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New Works Calgary presents Stimmung: Pro Coro Canada
Thu, 4 May 2017, 7:30 PM – 10:00 PM MDT
Pro Coro Canada: Stockhausen’s classic vocal work
Stimmung, for six vocalists and six microphones, is a piece by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1968 and commissioned by the City of Cologne for the Collegium Vocale Köln. Its average length is seventy-four minutes, and it bears the work number 24 in the composer’s catalog.
It is a tonal, and yet also a serial composition. It is “the first major Western composition to be based entirely on the production of vocal harmonics”, the first “to use overtones as a primary element”. An additional innovation is “the unique kind of rhythmic polyphony which arises from the gradual transformation/assimilation of rhythmic models”.
The German word Stimmung has several meanings, including “tuning” and “mood”. The word is the noun formed from the verb stimmen, which means “to harmonize, to be correct”, and related to Stimme (voice). The primary sense of the title “implies not only the outward tuning of voices or instruments, but also the inward tuning of one’s soul.” According to the composer, the word means “tuning,” but it really should be translated with many other words because Stimmung incorporates the meanings of the tuning of a piano, the tuning of the voice, the tuning of a group of people, the tuning of the soul. This is all in the German word. Also, when you say: We’re in a good Stimmung, you mean a good psychological tuning, being well tuned together.