Karlheinz Stockhausen

Kontra-Punkte (Counter-Points) for 10 Instruments

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A currently out-of-print vinyl conducted by the legendary Bruno Maderna. Composed in 1952 and 1953, this is probably the best known of the composer's early serial works. The central composition problem that Stockhausen set himself in this piece was to create a situation in which many individual notes and rhythms resolve themselves into an homogenous and immutable image. The "two-part, monochrome counterpoint is wrested from the antithesis between vertical and horizontal relationships." The score is actually full of interesting colors and timbral combinations - six specific timbres are used: flute-bassoon, clarinet-bass clarinet, trumpet-trombone, piano, harp, violin-cello...these timbres merge into a single timbre, that of the piano's percussive striking of strings. There are also six different degrees of volume, and a closely related series of chosen durations.