The four works on this disc come from the first nine years of a compositional career that would span almost another half century. Yet today, one scarely hears them as 'early Stockhausen,' but rather as a series of essential cornerstones of the emerging post-war European avant-garde on which Stockhausen, as the youngest composer involved, exercised a crucial influence. What should strike one is not what these pieces have in common, but how different they are from one another. Each exemplifies a phase of Stockhausen's early development. The Ensemble Recherche is one of the most distinguished ensembles for new music. With more than 450 premieres to its credit since it was founded in 1985, the ensemble has made a substantial contribution to the development of contemporary chamber and ensemble music.