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Kurtág: Musik für Streichinstrumente / Keller Quartett

Album Summary

>Kurtág, György : Aus der Ferne no 3, for string quartet
>Kurtág, György : Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervßnszky, for string quartet, Op. 28
>Kurtág, György : Ligatura - Message To Frances-Marie (The Answered Unanswered Question) Op. 31/b (Version 1)
>Kurtág, György : Quartet for Strings Op. 1
>Kurtág, György : Hommage à Mihály András, 12 microludes for string quartet, Op. 13
>Kurtág, György : Ligatura - Message To Frances-Marie (The Answered Unanswered Question), Op. 31/b (Version 2)
Performers Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
This disc, devoted exclusively to Kurtág's music for string quartet, is of great significance, and both performance and recording are equal to the enterprise. The Keller Quartet have secure technique as well as emotional commitment, while ECM has provided a warm yet spacious acoustic for this expressive music. The journey begins with Kurtág's Op 1 of 1959, in a world, dominated by expressionistic fragmentation, of which he's clearly the master. Eighteen years later, in the Op 13 Microludes, Kurtág has perfected his own personal style, in which small, separate forms are linked together, and the music's allusions - to Bartók and Webern, in particular - are subsumed into a lyrical, dramatic discourse. The fruits of Kurtág's long apprenticeship are most evident here in the superb Officium breve of 1988-9, a miracle of textural imagination and musical thought whose richly varied language is distilled further into the two miniatures - Ligatura (also 1989) and Aus derFerne (1991). By now Kurtág's music is characterised by a concentrated homogeneity, and by a harmony whose tensions, and stability, are the result of bringing convergence and divergence into confrontation. The result is memorable, and these fine recordings provide immensely rewarding listening.

Notes & Reviews:

Personnel: Jánow Pilz, András Keller (violin); Zoltan Gal (viola); Ottó Kertész, Miklós Perényi (cello); György Kurtág (celesta).

Recording information: Casino Zögernitz, Vienna, Austria (11/1995).

György Kurtág's music has been called a synthesis of Bartók and Webern and that's a pretty apt description. Of course Kurtág is Hungarian and, in his own words "my mother tongue is Bartók," but he is also a contemporary of Ligeti, a pupil of Messiaen and a serialist. Like Webern he aims for intense economy of expression, distilling his ideas into crystal miniatures. Once seen as a reactionary when compared to the wilder 1950s avant-gardists, he has stuck mainly to small chamber works and the serial vocabulary he inherited in the fifties. What he is noted for is a certain kind of purity, a deliberate process of digesting outside ideas carefully so that they become totally immersed in his sound world. This disc includes his three string quartets and other short works composed between 1959 and 1989. The performances by the Keller Quartet are exemplary and offer an ideal introduction to an uncompromising composer.



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Works Details

>Kurtág, György : Aus der Ferne no 3, for string quartet
  • Performer: Keller String Quartet
  • Ensemble: Keller Quartet
  • Running Time: 2 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1991

>Kurtág, György : Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervßnszky, for string quartet, Op. 28
  • Performer: Keller String Quartet
  • Ensemble: Keller Quartet
  • Running Time: 13 min. 18 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1989

>Kurtág, György : Ligatura - Message To Frances-Marie (The Answered Unanswered Question) Op. 31/b (Version 1)
  • Performers: Keller String Quartet; György Kurtág (Piano); Miklós Perényi (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Keller Quartet
  • Running Time: 3 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern

>Kurtág, György : Quartet for Strings Op. 1
  • Performer: Keller String Quartet
  • Ensemble: Keller Quartet
  • Running Time: 1 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1959

>Kurtág, György : Hommage à Mihály András, 12 microludes for string quartet, Op. 13
  • Performer: Keller String Quartet
  • Ensemble: Keller Quartet
  • Running Time: 8 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 1978

>Kurtág, György : Ligatura - Message To Frances-Marie (The Answered Unanswered Question), Op. 31/b (Version 2)
  • Performers: Keller String Quartet; György Kurtág (Piano); Miklós Perényi (Cello)
  • Ensemble: Keller Quartet
  • Running Time: 3 min. 37 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern