Karlheinz Stockhausen – Klavierstück 1
English (mainly automatic translation, sorry)
|On s’attelle ici à une sorte de conférence post mortem en ligne : Stockhausen donna cette conférence en 1955 pour la Norddeutscher Rundfunk, sur cette œuvre de 1952, conférence traduite en français et publiée par l’excellent éditeur suisse>l’Âge d’homme en 1988, mais l’ouvrage est épuisé (et inconnu apparemment sur le Net). On essaie ici de reconstituer cette conférence, à l’aide d’extraits picturaux et sonores de la partition, de son début en tout cas (mesures 1 à 14). Ce travail nous paraît utile, même si seulement quelques dizaines d’internautes accéderont à cette page et si quelques uns d’entre eux la suivront de bout en bout. Il peut aider à comprendre les motivations d’une certaine musique contemporaine. Les chefs d’orchestre par exemple sont en général peu diserts sur les œuvres qu’ils interprètent ou sur la façon dont ils les conçoivent et les compositeurs guère plus sur leurs œuvres (on citera quelques vidéos de Pierre Boulez (exemple) et le blog de Philippe Manoury (exemple) – or voilà ici un tentative très (très) fouillée d’analyse !
« Le premier des Klavierstücke écrits en 1952 me servira d’exemple pour tenter de montrer comment il est possible de se familiariser avec l’écoute du nouveau langage musical. A cet effet, je vous prie d’écouter en entier et sans autre préambule ce premier Klavierstück, pour que lors de sa rediffusion en fin d’émission vous puissiez confronter votre première et votre deuxième impression. (Ecoute du Klavierstück I)
Cette pièce est composée avec des groupes. Les travaux des musiciens de la jeune génération ont de plus en plus recours à la composition par groupes, c’est pourquoi ce que je tente ce soir pourra servir à une éducation de l’écoute. Par « groupe », on entend un nombre déterminé de sons reliés par des proportions apparentées à une qualité d’expérience supérieure, à savoir le groupe. Les différents groupes d’une composition se distinguent par différents caractères de proportions, une structure différente, mais se correspondent dans la mesure où l’on ne peut comprendre les propriétés d’un groupe particulier qu’en les comprenant selon le degré d’affinité qu’elles partagent avec les propriétés des autres groupes. Pour le groupe 1 constitué de 10 attaques, la direction du mouvement est ascendante, du registre le plus bas au registre le plus haut, avec des sauts d’intervalle de grandeur moyenne (mesure 1).
Toutefois, deux intervalles sont descendants. Le premier sépare le groupe en deux sous-groupes de cinq et sept notes. Voici le premier sous-groupe (mesure 1/ 5 notes) et le second sous-groupe (mesure 1/ 7 notes).
Le deuxième intervalle descendant, dans le registre moyen, coïncide avec un autre intervalle ascendant qui part depuis tout en bas et poursuit le mouvement vers le haut, articulant ainsi encore une fois le second sous-groupe (mesure 2/ 2e moitié). Dans le premier sous-groupe, les notes sont fortement détachées les unes des autres par des intensités différentes ; par contre, elles ont la même intensité dans le deuxième sous-groupe (mesure 1). De façon analogue, les notes ont des durées différentes dans le premier sous-groupe, alors que celles du deuxième sont, sur ce plan, étroitement apparentées ou identiques. Dans le deuxième sous-groupe, on frappe par deux fois deux notes simultanément (mesure 1). Le groupe acquiert une forme sonore au moyen des indications de pédale. Du point de vue rythmique, cela signifie que les notes sont frappées les unes après les autres mais se terminent en même temps lorsque la pédale est levée. La vitesse du groupe est moyenne et s’accélère dans le deuxième sous-groupe. Le groupe entier dure 5/4 (mesure 1).
|Nous avons entendu le groupe 1 dans son ensemble et dans le détail de ses caractéristiques. Comparons-le au groupe 2 constitué de 5 attaques.
La direction du mouvement est ici descendante, les sauts d’intervalle très grands ; seul le dernier intervalle monte et amène au groupe suivant (mesure 2). L’accord de deux sons du début continue de résonner pendant que les quatre autres attaques sont jouées, séparées par les grands sauts d’intervalle et par des pauses (la pédale est toujours levée). L’ampleur du registre est encore plus grande que dans le groupe 1 (mesure 2). Le volume global du groupe est supérieur à celui du groupe 1, les attaques se suivent un peu plus lentement, mais les durées individuelles sont plus brèves et chacune est maintenant différente. La durée globale du groupe est de 2/4 (mesure 2). Les groupes 1 et 2 ensemble peuvent maintenant être perçus comme une unité formelle : mouvement ascendant-descendant ; notes frappées les unes après les autres, mais résonnant les unes dans les autres grâce à la pédale et se terminant ensemble ; puis accord tenu auquel s’opposent des notes individuelles (mesures 1-2).
|L’accord tenu de deux sons du groupe 2 peut être entendu aussi bien comme l’accord final du groupe 1 ascendant que comme le premier accord du groupe 2 descendant. Les deux groupes sont ainsi soudés l’un à l’autre (mesure 1 avec l’accord de deux sons de la mesure 2, puis mesure 2). Le nombre des attaques dans les deux groupes a le rapport 10:5, mais, compte tenu des notes frappées simultanément, le rapport du nombre des notes est de 12:7 (par deux fois dans les deux groupes, deux notes sont frappées vers la fin du groupe 1 et au début du groupe 2) (mesures 1-2). Du fait de la durée globale différente des deux groupes et de la différence du nombre de notes et d’attaques, on entend, indépendamment du tempo, une lente montée et une descente rapide (amortie par le dernier intervalle) ; et les formes de groupe sont : avec pédale, puis notes isolées face à un accord tenu (mesures 1-2). Nous ne voulons pas maintenant entrer plus loin dans les rapports plus fins qui existent entre les deux groupes (quels sont les intervalles, les différences individuelles d’intensité et de durée). Les caractéristiques déjà soulignées de chaque groupe suffisent à montrer qu’elles ne peuvent prendre un sens que dans le rapport entre elles et dans la succession temporelle ; nous les comparons et les percevons dans le contexte. Nous avons tout d’abord écouté l’ensemble puis considéré le détail, et finalement nous avons réécouté le détail dans l’ensemble. Notre attention est orientée : comment voulons-nous écouter, à quoi voulons-nous être attentifs. Mais si l’ensemble, non divisé, doit agir sur notre perception, il faut que l’écoute ne s’arrête pas trop sur les détails désormais familiers. L’une des premières qualités dans un processus musical est justement que certaines des caractéristiques individuelles ne soient pas mises en avant au point d’en repousser d’autres à l’arrière-plan. Écoutons encore une fois les deux premiers groupes en entier, sans prêter une attention particulière aux caractéristiques individuelles (mesures 1-2).|
This part is made up with groups. Work of the musicians of the younger generation has more and more recourse to the composition by groups, this is why what I try this evening could be used for an education in listening. By “group”, one understands a given number of sounds connected by proportions connected to a quality of higher experiment, namely the group. The various groups of a composition are characterized by various characters of proportions, a different structure, but correspond insofar as one can understand the properties of a particular group only by them understanding according to the degree of affinity that they divide with the properties of the other groups. For group 1 made up of 10 attacks, the direction of the movement is ascending, of the register low to the register highest, with jumps of interval of average size (measurement 1).
However, two intervals are downward. The first separates the group in two sub-groups from five and seven notes. Here the first sub-group (bar 1 5 notes) and the second sub-group (bar 1/7 notes).
The second interval going down, in the average register, coincides with another ascending interval which leaves since all in bottom and continues the movement to the top, articulating thus once again the second sub-group (measurement 2 / 2nd half). To the first sub-group, the notes are strongly seconded from/to each other by different intensities; on the other hand, they have the same intensity in the second sub-group (measurement 1). In a similar way, the notes have different durations in the first sub-group, whereas those of the second are, from this point of view, narrowly related or identical. In the second sub-group, one strikes by twice two notes simultaneously (measurement 1). The group acquires a sound form by means of the indications of pedal. From the rhythmic point of view, that means that the notes are struck the ones after the others but finish at the same time when the pedal is raised. The speed of the group is average and accelerates in the second sub-group. The whole group lasts 5/4 (measurement 1).
|We heard group 1 as a whole and in detail of its characteristics. Let us compare it with group 2 made up of 5 attacks.
The direction of the movement is downward here, the very large jumps of interval; only the last interval goes up and pleasing to the following group (measurement 2). The agreement of two sounds of the beginning continuous to resound while the four other attacks are played, separated by the great jumps from interval and by pauses (the pedal is always raised). The width of the register is even larger than in group 1 (measurement 2). The total volume of the group is higher than that of group 1, the attacks follow a little more slowly, but the individual durations are shorter and each one is now different. The total duration of the group is 2/4 (measurement 2). Groups 1 and 2 unit can now be perceived like a formal unit: movement ascending-descendant; notes struck ones after the others, but resonant ones in the others thanks to the pedal and finishing together; then held agreement to which are opposed individual notes (measurements 1-2).
|The held chord of two sounds of group 2 can be heard as well like the final chord of ascending group 1 as like the first chord of group 2 descendant. The two groups are thus welded one with the other (measurement 1 with the chord of two sounds of measurement 2, then measurement 2). The number of the attacks in the two groups has the 10:5 report/ratio, but, taking into account the notes struck simultaneously, the report/ratio of the number of the notes is of 12:7 (by twice in the two groups, two notes are struck towards the end of group 1 and at the beginning of group 2) (measurements 1-2). Because of total duration different from the two groups and difference of the number of notes and attacks, one hears, independently of the tempo, a slow rise and a fast descent (deadened by the last interval); and the forms of group are: with pedal, then notes isolated vis-a-vis a held chord (measurements 1-2). We do not want to now enter further the finer reports/ratios which exist between the two groups (which are the intervals, the individual differences of intensity and duration). The already underlined characteristics of each group are enough to show that they can take a direction only in the relationship between them and in the temporal succession; we compare them and let us perceive them in the context. We first of all listened to the unit then considered the detail, and finally we listen back to the detail as a whole. Our attention is directed: how want we to listen, with what want we to be attentive. But if the unit, not divided, must act on our perception, it is necessary that listening does not stop too much on the familiar details from now on. One of the first qualities in a musical process is precisely that certain individual characteristics are not developed ahead to push back others with the background of them. Once again let us listen to the first two groups in entirety, without paying a detailed attention to the individual characteristics (measurements 1-2).|
|The following characteristics are completely typical current musical language: no the melody with accompaniment, not of principal voice nor of accompaniment, not of topic and not of transition, it does not have there either harmonic relations of a simpler nature or more complicated than tension and resolution or rate/rhythm syncopates which become regular. We concentrate our listening on the unit and we keep a total impression, where the characteristics are sufficiently distinct so that no relation emerges which would be more important than another. Between-others, great intervals and the difference of the elements in a tiny space time). We call that “listens and structural composition”: what remains in memory, it is the way in which the sounds are assembled and of which they appear in the group, and less what raises about the private individual, the interval insulates, the temporal report/ratio insulates. All that is made up must take part if possible on a purely basis equal to the formal process, nothing should not dominate, as for example the melody which we would sing, the rhythm that we would beat or the sound volume of which we could say that it is only weak or strong, since indeed, it does not cease varying in the heard examples. By there, the intervals and the chords are maintained outstanding and in a nearby degree of effectiveness. The whole of the sound image is engraved thus in our feeling in an all the more strong way, as an impression of structure.
The following example will make it possible to specify our matter: if we examine a stone of near, we will see a multitude of details – lines or layers, determined veinings, in typical proportions – (it is known that for better emphasizing still this structure, it is enough to apply to the stone a paper sheet which one will blacken using a pencil, until the structure of the stone appears in its dense screen). If we look at the stone as all now – it besides like us is the planes perceived with the first glance -, we will not describe it as the sum of all these specific details, although the latter started in us the stone idea and not that of wood. In the same way, we do not say that such or such property of structure is particularly important and we do not describe veining to include/understand the stone as all. However, we are interested particularly and in a general way in the relationship between structure and form. We arrived to a completely new relation taking into consideration phenomena and one knows that it was inter alia the starting point of the electronic music. To return from there to the musical structure itself, the most elementary bonds have an essential role as a whole, but let us consider we them in a unit way as a quality. In the field of the feeling, we distinguish from the modifications of the structure in the groups of the most various elements without however being able to say what changed in detail. Contours of the groups are felt in a very obvious way: they are various lengths have forms of movement various, various densities and various degrees speed; various sound forms. Now let us examine the following groups in this Klavierstück. Group 3 – without modification of movement – is a held agreement of two sounds of great intensity, whose interval is a quad plus an octave. Its duration is 3/4 (measurement 3).
This chord of two sounds is separated from the preceding group by a pause, but the effect of movement of group 2 continuous beyond the pause (end of measurement 2 – measurement 3). The important modification of direction in the first two groups diminishes in the fixity of direction of group 3 (measurements 1-2-3). Then group 3 is connected to group 4 by a legato (measurement 3 – beginning of measurement 4). In the group 4, which contains 6 attacks and 9 notes (by three times, 2 notes are struck simultaneously) (measurement 4), the direction of the movement is combined: ascending-descendant-ascending-ascending to the higher register, and simultaneously descendant-ascending-descendant to the lower register each time with great jumps of intervals (measurement 4).
II results two directions from movement deviating one from the other since the median register. The form of group is that of isolated individual notes: they have various intensities, are strongly separate in the register, and their duration is different (measurement 4). Of the 9 notes, 4 are p, 3 p, 1 MF, and 1 FF; the notes of low intensity thus dominate. Speed is relatively high, the group slows down somewhat towards the end. Its duration is 3/8 (measurement 4). Moreover, no accidental, melody or harmonic form, appeared until now – and one can, on the basis of what was shown higher, predict generally that it will be the case for all the remainder of the part. Because of a constant recourse to connected proportions outstanding, the harmony and the melody are maintained, without benefitting from dualistic manner neither of contradiction between simple formations and complex formations, within the meaning of the old opposition between consonance and dissonance, nor of symmetries compared to the attraction which exerts the asymmetrical deformations. This is also valid for the rhythmic one, which avoids from one end to another metric symmetries (periodic formations of measurements and repetitions), so that – as one already said – none formal constructions and the personal properties which are accompanied or connected one with the other arises: on the contrary, all is connected with all, the music is in a perpetual flow, thus carrying out time according to our alive design of temporal, without the will to stick to the moment, the beautiful passages, the perigees and apogees. Relation — structure of mass – permanent form of group: here three concepts which make it possible to include/understand the music of today.
Group 5 surprises initially by a held chord of two sounds, in a low register, as if it were in connection with group 2 or groups it 3 (bar 5); it is only the continuation which shows how much this long chord, located in a low register and which the notes are very brought closer, emphasizes speed high in the higher registers and distant positions (the chord remains held during this time) (bar 6). The direction of the movement is initially unspecified. Thanks to the high speed of the notes, of which duration, short, and the intensity are almost identical, but whose position changes irregularly, this group, more than the precedents, gives the general impression to converge in a swarm of sounds. If one listens more precisely, one can nevertheless, within this group of 26 notes, to observe in the register higher triple gone up until worms the medium of the group, then a double descent, whereas in the lower register one intends to play some notes here and there (bars 5-6). Inside the FF, the discrete differences in intensity as well as the irregularity of the of the same sub-groups direction are opposed to the regularity temporal intervals. The duration of this group is 4/4.
The group 6 follows, whose form is: held agreement (interval of major third in this case, p, median register) to which are added 12 attacks FF regularly spaced (towards the end, there is by twice a shift, where as the notes isolated an agreement from four sounds and an agreement of two sounds appear at the same time) (bar 7). As a continuation of the downward direction, started by twice already at the end of the preceding group, this group goes to the register low, and the last agreement of two sounds gives the two most raised notes, as if it belonged to the following group (bar 7). This group has the duration of one 6/4. Let us listen maintaining with group 5 and its fast and irregular modifications, and with group 6 and its regular and slower modifications (bars 5-6-7).
A first whole of six groups arises in such a way that one can subdivide it in two sets partial of two and four groups, by means of the pause intervening before the third group. I will thus ask you to pay attention especially, during the execution of the whole of these groups, with the way in which the particular groups are compose the ones compared to the others; examine whether they are made mutually more distinct through the various formal modifications and if it is possible to hear them in a total order, in a higher structure or these groups, even as a partial form, take all their direction only like unit; we thus try to live a total impression (bars 1-7).
If the durations of the groups are compared, the following proportions are obtained: group 1, 5/4; group 2, 2/4 (3/4); group 3, 3/4 (2/4); group 4, 3/8; group 5, 4/4; group 6, 6/4; the series of the proportions is thus roughly 5:2: 3: 1: 4: 6 units of time. Elements within groups (which are sometimes differentiated in sub-groups); groups within principal groups, and principal groups within the whole of groups. The unit of structure immediately above enables us to seize the total structure of the part, which comprises 6 sets of groups indeed. To include/understand that, let us listen to the groups of the following unit.
The second unit starts with the form of group: note behaviour accompanied by notes or agreements of two sounds whose spacing is regular and the intensity almost always regular with MF (bar 8). By there, this group 7 corresponds to group 6 in the field of the form. The proportions of time and intensity are related. But the external form is quite different: compare the two groups by listening to them one after the other (bar 7, then bar 8).
The direction of the movement of the notes and their provision in the registers however point out group 4 of the first unit (measurement 4, then bar 8 starting from the third attack). But average intensity MF corresponds to group 1, and finally the total duration 3/4 with group 3. What do we thus hear by “the groups correspond each ones with the others”? Not a repetition of a group which already existed, within the meaning of a correspondence set of themes, not a variation of form or a development, but rather a correspondence the made-to-order of a structural connection between elements on the temporal level (in our example, essence lies in the regularity of the intervals of time) like on the space level (in our example, the connection between the note or the agreement which resound and the small notes which is followed are typical). Other properties of group correspond on the other hand again to those of other groups already heard (in our example: direction of the movement and the distribution of the registers to group 4; average intensity with group 1; mean velocity with group 2; total duration, on the other hand, with group 3). The connection of the first group of the second whole to the last of the first unit does not take place in the form of a caesura or a strong contrast; on the contrary, the two groups are closely dependent one has the other on the basis of correspondence of the form, so that it does not result a possible symmetry from it from 6 against 6 groups in the whole form. Let us listen to the two groups (bars 7-8).
Then an isolated chord (bar9), which corresponds thus to group 3 (bar3).
The agreement of two sounds became an agreement of four sounds to the broader register, each note – as in group 3 – has a different intensity, and, like before, this form of group is preceded by a pause (end of bar 8 bar 9). Just as group 3 was connected to the following (bar 3 – beginning of bar 4), group 8 is now prolonged by two sounds (bars 9-10). However, it gives the impression to be firmer and thus emphasizes in a way more surprising group 9 following (bar 11).
The pleasing agreement of the notes which start at the same time, from which the intensities are different and who are held over different durations; the agreement brakes itself. This group corresponds to the first where the notes were not struck at the same time m did not finish has different moments but, contrary, were struck one after the other and, thanks to the pedal, finished at the same time. Let us compare the groups 1 and 9, of which the total respective durations correspond. Successive attack of the notes according to an always different, fine spacing simultaneous (bar 1), tackles simultaneous each note and end according to an always different spacing (bar 11). In the first time, we recognize hardly the form of group already heard and we remember it only by lending a detailed attention to the proportions intensity, temporal values and total durations; we perceive a surprisingly new form, although the proportions of these elements are related has a former structure of group. The essential fact is that we become aware of the various degrees of the structural transformation – once, the degree of relationship is very high, another, less low; in the last example, it was very low. Here still what was observed so often: not the same one under another light (i.e. enlightened obliged forms, varied in an always different way), but always the other under the same light (i.e. new forms of groups with related proportions). To detect connect it in what seems very different, in other words: to perceive the different one in the structural relationship is one of the principal concerns of the structural composition. Still let us compare the remainder of the groups of the second whole with those of the first.
Group 10, notes isolated, definitely separated by temporal intensities and values, movement ascending-descendant (bar 12), corresponds to group 4 (bar 4). The notes of group 4, in counterpoint in the lower register, are now removed, and the isolated notes are even more clearly separated by pauses (bar 12). To group 5 already heard (bars 5-6) corresponds group 11, by the average intensity FF, the regular and fast succession as well as the very irregular distribution of the notes or the agreements of two sounds, but this time without the behavior of the agreement of two sounds in the lower register (bar 13).
And finally, group 2, by its form: note or held agreement, to which notes are added or agreements of two sounds of duration and different intensity, separated by pauses (bar 2) corresponds to the group 12, of which the duration is however only half and who is divided in two sub-groups by the distribution of the intensities (very extremely – very soft). The direction of the movement is similar, the different register (bar 14).
Here is for the comparison of the first and the second whole of groups. If, with the listening of such a music, one succeeds in determining the characteristics structural in a way similar to that which we have just tried – while leaving on side would be this only once the usual concepts of form and while being limited to describe, a first step would be already taken. Thus let us compare again the corresponding pairs of groups, while trying to perceive their degree of relationship. Also observe how the succession of the groups changed on the second whole. Group 7, first group of the second unit (bar 8), points out group 6 (bar 7). Group 8 (bars 9-10) points out group 3 (bar 3). Group 9 (bar 11) points out group 1 (bar 1). Group 10 (bar 12) points out group 4 (bar 4). Group 11 (bar 13) points out group 5 (bars 5-6). Group 12 finally (bar 14) points out group 2 (bar 2). New forms – more or less related proportions: the act to compose – to put in report/ratio – applies to the detail as for the unit. To conclude, please compare how the particular groups that we have just heard behave one compared to the other, and how a group produces of it new A another place, so that any particular element forms part of a whole, in a structure. Let us listen to the two sets of groups in this context (bars 1-14).
When you hear it in his entirety, you will notice at once that this Klavierstück is composed in four other sets of groups, that they are renewed constantly while making it possible to feel the relationship of all that is new with what is already known. Moreover, Klavierstücke I-IV are included in a unit of still higher structure in which each part means than the whole of groups means within part, the group within the unit, the element within the group.
(Whole KLAVIERSTUCK I)