Stockhausen: Helikopter Quartett

Stockhausen: Helikopter Quartett, Arditti String Quartet 1996 ★★★★
This quartet gets 10 stars for strangeness. Honestly, I’ve never heard anything quite like this. The quartet is performed with each string player in a separate helicopter, hovering over the audience, with the sound piped down and mixed. For all its strangeness, it seems to work. It definitely is not sonorities that we are used to hearing, yet, it is not unpleasant, and manages to comfortably integrate the sound of the beating rotors to the tones produced by the string instruments. This CD is definitely not for the neophyte or conventional classicist. It is a single track, recorded slightly longer than 31 minutes. This could be one of the most intriguing 31 minutes of listening experience that you have ever experienced, should you wish to venture beyond Bach and Beethoven. By the way, after playing this 4-5 times in the operating room, I’m now forbidden to play Stockhausen in the OR. We’ll see.