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Born in 1928, Karlheinz Stockhausen became one of the most recognisable figures in contemporary classical music. He is responsible for the first published piece of electronic music, Studie II; and his work, Gesang der Jünglinge, is considered by many to be the most influential piece of electronic music in the 20th century. Those outside of classical may know him as a cited influence for Frank Zappa and the Beatles, even featuring on the cover of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band. Yet he music remains challenging to new listeners.
In this episode we ask, how did Stockhausen come to have such resonance despite the challenging nature of his work? And how should one approach his music? We spoke with James Ingram, his long-time copyist snd Robin Maconie who has published extensively on the enigmatic composer. We invite listeners to play his works in full after and come to their own conclusions.