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Karlheinz Stockhausen

Composer

About this Artist

Born: 1928, Mödrath, GermanyDied: 2007, Kürten, Germany

“I think the highest ideal for an artist is to be a vessel.”

By the end of the 1960s, Stockhausen was probably the most widely known and emulated living composer. He had his face on the cover of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band and Deutsche Grammophon released recordings of his music almost as fast as he could write it (ultimately including two “Greatest Hits” albums). Works such as Gesang der Jünglinge pioneered the combination of electronic and acoustic instruments and sounds, and Gruppen, for three orchestras, brought a new dimension to the symphonic avant garde. As his theories evolved and mutated, he lost some of his influence, but continued to work at vast, idiosyncratic projects such as the monumental Licht cycle, an opera for every day of the week.

Further listening:

Gruppen (1955-57)Berlin PhilharmonicFriedrich Goldman, Claudio Abbado, Marcus Creed (DG)

Stimmung (1968)Theatre of VoicesPaul Hillier (Harmonia Mundi)