“Cosmos Stockhausen”

© Werner Scholz, Archiv Stockhausen-Stiftung für Musik, Kürten

Together with Boulez and Luigi Nono, Karlheinz Stockhausen was part of what was then a triumvirate of the postwar musical revolution. But he, a pious Catholic, was regarded as the most radical pioneer – driven not only by a pursuit of purity, precision, and control from his training in natural science but also by a religiously motivated desire for an “approximation to the conceivable perfection of order” in which the individual was to be realized in a higher totality, in a kind of cosmic, global structure. All layers of material and form were subject to a coherent series of proportions and their combinatorial alterations.

The contradictory powers of Stockhausen’s creative work probably never found a more felicitous balance than in the “formula compositions” of the 1970s, which were inspired by the ritual practices of India and Japan. In MANTRA for two pianists and INORI, an orchestral piece featuring two dance mimes, sensuality of sound is combined with spiritual depth and strict consistency in the meticulous construction. You need to hear, experience, and traverse it with your mind to realize that this music was, simply put, about everything: about a new order of the world.

At the suggestion of Wolfgang Rihm, LUCERNE FESTIVAL is dedicating a large-scale homage to him, titled “Cosmos Stockhausen,” to mark this anniversary, with the young musicians of the LUCERNE FESTIVAL ACADEMY in the leading role.

If you purchase three different concerts in the “Cosmos Stockhausen” series, you will receive a 20% discount.