Sonnenaufgang – Sun Rise

for jazz trio and orchestra

It was early in the morning on the island La Palma in the Canaries. We were on the highest mountain, 2400 metres above sea level, and the splendour of the stars in the night sky was gradually fading into dawn. Then the first sunrays flashed on the horizon, breathtakingly beautiful. For a moment we felt like kings of the world, sublime, at one with nature.

With this impression still fresh in mind, I wrote the theme of Sonnenaufgang (Sunrise) shortly afterwards. The composition was created in the months that followed, between December 2002 and August 2003. It is my third piece for jazz trio and orchestra, and was commissioned by the Musikkollegium Winterthur and their conductor Jac van Steen.

Sonnenaufgang – a journey starts, like a day, like a life. The pulsating rhythm surges forward, always returning, and on the way various things happen: Many colours become visible, moods are lived through, some of which are only short-lived. Lust for life, intensity, melancholy feelings too. Then the leaving of normality, the “dropping out”, that leads to a completely free part for the trio, and finally the return of the sun theme. But different, more subtle, transfigured, liberated.

„Sonnenaufgang“ has been performed many times with my great collegues Arild Andersen and Patrice Héral, and most often the composition was followed by „Choral “ and „Sehnsucht “.

  • Arild Andersen
  • Markus Stockhausen
  • Patrice Héral

We have produced a double CD from the live recording of a concert with the Radiophilharmonie Saarbrücken under the direction of my friend Christoph Poppen, and has been released in June 2009 under the title SYMPHONIC COLOURS.


for jazz trio and orchestra (2003)
comissioned by the Musikkollegium Winterthur

World premiere
March 17th, 2004 in Winterthur (CH)

Markus Stockhausen, Tp / Flh
Arild Andersen, Double Bass
Patrice Héral, Percussion
Jac van Steen, conductor

Solo Trumpet in Bb
Solo Double Bass
Solo Drum Set
1 Flute
1 Oboe
1 Clarinet / Bass Clarinet in Bb
1 Bassoon
2 French Horns in F
2 Trumpets in Bb
(also Piccolo Tp.)
1st Violins
2nd Violins
Double Basses

ca. 25 minutes

Published by
Aktivraum Musikverlag Köln
ISMN: M-700233-08-2


“The borderlines between jazz, new music and classical music, enriched with elements from light music, were expressed even better in a kind of programme music with the title Sonnenaufgang. A jazz trio was contrasted with an orchestra. These partners symbolised different sound worlds, playing together, after one another and against each other. And yet Stockhausen managed to fuse the different players together. At the end, a surprise: The orchestra musicians left the stage while still playing. This may well have been a kind of reminiscence of Haydn’s “Farewell” symphony.
Fugal passages in Post-Baroque style showed, in the performance as a whole, that Stockhausen has a profound knowledge of historical voice-leading and composition techniques. The bassist Arild Andersen deserves special praise for making his own virtuosic marks, as does Stockhausen himself on the trumpet for his bold, blues-rhythm improvisations.” Reiner Henn, April 2008

2009 - Symphonic Colours

Jazz meets Symphony – Markus Stockhausen is one of the most versatile musicians of our time, being equally at home as trumpeter, improviser and composer, in jazz, contemporary and classical music.

2002 - Choral - Sehnsucht

CHORAL. The theme was written for the late “Jazz Pope” Joachim Ernst Berendt, on the occasion of his 75th birthday.