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.