The Washington Post

Link: In Cologne, Stockhausen’s “Sonntag” finally gets a hearing.

An extra from Germany: In Sunday’s Washington Post, Seth Colter Walls offers an excellent appraisal of the belated and posthumous premiere of “Sonntag” (Sunday) from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s seven-part opera cycle “Licht,” at the opera house in Cologne. Stockhausen, once arguably the leading figure in 20th-century postwar composition, had gotten more and more eccentric, and less and less widely acclaimed, even before his comments on the attacks of 9-11 effectively made him persona non grata in the United States; indeed, his statement that the attacks were a great work of art effectively catapulted him back into a spotlight he had been away from for a long, long time.

The world premiere of “Sonntag,” three years after the composer’s death, also got headlines, at least in Germany; those who read the language can see other opinions in Die Zeit; Tagespiegel; Neue Zuercher Zeitung. It’s not something you’re likely to see at an opera house Stateside any time soon - it’s six hours long and narratively static, just for starters - but the presenters obligingly posted a few snippets on YouTube:

What are your thoughts on Stockhausen’s music, and his decline from mainstream fame to outsider status? Has anyone seen any other parts of the “Licht” cycle?


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