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9/6/2015

MauricioKagelBiographyUniversalEdition

UniversalEditionMauricioKagelBiography

Biography
Works
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MauricioKagel
Biography

TheearliestpiecebyMauricioKageltohavebeenpublishedbyUniversalEditionwastheSextetodeCuerdas(19531957).
TheSpanishtitleisanindicationthatitwascomposedbeforeKagelleftArgentinatoliveinGermany.Theworldpremieretook
placeinDarmstadt,in1958,ayearafterhesettledinCologne.Forafewyears,hecontinuedtogivehispiecesSpanishtitles
(suchasTransicinIIforpiano,percussionandtwotapes,writtenin19581959).
However,unlikethestringsextet,TransicinIIisaccompanied,beyondthebasicdataofinstrumentation,durationandyear(s)
ofcomposition,bydetailedinstructionsconcerningperformance.Allfutureworksweretobesimilarlyadorned.
Insubsequentyears,KagelwoulduseGermanand,insomecases,Latintitles.Moreimportantly,hisworksbecameenrichedby
apronouncedleaningtowardsmusictheatre,tingedwithhumourandirony.
Histitleshaveatongueincheekcharacter:Mirumfortuba(1965),Unguisincarnatesestforpianoand(1972)whichhasa
liturgicalandsuitablyfinalairaboutit,butinfactallitmeansisingrowntoenails.Recitativarie(19711972)ismeantfora
singingfemaleharpsichordplayer.Andhowaboutthefollowingunwieldymonsterofatitle:VariationenohneFugeberdie
VariationenundFugebereinThemavonHndelfrKlavierop.24vonJohannesBrahms(18611862)(19711972)(in
English:VariationswithoutFugueontheVariationsandFugueonathemebyHndelforpianoop.24byJohannesBrahms
(18611862)(19711972).ThisorchestralworkhasHandelandBrahmsmakeanappearanceinperiodcostume,wig,beardand
all.
NeitherwasBeethovenspared.Ludwigvan(1969)isdescribedasanhomagebyBeethoven,withaminimumdurationof15.
Accordingtothecatalogue,Thescoreconsistsofblownupdetailsofarangeofprops,whollypastedoverwithnotesbyLudwig
vanBeethoven.
Importantly,thereexistsalsoafilmversion(duration:100).Itpossessesadocumentaryvaluesothatthoseinterestedinthe
composersownapproachtohisworkhaveanauthenticinterpretationattheirdisposal.Moreover,itrepresentsanothermajor
areawhereKagelwasactive:theproductionoffilms.
AtatimewhencomposersafterWorldWarIIturnedtoWebernforguidanceandmanyofthembecamefaithfuladherentsof
theserialmethodofcomposition,Kagelrepresentedafundamentallydifferentendeavour:heplacedaquestionmarkover
traditionalconceptsofmusic,pokingfunatgenresandinstitutionssuchasmusictheatreandtheoperahouse.
MauricioKagelswritingspublishedbyDuMontarerepletewithpassagesthatclamourforquotation.Herearetwoparagraphs,in
thewayofproofandexample:
Asacomposer,Ifeelmoreandmorecommittedtononsoundingmaterials.Idonotregardthemassubstitutesfor
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9/6/2015

MauricioKagelBiographyUniversalEdition

compositionproperonthecontrary.Theyserveasconfirmationofthefactthatthedefinitionof'composition'in
encyclopaedias,thatis,'puttingtogether'and'mixture'aretobeacceptedjustasconsciouslyastheusual'settingoftones'.
Quiteapartfromsuchterminologicalspeculations,theapplicationofmusicalthinkingtopurelytheatricalthinkingisamatterof
course.
Word,lightandmovementarearticulatedsimilarlytotones,timbresandtempithesenseandnonsenseofanyeventonstage
failtomakeanyimpactwithoutmusicality,forthemeansofexpressionappliedbythehommedethetreareinspiredmore
thananythingelsebygenuinelymusicalmethodsofcomposition(hereis,tomymind,apointofdepartureforagentle
expansionofmymusicaltoolstoincorporatetheatricaltoolsaswell.)
Writtenin1966,thoseparagraphsformulatetheprogrammetowhichMauricioKagelremainedfaithfulaslongashewas
publishedbyUE(thatis,until1981).MauricioKageldiedon18thSeptember2008.

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