Kagel, Mauricio (Raúl)

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Kagel, Mauricio (Raúl)

Kagel, Mauricio (Raúl), notable Argentine composer and pedagogue; b. Buenos Aires, Dec. 24,1931. He studied in Buenos Aires, taking courses in theory with Juan Carlos Paz and in piano, cello, organ, conducting, and voice with Alfredo Schiuma et al.; he also studed philosophy and literary history at the Univ. there. In 1949 he became active with the Agrupacion Nueva Musica and joined the staff of the Teatro Cólon in Buenos Aires. In 1957 he went to Cologne on a stipend from the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst. He taught at the courses for new music in Darmstadt from 1960, and was founder- director of the Cologne Ensemble for New Music from 1961. After serving as the Slee Prof. of Composition at the State Univ. of N.Y. in Buffalo (1964–65), he was director of the Inst. for New Music at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne (from 1969). In 1974 he became a prof, at the Cologne Hochscule für Musik. In 1989 he was composer-in-residence at the Cologne Philharmonie. In 1977 he became a member of the Akademie der Künste in Berlin. He was awarded the Mozart Medal of Frankfurt am Main in 1983 and was made a Commandeur de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France in 1985. He is the author of Worte über Musik: Gespräche, Aufsätze, Reden, Hörspiele (Munich, 1991). Kagel has developed an extremely complex system of composition in which a fantastically intricate and yet wholly rational serial organization of notes, intervals, and durations is supplemented by aleatory techniques. Some of these techniques are derived from linguistic permutations, random patterns of light and shadows on exposed photographic film, and other processes. In his hyper-serial constructions, he endeavors to unite all elements of human expression, ultimately aiming at the creation of a universe of theatrical arts in their aural, visual, and societal aspects.


dramatic:Sur Scène, chamber-music theater piece (1959–60); Antithese for 1 or 2 Performers and Electronics (1962); Tremens, scenic montage (1963–65); Die Himmelsmechanik, piece with theater scenery (1965); Pas de cing, variable scene for 5 Performers (1965); Staatstheater, scenic piece (1967–70); Con voce for 3 Mimes and Instruments ad libitum (1972); Mare nostrum, scenic piece (1973–75); Présentation for Speaker, Piano, and Tape (1976–77); Variété, concert spectacle for Artists and Musicians (1976–77); Die Erschöpfung der Welt, scenic illusion (1976–78); Umzug for Mime (1977); Die Rhythmusmaschinen, action for 10 Gymnasts and Instruments (1977–78); Ex-Position, action for Vocal Ensemble and Instruments (1977–78); Aus Deutschland, lieder opera (1977–80); Der Tribun for Political Orator, Marching Band, and Loudspeaker (1978–79); Der mündliche Verrat or La Trahison orale, musical epic on the Devil for 1 Female Performer, 2 Male Singers, Tuba, Viola or Violin, Double Bass, Piano or Electric Organ, 3 Percussion, and Tape (1981–83); …nach einer Lektüre von Orwell, theater picture or scenic environment (1982–83); Tantz-Schul, ballet d’action (1985–87); Zwei Akte for 2 Actors, Saxophone, and Harp (1988–89). orch.:Heterophonie (1959-61); Sonant for Electric Guitar, Harp, Double Bass, and Small Orch. (1960); Diaphonie II for Orch. and 2 Slide Projectors (1964); Music for Renaissance Instruments for 23 Performers (1965–66); Klangwehr I for Military Marching Band (1969-70; II for Military Marching Band and Chorus); Musi for Strings (1971); Variationen ohne Fuge (1971-72); 10 Märsche, um den Sieg zu verfehlen for Wind and Percussion Orch. (1978–79); Finale for Chamber Orch. (1980–81); Rrrrrrr …(1980-82); Szenario for Strings and Tape (1981–82); Musik (1987–88); Les idées fixes (1988–89); Die Stücke der Windrose for Salon Orch. (1988–93); Les idées fixes (1988–89); Opus 1.991 (1990); Konzertstück for Kettle Drum and Orch. (1990–92). chamber:Variationen for Flute, Piano, Violin, and Cello (1951); String Sextet (1953; rev. 1957); Transicion II for Piano, Percussion, and 2 Tapes (1958–59); Schlag auf Schlag for 4 Music Saws and Percussion (1963–64); Match for 2 Cellos and Percussion (1964); 4 string quartets (1965, 1967, 1988, 1993); Phantasie for Organist, Assistants, and 2 Tapes (1967); Der Schall for 5 Performers (1968); Acustica III for 2 to 5 Instrumentalists or Tape (1968–70); Unter Strom for 3 Performers (1969); Tactil for Piano, 2 Guitars, and Electronics (1970); Charakterstuck for Zither Quartet (1971); Exotica for 6 Performers (1971–72); Aus Zungen Stimmen for Accordion Quintet (1972); Dressur, percussion trio (1976–77); Blue’s Blue for 4 Performers (1978–79); Klangwölfe for Violin and Piano (1978–79); Aus dem Nachlass for Violin, Cello, and Double Bass (1981–86); Trio for Violin, Cello, and Piano (1984–85); Pan for Piccolo and String Quartet (1985); For us: Happy birthday to you! for 4 Cellos (1987); Phantasiestück for Flute and Piano (1987-88; also for Flute, Piano, Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Violin, Viola, and Cello); Zwei Akte for Saxophone and Harp (1988–89). vocal:Anagrama for 4 Soloists, Speaking Chorus, and Chamber Ensemble (1957–58); Diaphonie I for Chorus, Orch., and Slide Projectors (1964) and III for Chorus and 2 or More Slide Projectors (1964); Musik aus Diaphonie for Voices and Instruments (1964); Hallelujah for Voices (1967–68); Abend for Double Vocal Quartet, Trombone Quintet, Electric Organ, and Piano (1972); Kantrimiusik for Voices and Instruments (1975); Chorbuch for Vocal Ensemble, Piano, and Harmonium or Electric Organ (1975–78); Tango Aleman for Voice, Violin, Bandoneon or Accordion, and Piano (1977–78); Vox humana?, cantata for Women’s Voices, Orch., and Loudspeaker (1978–79); Mitter-nachtsstük for 4 Soloists, Speaking Chorus, and 9 Instruments (1980-81; 1986); Sankt-Bach-Passion for Mezzo-soprano, Tenor, Baritone, Speaker, Chorus, Speaking Chorus, Boy’s Chorus, and Orch. (1981–85); Fürst Igor, Strawinsky for Bass and 6 Instruments (1982); Intermezzo for Speaker, Chorus, and Orch. (1983); Ein Brief for Mezzo-soprano and Orch. (1985–86); Quodlibet for Woman’s Voice and Orch. (1986–88); Fragende Ode for Double Chorus, Winds, and Percussion (1988–89); …den 24, XII. 31 for Baritone and Instruments (1988–91); Liturgien for Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Double Chorus, and Orch. (1989–90). other: Film-collage; tape piece; electronic scores.

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire