The death yesterday of GyÃ¶rgy 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 concrÃ¨te 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.