György Kurtág – Signs, Games And Messages (2003) ECM Records

The first new album by Kurtág in six years is a major event. Kurtág was always a master of the miniature – no tone or texture, no grain of sound is wasted – but now his work is more concentrated than ever.

The work on “Signs, Games and Messages” represents a pinnacle of Kurtág’s art of achieving the ultimate in expression by the most minimal of means. The album is comprised of settings of Hölderlin (and Paul Celan) in the “Hölderlin-Gesänge”, sung by Kurt Widmer, and of Beckett (and Sébastien Chamfort) in “ … pas à pas – nulle part …”, sung by Widmer with string trio and percussion. The two song cycles are linked by the work-in-progress that gives the album its title: “Signs, Games and Messages” for strings. The three cycles recorded here – and to which the distinguished interpreters gave years of intense collaboration – comprise between them a total of 59 tracks, only one of which goes beyond three minutes in duration. More than any composer before him, Kurtág has mastered the art of the expressive musical aphorism – or, as he self-deprecatingly puts it, “making music out of almost nothing.” But as England’s The Guardian said, “A whole world of expression and suggestion can be packed into these exquisite, crystalline forms.”

 

Kurt Widmer – baritone
Hiromi Kikuchi – violin
Ken Hakii – viola
Stefan Mets – violoncello
Mircea Ardeleanu – percussion

Tracklist:

Hölderlin-Gesänge – For Baritone, Op. 35a

01 – An…
02 – Im Walde
03 – Gestalt und Geist
04 – An Zimmern
05 – Der Spaziergang
06 – Paul Celan: Tübingen, Jänner

Signs, Games And Messages – For Strings

07 – Virág az ember, Mijakonak
08 – Népdalféle
09 – Hommage a J.S.B.
10 – Zank – Kromatisch
11 – The Carenza Jig
12 – Ligatura Y
13 – Jelek, op. 5/I
14 – Jelek, op. 5/II
15 – Panaszos nóta
16 – Jelek III
17 – Virág Zsimondy Dénesnek
18 – In memoriam Blum Tamás
19 – Perpetuum mobile A
20 – Perpetuum mobile B
21 – Hommage a John Cage
22 – Schatten
23 – Jelek (Signs) I
24 – Pilinszky János: Gérard de Nerval
25 – Virág az ember, Mijakonak

…Pas À Pas – Nulle Part… – Poèmes De Samuel Beckett Et Maximes De Sébastian Chamfort – For Baritone Solo, String Trio And Percussion, Op. 26

26 – Introduzione
27 – …Pas À Pas – Nulle Part…
28 – Le Nain
29 – Octave
30 – …Le Tout Petit Macabre – Ligetinek
31 – Octave (Double)
32 – Écoute-les…
33 – Berceuse
34 – Intermezzo I
35 – …D’ou La Voix…
36 – Elles Viennent…
37 – Reve
38 – Apparition
39 – Fous…
40 – Fin Fond De Neant…
41 – En Face Le Pire…
42 – Inventaire
43 – Intermezzo II
44 – Dieppe
45 – La calma
46 – Intermezzo III
47 – Mouvement
48 – De Pied Ferme…
49 – …Levons L’Ancre…
50 – Du Cœur De L’Homme… / How Hollow Heart
51 – Sleep …
52 – Oblivion, Sweet Oblivion…
53 – Lasciate Ogni Speranza
54 – A Shocking case
55 – Valse
56 – Intermezzo IV – Pizzicato keringö
57 – Méditation
58 – …Une Découverte Bouleversante
59 – Asking For Salve And Solace

http://tinyurl.com/glx994o

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