Stockhausen Mantra

Mark KnoopRoderick Chadwick and Newton Armstrong have recorded a new excellent album with Stockhausen Mantra.

Mantra is a piece for two pianos and Electronics written in 1070 by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It is a highly structured piece that is based on a thirteen note theme, the “mantra”. Each note is assigned characteristic (like periodic repetition at the beginning), duration and dynamic. Stockhausen then make 13 parts, one for each note. Resulting in a piece that is about 70 minutes long.

For the electronics Stockhausen had a device built, “Module 69 B”, that picked up the sound of the piano and transformed it. The central transformation performed is a ring modulation with the pitch from note for the currently playing part.

One of the parts in a series of lectures that Stockhausen performed in England 1973 is about Mantra. They can be seen on youtube as part1, part2 and part3.


Mirare on Spotify

A while ago the French label Mirare got available on Spotify with their full catalog. This is particularly great if you like baroque music. You can search for Mirare recordings with label:”Mirare”.

The most notable recording now available is probably the French harpsichordist Pierre Hantaï’s excellent recording of Bach Goldberg variations.

Also the Chinese pianist Zhu Xiau-Mei’s recording of Goldberg variations is available.

My personal favorite is probably the Belgian baroque ensemble Ricercar Consort recording of Pergolesi’s Stabat Mater.

Contemporary classical

Contemporary classical is a spotify playlist that contains beautiful and powerful contemporary classical pieces. It is mostly music composed after 1945. It is meant as a complement to the Avant-garde classics playlist and features music by, among others, Terry Riley, John Adams, John Tavener and Alfred Schnittke. Please follow it if you like it. My spotify profile can be found here.

Avant-garde classics

Avant-garde classics is my first playlist that is published in the browse section in the spotify client. It covers avant-garde classical music, mostly composed after 1945. It features works from Xenakis, Stockhausen, Ligeti and Edgard Varèse among others. Please follow it if you like it. My spotify profile can be found here.