London: Universal Edition [PNs U.E. 13.673 LW, 13.010 LW], ©1963.
Folio. Original publisher's light ivory printed wrappers. , [3 double-page leaves], 144 pp. Performance notes in German, French, and English.
Publisher number 13673 on cover and first page of music, 13010 on remainder of pages.
From the collection of noted musicologist Stanley Boorman, with his signature to verso of upper wrapper and extensive analytical annotations in pencil throughout.
Wrappers slightly worn and browned. Minor internal wear.
First Edition, issue in smaller format. Maconie, p. 133.
Gruppen is a large-scale work for three orchestras, premiered in Cologne on 24 March 1958, conducted by Pierre Boulez, Bruno Maderna, and Stockhausen. Composed from 1955 to 1957, it is a culmination of Stockhausen's experiments applying serialism and mathematical structures to larger forms.
"Out of the impersonal system arises a personal imagery: impressions and reflections of natural movement, leaves disturbed by the wind, patterns of rainfall, sunlight dancing on the waves–audible manifestations of invisible forces, composed with a deep understanding of their inner movement, and not random or disordered events. 'It is always a question of functionally directed form,' says the composer, and the function–the motivation–is musical as well as representational. Out of a personal mixture of formal and visionary motivations emerged a masterpiece, and out of the system a new delicacy of imagery, plasticity of movement, and musical perspective." Maconie, p. 140.
"The leading German composer of his generation, [Stockhausen] was a seminal figure of the post-1945 avant garde. A tireless innovator and influential teacher, he largely redefined notions of serial composition, and was a pioneer in electronic music ... Gruppen for three orchestras (with three conductors), [is] probably the foremost orchestral achievement of the 1950s avant garde ..." Richard Toop in Grove Music Online.
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