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Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klang

Karlheinz Stockhausen, Klang—4. Stunde: Himmels-Tür (Sound—Fourth Hour: Heaven’s Door), 2005. From Klang: Die 24 Stunden des Tages (Sound: The 24 Hours of the Day), 2004–2007. Performance view, Teatro Rossini, Lugo, Italy, June 13, 2006. Stuart Gerber. Photo: Alan Taquet.

BEGINNING ON MARCH 25, in celebration of the opening of the Met Breuer—the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new satellite in the old Whitney Museum building on Madison Avenue—a complete performance of all twenty-one sections of Karlheinz Stockhausen’s unfinished cycle Klang (2004–2007) will be presented for the first time in the United States. This US premiere, undoubtedly one of the cultural highlights of the spring season in New York, will be performed over the course of two days, in three locations: the Met Breuer, the Met, and the Cloisters.

When the German composer began writing this cycle of chamber pieces in 2004, as he related in an interview with Dutch journalist Thea Derks two years later, Klang constituted the next step in a logical progression of works that engage the affect of temporal cycles.1 The forebear of this series, Stockhausen’s Tierkreis (Zodiac, 1975–77),

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