4515 Willard Ave. #2210
Chevy Chase, MD 20815
eniko.basa at verizon dot net
Wed, 30 Jul 2014 06:44:53 EDT by admin, 91351 views
Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY
Music/Folklore paper by Laki, Péter (all papers)
Multilingual Soliloquies: The unaccompanied voice in the works of György Kurtág
György Kurtág is one of the most highly regarded composers of our time. Born in 1926 into a Hungarian-speaking Jewish family in Lugoj, Romania (known until 1918 as Lugos, Hungary), Kurtág grew up speaking Hungarian, Romanian, and German. He lived in Hungary from 1945 until the early 1990s, when he moved to Western Europe, eventually settling in southwestern France. He is known, among other things, for his very sophisticated relationship to languages and literatures, having worked with texts by such giants as Attila József, Hölderlin, Kafka, Beckett, and Akhmatova. Polyglot from an early age, Kurtág has set poetry in Hungarian, German, Russian, English, French, ancient Greek and, recently, Romanian (there is also a short, unpublished Italian fragment of Ungaretti's "M'illumino d'immenso"). Several of these works use a single human voice without any kind of instrumental accompaniment. My presentation will address this rather unusual medium and examine how the entirety of the musical material is generated from the poetic word alone. These works, whose performance can be described as a heightened dramatic recitation, amount to a personal interpretation and a perceptive analysis of the literary sources.
Brief Professional Bio:
Peter Laki was born in Budapest where he studied musicology at the Franz Liszt Conservatory (now University) of Music. After further studies in Paris, he moved to the USA in 1982 and earned a doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania. For many years he worked for the Cleveland Orchestra; he is currently on the faculty of Bard College. He is the editor of "Bartók and his World" (Princeton University Press) and numerous articles on Bartók and more recent Hungarian composers (Veress, Ligeti, Kurtág).