GYÖRGY KURTÁG (b.1926): Complete Works for String Quartet - String Quartet, Op. 1, 6 Moments musicaux, Op. 44, Arioso - Hommage à Walter Levin 85, Hommage à Jacob Obrecht, Hommage à Mihály András, Op. 13, Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28, Aus der Ferne III and V.

Catalogue Number: 07N110

Label: Neos

Reference: 11033

Format: CD

Price: $19.98

No Longer Available

Description: From the composer whose six-plus decade career has consisted of speaking volumes in the briefest aphorisms, his entire output for string quartet, no surprise, fits comfortably on one CD and consists of tiny, eloquent miniatures. The "Op.1" string quartet of 1959 (not his earliest extant work) already displays many trademarks of the composer's mature style, alongside Webernian brevity and tone-rows, and Bartókian gestures; insect scurrying and birdsong, speech-like inflection and odd, inventive instrumental sound effects lending a theatrical air to the proceedings. Webern is again invoked in the extraordinarily compressed and economical Officium, a miniature requiem in 15 sections, for Andre Szervánszky, alongside the subtle rustlings and speech-patterns dear to Kurtág. The Hommage bears a relationship to the celebrated Játékok, with similar self-quotation and enormous range of expression in the shortest timespan (of the 12 movements only 3 are over a minute, most far less). Many of the works here are in memoriam or tribute pieces, with strange otherworldly sonorities and titles or expression marks suggesting distance, loss and melancholy, with excursions into tonally grounded consolation, and brief flashes of unexpected humor.


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