pwhodges wrote:Last night I went to the Queen Elizabeth Hall for a concert.
First up - Stockhausen's Gesang der Jünglinge. This was one of the first records I had, in 1962 or so (a present from my older brother); last night was the first time I've heard it in the intended surround form in a hall, and it was, as expected, a revelation. (Well, not quite the intended form, as the original tapes were lost, so it can only be played in a reconstituted four-track form, without the original overhead track.)
Then - Stockhausen's Kontakte, in the version with piano and percussion. My son Nic played the piano (and some of the percussion), as he did when I heard it a few years ago in the Albert Hall at a Prom. It's a much longer piece, and I don't think it wears its length very well; I prefer Gesang.
Then we had dinner with my son (we skipped Boulez's Le marteau sans maître - naughty; but there you go).
Anecdote: Before Stockenhausen died, the BBC organised a festival of concerts of his music, and booked my son to play some of the piano pieces. Stockhausen demanded that his wife play them instead - but the BBC stood their ground and said they had a contract with Nic, and so would use him. In the end, they split the pieces between the pianists (and Nic got the more prominent billing - and his full agreed fee), and Stockhausen was actually somewhat complimentary about his performances. Nic's played some of the pieces elsewhere, and I have my own recording of a couple he did at one Cheltenham Festival.
Further anecdote: In 1969 I was working at the BBC, and was operating the tape machines for the rehearsals and performance of Treffpunkt from Stockhausen's Aus den sieben Tagen. Parts of the BBC SO were placed around the BBC's Maida Vale studio, and asked to improvise to the guidance of a text that Stockhausen read to them first. Each group had some microphones, and in between the groups were speakers. Stockhausen sat in the middle with a mixer desk which enabled him to take the miked sound from each part of the orchestra and direct it to any of the speakers, or any combination, to guide or disrupt other groups of performers. Each part of the orchestra had another mixer desk at which an acolyte determined the combination of the microphones that was sent to Stockhausen's mixer. The live broadcast performance took place in darkness, and lasted about 20 minutes (in final rehearsal, it had been 30 minutes, and with more form). I met Stockhausen during these events.
Amazing you were there to witness it, although little appreciated at the time.