Author Topic: György Kurtág (b. 1926)  (Read 30638 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline not edward

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3827
  • Hello, little man. I will destroy you.
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #40 on: April 07, 2012, 02:34:48 PM »
Offhand, the two Hungaroton collections are essential coverage of his first 25 years or so:

The one of earlier works is:



The slightly more recent one (no image): http://www.amazon.com/Works-Soprano-Adrienne-Csengery/dp/B0000030A7/

For the quartets, I prefer the Kellers to the Ardittis:



The col legno portrait concert disc is essential for works from the 1980s in particular:



After that, maybe one of the recordings of Kafka-Fragments; and some selections from Jatekok or Signs, Games and Messages. That still arguably leaves you a bit light on recent works, I suppose, but I've not been so great at keeping up with Kurtag's last 20 years or so.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Offline Lethevich

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 9748
  • I spilled my drink!
  • Currently Listening to:
    Rihm, Bialas, Ballif, Schumann, Schubert
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #41 on: April 07, 2012, 03:21:53 PM »
Thank you! I know the Kafka Fragments and solo piano works, but the rest was a mystery to me.
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

eyeresist

  • Guest
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #42 on: April 07, 2012, 08:53:13 PM »
I don't suppose there's a big bargain box I can buy?

Offline not edward

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3827
  • Hello, little man. I will destroy you.
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #43 on: May 31, 2012, 07:27:03 AM »
I've been spending some time with the early concerto for soprano and piano, The Sayings of Peter Bornemisza.



I find it a truly impressive piece that acts as a massive (for a miniaturist like Kurtag, 40 minutes is massive) summing up of his early atonal period; a Webernian concentration and focus allied to an idiom that also owes something to Bartok and (I think) to late Liszt. Remarkable stuff which never lets up in intensity (whisper it, but I think I may actually like it more than I do the Kafka-Fragmente).

The disc also, handily, has Zoltan Kocsis' superb performance of the op 3 piano pieces, and the op 4 violin/cimbalom duets, both of which provided some (though not a lot of) material for the main work here, and which illuminate the path Kurtag took on the way to his first truly large-scale work. (The op 11 Pilinszky songs are also here, though I think they'd fit better on a disc with later work.)
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Offline Mirror Image

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 58259
  • Dmitri Shostakovich (1906 - 1975)
  • Location: Northeast GA, US
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mostly Austro-Germanic and Soviet/Russian repertoire
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #44 on: June 05, 2012, 05:43:41 AM »
This movement from Stele haunts me...

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/4oNl7HDUC-8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/4oNl7HDUC-8</a>
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline not edward

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3827
  • Hello, little man. I will destroy you.
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #45 on: June 09, 2012, 09:41:17 AM »
Thanks for that link, and note that in the related entries in that blog you can also find recordings of the Ardittis playing Kurtag's most recent work for string quartet, Moments musicaux, Cambreling conducting Messages for orchestra, and the opus 14e violin/piano pieces (as far as I know, none of these works have been commercially recorded).
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Offline petrarch

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1452
  • Luigi Nono (1924-1990)
  • Location: Boston, MA
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #46 on: June 09, 2012, 10:49:55 AM »
Thanks for that link, and note that in the related entries in that blog you can also find recordings of the Ardittis playing Kurtag's most recent work for string quartet, Moments musicaux, Cambreling conducting Messages for orchestra, and the opus 14e violin/piano pieces (as far as I know, none of these works have been commercially recorded).

I recently got Moments musicaux in a release on Neos:
https://neos-music.com/?language=english&page=output.php%3Ftemplate%3Denglish-album-details.php%26content%3DAlben/11033.php
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 10:52:00 AM by petrarch »
//p
The music collection.
The hi-fi system: Esoteric X-03SE -> Pathos Logos -> Analysis Audio Amphitryon.
A view of the whole

Offline North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 17624
  • Location: Oulu, Finland
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #47 on: May 07, 2014, 10:14:30 AM »
I'm bumping this thread since, it's been almost two years since the last post, and this week I've been reading some about Kurtag, a composer whose music I've liked but not really focused much attention on so far.  Judging from what I've read, his music features many qualities I usually find interesting.  I've also learned a bit about Friedrich Hölderlin, whose poetry Kurtag has set, as well as several other 20th century composers - who was a very interesting writer.

Any special Kurtag favorites?


The only Kurtág I own (Gielen, with magnificent fillers: Mahler 2nd & Schönberg Kol Nidre :D)  is a favourite. I've read this topic many times lately (last time: this morning), there reeeeally ought to be more pages in this thread.

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/GXDyfW-l0Go" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/GXDyfW-l0Go</a>
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline torut

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1014
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #48 on: May 07, 2014, 11:10:31 AM »
The string quartet disc on Neos is very good. I like the delicate texture of his music.

Have you heard Messages of the Late Miss R.V. Troussova? I only mention it because IMHO it's one of his best.

Yes, it's on the Sony/Eotvos disc (along with Scenes from a Novel). I'll have to return later.

Is this good? Eotvos disc seems out of stock.

György Kurtág: Botschaften des verstorbenen Fräuleins R.V. Trussowa / Jörg Widmann: ...umdüstert...


Offline North Star

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 17624
  • Location: Oulu, Finland
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #49 on: May 07, 2014, 11:13:39 AM »
The string quartet disc on Neos is very good. I like the delicate texture of his music.
What about Kellers on ECM? I see edward prefers that one over Ardittis, but has anyone heard the ECM & Neos?
« Last Edit: May 07, 2014, 12:32:24 PM by North Star »
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

My photographs on Flickr

Offline CRCulver

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 532
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #50 on: May 07, 2014, 11:41:27 AM »
The best performance of Troussova is on a Hungaroton disc. Csengery and other musicians there worked closely with Kurtág for many years.

In general, with Kurtág’s music, one has to look for recordings made in close collaboration with the composer, because Kurtág has very specific demands for his pieces that can only be communicated through coaching, not just the score. (He is a harsh taskmaster and does have a reputation of reducing many performers to tears.)

Offline not edward

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3827
  • Hello, little man. I will destroy you.
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #51 on: May 07, 2014, 02:42:31 PM »
The best performance of Troussova is on a Hungaroton disc. Csengery and other musicians there worked closely with Kurtág for many years.

In general, with Kurtág’s music, one has to look for recordings made in close collaboration with the composer, because Kurtág has very specific demands for his pieces that can only be communicated through coaching, not just the score. (He is a harsh taskmaster and does have a reputation of reducing many performers to tears.)
This Csengery disc is a no-brainer, as far as I'm concerned, with three important song cycles on it.

The quartets are also essential Kurtag IMO; the Ardittis and Kellers have the major disadvantage of not containing the Six Moments Musicaux (aka Kurtag's 4th quartet), which does appear on the Neos disc.

I've not heard some of the more recent Kurtag discs (something I need to rectify), but I can think of two other recommendations:



The Sayings of Peter Bornemisza, described as a concerto for soprano and piano, is an absolutely astonishingly intense work, lasting about 40 minutes, that never lets up and demonstrates, perhaps better than anything else in Kurtag's output, the cumulative power of many very short pieces. (The rest of the disc, though less heavyweight, gives a good overview of Kurtag's earlier style.)



This live recording from the early 1990s has a variety of works on it and is a fine overview of Kurtag's music from the mid-70s to early 90s.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Offline not edward

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3827
  • Hello, little man. I will destroy you.
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2014, 02:52:04 PM »
Both of those are in my stack, as well as Signs and Holderlin songs, which looks very interesting.


This is one of the few Kurtag discs that simply did nothing for me. I suspect the fault is mine, though.
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

Offline torut

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1014
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #53 on: May 07, 2014, 04:28:21 PM »
What about Kellers on ECM? I see edward prefers that one over Ardittis, but has anyone heard the ECM & Neos?
I only have Athena quartet disc on Neos. I chose it because it was "complete." :) Also, Neos albums usually do not disappoint me.

The best performance of Troussova is on a Hungaroton disc. Csengery and other musicians there worked closely with Kurtág for many years.
Thank you, I will check it.

In general, with Kurtág’s music, one has to look for recordings made in close collaboration with the composer, because Kurtág has very specific demands for his pieces that can only be communicated through coaching, not just the score. (He is a harsh taskmaster and does have a reputation of reducing many performers to tears.)
In that sense, which string quartet group collaborated with Kurtág closely?

Offline torut

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1014
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #54 on: May 07, 2014, 05:23:37 PM »
The best performance of Troussova is on a Hungaroton disc. Csengery and other musicians there worked closely with Kurtág for many years.

Is this the same one?



The one you linked is this. (The conductor and the ensemble on the cover are different.)

Offline CRCulver

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 532
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #55 on: May 07, 2014, 06:10:23 PM »
Torut, those discs are essentially the same, but one is a reissue of the other and may have added material. It's not clear which version you get if you order from the Amazon listing I linked to, because the two images are "customer images", something that someone just uploaded. I myself own the version where the front cover shows "Budapest Chamber Ensemble", but the version of Troussova on it is indeed by the EIC/Boulez.


Offline torut

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1014
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #56 on: May 07, 2014, 06:48:30 PM »
Torut, those discs are essentially the same, but one is a reissue of the other and may have added material. It's not clear which version you get if you order from the Amazon listing I linked to, because the two images are "customer images", something that someone just uploaded. I myself own the version where the front cover shows "Budapest Chamber Ensemble", but the version of Troussova on it is indeed by the EIC/Boulez.
Thank you, CRCulver. I found it on classicsonline. According to the site, the following works are contained, and Troussova is performed by Budapest Chamber Ensemble / Mihaly. There is no Boulez's name. Maybe it's a mistake of the site? Confusing... Anyway, I will try this, since either CD on Amazon seems difficult to get.

Attila Jozsef - Fragments, Op. 20
S.K. - Remembrance Noise, Op. 12
Messages of the Late R.V. Trussova, Op. 17
Scenes from a Novel, Op. 19
Requiem for the Beloved, Op. 26: No. 4. Farewell (Hommage a Hugo Wolf)

Offline CRCulver

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 532
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #57 on: May 07, 2014, 07:16:13 PM »
Geez, I might be wrong after all: it looks like the rip I have on my computer (I am presently far from my CD collection) is from the Erato recording, which is by the EIC cond. Boulez. So, the Hungaroton recording I have must be with the Budapest Chamber Ensemble after all, though I seem to have forgotten to rip that. Very confusing. But if you like Kurtág, get the Hungaroton CD with "Budapest Chamber Ensemble", because I do own it and remember getting a lot of pleasure from it.

Offline torut

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1014
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #58 on: May 08, 2014, 06:52:45 AM »
Geez, I might be wrong after all: it looks like the rip I have on my computer (I am presently far from my CD collection) is from the Erato recording, which is by the EIC cond. Boulez. So, the Hungaroton recording I have must be with the Budapest Chamber Ensemble after all, though I seem to have forgotten to rip that. Very confusing. But if you like Kurtág, get the Hungaroton CD with "Budapest Chamber Ensemble", because I do own it and remember getting a lot of pleasure from it.
I found the EIC/Boulez disc on Erato on the web. Thank you for the clarification. I purchased the Budapest Chamber Ensemble album on Hungaroton and will listen to it some time today.

Offline torut

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1014
Re: György Kurtág (b. 1926)
« Reply #59 on: May 08, 2014, 06:58:56 AM »
Since I am interested in Beckett and now Holderlin, from what I've read, and I am enjoying it right now as I type.  I would not be surprised if Salvatore Sciarinno has gotten some ideas from it.
Could you explain this a little more? Sciarrino has gotten musical/compositional ideas from the Kurtág's work Signs, Games And Messages? I like Sciarrino, and I am interested in if there is an influence.