Mauricio Kagel

Kagel was born in Buenos Aires on 24 December 1931 into a polyglot Argentine-Jewish family with strongly leftist political views. He studied theory, singing, conducting, piano, cello and organ with private teachers, but as a composer was self-taught. At the University of Buenos Aires, where Jorge Luis Borges was among his lecturers, Kagel studied philosophy and literature. In 1949 he became artistic advisor to the Agrupacion Nueva Musica of Buenos Aires; he began composing in 1950, seeking musical ideas that opposed the neoclassical style dictated by the Peron government. After an unsuccessful attempt to establish an electronic studio, in 1955 he became chorus director and rehearsal accompanist at the Teatro Colon and editor on cinema and photography for the journal  nueva vision. In 1957 Kagel traveled to Germany on a DAAD student grant, settled in Cologne, and became immediately and permanently involved in the contemporary music network as a member of the so-called "second generation" of Darmstadt composers. 

In Germany he participated in the Darmstadt summer courses (from 1958), where he later lectured (1960-66, 1972-76), and conducted the Rheinland Chamber Orchestra in contemporary music concerts (1957-61). Between 1961 and 1965, he also made several concert and lecture tours in the USA. In 1969 he was named director of the Institute of New Music at the Rheinische Musikschule in Cologne and, as Stockhausen's successor, of the Cologne courses in new music (until 1975); in 1974 he became professor of new music theater at the Musikhochschule in Cologne. Kagel was one of the founders of the Ensemble for New Music in Cologne and has worked at the electronic studios in Cologne, Berlin, and Utrecht. He continues to conduct many of his works and directs and produces all of his own films and radio plays.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1964   Match für 3 Spieler 4.00 stars LP
Mauricio Kagel - Match für 3 Spieler Comments :
Part of the  Avant Garde 1968 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon.

For more information: Read this website

Christoph Caskel: Percussion
Siegfried Palm - Cello
Klaus Storck - Cello
Plus a truckload electronics.
1967 Musik für Renaissance-Instrumente 4.00 stars LP
Mauricio Kagel - Musik für Renaissance-Instrumente Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1968 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon.

Collegium instrumentale cond. Mauricio Kagel
1967 Hallelujah (für 16 Solostimmen a cappella) 3.00 stars LP
Mauricio Kagel - Hallelujah [für 16 Solostimmen a cappella] Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1969 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon. Very German oriented, so think Darmstadt or Donauesschingen.

Schola Cantorum Stuttgart cond. Clytus Gottwald
1967 Phantasie für Orgel mit obligati 3.50 stars LP
Mauricio Kagel - Phantasie für Orgel mit obligati Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1968 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon.

Obligati, in case you wondered, is a tape-recording of everyday sounds, rain, flushing toilet, shower etc. A sort of dusty musique concrete.

Gerd Zacher plays the organ
1968  Der Schall 4.00 stars LP
Mauricio Kagel - Der Schall Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1970 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon. Very German oriented, so think Darmstadt or Donauesschingen.

Five players could choose from a variety of unconventional instruments. The list of instruments like a foghorn, a spaghetti-tube with mouth piece, toy-cuckoo goes on and one. It could fill a website.
And as a bonus they could play whatever the liked. Freedom!

Kölner Ensemble für Neue Musik.
1972 Unguis incarnatus est 4.00 stars LP
Mauricio Kagel - Unguis incarnatus est Comments:
Siegfried Palm - Cello
Aloys Kontarsky - Piano
2005   Eine Brise: flüchtige Aktion für 111 Radfahrer 2.00 stars  No record
Mauricio Kagel - Eine Brise: flüchtige Aktion für 111 Radfahrer Comments:
Is this old fashioned conceptual art or just burning taxpayers money?

If you are somewhat familiar with the art of Mauricio Kagel, this performance should not surprise you at all. Kagel has had many playful ideas instead of great music.

Here we have all 111 members of a symphony orchestra driving bikes around the town square in a provincial Dutch town.

If you want to hear a real great interpretation of this opus: Go to a bicycle-race. It will be better than the original. Kagel should have banned the use of these 70's folding bikes. They sound far less attractive than a good racing bike with a proper Campagnolo gear-case**. It's a shame those gears were not around in Ravel's time. He would have made a proper Tour de France opera.

Read the pdf. In dutch.

** The proper name is: Derailleur.