5. February 2021

Young Interpretations of Mauricio Kagel’s ‘Ludwig van’


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Q2 Musikkurs Aloisiuskolleg Bonn:
Mauricia Kagel Ludwig van. Hommage von Beethoven

Direction, Peter Veale and Benjamin Kobler (Ensemble Musikfabrik) with Michael Conzen (music teacher).

Janet Sinica, video

From 6 November to 4 December 2020, ensemble members Peter Veale (oboe) and Benjamin Kobler (piano) visited the upper school course of music teacher Michael Conzen at the Aloisiuskolleg in Bonn on five dates. The musicians brought with them a somewhat different series of workshops on the theme of the year, BEETHOVEN 2020. Using Mauricio Kagel’s composition Ludwig van (1969) as an example, the aim was to show contemporary ways of dealing with the centuries-old music of Beethoven and to stimulate the young people themselves.
The first step was to introduce the group to new music in general and to pick them up at their level of experience and knowledge in this field. To give them a deeper insight into contemporary music practice, the musicians played two pieces for the young people – MM51 by Mauricio Kagel and Three Essays by Toshio Hosokawa – and told them about their ensemble’s regular collaboration with contemporary composers, such as Kagel. Finally, in preparation for the interactive-creative phase of the project, they presented them with a recording of Kagel’s Ludwig van as well as another of his works: Finale – with Chamber Ensemble (1980/81), during which the conductor suffers a theatrical heart attack and yet the piece continues to the end.
Based on these first listening impressions, the class learned to read and interpret the composition Ludwig van, including its graphic score, more precisely in the second workshop unit. For the students, the interpretation of white and grey areas as well as blurred notes in the score, for example, required increased discussion. In a final step, they entered into an independent dialogue with the piece, using Beethoven scores and percussion instruments they had brought with them (in addition to their own instruments). In this way, the young people worked in small groups on the design and tonal realisation of their personal Ludwig van interpretations. Originally, these were to be performed at a final concert in the Beethoven House in Bonn. Due to the pandemic, this had to be postponed until next year, but the class did not miss the opportunity to record their Ludwig van variations once again on film with video assistance in the last workshop unit. Also fortunately for us, who have to bridge the time until the concert with them…

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)