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Kurtág & Ligeti: Music for Viola
The great viola player Kim Kashkashian has long been one of the most outstanding protagonists of modern composition and this bold and subtle account of solo music by the great Hungarian composers György Kurtág and György Ligeti is a landmark recording. Kurtág’s Signs, Games and Messages (1989- in progress) in its 19 aphoristic sections is as demanding as Ligeti’s Sonata for viola (1991-94), but Kashkashian surmounts the very different challenges of the works, and points towards the qualities that unite these composers. As ever, she gets to the heart of the music, and unravels its secrets.
In his liner note, Wolfgang Sandner comments: “For twenty years Kim Kashkashian has devoted herself to Kurtág’s complex oeuvre for the viola and developed a remarkable rapport for the relation between compositional fabric and sonic nuance. In the thoughtful dramaturgical sequence of this recording, and in Kashkashian’s scrupulous reading, these Kurtág pieces, and the six movements of Ligeti’s Viola Sonata that follows them, seem like the work of a single visionary artist – conveyed in hidden signs and coded messages.”
Amongst her many notable albums for ECM New Series, Kashkashian has recorded Kurtág’s Movement for viola and orchestra (4654202) and also his Nine Pieces for Solo Viola, the early Jelek for viola, op 5, and the chamber work Hommage à R.Sch. (4379572). This is the ninth disc on the label devoted in whole or in part to Kurtág’s music.
“Wisps, fragments, gestures, aphorisms: it's impossible to pin down the 19 tiny pieces that make up Kurtág's Signs, Games and Messages...They are perfectly projected by the Armenian-American violist Kim Kashkashian...[the Ligeti] sounds massive and solid by comparison, though it is equally elusive, equally original.” The Observer, 30th September 2012
“Each piece is beautifully crafted but collectively may be too much of a good thing, even in such a superb rendition. A disc for specialists, perhaps, but a special one.” Gramophone Magazine, December 2012
“It's a testament to Kim Kashkashian's intellectual and digital stamina that attention never flags...The terse and dramatic music-making here is expertly realised by Kashkashian, who is fearless in her exploration of its manifold difficulties and rewards.” MusicWeb International, January 2013
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Time Isn't Passing
Bach & Kurtág: Works for Cello and Piano
Bach, J S:
Viola da Gamba Sonatas Nos. 1-3, BWV1027-1029
arr. for cello and piano
Toccata, Adagio & Fugue in C major, BWV564
arr. J. Arp for cello and piano
Jatekok (Games), Book 7: Virag az ember … - Mijakonak
Signs, Games and Messages, for strings
Jatekok (Games), Book 5: Preludium es koral (Prelude and Chorale)
Signs, Games and Messages for String Trio: Ligatura Y
arr. J. Arp for cello and piano
Jelek, for solo cello, Op. 5b
Jatekok (Games), Book 7: … aus tiefer Not… - un message a Madeleine Santchi 80
Pilinszky János: Gérard de Nerval
version for cello and piano
György Kroó in memoriam
Duo Arp Frantz: Caspar Frantz (piano) & Julian Arp (cello)
György Kurtág: Signs, Games and Messages
Maurizio Barbetti (viola) & Gianpiero Ruggeri (baritone track 17)
This is the first complete recording of the 24 Signs, Games and Messages by Hungarian composer György Kurtág: a collection of very personal miniatures which Kurtág began writing almost 50 years ago and which he continues to add to. Many have been written, dedicated or inspired by a particular person; they pass, sometimes impertinent, sad, serene, cheerful, joyful, thoughtful or melancholic. This CD is completed by the first recordings of four other pieces for viola solo, composed in the 1990s between Budapest and Berlin. Winner of Darmstadt Preis and International Award Interpretation Iannis Xenakis in Paris, violist Maurizio Barbetti has performed as a soloist in major concert halls worldwide. New commission have been written for him by such composers as Paul Mèfano, Ennio Morricone and Luis de Pablo e Horatiu Radulescu. Barbetti is joined by baritone Gianpiero Ruggeri, who sings on “Samuel Beckett: le nain”.
“a sometimes baffling succession of prickly pizzicato and cartoonish, sweeping glissandi, demented see-saw bowing and mouse-like scurryings. Many are musical aphorisms, prompts for reflection, and quite a few are evocations of friends and influential teachers, miniature memories like the lugubrious "Letter to Vera Ligeti" and "For Imre Földes at 60", which has the poise and immobility of a zen rock-garden.” The Independent, 3rd June 2011 *****
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