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Kurtag: Complete Choral Works / Creed, Swr Vokalensemble


Release Date: 01/09/2007 
Label:  Hänssler Classic   Catalog #: 93174   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  György Kurtág
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

The Stuttgart forces are fully responsive to Kurtág’s’s emotional extremes.

In its concision and intensity, György Kurtág’s choral music pursues a similar approach to his instrumental work. All three cycles were begun during 1979-81, though the process of completion was very different. Omaggio a Luigi Nono (1981) evolved quickly, perhaps because expressive consistency overrides technical diversity – the cycle centring on texts by Rimma Dalos that paraphrase earlier sources so as to reinforce their sentiments by seeming to contradict them. In their relative purity as choral music, they differ markedly from Eight Choruses, to poems by Dezsö Tandori (1984) – aphorisms posing as riddles, embodied in
Read more writing that evokes a near-orchestral range of sonority, an “instrumentation” that is made graphic in Songs of Despair and Sorrow (1994). These settings of mainly short-lived Russian poets embody some of Kurtág’s most plangent writing, aided by an ensemble – two harmoniums and four bayans (Russian accordions) alongside brass, strings and percussion – remarkable for the way it is subsumed into the chorus as if an extension of that being communicated.

The interplay between chorus and ensemble could have been more tangibly conveyed; otherwise the performances are as responsive to the music’s emotional extremes as one would expect from the Stuttgart singers, abetted by the natural sound-balance and penetrating notes. Those deterred by the short playing-time should bear in mind not only the impact of these works but also that they form a sequence complete in itself – beyond which nothing remains to be added.

-- Richard Whitehouse, Gramophone [1/2007]
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Works on This Recording

1.
Omaggio a Luigi Nono Op. 16 by György Kurtág
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1979/1985 
2.
Choruses (8), Op. 23 by György Kurtág
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984 
3.
Songs of Despair and Sorrow, Op. 18 by György Kurtág
Conductor:  Marcus Creed
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Stuttgart Southwest German Radio Vocal Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994 

Sound Samples

Omaggio a Luigi Nono, Op. 16: I. Tschej (Declension of the pronoun 'whose')
Omaggio a Luigi Nono, Op. 16: II. Rasryw (The Break)
Omaggio a Luigi Nono, Op. 16: III. Ljubowj na mesjaz (Love for a month)
Omaggio a Luigi Nono, Op. 16: IV. No kak usnatj mnje
Omaggio a Luigi Nono, Op. 16: V. Oh, nasidanije - ljubowj (O love, the edifier!)
Omaggio a Luigi Nono, Op. 16: VI. I otwersta dlja menja (And the door is open for me)
8 Choruses, Op. 23: I. 3 koan (3 Koans): No. 3. Koan III
8 Choruses, Op. 23: I. 3 koan (3 Koans): No. 1. Koan I
8 Choruses, Op. 23: I. 3 koan (3 Koans): No. 2. Koan II
8 Choruses, Op. 23: II. Mar csak azt a jovo idot kivanom (Longing for the Future): No. 1. Koan Bel Canto
8 Choruses, Op. 23: II. Mar csak azt a jovo idot kivanom (Longing for the Future): No. 2. T.S. Eliot-erme (T.S. Eliot Coin)
8 Choruses, Op. 23: III. 3 onarckep (3 Self-portraits): No. 2. Mar mocsarasodom (I am turning into a swamp)
8 Choruses, Op. 23: III. 3 onarckep (3 Self-portraits): No. 1. H. kiralyfi, mostohaapja elott (Prince H. standing before his step-father)
8 Choruses, Op. 23: III. 3 onarckep (3 Self-portraits): No. 3. Onarckep 1965-bol (Self-portrait from 1965)
Pesni uniniya i pechali (Songs of Despair and Sorrow), Op. 18: I. I skuschno, i grustno (So weary, so wretched)
Pesni uniniya i pechali (Songs of Despair and Sorrow), Op. 18: II. Notsch. Ulitsa. Fonar. Apteka (Night, an empty street, a lamp, a drug-store)
Pesni uniniya i pechali (Songs of Despair and Sorrow), Op. 18: III. Wjetscherom sinim (Blue evening)
Pesni uniniya i pechali (Songs of Despair and Sorrow), Op. 18: IV. Kuda mne djetsa w atom janwarje (Where can I go to in this January?)
Pesni uniniya i pechali (Songs of Despair and Sorrow), Op. 18: V. Raspjatije (Crucifixion)
Pesni uniniya i pechali (Songs of Despair and Sorrow), Op. 18: VI. Vremia prischlo (It's time)

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