This work by Stockhausen is the first major work by a modern atonal composer that has meant anything to me. From the very first seconds of the piece I was able to hear where modern composers such as Kitaro or Jarre found their inspiration.
The piece has a definite structure or form and the addition of the vocal lines allow one to feel a part of the performance to feel that we’re being played to on the same intellectual level as the composer rather than being played at by a patronisingly lofty artist that neither knows nor cares how we perceive the music.
This is also the first time that I’ve heard a member of this generation of composers making use of the stereo effect and panning sounds around the audience. I can only imagine what the effect would have been with the audio coming at the listener from five directions.