The Awakening Heart

On March 27th, 2013 we experienced the world premiere in Hamburg of Markus Stockhausen’s latest orchestral work, “The Awakening Heart” for 3 soloists, jazz drums and symphony orchestra, performed by the Hamburger Symphoniker under the direction of Prof. Wolf Kerschek. Markus Stockhausen and his brother Simon Stockhausen both had been invited as guest artists for one concert season with a dozen concerts.

The Awakening Heart is a kind of symphonic fantasy with a duration of about one hour. Markus Stockhausen had long intended to write a larger work for orchestra. His immediate idea was to write music that would touch the listener’s heart through its beauty and intimacy, and less his cognitive mind.

This music contains stylistic elements from classical, jazz and world music, the latter thanks to the brilliant collaboration with the lebanese singer Rabih Lahoud. The other soloists were Tara Bouman on clarinet and bass clarinet and Markus Stockhausen himself on trumpet and flugelhorn. Both have a long standing musical relationship and certainly add a very special element to the work.

Markus Stockhausen is known to transcend stylistic boundaries. In “The Awakening Heart” he tries a new way of blending written and improvised music. The composition starts with a hymn-like opening, and then, like hills unfolding before a mountainous landscape, the work unfolds increasingly until in the last section a real climax is reached with strong rhythmic elements and joyous themes.

The composer is grateful to the Hamburger Symphoniker who commissioned the work.
A complete audio track with a recording of the premiere can be sent upon request. Please write to music.

The Awakening Heart

Composition for solo clarinet (also bass clarinet), solo trumpet (flugelhorn), tenor singer, jazz drums and orchestra
dedicated to Rabih Lahoud

Duration: 60 minutes

The premiere cast

Rabih Lahoud
Tara Bouman
Clarinet / Bass clarinet
Markus Stockhausen
Christian Thomé
Jazz drums
Wolf Kerschek


Solo Clarinet in A, Bass Clarinet in B-flat
Solo Trumpet in B-flat + C, Flugelhorn in B-flat
Solo Tenor
Flute 1
Flute 2, Piccolo
1 Alto Flute in G
2 Oboes
1 English Horn in F
3 Clarinets in B-flat
2 Basoons
3 French Horns in F
3 Trumpets in B-flat, with Cup and Straight Mute
2 Trombones
Bass Trombones
Timpani/Gran Cassa/Cabasa
Jazz Drums
Vibraphon (best with jazz skills)
Violin 1
Violin 2
Violon Cello
Double Bass
Strings 12,10,8,6,4 (10,8,6,5,3)

Aktivraum Musikverlag ISMN: M-700233-36-5

For me it was specially pleasing to be able to direct the premiere of Markus Stockhausen’s “The Awakening Heart”. This work is a wonderful example of the potential development we can expect from music today.
The epoch of so called “new music” brought a high degree of experiment and during this period sound dimension was further developed. Through abstract contemplation and techniques that intentionally avoided familiar structures, a deeper emotionality and musical understanding became secondary. Today we can again reach audiences and fellow musicians on an emotional level and take them with us on a spiritual journey.
What is new here, is that free improvisation accompanies the orchestral composition while rhythmical elements from jazz and diverse cultures, grooves are finding their way into European art-music. This demands new qualities and qualifications from classically trained orchestral musicians.
A new epoch of emotional, globally transferable and inspiring music has begun and in Markus Stockhausen we have a pioneer of this movement. “Awakening Heart” is a fine example of path-breaking, accomplished composition for the orchestral concert repertoire, and one we hope to hear on a regular basis.Prof. Wolf Kerschek, Hamburg, im April 2013