Created during a production between the 10th and 14th December 1969 in the Godorf/Cologne Studio
Based formally on the composition of "Kurzwellen": material is obtained from a regulating system (radio short waves), selected freely by the player and immediately developed. By "developed" is meant: spread, condensed, extended, shortened, differently coloured, more or less articulated, transposed, modulated, multiplied, synchronized.Stockhausen, from the attached sleeve text
Originating in 1969 with a short melodic fragment that grew into an elaborate piece that runs well over an hour, Karlheinz Stockhausen's Mantra for two pianos and electronics is recognized as one of his major keyboard works and an example of his increasingly liberal use of serial methods. The central idea operates on many levels throughout the composition, and the organization of Stockhausen's 13-pitch series a twelve-tone row with the first note repeated at the end takes place on small and large scales, with some permutations of the motive or "mantra" extending over so much time that their relationships become imperceptible.
Simon Rattle has recorded a lot of 19th century music and most of the results have been dismal. There is little to recommend by Rattle in pre-20th century repertoire. A few Haydn symphonies, some pretty good Brahms, bits of Mahler, Ein Heldenleben by Strauss which is just at the cusp of the 20th century. Alright, so Rattle is not the conductor to go to for the great classics. However, when he records modern music, he seems fully in tune with it's sound and style, plus he has less competition on the market to boot.
The French conductor François-Xavier Roth was born in France in 1971 and studied at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique. In October 2000 he won joint first prize at the Donatella Flick Conducting Competition in London, following which he was appointed for two seasons assistant conductor with the London Symphony Orchestra. From 2000 to 2002 he was also assistant conductor with the Caen Orchestra. In 2003 François-Xavier Roth created the chamber orchestra Les Siècles (The Centuries), combining period and modern instruments, an orchestra which covers a vast repertoire from Baroque to contemporary music.