Within the space of a year, the music world lost two of its most significant composers: Karlheinz Stockhausen (1928-2007) and Mauricio Kagel (1931-2008). Reason in itself to organise a festival around these two giants, who each occupied a unique position with regard to the music of the last half-century.
With Orchestrion-Straat Kagel honoured Dutch musical life, which rivals that of many other countries in terms of its density and quality, as well as in the infectious enthusiasm of its listeners. The Netherlands is also the country of street organs and mechanical musical instruments. The street on which Kagel’s orchestrion performs is the concert stage…”I would like to see carousels and street organs performing in the open as highly regarded interpreters of serious music.”
Two theatrical works by Karlheinz Stockhausen have been included in the programme – works involving walking, whispering and movement. Shortly prior to his death, he completed Glanz for the Asko Ensemble, a work that functions as the ˜tenth hour’ in the Klang cycle. The composer summed up the work as follows: “The clarinet, viola and bassoon provide the large form, which is interrupted by magical moments. The oboe, trumpet and trombone provide the surprises.”
Orchester-Finalisten is based on the idea that more and more orchestral musicians have the desire to prove their individual talent. Stockhausen, who saw the performances of his orchestral works realised with only the greatest of difficulty, was little impressed with the attitude of the traditional orchestral musician. His view was that musicians ought to be required to display a totally different side at an orchestral audition.
Maarten Warmerdam was responsible for the light design for the event.