09-18: Jimi Hendrix : Stockholm 1967 | Albert Hall Soundcheck 1969 - Kagel Heterophonie Gielen 1968 - Jimmy Witherspoon Singin' the Blues 1958 - Ekatarina Velika : Radio Belgrade live 1991

1831 – Peter Hänsel (German-Austrian violinist & composer of chamber music)
1857 – Karol Kurpiński (Polish composer, conductor & teacher)
1903 – Sydir Vorobkevych [Isidor Vorobchievici] (Ukrainian composer, writer, priest, teacher, artist & newspaper editor)
1903 – Theodor Kirchner (German composer & pianist)
1918 – Ernest Farrar (English composer, pianist & organist)
1929 – Hermann Graedener (German composer, conductor & teacher, active in Austria)
1941 – Fred Karno (British comedian & music hall impresario, inventor of "pie in the face" gag)

1952 – Frances Alda (New Zealand-born Australian operatic soprano)
1969 – Rudolf Wagner-Régeny (Hungarian-born German composer, conductor & pianist)
1970 – Jimi Hendrix (American rock guitarist, singer & songwriter)
1997 – Jimmy Witherspoon (American blues & R&B singer)
1998 – Charlie Foxx (American R&B & soul guitarist & singer, duo with sister Inez)
2002 – Margita Stefanović (Yugoslav-Serbian rock keyboardist, Ekatarina Velika

2007 – Pepsi Tate (Welsh metal bass guitarist, Tigertailz)
2008 – Mauricio Kagel (Argentine-German composer)

Do you really need for me to say something about Jimi Hendrix? Well, let's see... he was the greatest guitarist in rock history. I guess that about covers it.

Well, it's the third anniversary of the passing of Mauricio Kagel, who'd been one of the last surviving internationally important composers to arise out of the European avant garde just after the end of WWII (Pierre Boulez is just about the only one left now). Kagel had a unique musical voice, a playful one which incorporated elements of performance art and a sense of humor that was never very far below the surface. He worked in several different media over the course of his very productive career, including film (e.g., Ludwig van (1970), a critical examination of the uses of Beethoven's music, made during the bicentenary of his birth), and many of his musical compositions have yet to be recorded, and/or have been performed only on very rare occasions. His love for absurdism is perhaps best appreciated in Staatstheater (1971), a work he described as a "ballet for non-dancers," but which is really more like an opera. The percussion battery for the work includes chamber pots and enema equipment. His great interest in the music of other time periods and other cultures is demonstrated in works like Exotica (1972) for 6 singing instruments with 10 or more non-European instruments, the Musik für Renaissance-Instrumente (1966), and sundry chamber works for unusual groups of instruments, such as accordions and zithers.

Others I wish I could say a few words about. Like great jump-blues shouter Jimmy Witherspoon. And Ukrainian composer Сидір Іванович Воробкевич, another one of those somewhat sickening jacks-of-all-trades who makes the rest of us look bad. And Karol Kurpiński, considered Poland's greatest composer before Chopin came along. And Ekatarina Velika, another one of those bands that's not been on the radar screen at all for an ugly American like me, since they had the audacity to be from Eastern Europe, instead of North America or Britain like most reasonable bands come from. Yes, I'd love to say more, but there's still way too much catching up to do. So, in the immortal words of Marty DiBergi, "Enough of my yakkin'. Let's boogie!"


1 comment:

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