|The giant tam tam from MOMENTE, which was later used to generate sounds for MIKROPHONIE I.|
for soprano soloist, 4 mixed choirs (with soloists) and 13 instrumentalists (4 tpt., 4 tbn., 2 el. organs or synth., perc. w tam-tam)
1962-1964, 1969 [1 hr. 53 min.]
(Also published as "MOMENTE Europe Version 1972")
The 1st part of my analysis of MOMENTE looked at why and how this gargantuan work was created, concentrating on its "polyvalent moment form" and how Stockhausen formulated the elements for creating independent and unique Moments (sections). This 2nd part looks at the musical contents of the Moments themselves, specifically in the Europe 1972 version. Because the idea of moment form means that the Moment sections can be arranged in different sequences, Stockhausen published his own "pre-arranged" version of MOMENTE as the "Europe 1972 version". This was eventually also done for other moment form works such as in MIKROPHONIE I's "Brussel's Version" and STIMMUNG's "Paris Version".
This part will also take a brief look at some of the many aleatoric notation techniques Stockhausen used to create statistical trends (swarm and point shapes) in free-rhythm parts. At the end is a staging diagram and an overview of the recordings and scores.
Narrative of the Moments
As described in Part 1, MOMENTE is a mobile-like score, whose parts ("Moments") can be exchanged in place. Once a conductor settles on a sequence, he/she then adds "Inserts" to each Moment section, which are quoted excerpts from surrounding Moment sections. Once all this is done, a "version" exists. Stockhausen's "Europe 1972" version (performed in Bonn, Germany) is on Stockhausen Edition CD 7, and is also represented by a published "pre-assembled" score (in 2 editions). The Europe 1972 version has this sequence of Moment groups:
- İ(k) Moment
- D Moments ("Duration")
- İ(d) ("Organ Moment")
- K Moments ("Klang - Sound")
- İ(m) ("Clapping Moment", 2x: backwards and then forwards)
- M Moments ("Melody")
- İ ("Prayer Moment")
In the table below I briefly highlight what I think are the main elements from each Moment and Insert (it's possible that my descriptions may differ from what the Moment "title" might predict, but I think in general they match up). The timings below are based on the Stockhausen Edition CD 7 recording. Whenever "hand perc." is mentioned, that refers to the homemade percussion instruments played by the choir described in the previous MOMENTE post. Usually these auxiliary percussion Moments are also supplemented with clapping or tongue-clicks, etc... When "points" are mentioned, this usually means sparse or dense isolated notes from different players without any sense of apparent ensemble phrasing.
This Moment was not completed until the late 1960's, and has a somewhat different feel than the previously-completed Moments. However as an "introductory" Moment, it has a very effective ritualistic aspect: the Soprano soloist, organs and percussionists set the scene with a primal, rhythmic fanfare, and the choir groups and brass are at first heard only from outside the hall. The Soprano invites the choir/brass groups in, and then the "drama" begins... Much of the text from this very long Moment comes from a sensual, poetic letter written by Mary Bauermeister, Stockhausen's second wife, accompanied by some aleatoric choir fragments from the "Song of Solomon".
Totaling about 14 minutes, these Moments concentrate on female choir and organ as polyphonic layers (or as syncopated "points"). Most rests are "filled" by breathy background vocals (including some unique "rolled r" whistling starting in the DK(k) Moment). Other notable elements include scraped tam tam (in D(k) and DK(d)) and surprisingly-frequent periodic rhythms (in DK(m), D(k), DK(d), D, and DM), both motivated by the secondary Moment type, "K". The Soprano soloist is featured more towards the end in this group (starting from the DM(k) insert in the D Moment). In general, the D Moments emphasize more K and M material than I would have expected... Since some Moments are subdivided into sections as short as 1 to 6 seconds, the descriptions in the table below may sometimes be difficult (or even distracting) to use while listening - however they may be useful to illuminate certain trends...
|2||DKM||0:00-0:20||Elements of all 3 Moment types are present either as layers or as subsections, but the Moment itself is relatively quiet or slow: Rhythmic percussion, organ chords changing timbres, layered/polyphonic sliding brass points, isolated/heterophonic phrases from soloists, breathy/whispered choir using hand percussion...|
|3||DK(m)||0:00-0:05||Brief alto figure|
|D (d->m)||0:05-0:11||Brief heterophonic female choir and brass with organ chord|
|0:11-0:28||Female choir starts polyphonic with rhythmic organ, pauses and becomes heterophonic|
|D(k)||0:28-0:38||Quiet choir with hand percussion with syncopated soprano, organ and percussion|
|0:38-0:49||Choir rhythmic accents, organ chords and trills, brass in points/accents|
|4||D(d->m)||0:00-0:01||Breath and trumpet tone|
|DKM||0:01-0:04||Hand perc., female voice figure, brass sliding points, organ chords, rhythmic perc hits|
|0:04-0:14||Breathy males, brief soprano and trumpet phrase joined by organ and female choir|
|D(k)||0:14-0:16||Hand perc., polyrhythmic choir|
|0:15-0:23||Soprano figure supported by female choir and organ harmony|
|DK(m)||0:23-0:28||Held soprano (actually slow falling gliss) with organ chords and polyrhythmic hand perc. and brass|
|0:28-0:33||Organ chords and held brass with final female syllable|
|5||D(k)||0:00-0:06||Choir figure joined by percussion accents|
|DK(m)||0:06-0:12||Choir rhythmic accents, organ chords, trombone points/phrase|
|0:12-0:30||Syncopated choir (mostly whispery), tam-tam scrape, hand perc. accents, organ chords|
|D(d->m)||0:30-0:37||Brief soprano and trumpet phrase joined by organ|
|0:37-0:50||Syncopated choir (mostly whispery), tam-tam scrape, hand perc. accents, organ chords, with whispered choir solo in middle|
|D(d->m)||0:50-0:59||Choir swell with trumpet and organ chord|
|0:59-1:21||Rhythmic choir with some rhythmic hand perc. in the beginning|
|DKM||1:21-1:31||Hand perc, female voice figure, brass sliding points, organ chords, polyphonic choir|
|1:31-1:40||Syncopated breathy syllables|
|6||DK(d)||0:00-0:09||1st soprano solo over held harmonies|
|D(k)||0:09-0:13||Hand perc., choral figure, syncopated organ/perc.|
|0:13-1:12||Rhythmic breathing with intermittent held tones, organ and percussion|
|0:00-0:31||Blocks of scraped perc/organ cluster glissandi, vocal solos, rhythmic breathing, choir accents|
|8||DK||0:00-0:30||Altos and Basses have a syncopated duet, accompanied by choir hand perc., claps, tongue-clicks, organ chords with perc. accents|
|9||DK(k)||0:00-0:10||Male choir low whistles (rolled r's) and breathing with organ accents, a bass and an alto note|
|D||0:10-0:24||Alto, tenor and soprano solo dialogue with brass and organ points and quiet held choir breathing/whistling|
|0:24-1:23||Choir whistling/breathing, middle section organ accents with Bass and Alto soloists duet|
|0:00-0:11||Blocks of organ/percussion accents, choir whistling/breathing, reprise of Bass/Alto soloists duet|
|11||D||0:00-0:39||Brass ensemble chords become dialogue, organ chords become polyphonic, vocals somewhat breathy with heterophonic figures surfacing|
|DK(k)||0:39-1:23||Male choir low whistles (rolled r's) and breathing with organ accents, a bass and an alto note|
|1:23-1:48||Breathy soprano choir, organ harmony with brass points, with syncopated choir and soprano at end|
|DM(k)||1:48-2:02||3 Bari/Sopr/Tpt/organ figures, accompanied by held, trilled and irregular choir ("Libanon!")|
|2:02-3:55||Even brass rhythm with a brief choir figure becomes vocal/organ points with brass chords, then ensemble accents. After a brief trombone/organ swell, a rest and a choir figure ("seine", 2:55), brass becomes syncopated points with vocal dialogue, followed by a return to rhythmic brass (3:20) and then a choir solo (melody figure/breathy rhythmic syllables)|
|12||DM(k)||0:00-0:29||Soprano speech song accompanied by alternating blocks of points, choir figures and silences|
|D||0:29-0:39||Syncopated choir, male choir harmony, brass as points and then accents|
|0:39-0:58||Soprano speech song becoming melodic, accompanied by alternating textures, ending in whispered phrases|
|13||D(m)||0:00-0:51||Modulating soprano tone with brass/organ figures alternating with quiet rhythmic breathing, at the same time brief female choir and solo figures surface|
|DM||0:51-0:57||Polyphonic female voice, organ and trumpet|
|0:57-1:12||Trombones enter in harmony with male breathing,trumpets and organ|
|14||DM||0:00-0:54||Trumpet/organ polyphony is interrupted by female breathing and then a melody phrase. At 0:37 trumpets begin slow trill, ending on a falling female choir breath|
İ(d) (Organ Moment)
This Moment is dominated by sustained organ chords, with their registration modulations represented in the score by graphic shapes. Pitch-wise, the chord clusters very slowly fall and then rise again, but the main thing of interest is the organ mixtures, which are frequently interrupted by point-like ornaments from both the voices and organ.
|0:00-1:29||(Falling female choir breath, followed by…) Slow, falling organ clusters with varying register envelopes (brighter to full to darker, etc…), with a few isolated outbursts from ensemble soloists|
|DM||1:29-1:46||Gasping vocals over the organ texture|
|1:46-3:15||1:46: Graphically-notated vocal "points"appear
2:22 - Vocal points end, organ clusters remain steady, some dynamic/registral spikes occur in the organ texture. Organs build to a climax...
|KM||3:15-4:14||Vocal outbursts/claps supported by active percussion and brass chords, with held organ underneath (kind of "gothic"). Basses use audience reaction quotes from previous Stockhausen concerts ("Bravo!", "No!", "Ohhh", etc…) (see score sample below)|
|4:14-6:14||Organ clusters briefly abate, before resuming with a slow decrescendo. The chord cluster gradually rises with modulating registers and with a couple of interludes of aleatoric/graphically-notated vocal points (see score sample below)|
This 11-minute Moment group is dominated by shouting male voices and percussive sounds, and is generally very "alpha". Rhythms are often bold and exclamatory. A "wailing" motif from the Soprano dominates the KM(d) Moment(s) and is picked up by the organ. The root K Moment features explosive blows on the tam-tam, eventually leading to a "drum solo" on the kidney drum (picture below). KD has some wonderful organ and percussion rhythmic phrases, eventually leading to more subtle "colored silences" in K(d).
|16||KM||0:00-1:03||Soprano and male soloists sing
melodic points supported by active percussion and choir tambourine.
0:10: A percussive tremolo (tambourine w/o jingles) leads into a high soprano phrase with a tremolo tail.
0:23: Voice/brass points return but soon end, leaving only whispered bass and a soprano solo.
|17||K(m)||0:00-1:37||Tenors sing rhythmic accents and phrases supported by knee slaps and feet-stamping in separated blocks (sometimes with high metal percussion). 2 interludes of irregular vocal outbursts ("Bravo!", "No!", "Yes!", etc...) occur at 0:35 and 1:01. Ends on tenor falling notes, with staggered endings.|
|0:00-0:24||KM(d) Part 1: 4 hissing/hand-rubbing events, followed by sung and whistled entries of the Soprano, Tenors and Basses. A held Soprano line dominates through the next few sections. Entry of trombone and organs signal the arrival of the K Insert (below).|
|0:24-0:59||An ensemble percussion accent
(with footstamps) signals a brief ensemble drone section
From 0:30 to 0:53, 4 hand-clapping/hand-rubbing events occur which is KM(d) as an Insert inside the K Insert.
|Pg 2||0:59-1:16||KM(d) Part 2: perc. accents and a soprano "du" lead to a brass harmony phrase and choir drone|
|K(m)||1:16-1:27||KM(d) Part 3: held soprano notes
and organ drone (wailing)
K(m) Insert: Tenors sing rhythmic accents supported by knee slaps and foot-stamping
|0:00-1:08||All 3 previous KM(d) sections layered at once (held drones/wails, handclaps, brass harmony phrases and a brief soprano solo)|
|20||K||0:00-2:28||3 tam-tam-led percussion
attacks, soon joined with male chanting, followed by a quiet percussion
A 4th percussion attack (with tremolo roll on kidney drum) is interrupted by a very brief KM(d) Insert (soprano/organ/brass drone), leading into male chanting and then a kidney drum solo (pitched tremolo).
|21||KD||0:00-0:25||A soft male/female choir chord becomes separated accents (with fingersnaps), followed by a whispered falling gliss|
|K||0:25-0:31||Male chanting and kidney drum|
|0:31-0:39||A brief organ/choir melody phrase leads to blocks of hand and body percussion, ending with the melody phrase repeated on organ only|
|K(d)||0:39-0:55||Held ensemble chord with metal percussion rolls, becoming feet shuffling, clicks, etc..|
|0:00-0:14||Choir/brass accents, then the KD melody phrase on alto/bass, becoming blocks of hand and body percussion, ending with the melody again on organ alone|
|23||K(d)||0:00-0:25||Loud brass accent followed by quiet percussion with 2 short phrase interruptions from male voice/brass|
|KD(m)||0:25-0:38||Whispery vocals with rhythmic organ phrases and layers of percussion in 3 tempo schemes, ending with a brass/voice drone|
|0:38-1:27||Quiet percussion (including rubbing on tam tam) and whispering, interrupted by 2 male vocal events|
|24||KD(m)||0:00-0:50||Bass, organ and percussion hold
a chord, which becomes a rhythmic organ/percussion interlude (with quiet hand
perc. rubbing, guero, metal tubes, etc).
Eventually soprano solo enters with a cry (0:29) followed by entry of female choir, leading into melodic phrases supported by drone organ.
After a brief clapping moment, a brass outburst signals an ensemble rhythmic phrase (end of K Moments group).
İ(m) (Clapping Moment, 2x: forwards and backwards)
In the initial performances of MOMENTE, this "clapping" Moment was often played as the opening section. After the audience applauded the arrival of the conductor and ensemble, the choir members would start to applaud as well. By petering out and then starting new rounds of applause, a general sense of either unease or humor ensued (depending on the writer of the review).
In this version from 1972, the İ(m) Moment was used to end the first part of a concert, but played in reverse page order. After an intermission, the Clapping Moment would be played again in "forward" order, duplicating the "awkward" effect from the earlier performances. In any case, the graphically-notated speech-song of the Soprano soloist in dialogue with the tutti ensemble is a highlight of this Moment, in either playing order.
|Pg 4||0:00-1:23||Choir drone, then blocks of sound from 0:26 (clapping, whispering, instrumental points), at first short and isolated, becoming longer and more connected (soprano uses speech-song and laughter)|
|Pg 3||1:23-1:59||Blocks of clapping with swarms
of finger snaps and tongue clicks,
vocalists sing aleatoric syllables or whisper monodically (soprano soloist syllables become speech-song),
trumpets, trombones and percussion play aleatoric points
|1:59-3:00||Ensemble adds rhythmic unison accents, soon becoming blocks of sound (soprano sings in a different style for each block)|
|KD(m)||3:00-3:29||Slow rising/falling choir gliss over brass and organ drones|
|Pg 2||3:29-4:43||Ensemble resumes (choir syllables, soprano speech-song, blocks of clapping, etc..., aleatory brass/perc. points/trills, organ clusters).|
|4:43-5:42||Rhythmic unison accents again, soon entry of organ cluster accents (5:20), ending with a staggered trumpet swell|
|M 1||5:42-5:44||Female harmony drone (brief)|
|Pg 1||5:44-7:38||3 groups of applause, with a few shouts from the bass|
|Kidney drum, used to create percussion-based glissandi (from MOMENTE score)|
|Pg 1||0:10-0:47||3 groups of applause, with a few shouts from the bass|
|Pg 2||0:47-2:10||Blocks of clapping with swarms
of finger snaps and tongue clicks,
vocalists sing aleatoric syllables or whisper monodically (soprano syllables become speech-song),
trumpets, trombones and percussion play aleatoric points
|2:10-3:13||Ensemble adds rhythmic unison accents, soon soprano briefly replaced by organ cluster accents (2:52), ending with a staggered trumpet swell|
|MD||3:13-3:27||Soprano solo and soprano choir interlude|
|Pg 3||3:27-4:09||Ensemble resumes (choir syllables, soprano speech-song, blocks of clapping, etc..., aleatory brass/perc. points/trills, organ clusters).|
|4:09-5:13||Rhythmic union accents again, soon becoming blocks of sound (soprano sings in a different style for each block)|
|M||5:13-5:49||Slow changing harmonies led by melodic soprano solo|
|Pg 4||5:49-7:16||Choir drone, then blocks of sound (6:13), at first short and isolated, becoming longer and more connected (soprano uses speech-song and laughter)|
Totaling more than 25 minutes, this is the longest of the Moment groups (though still shorter than the massive, opening İ(k) Moment). This group strongly features the Soprano soloist (often singing fairly exotic speech-song) supported by heterophonic female choir and brass (the choir 1st Soprano also has a substantial role in M(d)). Many rhythms are notated as free, aleatoric distributions ("points"). Vocally, many different vocal styles are utilized by all of the soloists and choir members in various, often humorous, combinations. Near the end, the M(m) Moment features bravura passages by the Soprano soloist, framed by massive tutti chords.
|2||MD||0:00-0:23||3 isolated phrases dominated by soprano and brass , supported by sparse female choir and organ|
|İ(m)||0:23-0:59||Blocks of clapping and soprano speech-song, with brass drone in background|
|0:59-1:12||2 final isolated female vocal phrases (1st syllable with "hand over mouth" tremolo)|
|0:00-0:35||Repetition without the İ(m) insert (isolated soprano/brass phrases supported by sparse female choir/organ)|
|4||M(d)||0:00-0:27||Brass and organ rhythmic intro, followed by soprano soloists duet supported by female choir/organ phrase|
|MD(k)||0:27-0:36||Microtonal female choir/organ drone ending in rhythmic phrase|
|0:36-1:18||Polyphonic female voice and organ followed by 2 brief solo soprano phrases ("He who kisses…"). Female choir (polyphonic) rejoins, soprano solo continues.|
|0:00-1:16||Brass and organ rhythmic intro,
followed by aleatoric female calls and laughter.
At 0:19 rhythmic accents introduce a melodic female vocal layer (1st soprano) on top of the aleatory elements, eventually leading to a rhythmic, fading soprano/organ figure (even beats), ending on a loud fanfare
|MD(k)||1:16-1:22||Female choir phrase ending on high percussion attacks|
|1:22-2:15||Reverse of beginning section: choir soprano soloist vocal layer on top of aleatory female choir elements (laughter, chatter, etc…), soprano solo (actually an "incomprehensible story") ends at 1:43 and chatter begins fading out|
|6||MD(k)||0:00-0:11||Female voices and instruments enter independently (not aleatoric).|
|M(d)||0:11-0:20||Choir soprano soloist vocal layer on top of organ drone|
|0:20-0:24||Female voice harmony phrase|
|M(d)||0:24-0:39||Soprano solo and brass accents on top of alto choir drone|
|0:39-0:49||Dialogue between perc., organ, trumpets|
|M||0:49-1:00||Soprano solo supported by trumpet points, building to a climactic chord with organs|
|1:00-1:15||Polyphonic female voices|
|0:00-1:48||Repetition without the Inserts in a new sequence: subdued female vocal polyphony, with instrumental interlude at 0:32, female harmony phrase at 0:52, then a final instrumental outburst at 1:16, followed by quiet murmurs (actually syllabic material from İ(m))|
1 & 2
(Score indicates M beginning with quiet İ(m) murmurs continued from MD(k),
but the CD track M actually starts afterwards)Heterophonic melodic shapes from male and female choir groups, led by soprano, supported by brass points.
0:47 (page 2): Isolated soprano syllables surface out of a male choir and trumpet held flutter-tongue texture, with a solo soprano and whispered male voice interlude in the middle.
2:33: A soprano solo melody with leaping intervals is supported by quiet harmonies from choir, brass and percussion groups.
3:10: Organ adds in a thick harmony
3:46: Female choir replaces organ and trombones to make a somewhat "ethereal" ending.
Pg 2 cont.
|0:00-0:09||Tenor, brass, organ harmony|
|M(d)||0:09-0:39||Soprano soloist ("He who kisses…") layer on top of polyphonic female choir and organ drone|
|0:39-0:54||Slow female vocal harmony phrase with brass points|
|MD(k)||0:54-1:03||Brief organ and brass phrases enter|
|1:03-1:35||Solo soprano accompanied by male choir long tones, whispering, chanting, brass points ending in a brief polyphonic male vocal and percussion section.|
|M(k)||1:35-1:54||Soprano speech-song and bass soloists on top of a choir/brass/organ drone layer|
|MK||1:54-2:17||Hysterical, laughing soprano with shouting males over choir/brass/organ drone layer|
|Pg 3||2:17-3:12||Vocalists sing/murmur in syllabic points (from İ(m)) with some ensemble accents in the middle section (2:33-2:54), brass play long tones/glissandi in background|
|10||MK||0:00-0:45||Brass fanfare attack with male drone leads to polyphonic choir shouts/brass/percussion. Soprano uses various vocal techniques including laughing, hiccups, etc…|
|M(k)||0:45-0:55||Soprano recitation with hand claps/tongue-clicks, brass melodic points|
|M||0:55-1:08||Soprano melody over choir harmony phrase and high metal percussion rolls|
|1:08-1:33||Vocalists sing/shout/murmur in syllabic points and shapes, ending with a solo tenor voice note|
|11||M(k)||0:00-1:18||2 groups of soprano recitation
and male choir harmony, with hand claps/tongue-clicks.
From 0:28 to 0:52 a vocal/instr. drone with an instrumental rhythmic outburst in the middle occurs. Soon after, the male harmony returns, but at 1:07 a percussive attack becomes another rhythmic instrumental outburst.
|MK(d)||1:18-1:25||Slow brass phrase with high bells|
|1:25-1:40||2 groups of soprano recitation and male choir harmony, with hand percussion.|
|M||1:40-2:01||Soprano solo supported by male harmony vocals, hand percussion, vibraphone|
|MK(d)||2:02-2:09||Trumpet trills with slow trombone phrase with high bells|
|2:09-2:27||2 groups of soprano recitation and male choir harmony (with soloists)|
|0:00-1:34||Groups of soprano recitation and male choir harmony (with soloists), this time with additional organ support. A few solos by a male soloist appear (0:06, 0:30, 1:17, 1:28), as well as a couple instrumental rhythmic outbursts (0:16, 0:49). Tam-tam player sometimes shouts into tam-tam.|
|13||MK(d)||0:00-0:21||Sparse soprano syllables with brass phrases and high percussion.|
|M(k)||0:21-0:24||Instrumental rhythmic outburst|
|0:24-0:42||Sparse soprano syllables with brass phrases and high percussion.|
|14||M(m)||0:00-0:34||Choir, brass, percussion fanfare (w foot-stamping) with a solo soprano middle section at 0:14 (speech-song, with giggles, hiccups, whispers, fingersnaps, etc..."abrupt changing temperament")|
|MK(d)||0:34-0:39||Choir/brass drone with a few points|
|0:39-3:02||Fanfare returns, followed by a
2nd soprano solo with various vocal techniques and a few metal percussion
accents (0:46). This solo uses the
text "a cluster of henna in the vineyards of
Engedi", sung in German, and hidden by the vocal noises.
1:53: Ensemble fanfare returns and repeats with added choir and percussion, ending in a final soprano and female choir harmony.
İ (Prayer Moment)
This Moment always ends a performance of MOMENTE, no matter the previous ordering or how many of the total Moments were performed. Even beyond the addition of Inserts, this Moment seems to have elements from many of the previous Moments, almost as a "revue" of highlights of the most dramatic preceding Moments. Some of the main textures include "babbling" voices and massive brass block chords. It ends in soft choral accents.
Stockhausen used several notation techniques to create "statistical bandwidth" textures (especially regarding rhythm). In other words, text or pitches (sometimes ordered and sometimes not) were given, and the performer could play/sing these at anytime within a given time period. Since these elements are "free", a "points" or "swarm" effect occurs, since the players are not supposed to play in rhythmic unison. When a text is used, singers may memorize the same text but begin on different syllables, creating a loose canon-like effect (for example in the shouted syllables of İ(m)). Other times, a given text must be recited within a specified time limit. Often graphic notation is used where pitches and rhythms are expressed in proportions of vertical and horizontal spacing, respectively. For the percussion, squiggly lines often simply indicate "drawing" on the surface of a drum head (or tam-tam) with a stick or screwdriver.
|This excerpt from part of the İ(d) "Organ Moment" shows a variety of aleatoric notation methods (semi-conducted) on a single page.|
The large black shape at the lower part is the organ registration.
(from MOMENTE score)
Each of the 4 choir groups has a corresponding trumpet/trombone pair. The 3 percussionists are situated between the 4 brass pairs. The soprano soloist is in the center and the 2 electric organs are near the front, closest to the conductor.
|Stage set up (colors added for easier reading):|
4 BRASS GROUPS
3 PERCUSSION GROUPS
CHOIR GROUPS I-IV
5 CHOIR SOLOISTS (diamonds in Choirs II, III, IV)
|(rehearsal, WDR Cologne with Stockhausen conducting, 1962, from score)|
An all-too-brief excerpt from a recent 2014 performance of MOMENTE (Julia Bauer with Ensemble Intercontemporain conducted by Peter Eötvös):
There are 3 official recordings of MOMENTE available.
The 1st recording (originally available on WERGO and NONESUCH lps, but now available on Stockhausen Edition CD 7C) is of the 1965 Donaueschinger Musiktage performance with Martina Arroyo as the soprano soloist and Aloys and Alfons Kontarsky as the electric organ players, supported by the WDR choir and orchestra, and conducted by Stockhausen. This is only about an hour long, since the D Moments had not yet been completed at this time, and includes 23 out of 71 total possible Inserts. The order is as follows, with approximate timings for Stockhausen Edition CD 7C:
- İ(m) (clapping)
- M Moments (starting from M(m) with an M(k) Insert)
- İ(d) (organ)
- K Moments (starting from KD(m) with a K(d) Insert)
- İ (prayer)
The 2nd recording (also available on Stockhausen Edition CD 7A/7B) is of the 1972 Bonn performance with Gloria Davy as the soprano, Harald Bojé and Roger Smalley as the organists, supported by the WDR choir and the ensemble Musique Vivante, and conducted by Stockhausen. This "complete" version (the "Europe 1972" version), includes the newly-completed İ(k) and D Moments as well as 49 out of the 71 total possible Inserts. Stockhausen Edition CD 7 is a superb package since it includes both the 1965 and 1972 recordings on 3 CDs (as of 2010, at least) as well as a thick color CD booklet and a separate libretto book.
- İ(k) (fanfare)
- D Moments
- İ(d) (organ)
- K Moments (starting from KM, reverse of the 1965 version)
- İ(m) (clapping, 2x: forwards and backwards)
- M Moments (starting from MD, reverse of the 1965 version)
- İ (prayer)
The 3rd recording (available on Stockhausen Edition CD 80) is from 1998 in Cologne, and features Angela Tunstall as the soprano, Antonio Pérez Abellán and Massimiliano Viel on synthesizers, the WDR choir and the ensemble MusikFabrik, conducted by Rupert Huber. The order of the Moments in this performance exchanges the İ(m) and the İ(k) Moments from the 1972 recording, and the choices of Inserts are sometimes different as well, but is otherwise the same. This uses more modern recording techniques than the recordings on CD7, and the mix accentuates different elements at times.
- İ(m) (clapping)
- D Moments
- İ(d) (organ)
- K Moments
- İ(k) (fanfare)
- M Moments
- İ (prayer)
The score to MOMENTE is available in a few different versions. Up until relatively recently, only a so-called "reduced size" edition (but still requiring 2 music stands!) of the 1972 Europe version's "assembled" score (ie - the Moments and Inserts are printed in the sequence following the 1972 recording) has been available as 6 separate volumes: the İ(k) Moment, the D Moments with İ(d), the K Moments, the M Moments, the İ(m) Moment, and the İ Prayer Moment. More recently, the full score has been released in two massive deluxe editions: the full "unassembled" score (from which one can make their own "version" from 70 poster-sized pages of 30 Moments and 29 pages of 71 Insert), and the 89 page 1972 Europe version which, like the previous 6 volume set, follows the recording on Stockhausen Edition CD 7.
MOMENTE had a kind of jarring impact for me when I first heard it, probably since it was the 1965 Donauechinger version on the Nonesuch lp which I heard. That version begins with the İ(m) "clapping" Moment, and immediately brings on a sense of confusion, especially since most of the vocals are aleatoric or in speech-song. The described M Moments don't actually start for several minutes, and when they do it's not the easiest thing to detect on the first few listens. However, the 1972 Europe version starts with the wonderfully evocative and exciting İ(k) Moment, and that one drew me in immediately.
From a listener standpoint, the "mobile form" of the work is probably not that important, aside from the fact that different versions can be experienced. More interesting is how Stockhausen mixes the vocal and instrumental forces to create a sequence of thematic "miniatures", which is how one could see each of these Moments. Each Moment is like a small microcosm of sound, and the title of the Moment is like a code or puzzle which the listener can use (if he or she wishes) to figure out how the musical forces are layered, juxtaposed or blended.
Aside from these structural elements, MOMENTE comes across as a kind of fantasy with a lead heroine (the soprano, naturally) navigating through a dense landscape of choral polyphony and strange textural noises. Since most of the Moments have Inserts, there are often abrupt twists and turns, and it's fascinating to hear the soprano soloist switch back and forth between German speech-song and English coloratura singing (for example). The brass and organ elements provide additional commentary as allies or obstacles to the journey of the soprano soloist. The İ Moments have their own personality and are very strong works in their own right. The regal İ(k) "fanfare" Moment and the heavy, foreboding İ(d) Organ Moment both stand out for me as being truly evocative highlights. MOMENTE is a long and very rich work, and the incredible craftsmanship of each Moment gives the intrepid listener quite alot to chew on.
Sound Samples, Track listings and CD ordering
- CD 7: 1965 Recording with Martina Arroyo & 1972 Recording with Gloria Davy (Europe Version)
- CD 80: 1998 Recording with Angela Tunstall
Stockhausen: "Ein Schlüssel für MOMENTE" ("A Key to MOMENTE"): Collection of color sketches
MOMENTE Score Preface
The British Lectures: "Moment-Forming and Integration: Momente" (YouTube clip)
MOMENTE (DVD, documentary by Gérard Patris, 1965)
- English translation of DVD dialogue (PDF)
"Momente - Material for the Listener and Composer" (Roger Smalley, Musical Times)
"Preparing Stockhausen's Momente" (Brock MC Elheran, PoNM 4.1)
"Compositional techniques in the music of Stockhausen" (1951-1970) (Kelsall, 1975)
"Four Recent Books on Stockhausen" (Jerome Kohl, PoNM 37)
Program for 2014 MOMENTE Performance (French)
Albrecht Moritz Review
Stockhausen on Music (Lecture transcription compiled by Robin Maconie)
Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen (Maconie)