Since o the typical Celtic festivals have taken place again regularly. Alcohol was a great problem in society of that age. In Blackwood Monmouthshire there was one alehouse for every 5 inhabitants in The temperance society was eager for moral reasons especially "to take the eisteddfod out of the public house" 50 and therefore they organized temperance singing festivals and marches.
Of course they overlooked the fact that the public house was also the focus of social life and entertainment for industrial workers. The gymanfa ganu 53 , festivals of community hymn singing - according to G. Williams "Wales' most distinctive contribution to the world of music" 54 - became especially popular.
Originally these festivals were held to improve the standard of congregational singing. Singing practice of this kind became as commonplace as the prayer meeting in the chapels. Four-part singing soon became common in the church services. Most Welsh chapels possessed a choir that regularly performed oratorios.
Many chapels had their own small orchestras. Many of these would compete at eisteddfods and this competitive spirit encouraged the promotion of higher musical standards and, of course, friendly rivalry. Eliza Roberts introduced the tonic sol-fa sight-singing in Wales in 57 which made the performance of complicated pieces easier and led away from such methods as learning to sing tunes by repetition of the music heard and learning by heart.
On the other hand the creativity and the power of improvisation in the people who were formerly dependent on their sense of hearing were lost to some extent. In addition their ignorance of staff notation remained, which prevented the performance of more modern and difficult works. Soon there were numerous choirs, glee clubs organised for the singing of music , brass and string bands and also talented conductors and composers.
Enormous crowds of 20, and more gathered to listen to choral competitions, usually with absolute attention and considerable musical knowledge, sometimes with the passion of modern rugby fans - and often even more numerous than the latter in 20, in the Swansea pavilion Enthusiastic crowds greeted triumphant choirs on their return home. It was common to place bets on the success of their favourite.
There was rivalry among the various groups sometimes going as far as violent controversy as to the judging of competitions. Musical Time wrote in "Next after a football match Welshmen enjoy a choral fight. But also in the hard times their common love of singing united them as a community, as in July , when miners lost their lives at the National No.
Revd John Roberts 'Ieuan Gwyllt' was in turn teacher, editor, minister, journalist, lecturer, poet, composer and conductor. He travelled all over South Wales. In he set up a choral union in Aberdare, the centre of the South Wales coalfield. He was an imaginative teacher and created methods of improving Welsh choral singing. He was also - like many others - a fervent Nonconformist for whom singing was an expression of a pure and godly way of life. Griffith Rhys Jones known as " Caradog " 64 began working as a blacksmith and became a publican and director of breweries.
He was an accomplished violinist and was nicknamed the "Welsh.
But it is for his skill as a choral conductor that he will be best remembered. At 18 he was already conducting a choir from his home village at an eisteddfod at Aberavon. His greatest triumph came in London in when the company running the Crystal Palace decided to hold a major choral competition. A train with 18 carriages was needed to transport the choir members to London. They won first prize and were given a tremendous welcome when they returned home to Wales. They repeated the triumph at the Crystal Palace the following year.
Now everybody was sure: Welsh choral singing is the best in Europe! It's popularity played a large part in the increasing importance of Welsh male voice singing as a whole. When he took the Gleemen to an eisteddfod at the World Fair in Chicago in they won first prize against hard competition from four American choirs and one from North Wales. The Treorchy Male Choir performed at Windsor Castle in and went on afterwards - as "Royal Welsh Choir" - to conquer the world 50, miles in But the most famous and probably the best musician in 19th century Wales was Dr Joseph Parry.
He left Merthyr Tydfil as a boy to emigrate to America, but had to return home to Wales for his musical career to flourish.
He is the composer of the moving love song " Myfanwy ", as well as of countless operas, oratorios, hymns and songs. His music frequently lacks emotional depth, but he was a genius loved and endlessly imitated by fellow countrymen. In his enormous appetite for work, his musicality, the ease with which he produced memorable melodies, his sometimes shallow and sentimental emotionalism, Parry seems to have summed up the best and the worst of the musical revival that swept through Wales in the 19th century.
In the Musical Herald declared, "Wales has become one of the great choral nations of the earth! In Wales scores of oratorios, operas and symphonies were being performed. At first the soloists and instrumentalists were strangers mostly English , but later more and more Welsh performers took their place. Favourite composers were: Handel above all the "Messiah" , Mendelssohn Elijah Round about the turn of the century there was a turning away from a too emotional or enthusiastic style of singing to a more cultivated and differentiating one.
The repertoire was widened and more worldly music was sung. The singers were more independent of learning by ear. More were able to read music. The choir movement had a very democratic basis. One's profession was of no importance. In the choir one was respected, because one could sing. Here women at last had the same status as men! Thus Rachel Thomas in the film Valley of Song says,. All the year it's cooking and washing and mending I am. But when 'Messiah' came around I stopped being Mrs Lloyd undertaker.
I was Mair Lloyd - contralto. The Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales festival of music and poetry is held every year during the first week of August, alternating annually between North Wales and South Wales. The ceremony which lasts a week, with up to 6, competitors and , visitors including exile Welshmen from all over the world, is a resumption of the old Welsh custom: Bards 71 or lyric poets assemble together to take part in song competitions and to set down rules for poetry and music. The titles of Ofydd Ovate , Bardd Bard , and Pencerdd Chief Musician are conferred on candidates who pass various tests and there is also a strong choral and competitive side to the gathering.
In there were over competitions ranging from the popular performances of rival choirs to those of traditional dance and instrumental groups and outstanding concerts with Bryn Terfel, Gwyn Hughes Jones tenor , the National Youth Orchestra of Wales Sinfonia, the National Youth Choir of Wales, the Eisteddfod Choir, and others. The Eisteddfod is an event which does not only interest a small part of the population but the majority. In addition there are Regional Eisteddfods - smaller festivals that take place in August in many Welsh villages. They last for one weekend and are usually held in the pubs.
Local Eisteddfods are held in towns and villages throughout the year. The Welsh universities occasionally hold their own Student Eisteddfods. Children as young as four years of age and up to 24 years of age compete against each other in musical events - singing, playing the harp, piano, violin, wind instruments, in classical, folk and Pop groups. It is a full week of cultural events and attracts some 14, competitors and over , visitors. It is Europe's largest youth arts festival.. The Eisteddfod plays a big part in the development of young musical talent.
To be a "National" winner at the Royal National Eisteddfod is the dream of many youngsters. Many of Wales's famous singers made their early debut at the Urdd Eisteddfod and later at the Royal National Eisteddfod. Perhaps more internationally known is the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, at which musicians and dancers from all over the world compete. It is held in Llangollen during the first week in July.
Singers and folk dancers from about 30 countries perform in their respective national costumes. It was founded in to promote international peace and friendship through music and cultural events. Its motto is "Byd gwyn fydd byd a gano, gwaraidd fydd ei gerddi fo". Roughly translated this means "Blessed is a world that sings, gentle are its songs". In the meantime it has become famous among European summer festivals. Luciano Pavarotti was a chorister there with an Italian choir in and has since returned as a soloist at an evening concert.
Here, over the bridge, come three Javanese, winged, breastplated, helmeted, carrying gongs and steel bubbles. Kilted, sporraned, tartan'd, daggered Scotsmen, reel and strathspey up a side street, piping hot. Burgundian girls, wearing, on their heads, bird-cages made of velvet, suddenly whisk on the pavement into a coloured dance. A Viking goes into a pub. In black felt feathered hats and short leather trousers, enormous Austrians, with thighs big as Welshmen's bodies, but much browner, yodel to fiddles and split the rain with their smiles.
Frilled, ribboned, sashed, fezzed, and white-turbaned, in baggy-blue sharavari and squashed red boots. Ukrainians with Manchester accents gopack up the hill. Everything is strange in Llangollen. You wish you had a scarlet hat, and bangles, and a little bagpipe to call your own All day the song and dancing in this transformed valley, this green cup of countries in the country of Wales, goes on until the sun goes in.
And then you climb down hill again, in a tired tide, and over the floodlit Dee to the town that won't sleep for a whole melodious week or, if it does at all, will hear all night in its sleep the hills fiddle and strum and the streets painted with tunes Are you surprised that people still can dance and sing in a world on its head? The only surprising thing about miracles, however small, is that they sometimes happen. There are two interesting new competitions: "Choir of the World at Llangollen" since and - completely new - "Llangollen International Singer".
Among the guests there in , were Kiri te Kanawa and Bryn Terfel. The "Cnapan Festival" is held at Newport, and attracts folk groups from other Celtic countries, i. Brittany, Cornwall, Ireland and Scotland. Jazz festivals abound, the best known being the Brecon Jazz Festival. This also draws artists from far and wide, and is an extremely well attended event. All these festivals are the platform for national and international artists and attain a very high standard.
This is an opportunity for young, highly talented international singers, most of whom have as a result started on outstanding careers. Winners of this competition include Bryn Terfel and Dmitri Horotskovsky, both of whom are now world-renowned. The "Welsh Proms" in Cardiff under the direction of Owain Arwel Hughes have become one of the major highlights of the music calendar in Wales.. To hear a Welsh choir giving all they have got in full-throated " hwyl " is best experienced at a Gymanfa Ganu 74 or singing festival that is held in Welsh chapels, traditionally often at Easter time.
During the week of the Royal National Eisteddfod in August each year, a Gymanfa Ganu is held on the last Sunday of the week with thousands of enthusiastic singers of all ages in powerful harmony. Usually there are well-known guest performers - musicians, comedians and dancers.
At international rugby matches it is not long before the singing starts and it is said that this is worth six points against the opposing team particularly against England! The Welsh national anthem " Hen Wlad fy Nhadau " Land of my Fathers has been said to strike terror into the hearts of opposing teams, also the popular war march "Men of Harlech" and the religious element is present when the help of the Almighty is asked for in the well-loved church hymn "Guide me oh Thy great Jehovah".
The choirs came to be the expression of solidarity among a people, who were suppressed in their own land. Apart from the chapel movement and the influence of the eisteddfods it was especially miners in the coal-mining, tinplate and slate communities who led to the flourishing of the male voice choirs. The following male voice choirs especially are considered to be among the best in the country: Pendyrus, Rhos, Pontarddulais, Morriston Orpheus, Treorchy, Llanelli and Morriston Rugby male choirs. Many of these regularly go on tours to all parts of the world, and warm friendships are made in this way.
The Treorchy Male Choir was founded in It has been extremely successful for over 50 years now and has turned into a Welsh legend. The choir has won the National Eisteddfod more often than any other choir and has produced more records than any other Welsh male choir.
The equally famous Pendyrus Male Choir comes from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales, and came into being over years ago as a miners' choir. It now comprises about members who come from all kinds of occupations architects, teachers, miners, masons, a tax inspector, rugby player etc. The Morriston Orpheus Choir 76 was established in and has been for a long time one of the three best Welsh choirs. It has toured all over the world even New Zealand and America. Its great success is mainly due to its conductor and musical director Alwyn Humphreys whose principal aims are to increase and vary the choir's repertoire, i.
Alwyn Humphreys has a very charismatic personality and has even been desribed as "probably the most charming man on the planet" 77 by an American newspaper. The Pontarddulais Male Choir 78 was just formed in and made a name for itself in the Welsh world of music in the mid 60s when it won one eisteddfod after the other. The choir has a very wide repertoire which ranges from Welsh hymns to famous classical works such as "The pilgrims chorus" by Wagner and folk songs from different nations such as Russia.
The Mynydd Mawr Choir 79 was formed in and had already been very successful when they won the National Eisteddfod in The choir's conductor, John Rhyddid Williams, is not only a well-known conductor and judge at the competitions, but has also written a lot of famous books on penillion singing and folk songs. My great-uncle, Aneurin Morgan, was a member of this choir and his son still is.
The male choirs still attract a lot of members among the older generation but young blood is lacking. Few of the once very popular mixed choirs still exist. For the Royal National Eisteddfod, a mixed choir of some voices is formed some two years before the Eisteddfod week begins, drawn from within the surrounding area of the Eisteddfod venue. The choir is required to perform various choral works and all the works are sung in Welsh.
The National Youth Choir of Wales was formed in The workshops and summer camps demand a lot of time from the choristers who come from all parts of Wales. Today Cardiff is the seat of the Welsh National 0pera, which has risen above the provincial standard and whose choir, according to the estimation of Geraint Evans, can be compared without hesitation to that of the Scala in Milan. The harp is a national symbol, for the Welsh live performances of this instrument can be heard at the eisteddfods but also in many pubs.
The greatest performer is Ossian Ellis. The " Queen of the Harp " Nansi Richards, an expert on both the triple and pedal harps, died in There has been a marked increase in harp playing, many young pupils being taught to play the instrument in schools. There is now an annual Nansi Richards Harp Scholarship competition for young harpists. In "Cerdd Dant" 82 , the penillion or verses are set to music in a sophisticated way see previous reference.
This art is still alive, especially at the Eisteddfods. Today it is not only performed to the accompaniment of the harp, but also to that of other instruments, such as the piano. She performed for the first time as a professional soloist in Zurich in Since then she has made her appearance in all the great opera houses in the world as a Wagner singer and in roles like "Madame Butterfly", "Aida", "Desdemona" or the Princess in Puccini's "Turandot".
He won a gold medal in a singing competition at the early age of four. In he joined the opera company at London's Covent Garden, He made his debut in "Die Meistersinger" , then performed in the role of Figaro , Falstaff his signature role , Papageno etc. He sang in nearly all the great opera houses of the world: Milan, Salzburg, New York etc. He was knighted in Bryn Terfel 85 , is at the moment the most popular bass-baritone in the world. He has even been referred to as the bass-baritone of the 21st century. This tall man 1,92 m was born in as son of a North Wales farmer. As a boy he was an extremely good athlete and sang in choirs.
He took part in many eisteddfods regional and national and won several prizes in these. With his great stature he is very imposing on stage. He has a charismatic personality and is so full of energy that he is able to captivate the audience by his fantastic performance. His favourite town from a musical point of view is Salzburg. It is amazing that Terfel is able to sing in German and also in Italian without a recognizable foreign accent. Apart from the singers mentioned above, others such Margaret Price, Helen Watts, Steward Borrows and Patricia Kearn have made Welsh opera voices famed throughout the world.
Aled Jones: His career began at a very young age at local eisteddfods and concerts. At the Urdd Eisteddfod in , he won the solo and the Cerdd Dant solo competitions for competitors under From he sang in the choir of Bangor Cathedral. Several of his 16 recordings went Gold and Platinum. Wales' youngest great singing talent is year-old Charlotte Church.
There she was discovered by the Sony Music UK chairman who signed her on at once. From there on her career went straight up: She performed in many TV shows. Moreover she sang for personalities as important as the Pope and Prince Charles. Charlotte's repertoire ranges from classical songs such as "Ave Maria" to Welsh folk songs. The success of her debut album "Voice of an Angel" shows how famous she really is and how her voice impresses her audience. With "Voice of an Angel" Charlotte became the youngest ever musician to reach no.
Michael Wilson is a year-old violinist, who was already impressing his audiences at the age of 7. In he began to study with Ruggerio Ricci, who described him as one of the most talented young musicians he had met in the last 40 years. Gerhard Schulz is his tutor. With the increasing popularity of television, the importance of the chapels in the Welsh mining villages slowly decreased. But an educational revival movement raised the standard of the teaching of music in schools considerably. This also proved to be of great impetus for instrumental and orchestra music in amateur as well as in professional circles..
The National Youth Orchestra of Wales above all has made a name for itself. It was founded soon after the 2nd World War in as the first youth orchestra in the world, 2 years before that of Great Britain. Many young people have chosen to play with this orchestra, although they had been nominated for the Great Britain Orchestra. A lot of composers, too, have held it in high esteem e. Grace Williams, Alun Hoddinot etc. Unfortunately, the orchestra has faced a funding crisis since its chief sponsor, B. No less renowned is the National Orchestra of Wales for which many new musical works have been commissioned.
Daniel Jones has described the Welsh character of their works as having four special features:. Wie die altkeltischen Dichter unterwerfen sie sich gern komplexen Regeln. The new opera " Tower " by Alun Hoddinot deals with a true story: the fight to keep the Tower Colliery working. The percussion base is important in this work, side by side with well- known songs.
The son of a miner has been enormously successful worldwide for over 30 years now. He is admired by thousands of fans because of his unique powerful voice and the great energetic performance he gives on stage. His stage presence is so powerful and emotional that he captures his audience. Some of his most famous hits are: "Delilah","Love me Tonight", "I'll never fall in love again" , "A boy from nowhere" and "Kiss". He exercises a magical attraction on women. Voice, dance and sex become a unity in me. Since he has celebrated a great comeback with a new style of Rap, House, Punk, Electronic.
Shirley Bassey 96 grew up in the Tiger Bay dockland area of Cardiff. Her immense popularity in the USA led her to settle down there later in her career.
She is perhaps most famous for her big hits "Goldfinger" the title theme of the James Bond film and "Big Spender". Mary Hopkin: 97 Especially well known for her world success "Those were the days" , which Paul McCartney wrote for her. In she represented Great Britain in the Eurovision song contest with the song "Who's There" and came second. In May , after a break of nearly 30 years, she went on tour with the Irish group "The Chieftains" and had a successful comeback.
They also play psychedelic music, blues and folk and are well- known for their harmonious group singing. Dave Edmunds, born in Cardiff in , an expressive singer and guitar player. From on he and Nick Low were the "dream couple of Rock'n'Roll ". He also had a group of his own called "Love Sculpture". They attracted many teenage fans and had their own TV series. In five of them formed a new group called "Fairweather", under the leadership of Andy Fairweather-Low.
The probably most successful Welsh band at the moment are the "Manic Street Preachers" , four accomplished musicians including Sean Moore on the drums who was the youngest trumpet player in the South Wales Jazz Orchestra. They started in under a different name, but it was not until that they had their greatest triumph with their album "If you tolerate this, your children will be next" which reached no.
The last time Stockhausen got a string ensemble together, he put them in four separate helicopters to fly around while they desperately tried to coordinate with each other. But, ever the imp, Stockhausen is not content to let them play together unmolested. In their finale, Stockhausen deviates from the pattern of alternating long chords with spoken text. The violinist plays solo melodies between the chords. Something is not quite right. And the text is slightly different from the previous trios. This self-referential, slightly boastful notion seems to upset the apple cart, and things break down completely on the final page of the score.
The violinist plays two questioning notes and waits. The cellist responds, as if urging him to rejoin the ensemble. The trio is not functioning as it once was, and in the final bar, the violinist gets up and walks away while playing a jaunty little melody that is new to KLANG. The cellist and the violist warily look on as their companion departs. It lasts 40 minutes. The viola has traded her string partners for a bassoon and a clarinet.
He plays an extremely high melody before joining in with the trio for a sustained chord. The trio eventually manages to get through the first line of their text, but before long, they are interrupted again. The bassoonist answers with the same rejoinder the cellist tried in the previous piece. Not satisfied with this response, the oboist repeats the notes twice as fast and adds two more for good measure. The bassoonist responds with a similar but not identical gesture. Their dialogue resembles the first attempts to communicate with the spaceships in Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
After a third interjection by the offstage oboe, the trio gets fed up and snarls at him. He does his best to snarl back. Things continue in this vein until the oboist tires of the trio and plays himself off with the same jaunty melody that the violinist used to leave the stage in HOFFNUNG.
The trio gets back to business, but it does not take long for those same two questioning notes to appear again in the balcony. This time, they are played by a trumpet, and he has a companion of his own. A trombonist joins him with three questioning notes of his own. The two of them play a duet while the trio tries to shoo them out of the auditorium. After seven operas where the trumpet represents Michael and the trombone represents Lucifer, and the two characters are nearly always at odds, it is hard to ignore the symbolism of these two particular instruments joining in the fun of GLANZ.
Each instrumentalist plays just one note at a time in a melody that unfolds over the next several pages. Pleased with their coordination, the trumpet and trombone play one final duet before bidding the trio farewell. They even manage to recite the rest of their text, and they seem well on their way to a peaceful conclusion when all of the sudden a tuba emerges on the stage. The trio, as if resigned to yet another interruption, plays along. The tuba seems indifferent towards their accompaniment and continues his uninvited trek across the stage.
- Wales - Land of Song!
- Mythic Delirium Magazine Issue 0.2.
- Mairis Wedding by Andrew Hendry.
- Mathematics and Computation in Music.
- Technology, Art and the Human Voice!
- God Formed Us For His Glory (Continuing Infinite Way Letters Series Book 8).
- Table of contents;
One of the many reasons he stands apart from his colleagues who also made rigorously controlled music is his recognition of the need for humor and unpredictability in music. They keep the stifling tendencies of serialism at bay. It lasts 30 minutes. At key structural moments in each piece, the three players rotate clockwise to a new playing position.
This movement echoes the rotations in HARMONIEN where the performer rotates on his axis once to the right, and two times to the left while playing a cumbersome combination of sextuplets and quintuplets. Related instruments rotate into and out of groups. And the players themselves rotate around the playing area and on their own axis.
They leave the stage while quoting the parting duet of the trumpet and trombone from the balcony of GLANZ. He is left to play a quiet lament in his lowest register, alone on the stage. It is 30 minutes long. It was commissioned by the Goethe Institute Brussels. The trumpet reappears, and is joined by the cello. There are no more rotations left to make. The spirit is fully awakened and prepared to encounter what lies ahead.
Throughout the entire second phase of KLANG, the musicians are tasked with slipping in and out of time with each other. Very rarely does the music move in a steady, unified tempo. Players are always speeding up or slowing down, while getting louder or softer. Stockhausen was incredibly adept at using these fairly limited techniques to transform simple musical materials. He recognized that the same melody played on a cello and a trumpet will not have the same character. Add a different tempo or dynamic, and the material becomes stranger still.
Perhaps the trios were a quick-thinking solution to completing as much of KLANG as possible before he passed away. Perhaps it was the plan all along to rotate the music of the Fifth Hour so thoroughly. Each is the same, yet the beautiful details differ. It lasts 32 minutes. The world premiere was given on …. In … by…. It was commissioned by …The U. The N. Its source material could not be simpler.
A literal treatment of such pallid source material could be an exercise in drudgery, but Stockhausen always leavened his plans with the irrational and the unexpected. He was an inveterate tinkerer who loved to fiddle with knobs. After all, this was his first major achievement as a composer. He was the first to cross the finish line with a completely electronic piece of music because of his patience with gadgets and a relentless zeal for refining crude source material into musical gold.
This is the man who realized a sine wave could be made to sound like anything he wanted, so long as he was willing to spend hours transforming it through filters and modulators and painstaking tape splices. They are pushed and pulled through pitch transposition and tempo modulation. Each loop is sent whizzing through the air, never resting in a single channel for more than a moment. The ear cannot keep track of any particular loop, because it might first sound behind on the left and move through a half dozen different positions before it has run its course.
Once again, the audience is reminded of the disorientation that accompanies the first brush with the afterlife. Reality is no longer bound by terrestrial limitations, and this can be a terrifying, disordering fact. Stockhausen meticulously mapped out the movement of each loop. He had an interface custom-built to allow him to control the pace of these spatial modulations, because he was never content to let his form schemes automate his music.
In each subsequent piece, 18 of the 24 layers are discarded. It lasts 25 minutes. The titles in the third phase of KLANG came as something of a shock to those who were used to Stockhausen dismissing the notion that The Urantia Book had any influence on his music. The titles of Hours are all place names from the book. Moreover, the libretti make explicit reference to the contents of The Urantia Book HAVONA is designed as a kind of thumbnail introduction to one of the central conceits of the book, which is that we are not alone, and not by a long shot.
Earth is known as Urantia in the book, and it is just one little planet in a universe of universes that has trillions of inhabited planets, all with intelligent beings who are at various levels of consciousness about the eternal reality of God. After death, the spirit departs a planet and begins an epic adventure. It will visit other constellations and universes. It will visit billions of planets before eventually reaching the central universe of Havona, which surrounds the Eternal Isle of Paradise.
At each stop along the way, the spirit learns new things about the true nature of the universe. The bass sings a simple text that summarizes this attenuated journey. The spirit leaves Urantia Earth and heads towards the administrative center of the local universe. Jerusem is the planet that houses the headquarters for this planet administrative center.
A host of beings busy themselves with the day-to-day operation of this local universe, which is called Nebadon. There are ten million inhabited planets in Nebadon. Nebadon belongs to a superuniverse called Orvonton. In The Urantia Book, Orvonton is the only named superuniverse out of the seven that orbit the central universe of Havona. The capital of Orvonton is Uversa. Here, the libretto makes a slight mistake in its Urantian cosmology.
Edentia is a stop that would precede Jerusem. It is the capital of the constellation that houses Urantia. A constellation, according to The Urantia Book, contains, inhabitable planets. Stockhausen preferred to focus on the more positive sounding names in the book. They are obviously thinly veiled allusions to earthly names like Jerusalem, Eden, or Urania, the muse of astronomy. Other names have much more negative connotations, like the name of that planet hub of bureaucracy for Nebadon, which is called Satania.
The bass repeats his text three times, because who could be expected to understand all of this information in one hearing? Each repetition includes playful asides, like a vowel circle on the word Havona. The bass explains that Urantia is another name for Earth, and he playfully refers to the colored races of humanity described in The Urantia Book. In the book, here are five different races. Here, there are seven. He was not so enamored of its text as to be dogmatic about. He might have insisted once to his composition class that they must read the book in order to continue studying with him, but he freely admitted that he never read the entire thing.
He borrowed liberally from The Urantia Book, but it merely added to his spiritual bricolage, which never really strayed all that far from the devout Catholicism of his childhood. The poor baritone has to work through an astonishing amount of unforgiving text that mixes musicology with cosmology. He explains things like the basic tempo of Layer19 is 3.
He natters on about how the music is constructed, even revealing that the pitch manipulations in each layer were executed by Kathinka Pasveer. Stockhausen intended to use this information in his libretto, but Pasveer wearied of the 2, page book and its punishing denseness.
Stockhausen took that as a sign that perhaps a series of homilies about The Urantia Book were not in the best interests of his music. Yet, amidst all his self-referential shenanigans, he reveals some important truths. First, he is not from Earth. The baritone hails from Orvonton, where beings have a more sophisticated grasp of music. He jokes that whether or not this number music is beautiful depends entirely on who is doing the counting. This is not the first time that Stockhausen has populated his music with aliens.
His first overt depiction of aliens was in his electronic oratorio SIRIUS , which begins with the thrilling sound of four flying saucers landing on Earth. The scores for Hours use a kind of shorthand notation that leaves a great deal of decisions up to the musicians. It is up to the performers to craft their own solution to the scores, much like the process music Stockhausen composed in the s when he was touring and experimenting with non-traditional notation methods.
The Eternal Isle of Paradise exists outside of time. Stockhausen designed his music as a bridge that could help people enlarge their sense of time and begin to move beyond human conceptions of temporality. Jeder Klang ist ein Universum. Layer nineteen has twenty-three tones as sound loop. In the basic tempo 3. Layer twenty has nineteen tones with a basic tempo of two point nine! Two point five seconds per tone, but longer or shorter according to ritardando or accelerando, and sometimes a sudden stand-still.
Variations quite free of durations and pitches of each layer. Each moment closes with a different pitch, here with D. Each moment has its own number of tones in groups, and on the last tone of each group I halt for awhile. In this moment the groups are six one five two four three. Numbers are to be heard and to be counted. Our music is formed like the stars of the superuniverse and also of the universe, of our solar system, of our planet Earth.
Each sound is a universe. Four hundred and forty hertz is neither beautiful nor ugly. Beauty lives. It lasts 23 minutes. The world premiere was given on May 8, at the Domforum in Cologne by Michele Marelli basset horn and Kathinka Pasveer sound projection. Stockhausen bestowed many gifts on the clarinet family through his collaboration with Suzanne Stephens. Chief among them is his vast expansion of the repertoire for basset horn. Mozart and Richard Strauss were fond of basset horn, but no one has so thoroughly exploited this marvelous instrument as Stockhausen.
Hours share a basic organizational pattern where the note tone row of KLANG is used as a marker for 24 sections. Three of the pieces have 25 sections. Each section centers on one note in the row, and the sections typically last seconds. Within his system of serial organization, which seems so stale to most observers, Stockhausen found a great deal of freedom. It was like a coding language that he could use to manifest virtually anything his imagination desired. The instrumental hours in the third phase of KLANG make liberal use of The Urantia Book through recorded announcements by Kathinka Pasveer that are mixed in with the swirling synthesizer loops.
These announcements convey a great deal of information about the cosmology of the book. The book turns the angelic orders of Christian theology into a bunch of lovable bureaucrats who argue about procedure. In both systems, there is a heavenly host that looks down on humanity and tends to its needs, but in The Urantia Book, the guardian angels sometimes come across like the grey-suited pencil pushers in Brazil. Kathinka recites some of the members of this divine order.
The “Geographical Fugue” in Context
A glossary of these terms is available here. Each of these ranks of beings has very specific bailiwicks that help insure the orderly progress of the universe, and most importantly, assist ascending spirits on their journey towards Paradise. In KLANG, he puts the peculiar terminology of the book on full display as a way of mirroring his own fastidiousness.
The flagrantly uninteresting administrative system in the Urantian cosmology is not unlike the rigid serial systems that Stockhausen created to control his own music. It lasts 22 minutes. The world premiere was given on May 8, at the Christuskirche in Cologne by Christine Chapman horn and Kathinka Pasveer sound projection.
In the book, Michael comes to Earth as Jesus of Nazareth. His death and resurrection are the final steps in his quest to gain complete sovereignty over the local universe he created, which is called Nebadon. The book takes pains to make it clear that neither Urantia nor Michael are particularly unique in any way. After all, each superuniverse contains thousands of local universes like Nebadon!
The Urantia Book explains that Nebadon orbits around Sagittarius. The book is a fairly naked attempt to marry modern science with the pre-scientific understanding that informs Biblical texts. Supposedly communicated by angels early in the 20th century, The Urantia Book offers a snapshot of scientific understanding from that time period. Several of the sections in the score have just one or two notes. The imperative is for him to color these notes with very simple techniques like dynamic modulation and mute changes.
This kind of playing is often quite challenging for musicians, who are used to moving from note to note in conventional phrases. When faced with a page of single notes and durations, it can be difficult to shift away from the traditional mode of music making. The metaphor here is unsubtle.
The horn player is, like the ascending spirit, moving into an untimed existence. He is moving further and further away from the timescale of Earth, which is quite rapid compared to the slower timescales of the higher planets. Things have changed radically for the spirit. The enormity of the larger universe is becoming clearer by the moment.
Stockhausen often relied on attenuation as a formal device in his music. The slowest layer expands one of these brief melodies from under a minute to over a half hour. It lasts 21 minutes. The world premiere was given on May 8, at the Christuskirche in Cologne by Hubert Mayer tenor and Kathinka Pasveer sound projection. This mirrors the realities of merkabah mysticism, which is the basic model for The Urantia Book. Higher planes of existence are harder to comprehend.
He thanks God for the universes where ascending spirits can learn about and adjust to the greater realities of the afterlife.
Extended Piano Techniques
This joyous process of learning never ends, as indeed it did not for Stockhausen. He would often say that he discovered a new way of doing something while working on a piece. To neutral ears, this often sounds like a boast, which Stockhausen certainly loved to do. These personal discoveries may already have been known to other people, but for Stockhausen, they were new, and new knowledge excited him. His curiosity was ceaseless. Even his death provided him with an exciting new idea.
As his heart was failing, he began to breathe very slowly. He announced that he had discovered a new way of breathing that would inform all of his future music. It is twenty minutes long. It was commissioned by the Southbank Centre. Stockhausen used these three personalities to generate the nearly 30 hours of his massive opera cycle. For him, that was more than enough material to work with. His serial technique could help him isolate, combine, and transform the three personages in ways that continued to surprise both him and his audience over the three decades that they appeared in his music.
It is worth noting that one of his first major forays into large scale dramatic music was MOMENTE Moments, , which also relied on a trinity of personalities to generate its form. The subject matter there was much more mundane, as the three people at the core of MOMENTE are the composer and his first and second wives. It is 19 minutes long. It was commissioned by Norddeutsche Rundfunk. Edentia sits at the center of administrative planets, and its terrain resembles the Lake District, with thousands of rivers and streams flowing into countless lakes amidst green highlands.
One side of the planet is a vast nature reserve. The other side is the administrative center, and it is organized into 70 different triangular sections, each focused on the affairs of a different sector of the constellation. The most gleeful science fiction touch in The Urantia Book is the method by which ascending pilgrims travel between all these billions of planets on their outer space adventure. Seraphim grab the spirit and carry them between worlds.
They land on a sea of glass. Local inhabitants love to gather to watch new arrivals. The Urantia Book hilariously asserts that the friction shields seraphim use to protect ascending mortals during interplanetary flight were mistaken by humans for wings. The sea of glass in The Urantia Book also serves another very important purpose.
It acts as a radio receiver for interstellar broadcasts. In the book, a favorite pastime is gathering at the sea of glass to hear dispatches from other planets. When Lucifer was tried and convicted for his rebellion against Michael, millions of people across the superuniverse listened in on the broadcast. The piezoelectric properties of crystals are what allow shortwave radios to operate, and well before Stockhausen took up LICHT, this device was a prominent tool in his arsenal. He wrote several pieces that require a performer to transform signals received over a shortwave radio. After each word sounds, the soprano saxophone performs a brief demonstration of the technique in question.
They are intended to help the listener digest what he has heard, and Stockhausen often executes such exercises with great charm. If a listener solves this riddle, it can be a source of great delight. The world premiere was given on August 24, at the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg by Kathinka Pasveer flute. Her voice is on the tape describing the music and performance instructions in finite detail.
The flute part is even freer than those that came before it. The flutist can invent all kinds of articulations and connections between the notes. Stockhausen always encouraged new interpretations, while struggling to balance the need for control in his music. He knew what he wanted, and he knew what he did not want. But, as Donald Rumsfeld might phrase it, Stockhausen also knew he wanted things that he did not know.
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When he performed these works with other musicians, he did not want to hear recognizable patterns. So much of improvisation refers to pre-existing material, and if Stockhausen heard something like a quotation of another musical work, he would object. He did not want improvisation. He wanted intuitive music that would surprise both the listener and the performer. He wanted more discoveries, and many of his scores are designed to give the performer a set of expeditionary tools. In his writings, Morton Feldman recalled another conversation with Stockhausen about the nature of time.
That the beat, and the possible placement of sounds in relation to it, was the only thing the composer could realistically hold on to. The fact that he had reduced it to so much a square foot made him think Time was something he could handle and even parcel out, pretty much as he pleased. He said once that his career from the mids on has been one giant meditation on time.
He predicted that next would come music for the minute, and later music for the second, and the microsecond. Time consumes all such plans, and Stockhausen was never able to finish his music for the day. Perhaps they would have been about the Holy Trinity. Perhaps they would have been about life on Sirius, the destination he firmly believed he was headed for after his life on Earth. Regardless, the music of KLANG takes the listener on an epic adventure that begins in the final moments of life. It takes us through the transition into the afterlife, and gives us a glimpse of one very particular vision of what eternal life will be like.
Want to come along? Like any tour leader, he favors certain destinations over others, but what we are left with is a deep and abiding sense of wonder and exhilaration at the prospect of what is to come after our lives on Earth have ended. Siano, Leopoldo. Karlheinz Stockhausens Letzter Kompositionszyklus: Klang. Die 24 Stunden Des Tages. Wien: Verlag Der Apfel, Toop, Richard. Checkout — thank you November 14, My account November 14, Recreating the Philips Pavilion February 11, The Electronic Music Foundation presented a virtual recreation of the Philips Pavilion last night which was pleasant enough, but the real treasure was the lecture beforehand by Vincenzo Lombardo , a professor from Turin who spent a few years in charge of a research project about the original installation.
The pavilion is contextualized by dozens of great photos like this one, which shows the circular US pavilion next to the rectangular USSR pavilion at the top of the photo and the relatively tiny, by comparison, Philips pavilion in the lower right corner: This ground level view shows it from a unique angle: This rear view shows the ventilation windows for all of the electronic equipment: The team unearthed a Dutch film documenting the construction of the pavilion, which includes footage of Corbusier and Xenakis checking the progress of the construction. The source material was a recording of charcoal burning.
Lombardo also revealed that Corbusier intended to narrate portions of the exhibit. Lombardo actually tracked down all 51 of the ambient lighting configurations ambiances in the Pavilion. On the left is an individual slide, which shows the timing of the 34th ambiance, and on the right is the index of the various ambiances: The biggest insight as to what the actual sound experience was like came from little details like the fact that the entire interior was covered in asbestos. This would have hardened the walls enough to create a cavernous acoustic.
The detailed pictures of the speaker allocation and the spatialization were also very revealing. Essentially, it was a proto-acousmonium setup with a speaker orchestra spatialized live by sound projectionists. The speakers were dotted all along the interior walls, trailing up into the various peaks of the structure left. The sound was manipulated by a team of projectionists with several rotary telephone dials, which could each turn on 5 speakers at a time out of a bank of Details like that help to illustrate why the piece had such a lasting impact.
The most frequent poster and editor was Joe Drew. Christine Chapman, Horn Raised in the coastline woods of western Michigan, Christine Chapman has traveled far and wide to pursue her passion for music. Peter Veale, Oboe Grandma, grandpa and parents: all of them studied music.
More than 50 works have been composed for Peter Veale to date. Veronica Jurkiewicz, Viola Veronica Jurkiewicz is a violist, violinist, and vocalist based in Philadelphia. Audrey Miller, Bass Clarinet Dr. Kristina Mulholland, French Horn Kristina Mulholland is an active freelance French hornist and educator in the greater Philadelphia area. Dominic Panunto, Bassoon Dominic Panunto is an active freelance bassoonist and teacher in the Philadelphia area. Typefacing and Booklet Design, Jura Pintar. Protected: met February 3, This content is password protected.
To view it please enter your password below: Password:. Cello Phantasia January 30, He is joined on this effort by the peerless Michael Sheppard for an intimate program of cello and piano music. Cello Phantasia showcases two virtuosic musicians making dazzling chamber music together. Zart und mit Ausdruck Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip.
Lebhaft leicht Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. Rasch und mit Feuer Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. Allegretto ben moderato Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. Allegro Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip.
Recitativo-Fantasia Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. Allegretto poco mosso Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. Lento, Allegro moderato Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. Allegro scherzando Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. Andante Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip.
Allegro mosso Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player version 9 or above is required to play this audio clip. In Dariusz was awarded the prestigious Baker Artist Award, the highest recognition for artists in Maryland. The cellist is also a member of a critically acclaimed ensemble — the Monument Piano Trio. Dariusz is a laureate of various international competitions such as the Tchaikovsky Competition in Moscow, the Leonard Rose Competition in Washington D.
Dariusz began his musical education at the age of six and spent his school years in Warsaw, Poland where his teachers were Professor Z. Liebig and Professor A. He completed his higher education as a scholarship recipient at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and perfected his art under the supervision of world-renowned cellist Stephen Kates. LINKS: www. About Michael Known as a pianist of dazzling virtuosity and penetrating musicianship, Michael Sheppard is spreading his wings as a composer, arranger, and transcriber.
The designation led to the recording of his CD, Harmonia Mundi.