Karlheinz Stockhausen

German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important, but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. Another critic calls him "one of the great visionaries of 20th-century music". He is known for his ground-breaking work in electronic music, aleatory (controlled chance) in serial composition, and musical spatialization.

He was educated at the Hochschule fuer Musik Koln and the University of Cologne, and later studied with Olivier Messiaen in Paris, and with Werner Meyer-Eppler at the University of Bonn. One of the leading figures of the Darmstadt School, his compositions and theories were and remain widely influential, not only on composers of art music, but also on jazz and popular music. His works, composed over a period of nearly sixty years, eschew traditional forms. In addition to electronic music both with and without live performers they range from miniatures for musical boxes through works for solo instruments, songs, chamber music, choral and orchestral music, to a cycle of seven full-length operas. His theoretical and other writings comprise ten large volumes. He received numerous prizes and distinctions for his compositions, recordings, and for the scores produced by his publishing company.

Some of his notable compositions include the series of nineteen Klavierstuecke (Piano Pieces), Kontra-Punkte for ten instruments, the electronic/musique-concrète Gesang der Junglinge, Gruppen for three orchestras, the percussion solo Zyklus, Kontakte, the cantata Momente, the live-electronic Mikrophonie I, Hymnen, Stimmung for six vocalists, Aus den sieben Tagen, Mantra for two pianos and electronics, Tierkreis, Inori for soloists and orchestra, and the gigantic opera cycle Licht.

He died of sudden heart failure at the age of 79, on 5 December 2007 at his home in Kurten, Germany.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1952 Kontrapunkte 4.00 stars LP
Kontrapunkte Comments:
Frederick Rzewski - Piano
Rome Symphony Orchestra cond. Bruno Maderna
1953 Studie I, electronic music 4.00 stars CD
Karlheinz Stockhausen Comments:

Performed by :Karlheinz-Stockhausen

1954 Studie II, electronic music 4.00 stars CD
Karlheinz Stockhausen - No 5 Zeitmasse Comments:

Performed by :Karlheinz-Stockhausen

1955-1956 Gesang der Juenglinge, for electronics & taped boy's voice 4.00 stars CD
Karlheinz Stockhausen Comments:
Gesang der Junglinge is recognized as one of the touchstones in the history of electronic music.
1956 No 5 Zeitmasse 4.00 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - No 5 Zeitmasse Comments:
Is this Einstein's relativity theory put to music?
It sounds very interesting but aloof.
I have never seen Stockhausen smile, not on pictures nor at concerts. He would not be invited to diner.
1957 Gruppen für 3 Orchester 3.50 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Gruppen für 3 Orchester Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1968 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon.

Kölner Rundfunk Sinfonie Orchester conductors:
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Bruno Maderna
Michael Gielen
1957 Gruppen für 3 Orchester 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Berliner Philharmoniker cond. Claudio Abbado
1959 Carré für 4 Orchester und 4 Chöre 3.50 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Carré für 4 Orchester und 4 Chöre Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1968 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon.

Sinfonie-Orchester und Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks Hamburg conductors:
Mauricio Kagel
Karlheinz Stockhausen
Andrzej Markowsky
Michael Gielen
1958-1960 Kontakte für Elektronische Klänge, Klavier and Schlagzeug 4.00 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Kontakte für Elektronische Klänge, Klavier and Schlagzeug Comments:
Includes a 60 pages book about the realisation of this recording
With interesting examples from the score.

WDR Köln Studio for Electronic Music.
David Tudor - Piano and Percussion
Christoph Caskel - Percussion

Karlheinz Stockhausen and Gottfried Michael Koenig

1961-1962 Momente 4.00 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Momente Comments:
For Soprano, 4 Choral Groups and 13 Instrumentalists. ( 1965 performance)

Radio Köln Symphony Choir and Orchestra cond. Karlheinz Stockhausen

1964  Mixtur (version for small ensemble) 3.00 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Mixtur [version for small ensemble] Comments:
For Orchestra, Sinewave-generators and Ring-modulators.

Ensemble Hudba Dneska, Bratislava cond. Ladislav Kupkovic
Sounddirectoer KH Stockhausen
Studio WDR Köln, Germany
1966  Solo für Melodie-Instrument mit Rückkopplung 3.50 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Solo für Melodie-Instrument mit Rückkopplung Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1968 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon.

Vinko Globokar - Trombone.

The techniques used in this aleatoric work do not differ very much from what is done at a plain vanilla pop concert. Filters, distortions, delay's etc. However it sounds quite different.
1966 Telemusic 3.00 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Telemusic Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1969 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon. Very German oriented, so think Darmstadt or Donauesschingen.

Electronic Music, recorded on a special 6 track recorder.

Realised at Studio for Electronic Music NHK, Tokyo
1966 Hymnen 4.00 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Hymnen Comments:
Yet again tinkering with shortwave radios.
Stockhausen, the ultimate control freak.
He even tells you how to set up your sound system.
If you don't have a perfectly square room: Don't bother.

Realised at Studio for Electronic Music Radio Köln

1968 Stimmung 3.50 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Stimmung Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1970 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon. Very German oriented, so think Darmstadt or Donauesschingen.

Composed for 6 vocalists.

Collegium Vocale Köln
Ensemble an der Rheinischen Mustikschule
Stochkausen supervised (As he always did: control freak)
WDR recording
1969  Spiral for a Soloist (With shortwave-radio) 3.50 stars LP
Karlheinz Stockhausen - Spiral for a Soloist [With shortwave-radio] Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1971 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon. Very German oriented, so think Darmstadt or Donauesschingen.

Heinz Holliger - world famous oboe-player performs and tinkers with the shortwave set. He may have had a Braun T1000.