Mauricio Kagel was a German-Argentine composer who was notable for his interest in developing the theatrical side of musical performance .
Kagel was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, into a Jewish family which fled from Russia in the 1920s. He studied music, history of literature, and philosophy in Buenos Aires (Grimshaw 2009). In 1957 he came as a scholar to Cologne, Germany, where he lived until his death.
Kagel also made films, with one of the best known being Ludwig van (1970), a critical interrogation of the uses of Beethoven's music made during the bicentenary of that composer's birth . In it, a reproduction of Beethoven's studio is seen, as part of a fictive visit of the Beethoven House in Bonn. Everything in it is papered with sheet music of Beethoven's pieces. The soundtrack of the film is a piano playing the music as it appears in each shot. Because the music has been wrapped around curves and edges, it is somewhat distorted, but Beethovenian motifs can still be heard. In other parts, the film contains parodies of radio or TV broadcasts connected with the "Beethoven Year 1770". Kagel later turned the film into a piece of sheet music itself which could be performed in a concert without the film - the score consists of close-ups of various areas of the studio, which are to be interpreted by the performing pianist.
Komponist Mauricio Kagel gestorben
Mauricio Kagel site by Bjorn Heile
Kagel Biography by BBC Radio 3 programme Cut and Splice
Mauricio Kagel at UbuWeb Film
Kagel's Acustica at the Avant Garde Project
Edition Peters: Mauricio Kagel
Interview: There Will Always Be Questions Enough
UbuWeb: Mauricio Kagel
Washington Post obit
New York Times obituary
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