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March 21, 2012

"Ludwig van" — by Mauricio Kagel

I'd never heard of Mauricio Kagel until I read David Colman's March 18 New York Times "Possessed" feature about Jay Sanders, a curator at New York's Whitney Museum involved in the installation of the latest Biennial.

Wrote Colman, "One of his heroes is the polymath par excellence Mauricio Kagel, a German-Argentine renaissance man whose artistic practice comprised filmmaking, composing and theater art — for starters."

"'He made these really terrific films in the 1970s that would take his music into all kinds of other different terrains,' Mr. Sanders said. 'I have these concert films where you see people using things like vacuums with Ping-Pong balls. It's gimmicky in a way, but the sound aspects are really interesting and the music is really captivating.'"

From Kagel's Wikipedia entry: "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 to 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."

Above, "Ludwig van."

March 21, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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Comments

I shut my eyes (eyelids) for the second showing and

visualized an entire cartoon from beginning to end!

Posted by: JoePeach | Mar 21, 2012 9:00:32 PM

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