MAURICIO KAGEL (1931-2008): Improvisation ajoutée. Rrrrrrr ..., General Bass, Phantasie, DOMINIK SUSTECK (b.1937): K-A-G-E-L .
Catalogue Number: 11S062
Reference: WER 7345 2
Description: Kagel's controversial - scandalous, even, around the time of its premiere, Improvisation ajoutée (1962) with its singing, groaning, shouting, handclapping assistants, choreographed registration changes and cluster playing, and a plethora of sonoristic avant garde organ clichés, opens the disc. His next organ piece, 1967’s Phantasie, is less extreme, but contains similar theatrical ideas. 'A day in the life of the organist', it incorporates recordings of the performer's daily activities (boiling a kettle, etc.) alongside complex modern organ music, with a good deal of improvisatory and graphically notated freedom (unlike the pre-determined, fixed recordings of the daily rituals), and, finally, the organist's 'day job' - playing for a church service. General Bass is from a series of pieces that deconstruct the conventions of instrumental music; the piece is a long series of sustained bass tones, lines and gestures that sound as though they have become detached from the rest of a piece. The disc also offers the deliciously pointed, knowing, Kagelian humor of Rrrrrrrr ..., with its cliché nightingales singing in the bass register because of a cold, the ignominious transformation of the instrument into a fairground organ, the drunken 'Rauschpfeifen' and so on. The organist's five improvisations pay tribute to Kagel through a series of Kagelian gestures, from the apocalyptic and avant-garde to the mundane and comic. The initial letters of the movement titles spell out 'KAGEL', a tribute to Kagel's Rrrrrrrr .... Dominik Susteck (organ).