Karlheinz Stockhausen


From 1959, a new spaciousness enters, marking a clear break with any kind of ‘post-Webern’ aesthetic. This is clear on a small scale in Refrain, and on a larger one in Carré for four choirs and four orchestras and Kontakte for piano, percussion and electronic music; both of these are unbroken spans lasting over half an hour, but they are notable also for their expressive range and their radical ‘extension of the time-scale’ in terms of the difference between the quickest and slowest rates of change. Both factors also characterize Momente for soprano, four choirs and 13 instrumentalists, which already lasted just over an hour in its provisional 1965 version; the completed ‘Europe’ version of 1972 extends the piece to almost two hours. The tape composition Hymnen (1966–7) likewise lasts just under two hours (slightly longer when performed with soloists, or when the Dritte Region is performed with orchestra). However, Momente and Hymnen are the only ‘monumental’ works of the 1960s, in both scale and intent. On the whole, the relatively fully notated works of this period – Mikrophonie I and II, Mixtur, Adieu and Telemusik – are markedly shorter than the preceding pieces, and considerably less apocalyptic (even exuberant) in tone.
Richard Toop: 'Stockhausen, Karlheinz', The New Grove Dictionary of Music Online ed. L. Macy (Accessed 7 October 2003), http://www.grovemusic.com

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Stockhausen Techniques

Typical Stockhausen Techniques include: