Episode 4: Karlheinz Stockhausen Wed, 2011-09-21 12:55

Few composers of the 20th century can lay claim to the fame of Karlheinz Stockhausen. A fame which precedes the man and his music. Stockhausen is remembered as a seminal composer of contemporary classical music, an avant-garde madman, or just simply as one of the faces on Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band LP ? a famous figure though we are not sure why. When Stockhausen?s Helicopter String Quartet was first broadcast on the radio, the audience were warned not to adjust their sets. Many people switched off regardless, disturbed by the sheer noise and racket. The piece has no melody and breaks every rule of the traditional string quartet. Like much of Stockhausen?s work, it is not intended to be taken too seriously. The loud, brash sound masks a playful and often comical composer who produced original works in every sense. Stockhausen also led to significant advancements in electronic music. He produced the first published score of electronic music, Studie II; and Gesang der J?nglinge is considered by many to be the most influential piece of electronic music in the 20th century.

In this episode we ask, how did Stockhausen come to have such resonance despite the challenging nature of his work. And how should a new listner approach his music. We spoke with James Ingram, his long-time copyist and an expert in notation (http://james-ingram-act-two.de); as well as Robin Maconie who studied under Stockhausen and has published extensively on the enigmatic composer. We invite listeners to play his works in full after and come to their own conclusions.

Playlist:
Klavierst?ck III, Karlheinz Stockhausen
Trans, Karlheinz Stockhausen
Momente, Karlheinz Stockhausen
Kontra-Punkte, Karlheinz Stockhausen

Bedding Tracks:
Helikopter-Streichquartett (Helicopter String Quartet), Karlheinz Stockhausen
Kontakte Part II, Karlheinz Stockhausen
Studie I, Karlheinz Stockhausen
Stimmung, Karlheinz Stockhausen
Three Piano Pieces, Arnold Sch?nberg
Premiere communion de la vierge, Olivier Messiaen
I am the Walrus, Beatles
Studie II, Karlheinz Stockhausen
Nostrand, Ratatat