holger czukay





comment on stockhausens's gesang der juenglinge

this piece is one of the most exciting and also astonishing experiences a music eater can have. stockhausen in his composition seminar 1963: "if i could explain everything i know something would be wrong and that's where my interst for religion comes in".

it must have been in the year 1958 when stockhausen appeared live with his percussionist christoph caskel in the heavy metal production city of duisburg. i had heard him several times in the radio and among other 'weird sounding composers'. he was somehow sticking out of them all. now i was sitting in the audience and listened to his fascinating way of telling people what was moving him to become the creative man he is. then we heard gesang der juenglinge. some people were laughing. stockhausen: i've seen people laughing even at traffic accidents. hmm... silence. a man sitting beside me rose up his hand and said: "mr. stockhausen, you are doing all this to shock people and then make a lot of money out of it" . that was a typical music teacher's ammunition. but not karlheinz though: "i can assure you that i have done this only of musical reasons. what money is concerned i have married a rich wife."

more than forty years later this music remains being an outstanding musical jewel though the technical development makes one think this being an old hat. wrong dear, listening to 'gesang der juenglinge' makes modern technique sometimes look old. 


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