Kurtag - Complete Works for Ensemble and Choir | ECM New Series 4812883

Kurtag - Complete Works for Ensemble and Choir

£27.86

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Label: ECM New Series

Cat No: 4812883

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 3

Release Date: 23rd June 2017

Contents

Artists

Natalia Zagorinskaya (soprano)
Gerrie de Vries (mezzo-soprano)
Yves Saelens (tenor)
Harry van der Kamp (bass)
Jean-Guihen Queyras (violoncello)
Elliott Simpson (guitar)
Tamara Stefanovich (piano)
Csaba Kiraly (pianino, spoken word)
Netherlands Radio Choir
Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble

Conductor

Reinbert de Leeuw

Works

Kurtag, Gyorgy

...quasi una fantasia..., op.27 no.1
Brefs Messages, op.47
Capriccios (4), op.9
Colinda-Balada, op.46
Double Concerto, op.27 no.2
Grabstein fur Stephan, op.15/c
Messages of the Late Miss R.V. Troussova, op.17
Samuel Beckett: What is the Word, op.30b
Songs (4) to Poems by Janos Pilinszky, op.11
Songs of Despair and Sorrow, op.18
Songs to Poems by Anna Akhmatova, op.41

Artists

Natalia Zagorinskaya (soprano)
Gerrie de Vries (mezzo-soprano)
Yves Saelens (tenor)
Harry van der Kamp (bass)
Jean-Guihen Queyras (violoncello)
Elliott Simpson (guitar)
Tamara Stefanovich (piano)
Csaba Kiraly (pianino, spoken word)
Netherlands Radio Choir
Asko-Schoenberg Ensemble

Conductor

Reinbert de Leeuw

About

Recorded in Amsterdam's Musikgebouw and Haarlem's Philharmonie between March 2013 and July 2016, this 3-CD set is a milestone in the documentation of Hungarian composer György Kurtág's work and also a labour of love. It brings together all of Kurtág's works for ensemble and for ensemble and choir.

The insightful and precise performances bear witness to extensive preparation by the dedicated Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble. Conductor Reinbert de Leeuw speaks of “learning Kurtág's oeuvre step by step, and performing these pieces repeatedly over a period of twenty years.”

Works heard here are presented in chronological order of composition, beginning with the Four Capriccios (1959-1970, rev. 1993) and continuing with Four Songs to Poems by János Pilinszky (1975), Grabstein für Stephan (1978-79, rev. 1989), Messages of the late Miss R. Troussova (1976-80), ...quasi una fantasia... (1987-88), Op.27 No.2 Double Concerto (1989-90), Samuel Beckett: What is the Word (1991), Songs of Despair and Sorrow (1980- 1994), Songs to Poems by Anna Akhmatova (1997-2008), Colinda-Balada (2010), and Brefs Messages (2011).

The extensive CD booklet includes all song texts with translations, an interview with Reinbert de Leeuw, liner notes by Wolfgang Sandner and Paul Griffiths, and a statement by György Kurtág.

Reviews

This magnificent, Netherlands-sourced set brings together some of Kurtág’s greatest achievements and is performed with devotional precision and commitment by the ensemble Asko | Schönberg, conducted by Reinbert de Leeuw. The title of the collection is misleading: the “ensemble” pieces all involve a solo voice or one or more instrumental soloists. ... De Leeuw, his ensemble and the Netherlands Radio Choir (in the choral works) are fabulously lucid guides. But there are outstanding solo performances, too: from the soprano Natalia Zagorinskaya in the Troussova cycle and the four Songs to Poems by Anna Akhmatova Op 41; from the mezzo Gerrie de Vries in the haunting, scena-like Samuel Beckett: What Is the Word; and from the pianist Tamara Stefanovich in … Quasi Una Fantasia ... and the double concerto. The set is fastidiously presented; ECM’s informative essays regularly put to shame the PR puffery that can masquerade as sleeve notes from the so-called major labels. Kurtág’s exquisitely precise music, wasting nothing, demands that attention.  Andrew Clements
The Guardian 21 June 2017
In almost all the pieces included, from the ostensibly well-mannered …quasi una fantasia… to the kicking and raging Songs of Despair and Sorrow, we are reminded that while the music of Kurtág’s colleagues became ever more transcendent and international, he himself dug deeper into his own country’s soil and was never afraid to get mud on his shoes. A work such as Four Poems by Anna Akhmatova proves that sophistication is certainly not a casualty of that process. ... A proper treasure trove.  Andrew Mellor
Gramophone August 2017
Gramophone Editor's Choice

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