Customer Reviews (1)
various/ nefarious essays on an interesting creator/composer
this is an interesting collection of essays,reflections materials on an interesting composer. Stabler's creativity fairly paralleled the post-modern experience, like Cage in many ways with smatterings and gestures into performance art,graphic notation,different instruments,and procedures even when the piece of music is fairly genre-bound as his anti-nuclear "Warnung mit Liebeslied" the performers, Harp, Accordeon and Tuned Bottles can take on the persona of actors, players addressing the subject matter.Stabler likes rhythm as a cohesive element as a structural means and frequently simply uses it as a base.
This book has wonderful graphic examples as well of this,scores,sketches, manuscript excerpts, photos.
Stabler has played both sides of the fences in his work in expressive situations within the vagaries and force fields of modernity that of innovation,the technical/conceptual; again the influence of Cage, and Schnebel is remarkable,in that he always finds his own voice within the materials,as nefarious and incomplete as they sometimes are;And then there is the socially conscious, the political, aspects no one desires to pursue has been a source for work by Stabler.In the early Eighties for example his gut-wrenching chamber work with reciter focused on the massacre of Palestinians in "Sabra und Chantila" this drew some controversy of a German composer dealing with this subject matter.. The music he wrote in the Eighties was like an on-going dialogue with Marxist Hanns Eisler.Recall that Eisler for German composers continues to be a rich source, a conceptual reservoir for materials and continuation of a part of culture that was snuffed out by the reaction during the darkest times, the eradication of the Left in Germany,which is often forgotten, Stabler's "Total" for piano solo for example is a work of procedures and charts, graphs, and directions, and utilizes Eisler's song, "the torn dress" but is deceptively present within the the negated space of piano harmonics,like a mist, or a timbral dream, only audible if you know the tune, and know when it occurs.The pianist needs to wear headphones to capture the various tempi transformations.
Much of the essays here are by Stabler himself with position pieces as "Fur spater jetzt" like a self-dialogue on what he finds important in composition. He had frequently interviewed those who cared to listen to his music and those that didn't as a garbage man walking down the street, asking what he thought music should do. There is also his lecture "Silence (Ver-)Schweigen", where he speaks about the latter music of Luigi Nono,of "Prometeo" and his second teacher Nicolaus A.Huber(also a student of Nono) (the first was Stockhausen).
Dieter Schnebel, an important composer of text pieces, also a compelling performance artist within the post-modern writes about Stabler's collective improvisation-like piece, "Hart auf hart", this is a sheet, (11 X 17) of a graphic array of the commercially used zebra stripes,identifying commodities,but here utilized as rhythms,the work is for any number of instruments/players; but there is also the subtext of ecology I suppose, of utilizing things already in the real world. And Stabler has indulged in these games countless times, using materials from all parts of music history but erased from their context, played with muted piano strings, with ones(a second players) hands, so the result is simply a rhythm very beautiful and percussive.
Stabler also did a fare amount of commissioning of pipe organ works(his first instrument) and here we have Christian Wolff's "Black Song Organ Preludes" from 1987 used with permission from the publisher with Wolff's notes. These have been played numerously in the USA and Europe.These are primary Wolff;(the period of the piano "preludes",and chamber works) melodic bound yet unfinished and convoluted,aggressive and threadbare and it has an indeterminate-like simplicity, and the organist needs to select his/her own registrations for timbres.
Max Nyffeler, under a piece "Utopische Skepsis, kuhle Satire" explores Stabler's performance art. He(Stabler) has always been a performer in his own works, whether via a keyboard instrument, his voice,using a bullhorn,his body,clapping out a rhythm,playing percussion pieces,anything really, a stick, or stomping on the floor. He does wonderfully exciting, gut-wrenching things with the untrained/trained voice, like breathing exceptionally hard for a while and fast, increasing in tempo,until a painful stroke occurs to halt the progess. This while a violist strums a string out-of tune.
Stabler proves what STockhausen said some years ago that one should be able to make music with/from anything, any materials, and find some part, some aspect of dimension that deems itself interesting. Stabler however has always kept an eye on innovation,and finding himself in differing genres; technical and conceptual and always tries to subvert a genre once chosen. His operas for example utilze film and complex lighting arrays as well as machine-like contraptions that make noises. (Maurcio Kagel seems to be the ontologic source here.) He also has pieces where the musicians reside within a fence, :shadows of wild pain: where one or two slowly break away to strum their bow to make a timbre on the fence, a metaphor for un-freedom I suppose.
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