Carl Philipp Emanuel Bachs interest in the organ would seem to be fairly limited, at least judging by the number of pieces he composed for the instrument. The reasons for this attitude could be personal and professional, but could also reflect the changing affections and the new sensibility of the period, since during his lifetime the organ underwent a phase of relative decline. Indeed, following the acme reached by Johann Sebastian Bach, the instrument sank into a phase of neglect in Germany during the second half of the 1700s.
Born in Graz, Austria, Böhm studied law and earned a doctorate on this subject. He later studied music at the Graz Conservatory. On the recommendation of Karl Muck, Bruno Walter engaged him at Munich's Bavarian State Opera in 1921. Darmstadt (1927) and Hamburg (1931) were the next places he resided as a young conductor, before succeeding Fritz Busch as head of Dresden's Semper Opera in 1934. He secured a top post at the Vienna State Opera in 1943, eventually becoming music director.
The performers in Kurzwellen react to the completely unforeseeable events which they receive on short-wave radios while performing on their instruments. But this is not improvisation. Stockhausen s score instructs them how to transform what they hear: how they imitate amd modulate it, make it longer or shorter, how to rhythmically articulate it, higher or lower, louder or softer, darker or more playful. Whether they should play and as solo, duo, trio or quartet, etc. Though not so familiar now, at the time short-wave radios made it possible to listen to live radio stations from all over the world. The transmission was not always clean, but disturbed by noises and interferences. Moving from one station to another one could hear Morse-code signals, amateur radio communications and all kind of electronic sounds and noises. Stockhausen wanted this sound world to be part of Kurzwellen. This new version created by C.L.S.I., premiered at the Stockhausen Summer Course in Kurten on August 10th 2011, is a kind of updating of Stockhausen s one of the 1960s.