Montag aus Licht

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Montag aus Licht_table_infobox_0

Montag aus LichtMontag aus Licht_header_cell_0_0_0
LibrettistMontag aus Licht_header_cell_0_1_0 StockhausemMontag aus Licht_cell_0_1_1
LanguageMontag aus Licht_header_cell_0_2_0 GermanMontag aus Licht_cell_0_2_1
PremiereMontag aus Licht_header_cell_0_3_0 May 7, 1988 (1988-05-07)

La Scala, MilanMontag aus Licht_cell_0_3_1

Montag aus Licht (Monday from Light) is an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen in a greeting, three acts, and a farewell, and was the third of seven to be composed for the opera cycle Licht: die sieben Tage der Woche (Light: The Seven Days of the Week). Montag aus Licht_sentence_0

The libretto was written by the composer. Montag aus Licht_sentence_1

Montag is an opera for 21 solo performers (14 voices, 6 instrumentalists, and 1 actor) plus mimes, a mixed choir, children's choir, and "modern orchestra". Montag aus Licht_sentence_2

It was composed between 1984 and 1988. Montag aus Licht_sentence_3

Monday is Eve's day. Montag aus Licht_sentence_4

Its exoteric colour is bright green; its esoteric colours are opal and silver. Montag aus Licht_sentence_5

History Montag aus Licht_section_0

Montag was given its staged premiere by the Teatro alla Scala in Milan on 7 May 1988. Montag aus Licht_sentence_6

Subsequent performances were on 8, 10, 11, 12, and 13 May. Montag aus Licht_sentence_7

The stage direction was by Michael Bogdanov, sets by Chris Dyer, costumes by Mark Thompson. Montag aus Licht_sentence_8

Karlheinz Stockhausen was the sound projectionist. Montag aus Licht_sentence_9

Roles Montag aus Licht_section_1

Montag aus Licht_table_general_1

Roles, voice types/performers, premiere castMontag aus Licht_table_caption_1
RoleMontag aus Licht_header_cell_1_0_0 PerformerMontag aus Licht_header_cell_1_0_1 Premiere castMontag aus Licht_header_cell_1_0_2
Eve (act 1)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_1_0 three sopranosMontag aus Licht_cell_1_1_1 Annette Meriweather, Donna Sarley, Jana MrazovaMontag aus Licht_cell_1_1_2
Lucifer (act 1)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_2_0 bassMontag aus Licht_cell_1_2_1 Nicholas IsherwoodMontag aus Licht_cell_1_2_2
Luzipolyp (act 1)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_3_0 bass and actorMontag aus Licht_cell_1_3_1 Nicholas Isherwood, Alain LouafiMontag aus Licht_cell_1_3_2
Three Sailors (act 1)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_4_0 three tenorsMontag aus Licht_cell_1_4_1 Helmut Clemens, Julian Pike, Alastair ThompsonMontag aus Licht_cell_1_4_2
Coeur de Basset (acts 2 & 3)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_5_0 basset hornMontag aus Licht_cell_1_5_1 Suzanne StephensMontag aus Licht_cell_1_5_2
Budgerigar (act 2)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_6_0 pianistMontag aus Licht_cell_1_6_1 Pierre-Laurent AimardMontag aus Licht_cell_1_6_2
Monday Boy (act 2)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_7_0 sopranoMontag aus Licht_cell_1_7_1 Gabriella VakarcsMontag aus Licht_cell_1_7_2
Tuesday Boy (act 2)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_8_0 sopranoMontag aus Licht_cell_1_8_1 Attila KudorMontag aus Licht_cell_1_8_2
Wednesday Boy (act 2)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_9_0 sopranoMontag aus Licht_cell_1_9_1 Patrik PulinkaMontag aus Licht_cell_1_9_2
Thursday Boy (act 2)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_10_0 sopranoMontag aus Licht_cell_1_10_1 Borbála GyöriMontag aus Licht_cell_1_10_2
Friday Boy (act 2)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_11_0 sopranoMontag aus Licht_cell_1_11_1 Agnes PintérMontag aus Licht_cell_1_11_2
Saturday Boy (act 2)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_12_0 sopranoMontag aus Licht_cell_1_12_1 Péter KertészMontag aus Licht_cell_1_12_2
Sunday Boy (act 2)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_13_0 sopranoMontag aus Licht_cell_1_13_1 Gergely HutásMontag aus Licht_cell_1_13_2
Bassettinen (act 2)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_14_0 2 basset horns and sopranoMontag aus Licht_cell_1_14_1 Rumi Sota, Nele Langrehr, Kathinka PasveerMontag aus Licht_cell_1_14_2
Pied Piper (act 3)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_15_0 flautistMontag aus Licht_cell_1_15_1 Kathinka PasveerMontag aus Licht_cell_1_15_2
Invisible Choir (act 1)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_16_0 mixed choirMontag aus Licht_cell_1_16_1 Choir of the West German Radio, CologneMontag aus Licht_cell_1_16_2
Animal-Children, Heinzelmännchen (act 1),

Girls' Choir (act 2), Children (act 3)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_17_0

children's choirMontag aus Licht_cell_1_17_1 Children's Choir of Radio Budapest (Janos Remenyi, choir master)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_17_2
Men and WomenMontag aus Licht_cell_1_18_0 choirMontag aus Licht_cell_1_18_1 Zaans Kantatekoor (Jan Pasveer, choir master)Montag aus Licht_cell_1_18_2

Synopsis Montag aus Licht_section_2

Within the Licht cycle, the opera Monday focuses on the character of Eve, on the feminine side of existence, on birth. Montag aus Licht_sentence_10

Monday is the day of the moon, lunae dies in Latin, and the moon has been traditionally associated with the feminine, in contrast to the sun, which was regarded as masculine. Montag aus Licht_sentence_11

In myths and legends, it is a symbol of fertility, and veneration of the "lesser light" of the moon is a cult of the creative and productive power of nature, of the instinctive wisdom and shadowy perceptions that rule the night. Montag aus Licht_sentence_12

The moon is also the demonic form of the feminine principle, the blind force of eclipse, of destruction, of primal fear, as personified in the Greek goddess Hecate, though Stockhausen avoids these aspects for his Eve in favour of positive, creative, and invigorating features. Montag aus Licht_sentence_13

Montag is in three acts, with scenes and subscenes (called "situations" by the composer) as follows: Montag aus Licht_sentence_14

Montags-Gruß Montag aus Licht_section_3

The Monday Greeting is a tape composition played in the foyer as the audience arrives. Montag aus Licht_sentence_15

The visual impression is of being underwater. Montag aus Licht_sentence_16

The music is multilayered, made of stretched-out basset-horn sounds, occasionally mixed with the sounds of splashing and rushing water. Montag aus Licht_sentence_17

Twelve photographs of the basset-horn player in different poses corresponding to the twelve pitches of the mirrored Eve formula surround the space. Montag aus Licht_sentence_18

Act 1: Evas Erstgeburt Montag aus Licht_section_4

In the first act, Eve's First Parturition, Eve is manifested in three sopranos who have many names. Montag aus Licht_sentence_19

They sing constantly changing names for the Cosmic Mother from the cult of Inanna and from early Germanic cults, so that they are Eve in many forms. Montag aus Licht_sentence_20

The act consists of six scenes. Montag aus Licht_sentence_21

Scene 1: In Hoffnung Montag aus Licht_section_5

The first scene, Expecting, opens on a multistory house with an inner courtyard lit by small green lamps. Montag aus Licht_sentence_22

A terrace at the front ends at a huge Venetian blind. Montag aus Licht_sentence_23

As night falls, the blind opens disclosing a sandy beach, with an indistinct, high tower at the left. Montag aus Licht_sentence_24

High up in this tower, illuminated by a dim green light, stand three naked women. Montag aus Licht_sentence_25

Groups of women with pails, cloths, sponges, baskets, and ladders approach, singing as they go. Montag aus Licht_sentence_26

The moon rises, and the tower is seen to be a huge statue of a female figure, seated on the sand with her back to the terrace. Montag aus Licht_sentence_27

The women begin to wash and anoint the statue, preparing Eve for a ceremony of celebration of birth. Montag aus Licht_sentence_28

The music presents nine periodic cycles in which a musical formula gradually emerges. Montag aus Licht_sentence_29

Scene 2: Die Heinzelmännchen Montag aus Licht_section_6

Heinzelmännchen are dwarf-like figures from an old Cologne folk tale, though this scene adopts only the humorous aspect from the legend. Montag aus Licht_sentence_30

In this scene, Eve gives birth to a boys' choir. Montag aus Licht_sentence_31

The three sopranos sing joyfully and very rapidly as the statue gives birth to a boy with a lion’s head, twins with swallows’ heads and wings, and so on. Montag aus Licht_sentence_32

Scene 3: Geburts-Arien Montag aus Licht_section_7

The three sopranos sing two Birth Arias as the Eve statue continues to produce children. Montag aus Licht_sentence_33

During the first aria, a dark figure appears on the beach: it is Lucifer. Montag aus Licht_sentence_34

As he approaches the newborn bodies, he hoots "Repulsive!" Montag aus Licht_sentence_35

Everyone shrinks back, and Lucifer hurries out, As the seven newborn boys and seven newborn Heinzelmännchen (with beards and pointed hats, two of which are conjoined twins) struggle to rise from the sand, the three Eve sopranos sing a second aria. Montag aus Licht_sentence_36

Scene 4: Knaben-Geschrei Montag aus Licht_section_8

In Boys' Hullaballoo the boys are supposed to sing, but cannot. Montag aus Licht_sentence_37

Instead, they just make strange noises and scream like babies. Montag aus Licht_sentence_38

Scene 5: Luzifers Zorn Montag aus Licht_section_9

In the fifth scene, Lucifer's Fury is directed at the deficient creatures who have been born, and he orders them all back into the womb. Montag aus Licht_sentence_39

The whole process must be gone through again, because the first result was so ugly. Montag aus Licht_sentence_40

Scene 6: Das große Geweine Montag aus Licht_section_10

The Great Weeping is a general lament over Lucifer's decision to reject Eve's first-born, and is realised by a series of glissandos in the synthesizers and choir, which imitate sobbing and weeping. Montag aus Licht_sentence_41

Act 2: Evas Zweitgeburt Montag aus Licht_section_11

Eve's Second Parturition consists of three scenes. Montag aus Licht_sentence_42

Scene 1: Mädchenprozession Montag aus Licht_section_12

In the Girls' Procession, a choir of young girls, wearing dresses shaped like lilies, ceremonially enters bearing candles. Montag aus Licht_sentence_43

The sea is now frozen, and women are hacking blocks of ice with axes, and melting the ice in cauldrons. Montag aus Licht_sentence_44

The idea came from a ritual Stockhausen witnessed in Japan, in a valley near Kyoto, in which girls were carrying small lamps in a procession to a temple. Montag aus Licht_sentence_45

This type of ceremony, with processions of torches, candles, or other forms of fire, is found as a fertility rite in many world traditions, such as the Egyptian Feast of Lamps for Osiris, the Greek and Roman rites of Hecate and Diana, respectively, and later in the Christian festival of torches on 15 August in honor of the Virgin Mary. Montag aus Licht_sentence_46

Scene 2: Befruchtung mit Klavierstück—Wiedergeburt Montag aus Licht_section_13

Montag aus Licht_unordered_list_0

  • Conception with Piano Piece. The women and girls call for a grand piano played by a budgerigar to inseminate the Eve statue for a second birth. The budgerigar plays Klavierstück XIV.Montag aus Licht_item_0_0
  • Rebirth. To the singing of American Indian children, the piano is quickly pulled away and the statue's womb begins to glow, green and red, like a nativity scene. The sunlight returns, and seven boys are born, one for each weekday.Montag aus Licht_item_0_1

Scene 3: Evas Lied Montag aus Licht_section_14

Eve's Song is basically a concerto for basset horn and synthesizers, against a background of the continuing boys' and girls' choirs from the preceding scenes, and trombones. Montag aus Licht_sentence_47

(, 30) It consists of a succession of four situations: Montag aus Licht_sentence_48

Montag aus Licht_unordered_list_1

  • Cœur de Basset emerges from the breast of the statue, playing a basset horn. The women melt large chunks of ice in steaming vats. With glass laboratory equipment, they condense the steam into water.Montag aus Licht_item_1_2
  • In Wochenkreis (Cycle of the Week), Cœur de Basset teaches each of the boys the song of his weekday.Montag aus Licht_item_1_3
  • Basset-Teases: the women put the water they have collected into watering cans and sprinkle the earth with it. Cœur de Basset divides into multiple basset-horn players, Busi, Busa, and Muschi. A transparent Eve figure emerges from the statue and floats toward the boys.Montag aus Licht_item_1_4
  • Initiation. Cœur, Busi, Busa, and Muschi begin a dance, confusing and infatuating the boys. A distant thunderstorm is heard, and a boy calls, "Turn off the lights!" The lights go out.(, 562–84)Montag aus Licht_item_1_5

Act 3: Evas Zauber Montag aus Licht_section_15

Eve's Magic is also divided into three scenes. Montag aus Licht_sentence_49

Scene 1: Botschaft Montag aus Licht_section_16

Message has a series of four situations. Montag aus Licht_sentence_50

Montag aus Licht_unordered_list_2

  • Evas Spiegel (Eve's Mirror). Eve, as Cœur de Basset, moves as in a dream over the fresh green lawn until she sees her reflection in the water-filled glassware. Fascinated by her mirror-image, she begins to play, as a male chorus appears and sings, "Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is fairest of them all?".Montag aus Licht_item_2_6
  • Nachricht (News). Women rush in and report the news that a musicus with magic powers has arrived.Montag aus Licht_item_2_7
  • Susani. The men sing to Eve, and the glass sculpture that mirrored Cœur de Basset bursts.Montag aus Licht_item_2_8
  • In Ave, an alto-flute player dressed as a young man arrives. Eve and the flautist play a duet as the choir comments on their dialogue.Montag aus Licht_item_2_9

Scene 2: Der Kinderfänger Montag aus Licht_section_17

In The Pied Piper—originally titled Der Zauber (The Magic)—the musicus bewitches the children as Cœur, confused and disappointed, withdraws into the heart of the Eve statue. Montag aus Licht_sentence_51

The adults, too, become frightened and shrink away against the walls and into the corners and watch as the Pied Piper enchants their children. Montag aus Licht_sentence_52

It is a game of mimicry, in which the children try to imitate everything that the flute player demonstrates to them, accompanied by a rapid succession of sound-scenes from the real world. Montag aus Licht_sentence_53

In the end, the Pied Piper dupes the children into removing their shoes and piling them up in a heap. Montag aus Licht_sentence_54

Scene 3: Entführung Montag aus Licht_section_18

In the final scene, Abduction, the Pied Piper, now playing a piccolo, leads the singing children off in ordered procession into the skies. Montag aus Licht_sentence_55

As their voices become higher and higher in pitch, the Eve statue is transformed into a mountain (the "Evaberg"), sprouting trees, bushes, animals, and streams. Montag aus Licht_sentence_56

The children are seen as giant white birds, circling higher and higher into the skies. Montag aus Licht_sentence_57

Just before the end, one child come back out on stage, looks at the audience in astonishment and shouts, "Are you still here?" Montag aus Licht_sentence_58

He then goes to the pile of shoes, finds his own and puts them on, observing, "It is very dirty outside", and darts away, as the children-bird voices continue to be heard in the distance. Montag aus Licht_sentence_59

Montags-Abschied Montag aus Licht_section_19

Monday's Farewell, like the greeting, is played back over four channels in the foyer as the audience leaves the theatre. Montag aus Licht_sentence_60

The foyer is now wreathed in clouds, as the ever-rising voices of the children-birds circle around. Montag aus Licht_sentence_61

Toward the end, a single voice sings: "The Eve-children have been abducted by music into higher worlds with green clouds". Montag aus Licht_sentence_62

Discography Montag aus Licht_section_20

Montag aus Licht_unordered_list_3

  • Stockhausen: Montag aus Licht. Annette Meriweather, Donna Sarley, Jana Mrazova (soprano); Nicholas Isherwood (bass); Alain Louafi (actor); Helmut Clemens, Julian Pike, Alastair Thompson (tenors); Krisztina Veress, Menyhert Keri, Eszther Marshalko, Attila Botos, Eszther Szabados, Márta Benkó, Gergely Hutás (children's choir soloists); Suzanne Stephens, Rumi Sota, Nele Langrehr (basset horns); Kathinka Pasveer (voice and flute); Pierre-Laurent Aimard (piano); Michael Obst, Simon Stockhausen (synthesizers); Michael Svoboda (synthesizer and trombone); Andreas Boettger (percussion); Choir of the West German Radio, Cologne, Karlheinz Stockhausen, cond.; Radio Budapest Children’s Choir (János Reményi, chorus master), Péter Eötvös, cond. Girls Choir of Radio Budapest, Karlheinz Stockhausen, cond.; Zaans Cantatekoor, Holland (Jan Pasveer, choir master); Péter Eötvös (conductor of the soloists in act 1); Karlheinz Stockhausen (sound projection). Stockhausen Complete Edition, CD 36 A–E (5CDs). Kürten: Stockhausen-Verlag, 1992.Montag aus Licht_item_3_10
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen. Musik für Flöte: Kathinka Pasveer spielt 9 Kompositionen. (Kathinkas Gesang als Luzifers Requiem, version for flute and electronic music; In Freundschaft, for flute; Piccolo, solo for piccolo; Amour, for flute; Susanis Echo, for alto flute; Xi, for flute; Zungenspitzentanz, for piccolo; Flautina, for flute with piccolo and alto flute; Ypsilon, for flute.) Stockhausen Complete Edition CD 28 A–B (2CDs). Kürten: Stockhausen-Verlag, 1992.Montag aus Licht_item_3_11
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen for Basset Horn. Michele Marelli, basset horn. (Evas Spiegel, Susani, Die sieben Lieder der Tage, and three other compositions.) Times Future. CD recording, stereo. Stradivarius STR 33958. [Cologno Monzese (Milan)]: Stradivarius, 2013.Montag aus Licht_item_3_12
  • Karlheinz Stockhausen: Amour, Der kleine Harlekin, Wochenkreis. Michele Marelli (clarinet and bassett horn), Antonio Pérez Abellán (synthesizer). Recorded in Cuneo, Italy, and Alicante, Spain, March 2013. CD recording. Wergo WER 6785 2. Mainz: Wergo, 2013.Montag aus Licht_item_3_13
  • Voices in the Wind. Leonard Garrison, flute, alto flute, and piccolo. Stockhausen: Flautina for solo piccolo, flute, and alto flute (one player), and works by nine other composers. Recorded October and November 2012 in the Recording Studio of the Washington State University School of Music, Pullman, Washington. CD recording, 1 sound disc: digital, 4¾ in., stereo. Centaur CRC 3363. [N.p.]: Centaur Records, Inc., 2014.Montag aus Licht_item_3_14

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: aus Licht.