In Memoriam Haydee (DVD)
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Label: ECM New Series
Cat No: 0762896
Number of Discs: 1
Release Date: 16th February 2015
Subtitled 'Játékok - Games and Transcriptions for piano solo and four hands', this is a film, directed by Isabelle Soulard, of a concert given in September 2012 at Paris's Cité de la Musique by the composer György Kurtág and his wife.
The duo performances of Márta and György Kurtág have long been distinguished by flinty new music precision, matched by a quick-witted playfulness and underpinned by a quality of affection. "What playing!" raved the New Yorker's Alex Ross of a 'Játékok' concert. "Notes were placed with surgical care; inner voices gleamed in crystalline patterns; elusive emotional states were painted with quick, light strokes."
From its origins in the early 1970s as a good-humoured unsystematic approach to teaching contemporary keyboard techniques to young players (early pieces in the series included use of clusters, glissandi, harmonics, playing with palms and forearms - a wide range of gestures), 'Játékok' (Games) has developed into a compendium of epigrammatic homages, jewelled miniatures dedicated to composers from Scarlatti to Stravinsky and Christian Wolff, and tributes to colleagues and influences.
In this special case the whole programme - 40 pieces plus three encores - is dedicated to the memory of the Kurtágs' good friend, musicologist Haydée Charbagi (1979-2008). Interspersed amongst György Kurtág's pieces are his much-admired Bach transcriptions - 'Játékok' is a work that has gained strength through contrasting and cross-referencing with other music. The whole programme closes with a radiant version of Bach's 'Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit'.
Among ECM's many widely-praised recordings of Kurtág's music is a 1997 CD of 'Játékok' (4535112), likewise performed by the composer and his wife. "A very special experience - as memorable and as profound as any to be had from new music today", said Gramophone.
1. Adieu, Haydée I
2. J S Bach: Nun komm' der Heiden Heiland (BWV599)
3. Flowers we are... (embracing sounds)
4. J S Bach: Aus tiefer Not schrei' ich zu dir (BWV687) In memoriam Joannis Pilinszky
5. Prelude and Chorale, I. Prelude
6. II. Choral for Benjamin Rajeczky's 80th Birthday
8. Antiphony in F sharp
9. Lamentation (1)
10. Hommage ŕ Christian Wolff (Half-asleep)
11. Playing with overtones
12. Draft-sheet for Tünde Szitha
13. ...and once more: Flowers we are...
14. Beating - Quarelling
15. Study to Pilinszky's Hölderlin (position exercise)
16. J S Bach: Sonatina from Actus tragicus, Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (BWV106)
17. Hommage ŕ Stravinsky - Bells
18. Furious Chorale
20. Palm stroke
24. Merran's dream (Caliban detecting - rebuilding Mirranda's dream)
25. Hommage ŕ Domenico Scarlatti
26. Aus der ferne (for Alfred Schlee's 80th Birthday)
27. J S Bach: Duo No.3 in G major (BWV804)
28. J S Bach: Das alte Jahr vergangen ist (BWV614)
29. J S Bach: Alle Menschen müssen sterben (BWV643)
30. J S Bach: First movement from Trio Sonata in E flat major (BWV525)
32. Lamentation (2) In memoriam Ligeti Ilona
34. Hommage ŕ Kurtág Márta
35. J S Bach: O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig (BWV618)
36. Evocation of Petrushka: Hommage ŕ Farkas Ferenc (3)
37. Adoration, adoration, accursed desolation... : Hommage ŕ Farkas Ferenc (4)
38. Hommage ŕ Soproni (in memoriam matris carissimae)
39. Hommage ŕ Halmágyi Mihály
40. Scraps of a colinda melody - faintly recollected: Hommage ŕ Farkas Ferenc (2)
41. Hommage ŕ Stravinsky - Bells
42. J S Bach: Duo No.3 in G major (BWV804)
43. J S Bach: J S Bach: Sonatina from Actus tragicus, Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit (BWV106)
Rating: E (exempt)
Region Code: 0 (Worldwide)
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