Stockhausen was a true 'bad boy' of even the avant garde. He started out with serialism, moved into electronic tape, free improvisation, theater performance, opera, even helicopters. But in his work "Beethoven Opus 1970" he did a tribute to Beethoven (who he genuinely respected). In this work musicians performed a version of Stockhausen's "Kurzwellen", but instead of using random radio signals as musical cues, he used recordings of Beethoven's music. The musicians would improvise against the musical excerpts according to the score instructions and Stockhausen would do live manipulation of the audio signal. Stockhausen is controversial. I would love to see a daily blog about Stockhausen, it's such a huge subject.
Personally, I think the idea sounds better than the actual realization, and perhaps Stockhausen in retrospect felt the same way. When he started his own record label and released a complete edition of his works, he decided to exclude only one work, this one. It has never been released on CD in any form.
Listen to an excerpt of "Ludwig Van" from the Deutche Grammophone release below.
Kagel also made a film called "ludwig van" which was re-screened in NYC during a Kagel film festival several years ago. It consists of a single camera POV from Beethoven himself if he visited the world of 1970. He visits the Beethoven museum in Bonn, a record store....later there is footage of a panel of Beethoven experts, one of which is Kagel himself. At the end there is a performance of the Pathetique piano sonata by various animal puppets. Alternately absurd and vaguely disturbing. Sometimes the music from the film is mistaken for the music composition, but it is not. It's confusing to research.
Kagel Films on UBUWEB.
So there you have it, some of the oddest Beethoven "interpretations" on record (no pun intended). Get your samplers and ring modulators ready for the 250th anniversary in 2020...