German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen was arguably the most influential figure of the European postwar avant-garde and unquestionably the most elusive and enigmatic musical thinker of a generation that includes Pierre Boulez, John Cage, and Luciano Berio. His radically new electronic and instrumental music converted Igor Stravinsky to serialism in the 1950s and has continued to inspire young composers for more than fifty years.
Other Planets: The Complete Works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, 1950–2007 draws on more than fifty years of Maconie’s close study of Stockhausen and functions as a catalogue raisonee of Stockhausen’s complete output. With plentiful citations from the history of radio, film, and sound recording, as well as from contemporary science and technology, the book is laid out in chronological order and contains ample commentary on the composer’s sources of inspiration. Each composition is also fully documented within the text, giving full information of each work’s publisher, catalog number, instrumentation, duration, and authorized compact disc. The updated edition extends the range of the volume’s contents to include the twenty-five works Stockhausen composed between 2004 and his death in 2007.
Stockhausen’s status in the history of music in the late twentieth century can now be appreciated with unprecedented clarity. All listeners will benefit from this work, and American music lovers in particular will find it an invaluable guide to the ongoing debate and rivalry over the sources of abstract expressionism and the avant-garde.