Volume 45 of the Stockhausen Edition covers his intensely focused and virtuosic works for single-line melody instruments and electronics, originally dating from the mid-'60s, but presented on this release in updated formats thanks to many audio improvements and better production tools at the composer's disposal. The two versions of Solo (1966, 1995), for flute with feedback, performed by Dietmar Wiesner, and for synthesizer, sampler, sequencer, and 8-track tape recorder, executed by Simon Stockhausen, reveal the open-ended possibilities of the scores, despite Stockhausen's exacting details and extreme demands. A side-by-side comparison of these realizations demonstrates not just slight adjustments of the melody line or subtly modified textures, but two completely different works in timbral quality, sonic range, contrapuntal variety, and expressive depth. Spiral (1968), performed by Cathy Milliken in a version for oboe, voice, dijeridoo, and short-wave receiver, is even more wide-ranging in its materials and complications, and likely to strike listeners as the most random in its unpredictable source materials. Produced under the composer's supervision, this disc may be considered authoritative, yet it might be going too far to say it is final, due to the contrary evidence provided in the two versions of Solo.
AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson
|Solo, for melody instrument with feedback|
|Spiral, for soloist with shortwave receiver|