Karlheinz Stockhausen

Zyklus (Cycle) for Solo Percussionist

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Performed by Florent Jodelet, this composition was written as a competition piece for percussionists. The title refers partly to the setup of the instruments in a full circle, partly to the way the curvilinear score can be read clockwise (increasing freedom) or counter-clockwise (greater determinancy), and partly to the idea of a dynamic, closed form. Similar to Klavierstück XI, there are isolated structured areas of musical events, "fields" containing points and groups, on 16 spiral-bound sheets of paper that are read freely. The influence of the graphic scoring and multiple systems of Cage's "Concert for Piano and Orchestra" (1957) is obvious here, but Stockhausen is again interested here in the resolving and obscuring of dichotomies, in this case, the purposeless within the purposive. A work of many timbral combinations, it is fascinating and always surprising from performance to performance as it evokes the individual imagination of the soloist.