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Kurtág - Kafka Fragments

Composer György Kurtág
Performer Caroline Melzer
Nurit Stark
Period Modern
Catalogue Number BIS-2175 SACD
EAN 7318599921754
Format SACD Hybrid

This hybrid disc plays on both CD and SACD players
SACD Surround - SACD Stereo - CD Stereo

Release date Aug 2015
Total time 58'08


One of the truly grand old men on the music scene today, György Kurtág composed his Kafka-Fragmente in the mid-1980s, and these forty settings of text fragments by Franz Kafka remain one of his most often-performed works. Although the cycle contains no single narrative thread and tells no coherent ‘tale’ it has become quite common to present it in staged versions – perhaps because of the hypnotic images that emerge in the texts, as well as in the music. Many of the movements are extremely brief; in the present recording 11 of the movements are less than half a minute long, and the shortest (Es zupfte mich jemand am Kleid / Someone tugged at my clothes) lasts only 13 seconds. However, to quote the insightful liner notes by the musicologist Philippe Albéra: ’Within these miniature spaces, expressivity – as if through a process of crystallization – is pushed to its utmost limits.’ Collected by the composer, the texts have been extracted from Kafka’s letters, diaries and notebooks; shards that together form a mosaic at times sardonic, absurd, lyrical or humourous. Kurtág’s ability to convey a wide range of situations and emotions transforms each fragment into a vision of dreamlike intensity, where the real becomes surreal, and Albéra finds a symbol of the spirit of Kurtág’s music in the 16th fragment, Kein Rückkehr, and Kafka’s aphorism: ‘From a certain point on, there is no going back. That is the point to reach.’ The often highly virtuosic and demanding score is here interpreted by the soprano Caroline Melzer and the violinist Nurit Stark, both performers with a strong commitment to contemporary music who collaborated with composers such as Aribert Reimann, Sofia Gubaidulina and Viktor Suslin.
 
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  György Kurtág
  Kafka-Fragmente for soprano and violin, Op.24 (1985–87), 1. Teil 14'30
01 1. Die Guten gehn im gleichen Schritt… 1'04
02 2. Wie ein Weg im Herbst 0'36
03 3. Verstecke 0'26
04 4. Ruhelos 0'22
05 5. Berceuse I 1'01
06 6. Nimmermehr (Excommunicatio) 1'18
07 7. „Wenn er mich immer frägt“ 0'23
08 8. Es zupfte mich jemand am Kleid 0'13
09 9. Die Weißnäherinnen 0'21
10 10. Szene am Bahnhof 0'17
11 11. Sonntag, den 19. Juli 1910 (Berceuse II) (Hommage à Jeney) 1'10
12 12. Meine Ohrmuschel… 0'15
13 13. Einmal brach ich mir das Bein (Chassidischer Tanz) 0'37
14 14. Umpanzert 0'23
15 15. Zwei Spazierstöcke (Authentisch-plagal) 0'46
16 16. Keine Rückkehr 1'04
17 17. Stolz (1910/15. November, Zehn Uhr) 0'43
18 18. Träumend hing die Blume (Hommage à Schumann) 2'21
19 19. Nichts dergleichen 1'10
 
  Kafka-Fragmente for soprano and violin, Op.24 (1985–87), 2. Teil
20 1. Der wahre Weg (Hommage-message à Pierre Boulez) 7'22
 
  Kafka-Fragmente for soprano and violin, Op.24 (1985–87), 3. Teil 14'00
21 1. Haben? Sein? 0'43
22 2. Der Coitus als Bestrafung (Canticulum Mariae Magdalenae) 0'29
23 3. Meine Festung 0'52
24 4. Schmutzig bin ich, Milena… 1'50
25 5. Elendes Leben (Double) 0'17
26 6. Der begrenzte Kreis 0'33
27 7. Ziel, Weg, Zögern 0'43
28 8. So fest 0'52
29 9. Verstecke (Double) 1'26
30 10. Penetrant jüdisch 0'20
31 11. Staunend sahen wir das grosse Pferd 1'59
32 12. Szene in der Elektrischen (1910: „Ich bat im Traum die Tänzerin Eduardowa, sie möchte doch den Csárdás noch einmal tanzen…“) 3'56
 
  Kafka-Fragmente for soprano and violin, Op.24 (1985–87), 4. Teil 19'39
33 1. Zu spät (22. Oktober 1913) 3'44
34 2. Eine lange Geschichte 1'03
35 3. In memoriam Robert Klein 0'41
36 4. Aus einem alten Notizbuch 1'19
37 5. Leoparden 2'13
38 6. In memoriam Joannis Pilinszky 2'46
39 7. Wiederum, wiederum 1'42
40 8. Es blendete uns die Mondnacht … (...a porban kúszó kígyó-páros: Márta, meg én) 6'11
 
  Album total 58'08
ComposerKurtág, György
ViolinStark, Nurit
SopranoMelzer, Caroline

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