Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Special event with György & Márta Kurtág

Music history in the making, really. György Kurtág, one of the world’s most admired contemporary composers, presented and interpreted a work commissioned by the Library of Congress, Hommage à Bartók for Two and Four Hands. Four hands, because he played it with his wife, Marta. And other works, besides the new one, especially from his Játékok ("Games"), most of them for four hands. Then, a string quartet played one of his works, and one of Bartók's.
He is 82, his wife around the same age. Seeing them huddled at an upright piano, the kind they have at home, their backs to the audience, moving towards each other, shoulder rubbing shoulder, living, making short pieces of music - two humble, grayish, old people (they've been married for many decades now) - was good.
He was born in Lugoj, in the historic region of Banat, at a stone's throw from Timisoara, where he actually started studying piano. And it shows. Just like Bartók, or Kodály, before him, he has pieces of Romanian and probably other Central-East European inspiration (ex. Baladă) .
[Feb. 8, 2009]

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