Back to Kurtag: with ICE two weeks ago, I played some piano duets from the Jatekok (Games) series, and two of his crystalline Bach transcriptions. Next week at Oberlin Tony Arnold and I are doing Kurtag’s Bornemisza song cycle again–which is still one of the most demanding things I’ve ever done. It takes such a total commitment of spirit to convey the visions of death, torment, and redemption that Kurtag so effectively conveys in his music; it also takes a lot of good humor, because that’s part of the music too.
On the same program Tony and I are putting the Kurtag in context with earlier composers who inspired him–Webern, Hugo Wolf, and his compatriot Gyorgy Ligeti. At Buffalo, my course this week will cover late Schumann, then after that we’re on to Liszt. Brooklyn is beautiful this weekend. On Monday for Yom Kippur I plan to spend the day at the Tea Lounge in Park Slope, not drinking tea, and writing.