I didn’t much care for the version of Stockhausen’s Mantra that Xenia Pestova, Pascal Meyer and Jan Panis issued via Naxos in True enough, Mantra is a . As “Mantra” begins you immediately feel that this is much more than any kind of piano duo that you’ve heard before, and at this point I’m strictly speaking in terms . Stockhausen – Mantra – Download as PDF File .pdf), Text File .txt) or read online .
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There is an aura around each tone rising out of the doubled keyboards, and the aura flutters and bulges, breaking the waves of the sound into millions of little glistenings, in a magic luster diffusing out of the core tone, three-dimensionally. Some people may get associations to a submerged state, into some kind of fluid; not necessarily water, but into some other kind of fluid, like TIME or what the ancients called the ETHER, or something else that bends the senses like gravity bends light, passing by dense celestial bodies.
The shots of light off of he surface of the sound even renders the music an impressionistic quality, however farfetched that notion may seem. Stockhausen explains it in detail in the CD booklet: To this end, each of the pianists has an apparatus at his left into which a microphone amplifier, a compressor, a filter, a ring modulator, a scaled sine-wave generator and a volume control have been built.
The piano sounds are amplified by two microphones and ring modulated by sine-waves. Behind each piano stand loudspeakers, which project the modulated sound simultaneously with the played sound.
Those stockhuasen the facts of the arrangement, but that really says nothing about the splendid auditive effect that is achieved, and which is nothing short of magical! The technician at that recording was Ole B. Probably this CD was issued before Stockhausen retrieved the formal rights to his recordings from other recording companies, though.
It’s an unsurpassed recording of the piece. I know Stockhausen-Verlag has plans to obtain the rights, to offer it together with the Kontarsky brothers’ CD, and I hope Stockhausen will succeed in this. A thing that at first was a mystery to me concerned the sounds that do not appear to stem from the pianos. At certain instances it seems that some kind of metallic percussion is utilized.
Stockhausen: Sounds in Space: MANTRA
Well, it was no mystery at all. I got the explanation from Kathinka Pasveer at Stockhausen-Verlag that this CD was among the first to appear in the Complete Stockhausen Editionand that they didn’t really have the knack of how to present the material then, which is why they left out some details in the booklet text. This will all be fixed in a new printing later.
The shrill sounds come from antique cymbals, prescribed in the score. Yet another thing that didn’t fail to catch my attention was the emergence at 0: These are also, however, scored! The wooden percussive sounds stem from wood-blocks, scored too.
The vocals of index 20, by Alfons and Aloys Kontarskyare also scored and required. To make the picture stockhxusen, a cat called Orpo is lying on top of the aquarium, resting the way only cats can.
A mantra is, of course, a mystic formula handed down to a disciple from a guru, for the disciple to repeat and meditate on, and keep to himself. This thirteen-tone formula is the mantra. Each note determines a large portion stokchausen the work.
Each part of the mantra is reflecting itself, mirror-like, upside down, stretched, compressed, twisted. The fast event before the end of the piece which triggered my vision above with the wintry scene of moving people seen through an aquarium in Helsinki is a compression of the whole work into a short duration, where all the expansions and transpositions are collected and displayed very fast in four layers.
Stockhausen: Mantra CD review – virtuosity and immediacy
The first pianist presents the upper thirteen pitches of the mantra in succession, and the second pianist the lower thirteen pitches, the mantra-mirror. Depending on the intervallic distance of the other mantra pitches from the mirror pitch of the ring modulation, the modulated notes sound more or less dissonant, and have spectra unlike the piano minor seconds, minor ninths and major sevenths produce the most stokhausen modulator sounds, octaves and fifths the ,antra consonant.
Hence one perceives a continual respiration from consonant to dissonant to consonant modulator sounds, resulting from the precisely tuned relationships between the modulating sine tones and the modulated piano notes. He composed in his hotel room for three hours each morning, before heading for the German pavilion of the World Fair EXPO 70 and the spherical auditorium where he performed stockausen music.
I had the idea of one single musical figure or formula that would be expanded over a very long period of time, and by that I mean fifty or sixty minutes. Zeccola Only the words of the Professor are reprinted here: For five months I mntra carefully to all works I had composed so far. I became very tired of stockhauusen so-called Alea. Randomness had become more important than the work as such.
After that I have developed this idea much further. It amazes me to ponder the fact that a microscopic element, an incorporeal sperm, is able to fertilize another human being, to generate a new complex sfockhausen who contains a plentiful genetic inheritance.
This mystery is also valid for the musical genetics.
STOCKHAUSEN Mantra |
The formula in the compositional act is a sum of different elements; mental, trans-mental, psychological, intelligent, intuitive, rational, irrational and so forth.
A formula is a very small musical structure, a kind of musical seed, which like a DNA is programmed with different and varied musical elements, from the raga and the tala to the themes of the fugues and the sonatas, from the musical cells of the impressionism to the serial series, from micro-tonality to electroacoustics. The formula, therefore, is an integration of all these elements, constituting a cultural inheritance, prepared and produced by cultures, divergent between themselves, since the dawn of time.
He had spent a few years with his intuitive music, where the concentration was focused a lot on the creative process of the ensemble. In formula composition Stockhausen found a way to let a musical miniature provide the framework, allowing for different ways of realizing the music. Stockhausen in the CD booklet: Werner Neumeister A thing that at first was a mystery to me concerned the sounds that do not appear to stem from the pianos.