MAURICIO KAGEL (b.1931): Szenario for String Orchestra and Tape, Duodramen for Soprano, Baritone and Orchestra (Margaret Chalker, Roland Hermann), Liturgien, for Tenor, Baritone, Bass, Chorus and Orchestra (Martyn Hill [tenor], Romain Bischoff [baritone], Wout Oosterkamp [bass], Gulbenkian Chorus).
Catalogue Number: 02I097
Description: This is Kagel in his best 'subvert the establishment from within' mode, in three orchestral works that on one level exist in a kind of post-modern, neo-something or other territory, with a predominantly harmonic, even somewhat conventionally tonal vocabulary (the tape part in Szenario just provides a little surrealist color). Duodramen is both an homage to and a parody of a late 19th-century operatic scene or late-romantic orchestral song cycle. It is an impressive example of the latter, if listened to with no sense of irony; however, perhaps because one knows it's Kagel and was written in 1999, one is intermittently aware that maybe the emotions are a little too overwrought, the musical tension wound up to the brink of caricature. Liturgien does the same sort of thing with the idea of the sacred choral tradition in the 20th century; Kagel pulls it off so skillfully that it could be a genuine liturgical work of considerable grandeur, with suggestions of Britten, Orff and Penderecki; or it could be an exercise in saying, "come on now, you can't really find this kind of thing valid at our point in history". No texts. Saarbrücken Radio Symphony Orchestra; Mauricio Kagel.