Karlheinz Stockhausen: Michaels Reise um die Erde (Donnerstag aus Licht, II)





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Uploaded on Oct 22, 2011

Marco Blaauw, trumpet
Recorded in Cologne

In the second act of "Donnerstag aus Licht", Michael undertakes a journey around the world in what is essentially a trumpet concerto with orchestra, performed in a huge rotating globe set against a starry firmament. There are seven "stations" along the way, at each of which the music takes on colour from the locale: Germany, New York, Japan, Bali, India, Central Africa, and Jerusalem. Michael's formula gradually evolves from a simple beginning form to increasingly florid extravagance, finally shattering into incoherent fragments in stations 5 and 6. When he reaches Central Africa, Michael hears a distant basset horn, and orders the globe to stop turning. Michael commands the earth to rotate in reverse as the seventh station, Jerusalem, is reached, and he begins a new process of rehabilitation in a therapeutic conversation with a double-bass player. Mondeva appears, and they perform a duet in which their melodic formulas merge and intertwine until each plays the other's formula. Two clownish clarinet players, costumed as a pair of swallows, mock and—together with the orchestral low brass, an emblem of Lucifer—"crucify" him, after which the act ends with a musical "ascension" in which the sounds of the trumpet and basset horn circle around until they are united in a trill.

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