Stockhausen Masterworks

The death yesterday of György Ligeti has put me in mind of other aging masters of modern music. While trying (fruitlessly) to track down a copy of the Ecstatic Peace release of Kontakte, I learned that one can still obtain a wealth of rare primary recordings of the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen.

Stockhausen-Verlag, accessible via the official Stockhausen web site, offers an extensive catalog of CDs, many in dual-disc editions and a number with lengthy accompanying books (in both German and English) in which Stockhausen discusses the works. It’s a rather overwhelming list, which is why I’m glad a little further Google trolling uncovered Ingvar Loco Nodrin’s amazing collection of illustrated reviews of dang near every CD set offered. (I should also mention that Stockhausen-Verlag also offers rare videos, scores, books, and limited edition music boxes.)

Editions that caught my eye included early concrète works (including one of his very first, long thought lost until Herr Stockhausen found the tape buried in his metaphoric closet), an original all-electronic recording of Kontakte (as well as the original recording of the electroacoustic arrangement), and original recordings of Mikrophonie I and II.

Prices are slightly steep but not outrageous, generally in the US$30 range. Pay attention to the ordering details: international money orders drawn on a German bank are preferred, but they are happy to accept personal checks in US currency with the addition of US$15 to cover their bank fees.

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