Far into the Stars

Released 2017 | Music by Markus Stockhausen, Jörg Brinkmann, Angelo Comisso, Christian Thomé. Mixed by Walter Quintus, produced by Markus Stockhausen. In 2018 Markus Stockhausen received the German Echo Jazz Prize for his new album „Far into the Stars“.

While planning the release of this album with Sony, I learned that Walter Quintus had passed away. It was a great loss for me and many musicians, for he was peerless in his ability to project music with spatial imagination and sonic perfection. This is our final release together, after 35 years of collaboration and 15 joint productions. This music is dedicated to you, Walter, in gratitude for everything.
The CD title, “Far into the stars”, now has a deeper meaning – a glimpse into the vastness of the universe, into the unfathomable spaces of being, beyond time. The “Chorale at the end of the journey” is also meant for you, Walter. “Cult”, “Free spirit” and “Snow of today” are the freely improvised studio pieces that you mixed with such brilliance.
To me, “Schnee von heute” is one of our most successful improvisations of recent years, completely free and intuitive. We played it with no previous agreements after a morning walk in new-fallen snow.
I wrote “Our Father” in 2002, and I’m happy that we’ve now re-recorded it (after the recording on Joyosa) with the opening melody played so marvellously by Jörg on the cello. Jörg, who joined our trio with Angelo and Christian in December 2015, forms a perfect complement to our group, which has been in existence since 2004 and which is now called QUADRIVIUM. Indeed, he does much more than that, for his wealth of timbres is seemingly limitless.
The first piece, “Far into the stars”, forms a musical bridge between my time in the Rainer Brüninghaus Trio (CD Continuum) via Aparis, Lichtblick and Electric Treasures to the present day. Many things resonate in it that can’t be put into words. Already in the introduction we hear Christian toying inventively with acoustical and electronic percussion sounds.
“Encoeur” is simply a jaunty theme intended above all to put listeners in a good mood. Angelo finds just the right style on the piano. He’s also responsible for “Passacaglia”, which emerged spontaneously in the studio. And he mysteriously brushes the strings of the piano in “Kult”.
I’m very happy with this music, and wish to express my thanks not only to my wonderful fellow musicians, but to Steffen Lütke for the creative recording ambience in Fattoria Musica and to Sony Music for releasing this album and initiating our new collaboration.

Markus Stockhausen, Spring 2017
Translation: J. Bradford Robinson

Markus Stockhausen – trumpet
Jörg Brinkmann – cello
Angelo Comisso – piano
Christian Thomé – drums


1. Far into the stars 14.27
2. Encoeur 5.06
3. Our father 6.24
4. Passacaglia 6.39
5. Kult 11.34
6. Choral am Ende der Reise 5.52
7. Freigeist 6.58
8. Warmlicht 4.13
9. Schnee von heute 9.45

Published by Sony Music.

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Quotes from Reviews

“This music has a classical flavour, with choral, elegiac, fluid and conciliatory aspects. Whenever it threatens to become too bold, Stockhausen’s unbelievable trumpet tone manages to disarm the mere emotional in favour of an intellectual power and gripping melodies.”
Ralf Dombrowski, in Audio 9/17, CD of the month

“A unique sound concept: a music of transition, floating in space, that gives the listener an idea of transcending the present – and thus of freedom. Full of spiritual power but by no means esoteric; flooding the whole room, but firmly anchored in great depth; luminous, but never dazzling; unobtrusive, but constantly handcrafted in supreme brilliance. …. musical stringency at the very moment of its climax, i. e. precisely when it unreservedly opens up to the listener – there are currently only a handful of quite varying ensembles such as the Tarkovsky Quartet or Quadrivium, who succeed in this feat. .”
Volker Doberstein, Jazz Podium 10/17

“Opinions will differ on this album. …. A mood shifts almost imperceptibly from unperturbed beauty to the tension of harmonic opposites before it is dissolved again. Oscillation becomes rhythm, everything appears organic, inevitable in its dramatic composition. First and foremost is Stockhausen’s impeccable trumpet sound, the purity of which embraces the music and gives it a radiance…. then, there are the ostinato, shimmering piano themes by Angelo Comisso, the discreet cello of Jörg Brinkmann – alternating between cantabile melodies and bass tones and Christian Thomés gently arranged drums demonstrating oscillating percussion rather than the slave to rhythm. This is consistent chamber music…”
Stereoplay, 9/17, Jazz CD of the month

“Islands of peace, letting go, the need for relaxation…these characterise the latest music by Markus Stockhausen, music that never drifts off into randomness and which can be classified as a modern version of “Cool Jazz”.”
BR5 Radio 12.8.17

“Jazz rock to lift you up: Markus Stockhausen and his quartet have released an album that effortlessly transcends borders. As a trumpeter he is in a class of his own. Markus Stockhausen has been working for years in the field of jazz, jazz rock, world music and new music. …“Far Into The Stars” (OKeh/Sony) is not a solo project. Behind it is Stockhausen’s formidable quartet Quadrivium…. The result is an incredibly homogeneous ensemble sound that gives wings to the seemingly weightless playing of the quartet. In the press photo, the four musicians hover just above the ground, and that’s how this album sounds. Absolutely worth listening to!
German Press Agency, dpa, in Stern. de, WN. de, Focus. de

“And once again it is a great pleasure to listen to Markus Stockhausen playing the trumpet: the perfect mastery of technique and breathing; the striking purity, unambiguousness and clarity of the sound; the sovereign use of time – all this is unmistakable. At the same time, the quartet has found an intensive consensus in the conception of sound and structuring processes.”
Hans.Jürgen Linke, Jazzthetik 11/12/ 2017

“Extracting yourself from your parents’ influence and asserting yourself can become a strenuous challenge. Markus Stockhausen has succeeded brilliantly in this difficult feat. …[he] devoted himself to instrumental art in his early years and studied trumpet, classical as well as jazz in Cologne. Composing came later.
Whether jazz or art music, world musical influences or electronic sound carpets, sacred commissioned works or minimal compositions, Markus Stockhausen’s diversity is clearly reflected in his musical work. “Far Into The Stars”, the trumpet player’s latest album recorded together with pianist Angelo Comisso, cellist Jörg Brinkmann and percussionist Christian Thomé, brings together many of the things that Markus Stockhausen stands for in retrospect. They are imaginative strolls between differentiated chamber music and atmospheric ambient spaces. Stockhausen jr. creates trumpet melodies with a jubilant passion, he finds disturbingly beautiful themes and (unfortunately not often enough) claustrophobic trills. Everything is harmoniously interwoven with each other, impresses the listener in the exploration of soul moods and stands for self-confidence and creativity. It is the dynamic musical posture of a subdued pathos and at the same time music full of associations and touching vibrations.”
Jörg Konrad in www.kultkomplott.de

“Don’t be afraid of the name Stockhausen. What applied to father Karlheinz – roughly speaking, the dedication to experimental and eccentric music – has long since ceased to have such a tight grip on his son. Although Markus Stockhausen also works with elements of electronics and combines modern music with jazz and classical music, most of the work here takes place in a more orderly fashion and thus appears to be much more accessible, while remaining very far removed from any mainstream tendencies.
It is Stockhausen’s magical and soft trumpet sound, the jazzy piano of Angelo Comisso, the unconventional cello playing by Jörg Brinkmann and the gentle drumming by Christian Thomé, which constitutes the charm of these nine, in part very extensive pieces. An unmistakable ambient character runs like a red thread through the compositions, which are repeatedly and pleasantly loosened up by light jazz rock passages, elegiac insertions or chamber music sections. Thus the title “Far Into The Stars” not only proves to perfectly encompass this wonderful music, but also serves as a farewell to Stockhausen’s sound engineer Walter Quintus who died after 35 years of collaboration, after completion of these recordings.”
in www.sound-and-image.de

„For me music is both an expression of the world and a refuge from it, the best of what we are and can be, in communication and communion with others — gracious, as a humble listener, I don’t know where I’d be without it. I know „Far into the stars” pretty well by now — thanks for the gift of it (in both senses!). I love the last track in particular, as a wonderful example of unforced music in the moment.“
Richard Ogier, Journalist, Munich