Karlheinz Stockhausen Sonntag aus Licht
Sunday is the last weekday that Karlheinz Stockhausen composed as part of his extensive opera cycle, Licht (1977-2003). A ritual-like work of gold and sun that bathes in water and light, but also angels, is an exaltation of life, from the simple plant to the celestial constellations. It seals the mystical union of Eve and Michael as primary forces of the universe.
Stockhausen is one of few musicians who have been able to express the intense radiance of two lovers, matched only by the sun's rays. Few have found an expression for the transformation of the Adamic body into a mystical one, and the feeling of love in the image of the love of God, as the Song of Songs once celebrated it. The cherished soul multiplies the calls to the senses and pulsates with the entire universe. That is why, in Sunday, scenes are acted out and sung in Hindi, Chinese, Spanish, English, Arabic, Kiswahili or German. It explains why the fourth scene is ablaze with different scents, giving rise a “pleasant feeling of the soul”. The union of those who love one another beckons an invisible afterlife, and from from this call comes beauty. Before a final Farewell, the five scenes of Sunday, with their instrumental, vocal, choral, spatial and electronic invention, combined with their gestures and colours, bring praise upon the tree and the animal, as well as the waves, revolution of the planets and moons, weddings or "highlights" (Hoch-Zeiten) and joy. A form of jubilation coming from the revelation of the divine. Monday will open another week with a birth. Neither end nor beginning to life, but a ceaseless and fascinating spiral.
Sonntag aus Licht (Sunday of Light, 1998-2003)
Workforce: four sopranos, two altos, five tenors, one baritone, two basses, one child singer, one flute, one basset-horn, one trumpet, three choruses, two orchestras, synthesizer, ring modulation and sound projection.
Premiere: Cologne, April 9 and 10, 2011, Cologne Opera House, under the musical direction of Kathinka Pasveer and Peter Rundel.
Scene 1: Lichter-Wasser: commissioned by Südwestrundfunk for the Donaueschinger Musiktage;
Scene 2: Engel-Prozessionen: commissioned by the Groot Omroepkoor, Hilversum;
Scene 3: Licht-Bilder: commissioned by the Centre de création musicale Iannis Xenakis;
Scene 4: Düfte-Zeichen: commissioned by Peter Ruzicka for the Salzburg Festival;
Scene 5: Hoch-Zeiten für Chor and Hoch-Zeiten für Orchester: commissioned by Rafael Nebot for the Festival de Música de Canarias.
Dedication: "To God" Publisher: Stockhausen Verlag
Michiko Takahashi, soprano; Hubert Mayer, tenor; Haga Ratovo, synthesizer
Marie Picaut, soprano ; Emmanuelle Monier, mezzo ; Josue Miranda, tenor ; Florent Baffi, bass
Hubert Mayer, tenor ; Alice Caubit, basset-horn ; Julie Brunet-Jailly, flute ; Henri Deléger, trumpet ; Augustin Muller, ring modulation
Jenny Daviet, Pia Davila Chacon, soprano; Léa Trommenschlager, alto; Hubert Mayer, Safir Behloul, tenor; Damien Pass, Antoin Herrera-López Kessel, bass; Aurélien Segarra, child singer; Sarah Kim, synthesizer
Claire Luquiens, flute; Quentin d'Haussy, oboe; Ghislain Roffat, Iris Zerdoud, clarinet; Julien Abbes, bassoon; Matthias Champon, trumpet and flugelhorn; Lucas Ounissi, trombone; Valentin Broucke, violin; Elsa Seger, viola; Clotilde Lacroix, cello
Paris Chamber Orchestra
Academy of the Conservatoire national supérieur de musique et de danse de Paris
La Maîtrise de Paris (Conservatoire à rayonnement régional de Paris)
Stella Maris Choir
Musical direction, Maxime Pascal
Stage direction, Ted Huffman
from indications by Karlheinz Stockhausen
Sound projection, Florent Derex, Julien Aléonard (choir stage 5); Computer music production, Augustin Muller, Romain Vuillet; Vocal conductors, Bianca Chillemi, Chae Um Kim, Alain Muller; Choir conductors, Olivier Bardot, Gisèle Delgoulet, Zoé Fouray, Pierre-Louis de Laporte, Lucie Rueda, Titouan Sevic; Artistic collaboration with the choirs, Richard Wilberforce ; Lighting, Bertrand Couderc; Video, Pierre Martin Oriol; Movement, Jenny Ogilvie; Costumes, Pascale Lavandier; Props, Marguerite Lantz; Translations, Gaspard Kiejman; Technical production and sound coordination, Koré Préaud; Lighting, Sébastien Böhm; Video, David Dubost; Sound, Nicolas Widmer; Costume assistant, Marie Llorens.
With the collaboration of the Philharmonie de Paris teams
Special thanks to the team of language speakers of Sonntag aus Licht: Hubert Mayer, Pia Davila Chacon (German), Richard Wilberforce, Ryan Veillet (English), Mohamed El Adany, Dima Bawab (Arabic), Antoin Herrera-López Kessel, Carolina Carrera Saavedra (Spanish), Hugo Ribadeau Dumas, Dewangi Sharma (Hindi), Lantei Sylvia (Kiswahili), Xin Yun Zi, Yan Ying, Audrey Chen (Chinese).
The Philharmonie and the Festival d'Automne à Paris present it in co-production