15. April 2011

Klangraum Krems Minoritenkirche

György Kurtág Játékok & Kafkafragments

Podium discussion
The utopia of music: place of refuge, or comfort?
Minister Udo Fischer & Burghart Schmidt; Moderation: Hans-Georg Nicklaus

Choral transcriptions by J.S. Bach for four-handed piano
Mathilde Hoursiangou, Clemens Zeilinger (Piano)
For soprano and violin
Patricia Kopatchinskaja (Violine); Anna Maria Pammer (Sopran)

György Kurtág keeps a diary, yet not with words, but with music. He writes down memories, homages, impressions and events in the form of sounds, harmonies and rhythms. Many of his work cycles are named “Játékók”, which is Hungarian for “games” and stands for games of thought, chains of association, streams of emotion. In these “games” the Hungarian composer packs the maximum amount of expression possible into a minimum of sounds. Music of minutes or seconds stripped off external effects, yet filled with the essence of things, even if leaps of thought render parts of it aphoristic and fragmentary.
“Kurtág’s music is deeply rooted in the European tradition”, said his fellow countryman and composer colleague Peter Eötvös, while at the same time he stressed the sovereignty of Kurtág’s musical language: “Whoever wants to put his works to sound has to speak ‘Kurtágish’. This also means ‘Bartókish’, ‘Albanbergish’, ‘Beethovenish’…” And one wants to add “Bachish” since nobody besides Kurtág and his wife Márta has transcribed the chorals of the Thomaskantor at the piano and brought them into the present in such a modest and moving way. Each choral leads along a track full of hope in a world devoid of illusions, a world in which art becomes more and more a place of refuge and music conveys comfort. This is also what theologian Adolf Holl and philosopher and president of the Ernst Bloch Society Burghart Schmidt will talk about and replace hope for music in Bloch’s “utopia of hope”. To adequately round off this evening violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja and singer Anna Maria Pammer will plunge into Kurtág’s “Kafka Fragments”, into a Panopticon for the soul from fading times and with lots of references to European music from Schumann to Johann Strauß and Pierre Boulez. The two interpreters played their fragments to Kurtág and can now take up his personal comments and advice in their interpretations.

© Promtionfoto

© Promtionfoto