Kurtág: Grabstein für Stephan, Op. 15; Stele, Op. 33; Stockhausen: Gruppen
Label: Deutsche Grammophon (DG)
The all-caps rendering of "Karlheinz Stockhausen" and "Gruppen" on the cover tells you what prompted this release. Though the reissue of a 1972 Deutsche Grammophone LP also features two fine works by Gyorgy Kurtag, it's Stockhausen's massive piece for three orchestras playing at once that has captured the contemporary music world's imagination. It's best heard live, with the orchestras surrounding the audience, but since that's rare, a stereo mixdown is the next best thing. The buzzing, throbbing chords and single-note jabs passed back and forth are mind-altering -- and wonderful to behold.