2. März 2012

Morceau de Concours

A piece about the obsession with virtuosity? A comment on a proud cornet players ego? A portrait of mankind, with our strange tendency to show off? To present a peacock tail to the public, all the while our inside insecurity  simmers, vulnerable egos boiling over into ugliness,  exploding in inevitable anguish, gasping out one final death rattle of arrogance…

For a 1996 performance in the Cologne Philharmonie, Kagel requested the solo player to perform in an old French military uniform, on stage proudly presenting his virtuosity and self-perceived charm, the 2nd player was to lurk in the shadows, sarcastically mirroring and revealing the inner discord and distress, while a third performer tried to raise a white flag in the background. How much more “Kagel-esque” can you get?!?

This is my 3d recording of this piece: The first with Kagel in 1994, in duo with Markus Stockhausen, for WDR and his radio drama “Nah und Fern”. The second in 2005, a solo version for my Solo CD “HOT”, under the supervision of Kagel (he wished a version with 5 different trumpets!) Then the final collaboration with Kagel on the arrangement for trumpet and horn.

This recording felt very special: In preparation, I was thinking back on Kagel, listening to old recordings and finding inspiration in some of his interviews – it was so nice to hear him talk again. We recorded in the Ensemble musikFabrik studio, with our new studio equipment, in our own space: How wonderful to have access to such a luxury!
I played on my dear hornplayer colleague Christine Chapman’s first instrument, a Bundy B flat cornet from 1973, which still works quite well for the most part…
This version with horn is quite something – soon to be released on our Ensemble musikFabrik label!