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Kontakte Import, Original recording reissued


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Audio CD, Import, Original recording reissued, December 8, 1993
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 8, 1993)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import, Original recording reissued
  • Label: Wergo
  • ASIN: B000025R06
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,170 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Kontakte: Teil 1 - Stockhausen, Karlheinz / Koenig, G. / Tudor, David Eugene / Caskel, Christoph
2. Kontakte: Teil 2 - Stockhausen, Karlheinz / Koenig, G. / Tudor, David Eugene / Caskel, Christoph

Editorial Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By a consumer on January 6, 2006
I much prefer the all-electronic version of Kontakte: it's the same as the electronic parts you hear on this recording, only without the piano or percussion. The interaction of the acoustic instruments with the electronic parts on tape starts to seem predictable--the tape plays for a while then the pianist stabs out some violent staccato bits, the percussionist hammers out some violent staccato bits, then the tape plays a bit longer and the pianist responds with some violent staccato bits, and/or the percussionist hammers out some violent staccato bits...

I have the all-electronic version on an old DG vinyl recording. It can be very lyrical at times, and even though it's supposed to be completely "in the moment", eschewing old-fashioned compositional form, it nevertheless flows and evolves and feels like it has an inner musical logic. Or maybe the musical moments are just more musical. It's remarkable what Stockhausen could coax out of the primitive electronic sound-producing gizmos of the time.

The problem is that the electronic version is available on CD only from Stockhausen Verlag, which means you have to order it directly from Karlheinz himself for $30 plus $18 handling charges. But hey, a 180-page booklet is included! Nevertheless, I'm almost thinking of ordering it; in any event I'd rather spend the extra money to get the electronic version, which has moved me greatly over the years, than to spring for this electro-acoustic version which leaves me completely uninspired.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lord Chimp on July 22, 2007
Pulsing electronic tones, sustained and modified -- spiky dissonance on piano -- indefinable noises -- a scattered array of percussion sounds. Tied together by a strange logic where neither seems to exist for the sake of the other, rather they have a decisive wholeness, a `unity of opposites'. So goes this recording of Stockhausen's _Kontakte_. Unlike the electronics-only piece, here we have the marriage of electronics and acoustics, and it was a considerable leap for the fifties avant-garde, where movements like serialism were being abandoned and some radical futurists believed electronics the next progression for music. Stockhausen's _Kontakte_ for piano, percussion, and electronic tape is a world where the ostensible contradictions between tradition and modernity do not arise, but are simply realized with the tertiary ingredient being Stockhausen's imagination. Yes, there are relations to other contemporary works by Stockhausen, about which you can read more in other reviews and commentaries.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Peter Gueckel on May 28, 2013
A preoccupation with the shock of the bizarre appears to permeate much of Stockhausen's late works, rendering them nearly unlistenable. Kontakte, from 1960, is one of his great early works. It is a seminal classic of electronic collage with piano and percussion.
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One of Stockhausen's "moment form" compositions, Kontakte still remains one of the most potent works of music ever written. For electronics, percussion and piano, the work discards all notions of climax, transitions or development, creating "forms in which at any moment one may expect a maximum or a minimum, and in which one is unable to predict with certainty the direction of the development from any given point".

Kontakte is definitely not an "easy" work, embodying as it does most of the ideas that are generally associated with the Stockhausen of the 1950s and 60s; serial complexes in interaction with exploration of unusual timbres and rhythms have had and apparently still have a tendency to scare listeners away. Which is indeed a pity, for I dare anyone who approaches this music with open ears to fail to recognize one of the most important and indeed greatest works ever composed. The playing time might look stingy, but really - what could you possibly have as a filler for Kontakte?
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