Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Music and Machines: Stockhausen's HYMNEN

Bernard Pulham, who maintains The Unofficial Karlheinz Stockhausen Site, says in his notes: "1985
I attended the extensive BBC Barbican series of sell-out concerts "Music and Machines" in 1985 (which ended with an incredible performance of Hymnen with soloists and orchestra)."

I wish I'd been there. Nevertheless, I was able to tape it from the radio on an audio cassette which I transferred a few years later onto CDR. The problem with taping this on cassette was that I missed a few seconds recording while I was turning the cassette over, but I don't think this detracts too much from the overall power of this performance. The analogue sound, however, is fairly low level so if you turn it up you can hear a faint hum.

So here, for what I believe is the first time on the internet, is a recording of that incredible performance that Bernard Pulham mentioned. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on the 16th of January 1985.

The performers for Regions 1, 2 and 4 were the Stockhausen Group, comprising Markus Stockhausen (trumpet and synthesiser), Simon Stockhausen (saxophone and synthesiser), Andreas Bottger (percussion) and Ingo Metzmacher (piano).
Region 3 was performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra, Peter Eotvos - conductor.
And Karlheinz Stockhausen was, of course, in charge of sound projection.
The performance includes announcements (in English) by the BBC announcer.

Enjoy this wonderful piece of musical history.


Anonymous said...

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Let me also be the first to use your blogspace to congratulate you and Lindsey on your coming marriage later this year.
Kind Regards

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Cheers and until next time.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I used to have a recording of this same performance, but lost the cassette. You're right: it was amazing. (Especially, I seem to remember, Markus Stockhausen's contribution.) The link you posted no longer works; did you take it down? Thank you for the post. Best wishes, BM.

Out of the lion's mouth... said...

Regretfully I allowed my Rapidshare account to expire. The Stockhausen Society UK have a copy and my own copy was backed up onto CDR. If you live in the UK and are interested in a copy send your details to

mangofantasy said...

I remember it well! Skived a day off school for the occasion. It was astonishing stuff for my awakening musical mind.