KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN (1928-2007): Helicopter String Quartet.
Catalogue Number: 07K109
Label: Medici Arts
Description: Absolutely fascinating. Not a film of the performance of one of Stockhausen's most controversial works (extended extracts are included, but not the whole thing), Frank Scheffer's skillfully assembled, informative and entertaining documentary follows in detail the preparations for the performance. In interview segments, Stockhausen speaks about his embrace of technology to realize his multi-dimensional musical presentations and his inspirations and dreams, and we see his meticulous attention to detail in rehearsal, and the vast amount of intricate preparation necessary to co-ordinate the musical and technological aspects of the work. The composer's evident delight in the realization of his extravagant scheme is infectious and rather touching, and he plays to the camera like the consummate showman he was. The actual piece, as experienced by the audience at the time, was an audio-visual presentation (supervised by the composer) of the musicians playing in the four helicopters; what they play is mostly precisely co-ordinated, complicated interweaving glissando tremolandi, intended to blend with the sound of the rotor blades, with additional vocalizations. The sum of all the parts is nothing if not theater on the grandest scale - and remember, this is only part of Wednesday from Stockhausen's magnum opus, Licht . . . Arditti Quartet. 73 min. 4:3 picture format. NTSC Region 0. Dolby Digital 2.0.