Karlheinz Stockhausen Aus Licht Performance Reviewed

Source: The New Yorker.

In the case of Stockhausen, though, only the colossal will suffice. “Aus licht” turned out to be the kind of inexplicable marvel that one waits half a lifetime to see. It induced shivers not just in its awesome moments—trumpeters intoning a chorale from balconies; brass players engaging in military-style skirmishes in the aisles; angel voices singing an extraterrestrial liturgy—but also in its unexpectedly intimate passages, its glimpses of the composer’s shattered childhood. “Aus licht” was one of the great theatrical events of the new century; it would have been even greater without the aerial extravagance.