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Karlheinz Stockhausen: Zodiac (Tierkreis)
Ivan Ženatý & guests


F1 0030  [8595017403026]
TT- 63:45,  released 2/1993,  remaster reissue 2006

Stockhausen´s Tierkreis (Zodiac) from 1975 is a cycle of twelve compositions inspired by the signs of the zodiac. The work is intended for one chordal instrument; playing from the written notes is largely open to interpretation. Ivan Zenaty offers a version in which each sign of the zodiac is performed by a different chordal instrument. The solo violin, by contrast, moves through all the signs, influenced both by the meaning of the individual signs and by the character of the instrument accompanying it at that moment.

Ivan Ženatý
Ivan Ženatý - violin
Aleš Bárta - church organ, Jana Boušková - harp, Rudolf Dašek - guitar, banjo, Pavel Drešer - accordion, Josef Hála - piano, harpsichord, celeste, Jiří Mazánek - sitar, Daniel Mikolášek - vibraphone, marimba, Antique cymbals, bells

    1. Wassermann / Aquarius 6:08
      Jiri Mazanek - sitar + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    2. Fische / Pisces 6:13
      Daniel Mikolasek - vibraphone, Antique cymbals + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    3. Widder / Aries 3:12
      Josef Hala - piano + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    4. Stier / Taurus 4:57
      Pavel Dreser - accordion + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    5. Zwillinge / Gemini 4:59
      Josef Hala - harpsichord + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    6. Krebs / Cancer 3:55
      Rudolf Dasek - guitar + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    7. Löwe / Leo 6:38
      Ales Barta - organ + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    8. Jungfrau / Virgo 4:43
      Jana Bouskova - harp + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    9. Waage / Libra 4:38
      Josef Hala - celeste + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    10. Skorpion / Scorpio 2:57
      Rudolf Dasek - banjo + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    11. Schütze / Sagittarius 7:41
      Daniel Mikolasek - marimba + Ivan Zenaty - violin
    12. Steinbock / Capricorn 6:44
      Daniel Mikolasek - bells + Ivan Zenaty - violin

On the Stars, the Zodiac, on Stockhausen and his Melodies
The image of the universe has fascianted man for thousands of years. Innumerable variations ofthe stars´positioning in space and time have brought whole generations of men to thoughts of the human spirit and its dependence on unuttered rules of the world. Each of us is – to a greater or lesser extent – influenced by the point in time that he was born, each of us searches in his past in order to determine future possibilities. Each of us sometimes peers at the sky, realizing his own smallness and the greatbess of creation. ___ We search our hearts not only to recognize oour selves, but also to undrsatand the laws that rule the world, shared features of individuals as well as their differences. We recognize Nature not only in order to live in harmony with her, but also to enlighten ourselves as to tohe sense of our existence. ___ The famous Karlheinz Stockhausen (b. 1928) conttemplates and dreams, too. He even invents new rules based on our knowledge of the different planets, stars, sings of the zodiac. Stochausen composes abstract music by means of concrete tones, opening, thus, a new space for mediation and, also, for a new, exciting congnition. ___ This is how, in 1975, the twelve melodies for twelve zodiacal sings, originated: „I started to deal with the twelve human characters of the zodiac od with I had previosly known nothing certain. While composing the melodies, I kept in mind the characters of my children, friends and acquaintances who were born under different sings and I studied in detail the individual human types. Each melody has been composed, in its entirety, in accordance with the characteristic feature of its sign.“___ Each melody also has its central tone (e.g. in Aquarius, the sign of Julika, Stockhausen´s younger daughter, the leading tone is E flat, the central tones of the following melodies rise chromatically.) ___ To those who perform Zodiac, the author offers a plentitude of possibilities. For example, the premiere performance was dony by „Persusions de Strasbourg“ in 1975. There exists, however, the edition of 1976 for soprano, alto, tenor, baritone and basso with a chordal instrument (so far in german, English and Italian – lyrics by Stochausen ), as well as a version for chamber orchestra, or another for trumpet, soprano, bass – clarinet and basso. ___ The melodies are recommended to be played repeatedly, so that the character of each can shinee trought, it is however also posible to play several melodies simultaneously, or to transpose them. In other words – the performer becomes, on the author´s impulse, an active co – creator who sould invest the whole of his imagination in his performance, and thus expres his own individuality. ___ Our recording, datet 1992 (17 years after the work was composed) was considered from many aspects. Its main goal has become, to underline the character of each sign of the zodiac by a different instrumentalitaion. in the same way that, while watching the starry sky each of us becomes a part of the universe, in the same way that, every individuality is influenced by its surroundings, the one melodic instrument (violin) comes throught changing backgrounds of harmocic instuments. The unifying line of the violin is, however, transformed as well – in terms of articulation and dynamics, or in tempo and beauty, other times it is played disruptedly, sighilgly, or curtly: sometimes only parts of it are played, or fragments, or merely its central tone. The harmonic instument never simply accompanies. So, for example, in the first part (Aquarius), the intoductory chords played on sitar are first heard without melody. Only later the violin´s tones appear, then fragments of melody, so that Stockhausen´s whole version climaxes, and then disappears once again into uncertainty. On the other hand, in the secod part (Pisces), both instuments are, from beginning to end, interwined in a weird bond, creating most varied forms by means of articulation, accents, interruptions etc. The selection od harmonic instuments especially on the character of the music itseelf. For example, the sparse chord structure of the Capricorn corresponds with the sound of bells better than the complicated s core of the Sagittarius, for which we have chosen marimba. ___ While recording Stochausen´s Zodiac, we discovered a number of possibilities for interpretation and, at the same time, realilzed that this „universal music“ can be understood in thousands of the ways. It brought us contemplation and joy, partiel undersanding or, rather, a hint of the meanig of the xork. It brtought us another proof of the beauty of the universe, and its unfathomability.

Ivan Ženatý, Praha 1992

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