Thursday, December 08, 2005

Stockhausen's Momente


Through 1962-1969, Karlhienz Stockhausen wrote Momente, a massive orchestration for solo soprano, 4 choir groups and 13 instrumentalists. The piece was composed in "moments" which are defined by K, M and D.

K stands for “Klang” (timbre, verticality, regularity, homophony, percussion, male voices, noises).

M represents “Melody” (horizontality, monophony, heterophony, randomness, pitches and noises equally mixed, trumpets and trombones, soprano solo).

D means “Durations” (diagonally [ vertical plus horizontal ] polyphony, irregularity [ “syncopated” ], pitches, electric organ, female voices).

The moments are then arranged by the conductor, rendering each performance of the piece unique but still highly structured.

This monstrocity leaves me speechless, actually. It is an odd musical theatre where random sounds such as hand clapping suddenly become musical structures interrupted by gibberish and horn farts, quickly and abruptly cutting into a very dramatic orchestra and choral moment.

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Momente (excerpt)

I'm desperately wanting to know what picture Stockhausen is holding...is it a picture of himself?

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

it's luc ferrari

9:03 PM  
Blogger Ken said...

He's holding one of his scores - I don't remember which one, but it's from the late 60s, possibly Kurzwellen?

12:26 PM  

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