GYÖRGY KURTÁG Signs, Games and Messages

Years have passed since György Kurtág’s last ECM recording, which incorporated his “Jatékok (Games)” and “Bach Transcriptions”, made with Kurtág and wife Márta playing piano together.
The birth of this newest album has been an arduous one, with the composer intensely and meticulously involved at every step of the way. And if “Games” are at the centre of this recording, too, they are often life-and-death games - echoing the endgame humours of Samuel Beckett’s universe and the anguish of Hölderlin - in a programme in which two song cycles are bridged by the “Signs, Games and Messages” for strings. (As England’s The Independent has observed, “György Kurtág never writes a note lacking musical intent, and never writes a note with which he has not lived and suffered.”) “Kurtág’s described all three cycles as “Works In Progress” and their formal boundaries are particularly fluid, even within the context of an oeuvre in which labyrinths of connecting threads (musical, literary, philosophical, epistolary) have become the norm.
Kurtág has consistently revised these works, reordered the movements, added new movements, set others aside, both for concert performances and in the realization of this album. Although “Signs, Games and Messages” includes among its numerous dedicatees an “Hommage à John Cage”, the tight control that Kurtág exerts over every grain of sound, every gesture, sigh and silence, makes his work the converse of “indeterminate”. And yet the way the pieces move, as chains of interlinked miniatures (only one of the 59 tracks here has a duration of more than three minutes), conveys a sense of living tissue as well as an “improvisational” freshness. “A whole world of expression and suggestion” is indeed “packed into these exquisite, crystalline forms” (The Guardian). (ECM Records)

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  1. Many thanks and regards from The Netherlands.
    Veel dank en groeten uit Nederland.

    ResponderEliminar
  2. Many thanks and regards from The Netherlands.
    Veel dank en groeten uit Nederland.

    ResponderEliminar

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