Robin Maconie


    BORN IN 1928, Karlheinz Stockhausen grew up in rural Germany under Nazism, endured deprivation and war, flirted with poetry, and studied philosophy, finally deciding in 1950 to devote his life to defending so-called degenerate art, and to composing a new music of transcendent abstraction. Inspired by the power of radio, he first came to public attention as a white-coated, nuclear-age modernist and composer of the awe-inspiring Gesang der Jünglinge (Song of the Youths, 1955–56), a five-channel tape composition dedicated to the Catholic faith and grounded in information science and linguistics.