Kosmos Stockhausen at LUCERNE FESTIVAL Summer 2018

Luzerne Festival, Switzerland


“Kosmos Stockhausen” is a major homage dedicated by the LUCERNE FESTIVAL 2018 to one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century, Karlheinz Stockhausen. To mark his 90th birthday the festival is presenting a comprehensive overview of his work. The seven-part series is to be opened by Pierre-Laurent Aimard and Tamara Stefanovich with one of Stockhausen’s most important works. In Mantra alongside their instruments the two pianists will use not just ancient cymbals and woodblocks but also two ring modulators. These achieve astonishing electronic transformations of the piano sound allowing creative sparks to fly. The music is held together by a memorable melodic framework – the Mantra of the title, which Stockhausen subjects to ever-new metamorphoses. He called this approach “formula composition” using it a little later in his striking orchestral work Inori. In Moderne 5 – Stimmung für sechs Vokalisten six singers sit in a circle like around a campfire and sing one single chord. Stockhausen’s “Stimmung” was written in 1968 on Long Island and its proximity to American Minimal Music as well as the hippie movement is clear. Alongside Stockhausen’s electronic experiments it was works like these that enabled him to become a pioneer also beyond the New Music scene. Stockhausen’s piano works are also a milestone of New Music, especially his Klavierstücke I – XI that came about in the 50s and 60s. A sound visionary, he described these works as “drawings” because he was able to focus “on the possibilities of an instrument, a player with his ten fingers and two feet” and could approach fundamental composition problems within this concentrated framework.


September 1, 8 & 9, 2018
Kirchensaal, MaiHof, Lucerne, Switzerland

September 2 & 9, 2018
Lucerne Hall, Culture and Congress Centre Lucerne, Switzerland

September 8, 2018
Neubad, Lucerne, Switzerland


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