Southbank Centre Artist in Residence Pierre-Laurent Aimard performs Stockhausen's seminal piano music.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard is joined by percussionist Dirk Rothbrust of Ensemble musikFabrik to present the trailblazing electronic work Kontakte and Stockhausen's ambitiously expressive Klavierstücke. The sound designer is the former head of musical research at IRCAM, Italian composer Marco Stroppa.
A leading interpreter of mainstream repertoire and a major performer of 20th- and 21st-century music, Aimard was 11 years old when he first witnessed Stockhausen conducting his own work. In his 20s, he was conducted by the composer while he was the resident pianist of the Ensemble Intercontemporain, saying, 'to be with him was an education in listening.'
Number 12½ in Stockhausen's catalogue of works, Stockhausen's Kontakte for electronic sounds, piano, and percussion uses serialist formulae to explore the sonic possibilities of different frequencies, with transformative results. Its use of sound-shaping techniques in a world before sampling still sounds extraordinary to modern ears.
Stockhausen's 19 experimental Klavierstücke (of which Aimard presents I-XI) gather together a variety of avant-garde compositional techniques, each piece a fresh contemplation of the mysteries of sound. The performer's journey takes in Klavierstuck IX, which begins with a single chord played 139 times, gradually getting quieter, and Klavierstuck XI, its score featuring 19 separate musical ideas which the pianist can play in any order, any number of times.
This project is generously supported by The London Community Foundation and Cockayne - Grants for the Arts, and The Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
Dirk Rothbrust, percussion
Marco Stroppa, sound design
Stockhausen: Klavierstück I; Klavierstück II; Klavierstück III; Klavierstück IV; Klavierstück V; Klavierstück VI; Klavierstück VII; Klavierstück VIII; Klavierstück IX; Klavierstück X; Klavierstück XI
Stockhausen: Kontakte for electronic sounds, piano & percussion
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