Stockhausen HYMNEN

Notes to the text

1) David Martinelli

2) From a text by the composer written for the 1968 Vox recording of KONTAKTE (TEXTE III, p. 29; English in the booklet to CD 6, p.157):

"As already in GESANG der JÜNGLINGE, also in KONTAKTE known sound events are connected with unknown ones; sound events for which we have names with those we cannot name. [] The familiar sounds give the orientation, the perspectives of the listening; they function as traffic signs in the unlimited space of the newly discovered electronic world. Also the electronic sounds sometimes come very close to the familiar sounds. . . ."

3) See also Nicholas F. Hopkins, "Hymnen: Tractatus Musica Unita," Feedback Papers 37, Feedback Studio Verlag, 1991, p. 14

4) The Ethiopian fragment (score at 1'55", CD track 1 at 2'02") is notated in A-flat major in the score, but sounds only just slightly flat of A. This anthem was replaced after the revolution of 1974. Dahomey is today called Benin, but the anthem (score at 1'58.2", CD track 1 at 2'05"), here in F major, has not changed.

5) Other identifiable anthems (thanks to Jerome Kohl for help with the identification) in this first segment of HYMNEN are:

Afghanistan (different from the current one), score at 26.5", CD track 1 at 0'33"
Colombia, score at 35.5", CD track 1 at 0'43"
Albania, at 47" but not notated in the score, CD track 1 at 0'54"
"Heil dir im Siegerkranz" (the pre-1918 German anthem), at 1'03" but not notated in the score, CD track 1 at 1'10".
Since this is an instrumental arrangement and this anthem shares the same melody with the anthems of Great Britain and Liechtenstein, as well as the pre-1961 Swiss anthem, the identification depends on the sketches for the opening of HYMNEN, transcribed by Richard Toop in "Stockhausen's Electronic Works: Sketches and Work-Sheets from 19521967", Interface 10 (1981):14997. (Toop has misread Stockhausen's handwriting here as "Heil dir im Ligakreuz".)
Argentina, score at 1'13", interrupted by two electronic chords, but continuing from 1'24.5", CD track 1 at 1'20" and 1'31"
Denmark (anthem "Kong Kristian"), score at 1'39", CD track 1 at 1'46"
Egypt, score at 2'39", CD track 1 at 2'47"
Belgium, score at 3'14.5, CD track 1 at 3'21"
Finland, score at 3'18.5", CD track 1 at 3'25". It is briefly interrupted by a short-wave musical event score at 3'20.5", CD track 1 at 3'28" and continues (not notated in the score) at 3'31" on the CD for another five notes
France, from 4'44" to 4'50" (just after the croupier's first announcement), not notated in the score, CD track 2 from 12" to 18"
Cambodia, at 5'14.5", not notated in the score, CD track 2 from 40" to 42"
Gambia, score at 5'40.5", CD track 2 at 1'08"
Chile, score at 5'46.5", CD track 2 at 1'15"
Communist China (two versions), score from 6'29.6" to 6'51", CD track 3 from 0'33" to 0'55"
Canada, score at 7'22", CD track 3 at 1'25"
Ghana, score at 7'32.5", CD track 3 at 1'36"

The sketch data in Toop's article locates another 12 anthems, but aural identification is not secure because they are either too brief, too confused through simultaneous presentation, or are covered by other sounds (the Greek anthem, for instance, is inaudible behind the opening salvos of the Internationale at the First Centre).

6) For that catalog, see:

Winsor & Newton Artists' Water Colors

7) "Stockhausen at 70, Through the looking glass", Musical Times 139, (number 1863) (1998), also here.

8) Jonathan Harvey, The Music of Karlheinz Stockhausen (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1975), pp. 1029, also found on the web.

9) Nicholas F. Hopkins, "Hymnen: Tractatus Musica Unita", Feedback Papers 37, Feedback Studio Verlag, 1991, p. 8.

10) Christoph von Blumröder, "Die Vokalkomposition als Schaffenskonstante", in Internationales Stockhausen-Symposion 1998. Musikwissenschaftliches Institut der Universität Köln, 11. bis 14. November 1998. Tagungsbericht, dited by Imke Misch and Christoph von Blumröder (Saarbrücken: Pfau-Verlag, 1999), pp. 18897. The quotation is on p. 192 (original in German; English translation by the author of this essay).

11) Cf. Johannes Fritsch, "Hauptwerk Hymnen," Feedback Papers 16, Feedback Studio Verlag, 1978.

12) This was done using a Springer machine with six rotating heads, see section "Introduction".

13) "Maka" is an abbreviated combination of Mary (Bauermeister) and Karlheinz (Stockhausen). Mary Bauermeister is the woman Stockhausen was in love with at the time and whom he later would marry. The word "Maka" is also used in MOMENTE, a score dedicated to Mary Bauermeister.

14) Listen to the sound result from the slowing down in its initial stages. Later, the slowing down there fades out; the plunge in pitch is intercepted by a gradual fading in of the same 'silvery rattle' at a somewhat lower pitch than at the starting point of the slowing down. However, this later cross-fade event does not influence the initial changes in sound that result from slowing down.