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  Harmonia Mundi -
  HMU 807408
  Stockhausen: Stimmung - Hillier
  Stockhausen: Stimmung

Theatre of Voices
Paul Hillier (conductor)
Track listing:
  Classical - Vocal
Recording type:
Recording info:

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Reviews: 3

Review by terence September 20, 2007 (11 of 11 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
This is possibly the single most extraordinary SACD I have in my collection - a marvellous realisation of Stockhausen's avant-garde masterpiece.

Harmonia Mundi's engineering uses rear speakers as the equal of fronts, creating an "in the round" sonic experience which fits the music very appropriately.

The six singers perform marvels of vocal strangeness and virtuosity, patiently constructing the uninterrupted 78-minute-long tapestry in cumulatively mesmerising fashion. Great credit goes to Paul Hillier, whose "realisation" of "Stimmung" this is, for his vision and leadership of the project. He also contributes an excellent booklet essay elucidating the nature and function of Stockhausen's landmark composition.

If you are remotely interested in Stockhausen, the avant-garde in general, or what the human voice is capable of, I strongly recommend this truly outstanding issue.

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Review by steviev September 13, 2009 (6 of 12 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Trained professionals were used in the making of this recording, but that wasn't really necessary. What follows is a handy guide to performing Stimmung in the comfort of your own home.

Do you know three other people on Earth? Okay, invite them over, maybe ply them with refreshments and adult beverage. Unplug the refrigerator, hide the pets, get rid of anything with even vague entertainment value. Make sure everyone's comfortable then pick a note, any note, it doesn't really matter. Have your three friends hum that note while singing "huhmanuh-huhmanuh-huhmanuh", "bippitybippitybippity", and "wahwahwah". As they do this, you'll free associate, and yell out a word or two when the mood strikes. Arbitrary and meaningless words are preferred. Now and then, everyone will sing said word(s) in unison. You might indicate this by first saying the word, then raising your hand. All together now. And pause. Now resume humming. Remember, no one may deviate from the chosen tone. Do this for 78 minutes. No laughing.

Good one, Karl. Too bad the joke's on us.

I just saved you $17.99. You're welcome.

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Review by Schmunzelmonster December 21, 2011 (3 of 3 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:  
Here's a fascinating article by Paul Hillier on the process of recording this CD.

I still treasure my vinyl copy of the Collegium Vocale version of Stimmung, signed by Stockhausen, who always used to hang around on stage after concerts so fans could come and chat with him. And for years I considered the Collegium Vocale version to be definitive, especially when the Singcircle version was released, which I felt to be lacking in fluidity and spontaneity. But Hillier's Copenhagen version was a revelation. I was lucky enough to be seated within feet of the singers at a Proms performance at the Royal Albert Hall and was completely blown away - transported in fact back to the early 1970s and hearing this masterpiece for the first time. Their grasp of the essence of Stimmung was sparkling.

This SA-CD, as you might expect, transports the listener to the centre of the circle. The sound is as lucid and beautiful as the music deserves. There is, however, an odd distraction: the tracks are separated with a pop unfortunately reminiscent of scratched vinyl. There is an irony here - the vinyl was recorded as a single track on each side - at 72 mins, the longest LP ever pressed.

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Works: 1  

Karlheinz Stockhausen - Stimmung