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Stockhausen: Samstag aus Licht


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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Product Details

  • Performer: Markus Stockhausen, Majella Stockhausen, Kathinka Pasveer
  • Orchestra: University of Michigan Symphony Band, Kollberg Percussion Ensemble
  • Conductor: Karlheinz Stockhausen
  • Composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen
  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 4
  • Label: Polygram Records
  • ASIN: B00000E409
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,967 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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SAMSTAG (Saturday) is the Xth installment in Karlheinz Stockhausen's LICHT, a cycle of seven operas for each day of the week which occupied the composer from 1977 to 2003. The world premiere of SAMSTAG was held in 1984 at La Scala in Milan. These 4 CDs contain studio recordings featuring the same performers as that staged production.

LICHT has three main characters, archetypes in Stockhausen's personal cosmology, who are played variously by actors, musicians, or dancers. Michael (the force of good) is sustained by Eve (representing creation), while Lucifer (evil and destruction) opposes them both. SAMSTAG is Lucifer's day, making this the darkest of all the LICHT operas. Musically the LICHT cycle is marked by so-called "formula composition", with its many hours of music being arcane expansions of fairly short melodies identified with each of the characters.

The opera opens with the 8-minute "Saturday Greeting" for 26 brass players and two percussionists. As the percussion and most of the brass play a complicated development of the Lucifer formula, six trombones play portions of the Eve formula, and four tubas make reference to the Michael formula. The system behind this all is somewhat complicated and based on Stockhausen's love of total chromaticism, but the audible result is an elegant (but very grim) canon. Here and in scene 3 the University of Michigan Symphony Band perform, a surprising change from the professional European ensembles that have often tackled Stockhausen's music.

The first scene proper is the "Lucifer's Dream" for bass voice and piano. Its alternate title is Klavierstueck XIII, making it an installment in the composer's series of piano works going back to the early 1950s.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful By scarecrow VINE VOICE on January 21, 2006
This is the first recording of :Samstag: and the unrevised version simply unfolding in two Acts, Lucifer's Dream and Lucifer's Dance. Stockhausen always had an interest in cosmology,ancient myths,ancient spaces and processes looking at single tones on the piano as simply "particles" in the universe to be utilized in much larger,massive structures of the entire opera LICHT which is now complete.,or envisioning harmonies as "collectors" for other dusts from the unknown/known ether.LICHT An opera named after each day of the week,utilizes the entire edifice of the 20th CEntury in terms of timbral developments, textural modulations, antiphonal spatial dealings with the performance space.Solos. The principle characters are Lucifer, Michael (portrayed by, his Son a trumpeter with mutes in his belt, ready for action,much like St George or Siegfried, ready to slay the dragons of the universe, and Eve a Basset/Bass Clarinetist. Lucifer, well we all know about him, is represented via a Trombone. And this recording reveals the freedom under which Stockhausen writes his music; a wonderful display of free timbres floating, Schwebenklangen throughout the universe of listening, with a large interlude of solo trumpet. The Klaverstuck #13 on revision became the accompaniment to Lucifer's Dream,with the pianist also on stage moving around the piano while playing,not in the orchestral pit,and firing small child rockets into the performance space, Stockhasen devised a FORMULA( a series of informations) that helps control every aspect of the entire operas LICHT, and the function is more-or-less like a Tone Row, Die Reihe,that gives shape(s),colour(s), dimensions,melodic, chord(s), harmonic design(s), time(s) and temporalities, even choreography(s) to the proceedings that function along cosmological lines.Read more ›
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