Sunday 26 April 2009

A Quotation For Late April

György Kurtág
Amid this motley procession of works that passed in front of my increasingly overstrained eyes, one score suddenly arrested my attention and assailed my curiosity. Composed for soprano voice with piano accompaniment, it immediately struck me by virtue of its uniqueness. In retrospect I think it must have been The Sayings of Péter Bornemisza.

My queries yielded the information that the composer, György Kurtág, whose name was totally unknown to me (I later found out that this work had actually been performed in Darmstadt in 1968, but I hadn't set foot in Darmstadt since 1965, following years of perhaps good, and certainly loyal, service!) was working on a piece entitled Messages of the Late Miss R.V. Troussova for soprano and a small orchestra.

I immediately seized on the opportunity and, following some complications of the practical sort, we managed to produce a meticulously rehearsed performance as well as the first recording of this piece. Thus began a sustained relationship whose milestones were set by compositions that consistently displayed genuine originality within a thoroughly personal sphere.

After consulting the archives of the Ensemble Intercontemporain I realised that, curiously enough, to this very day we have never performed The Sayings of Péter Bornemisza, the work to which I owe my discovery of this utterly singular composer. I hope that we will have a chance to perform it in the near future, even if it was not exactly written for a birthday celebration.
Pierre Boulez 'Birthday Greetings' to György Kurtág, from the Hungarian Quarterly.

Also from the same publication, Struck By Apollo; Remembering György Ligeti by György Kurtág (2007)

No comments: