The news is starting to filter through: the world’s most influential composer has died, aged 79. The death of the Hungarian composer András Szöllösy was announced earlier today, but an already dark day just got much blacker.
Stockhausen’s legacy is immense and impossible to calculate, although many will try over the next few days. I’ve only this week been editing a new list of his works; even after Licht he remained hugely productive, attempting to outstrip even that ambitious project with Klang, a projected cycle of 24 works, one for each hour of the day. Klang will remain a long way from completion now, but even more sad is that Stockhausen never got to see his final two operas (Mittwoch and Sonntag) staged; the complete cycle is sketched in for Essen in 2010.
I’m off to listen to Gruppen, loud, and toast a genius. I suggest you do likewise.