Last edited by aleazk; Aug-16-2012 at 05:01.
I was just looking at the Birmingham première of Mittwoch, and it seems, sadly, that only the Helicopter String Quartet will be broadcast/streamed online. It is almost as disappointing as when much of Messiaen's music, including St. François d'Assise, was not broadcast on television during the 2008 Proms, which had a secondary function as a celebration of both his and Carter's centenary.
If you think that a string quartet in a helicopter doesn't question traditional aesthetic, we have very different notions of what traditional aesthetic in music means (at the time when the piece was conceived). Of course, today you can consider that the HQ is only music and not conceptual art because the kind of ideas suggested by the HG are now part of traditional aesthetic, but not at the time when the piece was conceived. Your suggestion is anachronic.Conceptual art is art in which the concept(s) or idea(s) involved in the work take precedence over traditional aesthetic and material concerns.
I also consider that part of Haydn's Farewell Symphony when the musicians leave over the course of the finale as a conceptual element and not a purely musical one.
(1) it makes a huge difference hearing it quadraphonically, with each player separated in a different corner of a large space. This enabled the instrumental parts to be disentangled - or, rather, not to get entangled in the first place
(2) the live balance created by Ian Dearden was different to that on the Arditti quartet CD: the rotors less prominent in the mix, and softer sounding. As a result, the instrumental lines were further made clear
(3) seeing it as part of a show puts it in a context you don’t/can't get from a CD
(4) it would be very helpful to hear it without the rotors so that one could appreciate better the interplay of the parts (I'm not personally convinced the rotors add much anyway, but I get the point of it being a spectacle)
(5) given 1 and 2, it is much easier to hear it as music and, I think, as interesting music if you hear it under the conditions stipulated by the composer - it just doesn't transfer well to a stereo CD.
To answer the question, does anybody actually like Stockhausen’s Helicopter String Quartet, I would say I do. It is now much higher on my list of KS works ranked in order of how much I like them and, of course, when I listen to the CD next time, I will have the experience of the live performance to aid my listening.
What was really interesting about Thursday's performance of the whole of Mittwoch aus Licht was the realisation of how good the first two scenes are - World parliament, and Orchestra finalists - the performances were musically superb and the staging went further than I could have imagined possible (these are, after all, just concert works, really). As for the final scene, Michaelion, it seemed more obscure than ever.
The 22 August performance of the quartet is available until October here: www.thespace.org
Your closing key is not the same,
This gives the Masters pain;
But Hans Sachs draws a rule from this:
In Spring, it must be so! 'Tis plain!
"In Spring! In the creation of art it must be as it is in Spring!" -Arnold Schoenberg
"I think that all right-thinking people in this country are sick and tired of being told that ordinary, decent people are fed up in this country with being sick and tired. I’m certainly not! But I’m sick and tired of being told that I am!" - Monty Python
I'm thinking Beethoven composed some seriously ugly-sounding music as often as not - and I don't hear anyone whining that it is unpalatable music or a whole era of gimmicks: that's what I'm thinking.
So, maybe it will take near two hundred years before we get people posting the Helicopter Quartet as one of their favorite pieces, alongside the Grosse Fuga of Beethoven's/
Is the complete Mittwoch available to watch anywhere? I'm rather disappointed that this The Space thing only has the quartet and nothing more.