July 1969 during the Nuits de la Fondation Maeght in St Paul de Vence, by Guy Arnaud, Harald Bojé  [ de ], Jean-François Jenny-Clark, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Johannes G. Fritsch, Roy Hart, Diego Masson, Michel Portal, Michael Vetter, and the composer ( Stockhausen 1978 , 114). An "ill-fated" performance of the theatre piece Oben und Unten was attempted in Amsterdam at the Holland Festival on 22 June 1969. The three actors were Sigrid Koetse (woman), Jan Retèl (man), and Keesjan van Deelen (child), with the instrumentalists of the Stockhausen Group and the composer doing the sound projection. [7] [8] Goldstaub was only performed for the first time (though without an audience) for the DG recording made at Stockhausen's house in Kürten on 20 August 1972, by Péter Eötvös (electrochord, keisu, and rin), Herbert Henck (voice, sitar, cooking pot with some water, two small bells, ship bell), Michael Vetter (voice, hands, recorder), and the composer (voice, conch horn, large cowbell, keisu, 14 rin, jug and key with water, kandy drum, pellet-bells on a strap). [9]

Stockhausen described as "crucial" an orchestral performance in London of Set sail for the Sun on 14 January 1970, in which the BBC Symphony Orchestra, rehearsed by the composer, was distributed around the audience in four groups, each with a "core player" from the Stockhausen Group. [10] Other notable performances include the 1969 Darmstädter Ferienkurse, when the groups that had just finished the recordings for DG performed eleven of the texts in four public seminars, on 1–4 September in the Städtische Sporthalle am Böllenfalltor, [11] [12] many of the texts in multiple daily performances from 14 March to 14 September 1970 in the spherical auditorium of the German pavilion at Expo '70 in Osaka, [13] [14] and at the 1972 Shiraz Arts Festival, where a day of "Music in the City" on 7 September featured several component pieces of Aus den sieben Tagen performed at various places in the inner city from dawn to dusk. [15] [16]

Content

The fifteen constituent pieces are:

  1. Richtige Dauern (Right Durations), for ca. 4 players
  2. Unbegrenzt (Unlimited), for ensemble
  3. Verbindung (Connection), for ensemble
  4. Treffpunkt (Meeting Point), for ensemble
  5. Nachtmusik (Night Music), for ensemble
  6. Abwärts (Downward), for ensemble
  7. Aufwärts (Upward), for ensemble
  8. Oben und Unten (Above and Below), theater piece, for a man, a woman, a child, and 4 instrumentalists
  9. Intensität (Intensity), for ensemble
  10. Setz die Segel zur Sonne (Set Sail for the Sun), for ensemble
  11. Kommunion (Communion), for ensemble
  12. Litanei (Litany), for speaker or choir
  13. Es (It), for ensemble
  14. Goldstaub (Gold Dust), for ensemble
  15. Ankunft (Arrival), for speaker or speaking choir

Often regarded as meditation exercises or prayers, [17] [18] [19] [20] all but two of these texts nonetheless describe in words specific musical events: "I don't want some spiritistic sitting—I want music! I don't mean something mystical, but rather everything completely direct, from concrete experience" (Stockhausen, quoted in Ritzel). [21] Despite the manner of notation, Stockhausen's approach remains essentially serial:

In his cycle FROM THE SEVEN DAYS Stockhausen attempts to find musical answers to such fundamental questions regarding the conditions of a harmonious interplay of spirit and matter, which correspond to his serial process thinking and to the maxims of the experimental production of the sound material by composing temporally ordered pulses. . . . As a composer he wants to mediate between the extremes rather than to just follow the preconception of a linear development from the fragmentary and dissonant to the whole and harmonious. [22]

Each text focuses on one or several of Stockhausen's main artistic concerns, such as extending the listener's perceptions of time and pitch, reconciling opposing tendencies, or shifting awareness from one perceptual area to another. Specific earlier works may be reflected in certain of the texts. Intensität, for example, suggests a passage from Kontakte , and Unbegrenzt recalls large parts of Carré . [23] The influence of performing Prozession and Kurzwellen can be heard in the recordings made by Stockhausen's own ensemble. In addition, pianist Aloys Kontarsky frequently alludes to Stockhausen's Klavierstücke (especially Klavierstück IX in Abwärts) and Harald Bojé sometimes evokes Kontakte with his electronium. [24]

The most detailed text is the central one, Oben und Unten, which gives instructions for three actors and a group of instrumentalists. Twelve of the other pieces describe musical processes or states, in three different general types, and the remaining two, Litanei and Ankunft are more in the nature of manifestos, to be read aloud either by a single speaker or a speaking choir. [25] [26] In 1997, Stockhausen made a performing version of the former text, considerably reworked under the title Litanei 97 , for a speaking choir with occasional sung interjections. This was given the separate work number 74 in Stockhausen's catalogue of works.

Between 1968 and 1971, Stockhausen composed a companion set of 17 text pieces, titled Für kommende Zeiten (For Times to Come). There are two further text compositions, Ylem (1972) and Herbstmusik (1974), though they are not actually described as "intuitive music", and are considerably more detailed "scripts" for what amount to a large "statistical" structure (Ylem) and a theatre piece (Herbstmusik) with certain features of moment form. [27]

Discography

In chronological order of recording:

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Intuitive music is a form of musical improvisation based on instant creation in which fixed principles or rules may or may not have been given. It is a type of process music where instead of a traditional music score, verbal or graphic instructions and ideas are provided to the performers. The concept was introduced in 1968 by the German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, with specific reference to the collections of text-notated compositions Aus den sieben Tagen (1968) and Für kommende Zeiten (1968–70). The first public performance of intuitive-music text compositions, however, was in the collective work Musik für ein Haus, developed in Stockhausen's 1968 Darmstadt lectures and performed on 1 September 1968, several months before the first realisations of any of the pieces from Aus den sieben Tagen.

<i>Mikrophonie</i> (Stockhausen)

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<i>Hymnen</i>

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<i>Montag aus Licht</i>

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<i>Kurzwellen</i> Composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen

Kurzwellen, for six players with shortwave radio receivers and live electronics, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1968. It is Number 25 in the catalog of the composer’s works.

<i>Samstag aus Licht</i>

Samstag aus Licht is an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen in a greeting and four scenes, and was the second of seven to be composed for the opera cycle Licht: die sieben Tage der Woche. It was written between 1981 and 1983, to a libretto written by the composer and incorporating a text by Saint Francis of Assisi, and was first staged in Milan in 1984.

<i>Dienstag aus Licht</i>

Dienstag aus Licht is an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen in a greeting and two acts, with a farewell, and was the fourth of seven to be completed for the opera cycle Licht: Die sieben Tage der Woche. It was begun in 1977 and completed from 1988 to 1991, to a libretto by the composer.

Michael Vetter was a German composer, novelist, poet, performer, calligrapher, artist, and teacher.

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<i>Für kommende Zeiten</i>

Für kommende Zeiten is a collection of seventeen text compositions by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed between August 1968 and July 1970. It is a successor to the similar collection titled Aus den sieben Tagen, written in 1968. These compositions are characterized as "Intuitive music"—music produced primarily from the intuition rather than the intellect of the performer(s). It is work number 33 in Stockhausen's catalog of works, and the collection is dedicated to the composer's son Markus.

<i>Litanei 97</i>

Litanei 97 is a choral composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1997. Although the words are taken from the text-composition cycle Aus den sieben Tagen and the conductor sings and plays elements from the Michael formula used in the composer's Licht cycle of operas, it is an independent work assigned the number 74 in Stockhausen's catalogue of works. It lasts about twenty minutes in performance.

<i>Ensemble</i> (Stockhausen)

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<i>Musik für ein Haus</i>

Musik für ein Haus is a group-composition project devised by Karlheinz Stockhausen for the 1968 Darmstädter Ferienkurse. Fourteen composers and twelve instrumentalists participated, with the resulting performance lasting four hours. It was not regarded by Stockhausen as a composition belonging solely to himself, and therefore was not assigned a number in his catalog of works.

References

  1. Stockhausen 1978, pp. 149 and 529.
  2. Stockhausen 1978, pp. 528–29.
  3. Stockhausen 1971, pp. 368–76.
  4. Stockhausen 1971, p. 123.
  5. Cardew 1969.
  6. Kurtz 1992, p. 169.
  7. Stockhausen 1978, p. 123.
  8. Kurtz 1992, pp. 171, 253.
  9. Stockhausen 1978, pp. 146, 150.
  10. Stockhausen 1978, p. 126.
  11. Kurtz 1992, p. 173.
  12. Stockhausen 2009, p. 195.
  13. Kurtz 1992, p. 178.
  14. Stockhausen 1971, p. 175–82.
  15. Kurtz 1992, p. 188.
  16. Stockhausen 1978, p. 158.
  17. Griffiths 2011, p. 226.
  18. Hamel 2009, p. 76.
  19. Jungerman 1999, p. 52.
  20. Willson 2004, p. 130.
  21. Ritzel 1970, p. 15.
  22. Peters 2003, p. 226.
  23. Maconie 1975.
  24. Griffiths 1974, p. 225.
  25. Kohl 1978.
  26. Bergstrøm-Nielsen 1997.
  27. Kohl 1981, p. 232.

Further reading