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" SOLO "
Karlheinz Stockhausen 

"Solo" is an open work where the freedom and creativity of the interpreter is huge, but where the control of the composer is just as important. At first glance, it is a frightening score and... it requires a long preparation. Any musician wanting to play "Solo" must realize his own version. This is truly a work of creation. With my colleague Carmine Casciato and the technical means of today I made my version of this written work in 1968.We improved our version under the guidance of flutist Dietmar Wiesner during the Stockhausen Concerts and Courses in Kürten. 


During those Concerts and Courses not only did we gained a thorough understanding of Solo, but also of Stockhausen's original philosophy about the concert: preparing the public, playing from memory, music in motion, sound projection and spatialisation, and what could be the musician of the future.

In Stockhausen's words

Solo is a composition for one performer and can be performed on any melodic instrument. The playing of the soloist is partially captured by a microphone and recorded during execution. Through a feedback system, recorded sounds are mixed with variable density, possibly transformed, and then released with a variable delay, by a system of speakers to two channels at the same time as the soloist continues to play.


If you really want to perform these works, you have to study them with those who have already done so and have spent many months with me for this purpose. I want to establish a new learning tradition, where young performers learn from the masters because scores can in fact become undecipherable. They need to be demonstrated, and that's why we have teaching sessions every summer. Some works are conceived so as to give the performer more room for interpretation…


Solo is a unique creation in the course of this giant of the twentieth century. The work redefines the roles of composer and performer and can be played with any acoustic or electronic instrument. What are the steps and challenges to reach a version that respects the spirit and will of the composer both in the work and its presentation?

In concert

It is most interesting to combine this work with more recent ones, acoustic solo works or works with electronics.


At least 1 technician / musician, an expert "sound projectionist" is essential.

Audio excerpt :

Concert at  Aula Hall in Kürten during

Stockhausen Concerts and Courses

Beginning of Solo - Solo at the 8th minute


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