Karel Goeyvaerts

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Karel August Goeyvaerts (8 June 1923 – 3 February 1993) was a Belgian composer.

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Life

Goeyvaerts was born in Antwerp, where he studied at the Royal Flemish Music Conservatory; he later studied composition in Paris with Darius Milhaud and analysis with Olivier Messiaen. He also studied ondes Martenot with Maurice Martenot, who invented the instrument. [1]

In 1951, Goeyvaerts attended the famous Darmstadt New Music Summer School where he met Karlheinz Stockhausen, who was five years younger. Both were devout Catholics and found ways of integrating religious numerology into their serial compositions. They found themselves deep in conversation, and performed a movement from Goeyvaerts's "Nummer 1", Sonata for Two Pianos, in the composition course by Theodor Adorno there. They were both astonished upon hearing for the first time Messiaen's "Mode de valeurs et d'intensités" (from Quatre études de rythme ), in a recording by the composer which Antoine Goléa played at a lecture. These experiences together convinced Stockhausen he should study with Messiaen.[ citation needed ]

Goeyvaerts became very excited in 1952 when he learned that Stockhausen had access in Paris to a generator of sine waves. Goeyvaerts saw them as an important discovery for music: the purest sound possible. At the time, Stockhausen did not share his enthusiasm, owing partly to the inability with the equipment at hand to superimpose sine tones. Only later, after taking up his new post at the NWDR Electronic Music Studio in Cologne, did Stockhausen find more suitable equipment, in July 1953. [2] One of the first works produced there was Goeyvaerts's Nr. 5 with Pure Tones , which Stockhausen helped his friend to realize. (When Stockhausen seemingly abandoned his work with sine waves and returned to writing compositions for solo piano, Goeyvaerts felt that Stockhausen was abandoning an important discovery and took up the matter from a philosophical point of view himself.)[ citation needed ]

There has been some controversy about who wrote the first European "total" serial composition. His Nummer 2 (1951) for 13 instruments is one of the contenders, [3] as is his Nummer 1 (1950) Sonata for Two Pianos, and the Sonata for Two Pianos by Michel Fano (1950), depending on definitions of "total serialism". [4]

After withdrawing from the musical world for a while, he accepted a position in 1970 at the Institute for Psychoacoustic and Electronic Music (IPEM) in Ghent, which led to several other prestigious appointments in Belgium. His works from after 1975 take on aspects of minimalism, the best-known examples being his series of five Litanies (1979–82) and his final work, the opera Aquarius (1983–92). Though minimalism is ordinarily thought of as a reaction against serialism, for Goeyvaerts both techniques were merely subcategories of a non-dynamic, "static music". [5] Analyses of his early serial compositions (especially the electronic Nr. 4, met dode tonen [with dead tones] and Nr. 5, met zuivere tonen [with pure tones]) reveal how close the connections actually are. [6] Goeyvaerts died suddenly in 1993 in his home city of Antwerp.

Selected works

Related Research Articles

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Process music

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<i>Schubert Thematic Catalogue</i>

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Nummer 2 for thirteen instruments is a composition written in 1951 by the Belgian composer Karel Goeyvaerts.

Kreuzspiel is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen written for oboe, bass clarinet, piano and four percussionists in 1951. It is assigned the number 1/7 in the composer's catalogue of works.

<i>Kontakte</i>

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<i>Klavierstücke</i> (Stockhausen)

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Punctualism is a style of musical composition prevalent in Europe between 1949 and 1955 "whose structures are predominantly effected from tone to tone, without superordinate formal conceptions coming to bear". In simpler terms: "music that consists of separately formed particles—however complexly these may be composed—[is called] punctual music, as opposed to linear, or group-formed, or mass-formed music", bolding in the source). This was accomplished by assigning to each note in a composition values drawn from scales of pitch, duration, dynamics, and attack characteristics, resulting in a "stronger individualizing of separate tones". Another important factor was maintaining discrete values in all parameters of the music. Punctual dynamics, for example

mean that all dynamic degrees are fixed; one point will be linked directly to another on the chosen scale, without any intervening transition or gesture. Line-dynamics, on the other hand, involve the transitions from one given amplitude to another: crescendo, decrescendo and their combinations. This second category can be defined as a dynamic glissando, comparable to glissandi of pitch and of tempi.

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<i>Spiral</i> (Stockhausen)

Spiral, for a soloist with a shortwave receiver, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1968. It is Number 27 in the catalogue of the composer's works.

<i>Zeitmaße</i> Wind quintet by Karlheinz Stockhausen

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Sonata for Two Pianos (1950–51), also called simply Opus 1 or Nummer 1, is a chamber-music work by Belgian composer Karel Goeyvaerts, and a seminal work in the early history of European serialism.

Studie II is an electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen from the year 1954 and, together with his Studie I, comprises his work number ("opus") 3. It is serially organized on all musical levels and was the first published score of electronic music.

Studie I is an electronic music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen from the year 1953. It lasts 9 minutes 42 seconds and, together with his Studie II, comprises his work number ("opus") 3.

<i>Aquarius</i> (opera)

Aquarius is an opera for eight sopranos, eight baritones, and orchestra by Karel Goeyvaerts. It was begun in 1983 and completed in April 1992, to a libretto by the composer in eight languages, incorporating lines from the Revelation of St. John.

The Konkrete Etüde is the earliest work of electroacoustic tape music by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed in 1952 and lasting just three-and-a-quarter minutes. The composer retrospectively gave it the number "15" in his catalogue of works.

Nummer 5 met zuivere tonen is a musical work by the Belgian composer Karel Goeyvaerts, realized at the WDR Studio for Electronic Music in 1953 and one of the earliest pieces of electronic music.

Marco Facoli, Venice, was an Italian organist, harpsichordist and composer.

Pour que les fruits mûrissent cet été is a composition by the Belgian composer Karel Goeyvaerts, for seven musicians playing fourteen Renaissance instruments. It was composed either in 1975 or 1976. A second version for modern instruments was made in 1988.

References

  1. Delaere 2001.
  2. Toop 1979.
  3. Delaere 1994, p. 13.
  4. Toop 1974.
  5. Delaere, Beirens, and Staples 2004, pp. 32–33.
  6. Sabbe 1977.

Cited sources

  • Delaere, Mark. 1994. "The Projection in Time and Space of a Basic Idea Generating Structure. The Music of Karel Goeyvaerts" Revue belge de Musicologie / Belgisch Tijdschrift voor Muziekwetenschap 48:11–14.
  • Delaere, Mark. 2001. "Goeyvaerts, Karel (August)". The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians , second edition, edited by Stanley Sadie and John Tyrrell. London: Macmillan.
  • Delaere, Mark, Maarten Beirens, and Hilary Staples. 2004. "Minimal Music in the Low Countries". Tijdschrift van de Koninklijke Vereniging voor Nederlandse Muziekgeschiedenis 54, no. 1:31–78.
  • Sabbe, Herman. 1977. Het muzikale serialisme als techniek en als denkmethode: Een onderzoek naar de logische en historische samenhang van de onderscheiden toepassingen van het seriërend beginsel in de muziek van de periode 1950–1975. Ghent: Rijksuniversiteit te Gent.
  • Toop, Richard. 1974. "Messiaen / Goeyvaerts, Fano / Stockhausen, Boulez." Perspectives of New Music 13, no. 1 (Fall-Winter): 141–169.
  • Toop. Richard. 1979. "Stockhausen and the Sine-Wave: The Story of an Ambiguous Relationship." The Musical Quarterly 65, no.3, 379–391.

Further reading