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Szenario Duodramen Liturgien

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, December 12, 2006
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Mauricio Kagel is a conductor, writer, teacher and self-taught composer, initially influenced by avant-garde figures such as Boulez and Stockhausen. During the 1980s, however, his musical language became more conventional, although it could never be calle
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 12, 2006)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #592,463 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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The late Argentine-born composer Mauricio Kagel is best known as one who hob-nobbed with post-war avant gardists like Boulez and Berio. He has moved on from all that, the Naxos notes assure us, but make no mistake, this is still prickly, intellectually demanding music, even if Kagel regularly uses a sense of dramatic occasion to give his sounds a feeling of urgency. The most immediately graspable piece here is Szenario, a 13-minute score intended to accompany the surrealist Buñuel-Dali silent film "Le chien andalou." Its creepy tremolos, stalking rhythms, and yowling dogs on tape would seem to make it a natural for Hallowe'en programming, to stand beside Danse Macabre (if there are any adventurous orchestra programmers left out there). Duodramen is a Gesangszene for soprano and baritone with orchestra that mixes elements of Mahler-Strauss parody and Berg Sprechstimme into the texture. It ends as high drama, as the raging baritone murders the soprano. I followed with the on-line text supplied by Naxos, but the character names printed there are in fact irrelevant to the goings on, and the piece leaves me cold. Liturgien, on the other hand, speaks readily: It is a choral piece for three male soloists, choir & orchestra fusing texts in multiple languages from Jewish, Christian (Catholic, Lutheran, Orthodox), and Muslim worship. Is that a shofar I hear about one minute from the end? I only think Kagel could have done more with the chorale tradition, since the text quotes "Nun danket," "Wachet auf," and the like. But this is serious music, difficult but deserving of attention, beautifully performed and presented. Now if someone would only reissue Kagel's "Ludwig van," one of the landmarks in the development of electronic music.
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Szenario Duodramen Liturgien
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