posted by PP on 2007/12/14 12:07

[ Nachruf | obituary ]

Precisely fifty years after he composed the Gruppen (1955-1957) – "eine Eintrittskarte in die Welt der Neuen Musik" - Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007), "ein Gott in Kurten", passed away last week.
Here’s an obituary by Dr. Tatjana Marković (Belgrade):

The answer to the Eggebrechtian question wether contemporary music is also new music, would be positive in Stockhausen’s case, in spite of the fact the two terms might be taken as signifiers of two, sometimes quite distant musical worlds. Being a radical avant-gardist from his youth, Stockhausen actually never left that position, incorporating his earlier experiences into the further creative tracing for the perfect balance between sound and silence, between controlled construction and intuition. Being a universalist convinced that the intuition comes from cosmos and, moreover, that music itself is the embodiment of the world, spirit, cosmic vibrations, he was idealistically oriented to the writing his own, modernist Gesamtkunstwerk. The most significant result is Licht: Die sieben Tage der Woche, the cycle of seven operas he composed more during than twenty-five years (1977–2003).

Stockhausen’s understanding of the world through the medium of music art in an uncompromised way, produced in some circumstances rather controversial statements, such as one that the 11th of September terrorist act in New York City was "the biggest work of art that has ever happened". He was also criticized because of the hegemonial imperialism in music (cf. here).

Nevertheless, Stockhausen undoubtedly was one of the most prominent figures in the 20th century, as both composer and professor. Beside his own numerous students (let me mention only La Monte Young, Helmut Lachenmann, Wolfgang Rihm), he was one of the most influential composers since 1960s. It is worth saying that as early as 1961, Stockhausen's works became a regular part of the program of the Music Biennale Zagreb, and four years later he was also a guest of the prestigious music festival as a conductor. This provided his immense influence on the Southeast, or Balkan composers too, especially those who were the pioneers in electronic music in the region.

About ten years ago, Stockhausen expressed the way he understands the life in an interview:

I think the universe is our real home, and here we are in a prison for a very limited time to learn, to study. But I would like to know, if possible, everything about the universe.


Contributions by Tatjana Marković on Kakanien revisited:


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Senior Editor

Seitenwechsel. Geschichten vom Fußball. Hgg. v. Samo Kobenter u. Peter Plener. Wien: Bohmann 2008, 237 pp.
(Weitere Informationen hier)
Transcarpathica. Germanistisches Jahrbuch Rumänien 3-4/2004-2005. Hgg. v. Andrei Corbea-Hoisie u. Alexander Rubel. Bukarest/Bucuresti: Editura Paideia 2008, 336 pp.
[Die online-Fassung meines Einleitungsbeitrags "Thesen zur Bedeutung der Medien für Erinnerungen und Kulturen in Mitteleuropa" findet sich auf Kakanien revisited (Abstract / .pdf).]
Seitenweise. Was das Buch ist. Hgg. v. Thomas Eder, Samo Kobenter u. Peter Plener. Wien: Bundespressedienst 2010, 480 pp.
(Weitere Informationen hier wie da, v.a. auch do. - und die Rezension von Ursula Reber findet sich hier [.pdf].)
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