Karlheinz Stockhausen – Sternklang
mit Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, Das Neue Ensemble (Ltg. Stephan Meier)
Clear weather, open sky, an unobstructed view of the stars … for Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Sternklang, an extensive open-air piece, that is an ideal situation, allowing the (overtone) singers and instrumentalists who are divided into groups, far removed from one another across the sonic playing field, to read some of their notes straight from the firmament.
Several celestial constellations such as Leo, Corona, the Little Dipper or Cassiopeia provided Stockhausen with inspiration for this sacred piece, and he used them to develop model rhythms, sound colours and intervals. He did so for each ensemble on its own; listening to one another, the ensembles communicate and complement one another. Furthermore, several “sound runners” carry certain musical information from one group to the other, thereby influencing the upcoming action. “Sternklang,” thus Stockhausen, “is music meant for concentrated listening in meditation, helping individuals immerse themselves in the cosmic whole. It is also intended as preparation for creatures from other stars and their arrival on earth.”