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  Mauricio Kagel, DAS KONZERT  27.09.2003 - 00:00
  Mauricio Kagel: DAS KONZERT
for flute, harp, percussion and strings (2001/2)

World premiere: 2nd October 2003 Duisburger Theater, Duisburger Philharmoniker,
cond.: Mauricio Kagel,
soloist: Michael Faust

DAS KONZERT is Mauricio Kagel's very first ?concerto? of that kind for a solo instrument plus orchestra.

When I spoke to Kagel in 1997 about the idea of commissioning some work of his, I asked him whether he would write a piece for flute and strings for me, perhaps also with one or two other instruments. His answer revealed his basic attitude: he had indeed already written a ?concertpiece? for timpani and orchestra, however he had refused to compose a concerto up to the present day. Shortly after this talk though the chance came up to make one of Kagel?s dreams come true: some of his concertpieces were to be set up on stage.

Kagel?s composition DAS KONZERT, which is his first real concerto, was finished as early as May 2001 although the world premiere had been fixed for October 2003. He likes to have his work done in time so as to give the musician enough time for practice. Still that was extremely early, probably due to the singularity of this theatrical concerto project, and Kagel sent me a copy of his score. When I first paged through the sheetmusic I noticed both the particularity of the composition and the difficulties of playing it on the flute. There was hardly anything written beyond the middle of the third octave.
When we first met up in January 2003 in order to play and listen I was deeply impressed with Kagel?s openness towards some of my suggestions being the flautist. From these sessions of playing the solopart to him or later from the rehearsals first with piano, then orchestra, a close cooperation developed in a warm atmosphere, which I found quite extraordinary in its mixture of humour and seriousness.

DAS KONZERT is a composition with no breaks lasting about 27 minutes. The soloist is to change flutes several times, from the C-Flute to the Alto flute and finally even to the piccolo. Apart from a considerable degree of virtuosity the piece requires the highest possible variety of sounds produced by the different flutes and in fact the human voice is also asked for while playing.
What I find particularly attractive is the ensemble playing of flute, harp and percussion. Often the three instruments are lead parallelly, so the effect is like a concertino in chamber music.
It appears to me that Kagel?s treatment of the stringorchestra reveals his aim to let different sounds develop on their own without asking for special techniques or hardly any. One of the
idiosyncracies of this soloconcerto is that there is no cadenza in the classical sense. Instead there seem to be two ?anti-cadenzas?, typical of Kagel?s use of irony. He does keep to this ironical streak in the end and stays Mauricio Kagel with his formerly critical attitude towards the genre ?soloconcerto?.

The dates of my solo performances are:

2.10.2003, 19:30 in Duisburg (Theater)
5.10.2003, 15:00 in Duisburg (Theater)

On October 8 at 18.00 we will perform DAS KONZERT with moderatian and explanation in a youth concert- without staging but with a radio recording by WDR.

26.10.2003, 19:30 in Düsseldorf (Opera)
31.10.2003, 19:30 in Düsseldorf (Opera)
2.11.2003, 15:00 in Düsseldorf (Opera)
9.11.2003, 19:30 in Düsseldorf (Opera)