anthos: Flower, blossom, splendour of colours, poetic: all that is in blossom.
The ensemble anthos, consists of six percussionists from the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover, concerns on music from contemporary composers and is specialised in the work of Karlheinz Stockhausen.
anthos has been founded during the daily work of the percussion class (under the leadership of Prof. Andreas Boettger) of the Hochschule für Musik und Theater Hannover. With the performance of pieces like for example ”Ionisation” by Edgar Varèse, “Con Luigi Dallapiccola” by Luigi Nono and “Etudes choréographiques” by Maurice Ohana the artists gained a vast knowledge of the percussion literature of the 20th century.
The manipulation of the sound, the outmost rhythmical precision and the use of a vast range of sounds are decisive aspects for the interpretation of the pieces. By the use of so many different percussion instruments, live-electronics and their choreographical way of making music, anthos developed themselves to a specialist in spatial performances. The result is the endeavour to create even more different sounds with their percussion than the western music demanded before.
The most famous example for this kind of work of anthos is Mikrophonie I (1964) by Karlheinz Stockhausen. On the one hand the classical music consists of the direct generation of sounds, on the other hand there are two new layers when performing Mikrophonie I: the collecting of the sound and the redistribution of the sound. Microphones grasp the different sounds of a big Tam-Tam. Afterwards the sound is filtered and output into the room by four loudspeakers into the room. The challenge to synchronise these layers developed such a sensibility at anthos that ideas and structures of compositions are pursued into never realised details. In 1997 anthos won the 1st prize of the competition at the Hochschule für Musik and Theater Hannover, the following year they won the 1st prize at the international courses of Stockhausen in Kürten. At this occasion the contact to Karlheinz Stockhausen was established and also the wish to devote on his music for percussion ensembles.
During the last years anthos specialised in the interpretation of the compositions of Karlheinz Stockhausen. By the concentration on the work of just one composer the musical content and the performance of the compositorical ideas become more transparent and easier to understand for the audience. The ensemble attaches importance to an intensive and close work with the composer. The pieces MIKROPHONIE I, MUSIK IM BAUCH and KATHINKAs GESANG (for six percussionists and solo flute) are worked out in many rehearsals with Karlheinz Stockhausen. Since summer 2000 anthos has all three percussion sextets by Stockhausen in their repertoire. For the interpretation of these pieces the ensemble received in 1998, 1999 and 2000 the 1st prize at the international courses of Stockhausen in Kürten.
translation C. Katzenberger