Kurtág: Six moments musicaux; Officium breve / Dvořák: String Quintet, Op. 97 Parker Quartet & Kim Kashkashian
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- György Kurtág (b. 1926): Six moments musicaux, Op. 44:
- 1Kurtág: Six moments musicaux, Op. 44: 1. Invocatio [un fragment]01:26
- 2Kurtág: Six moments musicaux, Op. 44: 2. Footfalls ... mintha valaki jönne ...02:47
- 3Kurtág: Six moments musicaux, Op. 44: 3. Capriccio01:31
- 4Kurtág: Six moments musicaux, Op. 44: 4. In memorian Gyoergy Sebeok03:35
- 5Kurtág: Six moments musicaux, Op. 44: 5. ... rappel des oiseaux ... [étude pour les harmoniques]02:31
- 6Kurtág: Six moments musicaux, Op. 44: 6. Les adieux [in Janáčeks Manier]02:55
- Antonín Dvořák (1841 - 1904) String Quintet in E Flat Major, Op. 97, B. 180:
- 7Dvořák: String Quintet in E Flat Major, Op. 97, B. 180: 1. Allegro non tanto09:30
- 8Dvořák: String Quintet in E Flat Major, Op. 97, B. 180: 2. Scherzo, Allegro vivace05:58
- 9Dvořák: String Quintet in E Flat Major, Op. 97, B. 180: 3. Larghetto10:06
- 10Dvořák: String Quintet in E Flat Major, Op. 97, B. 180: 4. Finale, Allegro giusto08:25
- György Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28:
- 11Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 1. Largo00:30
- 12Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 2. Più andante00:43
- 13Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 3. Sostenuto, quasi giusto00:40
- 14Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 4. Grave, molto sostenuto00:33
- 15Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 5. (Fantasie über die Harmonien des Webern-Kanons) Presto00:42
- 16Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 6. (Canon a 4) Molto agitato00:21
- 17Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 7. Canon a 2 (frei, nach Op. 31/VI von Webern) Sehr fliessend00:40
- 18Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 8. Lento00:38
- 19Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 9. Largo00:55
- 20Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 10. [Webern: Kanon a 4 (Op. 31/VI)]02:21
- 21Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 11. Sostenuto02:39
- 22Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 12. Sostenuto, quasi giusto00:41
- 23Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 13. Sostenuto, con slancio01:06
- 24Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 14. Disperato, vivo00:49
- 25Kurtág: Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky, Op. 28: 15. Arioso interrotto (di Endre Szervánszky) Larghetto01:13
Info for Kurtág: Six moments musicaux; Officium breve / Dvořák: String Quintet, Op. 97
On their ECM New series debut, the Boston-based Parker Quartet, hailed by the Washington Post for “exceptional virtuosity and imaginative interpretation,” play music of György Kurtág and are joined by violist Kim Kashkashian, one of the quarter’s early mentors, to play Dvořák. In this powerful programme of contrasts, Dvořák’s outgoing String Quintet No. 3, composed in America in 1893, is framed by two of Kurtág’s concentrated, meticulously-shaped works – the Six Moments musicaux (2005) and the Officium breve in memoriam Andreae Szervánszky (1988/89). Throughout, the Parker Quartet’s feeling for colour and texture is in evidence. The quartet’s insights into Kurtág’s soundworld have been developed through extensive work with the Hungarian composer. The album was recorded at Zürich’s Radio DRS Studio.
At first glance, the pairing of the two composers chosen by the Parker Quartet and violist Kim Kashkashian for their recording on ECM New Series may appear unusual. However, György Kurtág and Antonín Dvořák have more in common than a fleeting glimpse at their oeuvre – an extremely narrow, concentrated catalogue of works in the one case and a multifaceted life's work that lavishly encompasses all musical genres in the other – would suggest.
There is no question that György Kurtág and Antonín Dvořák are creators of eminent chamber music works. Dvořák wrote thirty-one works in this field (not counting the two serenades and some lost pieces), the most generously represented genre being the string quartet with fourteen works, in addition to the three quintets, one sextet, two tercets and others, all intended for pure string ensembles. Even greater still is the proportion of chamber music works in Kurtág's oeuvre, although his orchestral works were often written for smaller ensembles and reduced instrumentations. Ultimately, the intimate, austere quality of chamber music is more in keeping with Kurtág's artistic nature, who thinks less in terms of large formats, but rather developed his own unique style with sound material reduced to microscopic cells.
For the present recording, their first for ECM, the Parker Quartet combines the Six moments musicaux op. 44 and the Officium breve op. 28 – Kurtág's String Quartets Nos. 3 and 4, if you will – with Dvořák's String Quintet No. 3 in E-flat Major op. 97, for which Kim Kashkashian has taken over the second viola part. And here, within the musical facture, the compositional means, in the sound complexion, the paths of these two composers, who represent two musical eras, diverge.
As with basically all the works of György Kurtág, who scrupulously concentrates and condenses the means and tools of composition, these two string quartets are made up of the smallest musical gestures, timbres and fragments – all of convincing consistency. They are replete with allusions to persons close to him, works and events of the past and present, from which the composer's aesthetic points of orientation can be derived: Beethoven, Olivier Messiaen, the pianist and piano teacher György Sebök, the Hungarian poet Endre Ady, Samuel Beckett, Leoš Janáček. And Anton Webern, of course, with his minimum of notes and maximum of expression as a consequence.
These examples of sonic artistry, concentrated around the essential, frame Antonín Dvořák's late String Quintet in E-flat major, op. 97. Like the other works written at the same time, during the composer’s "American period", its attractiveness hails from the natural, almost blossoming melodicism as well as the concise rhythm. Brahms, the Czech composer’s mentor of many years, took note of Dvořák’s unpretentious sense for melody, and his apparently never-ending power of invention.
The Parker Quartet quickly established itself as one of the leading ensembles on the international stage after its founding in Boston in 2002. The four alumni of the New England Conservatory of Music and the Julliard School have been artists in residence at Harvard University for over six years and have performed at renowned venues such as Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, Wigmore Hall in London, Concertgebouw Amsterdam and the Vienna Musikverein. In the course of its existence, the quartet has been honoured with various awards, including the Grand Prix and the Mozart Prize of the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition. Alongside the Cleveland Quartet and Rainer Schmidt (Hagen Quartet), Kim Kashkashian and György Kurtág are among the most important mentors of the ensemble, whose main focus lies on the interpretation of contemporary works, many of which are written in close collaboration with the respective composers. Such projects include the 2011 recording of works by György Ligeti, which won the Grammy award for Best Chamber Music Performance.
Kim Kashkashian is one of the most distinguished viola players and sought-after teachers in the world today. Her teaching career has taken her to the University of Indiana in Bloomington, the Mannes School of Music in New York, the conservatories in Freiburg and Berlin and, since 2000, the New England Conservatory in Boston. Collaborations with numerous composers have added significant works to the narrow repertoire for the viola and have received their world premiere through Kim Kashkashian. Many of Kim Kashkashian's recordings, released on ECM New Series for the past thirty years, have won international awards, including a Grammy in 2013 for her recording Music for Viola with works by György Ligeti and György Kurtág. In the same year, she was honoured with the George Peabody Medal for her outstanding contribution to music in America.
Daniel Chong, violin
Ken Hamao, violin
Jessica Bodner, viola
Kee-Hyun Kim, violoncello
Kim Kashkashian, viola
Formed in 2002, the Grammy Award-winning Parker Quartet has rapidly distinguished itself as one of the preeminent ensembles of its generation. The New York Times has hailed the quartet as “something extraordinary,” the Washington Post has described them as having “exceptional virtuosity [and] imaginative interpretation,” and the Boston Globe acclaims their “pinpoint precision and spectacular sense of urgency.” The quartet began touring on the international circuit after winning the Concert Artists Guild Competition as well as the Grand Prix and Mozart Prize at the Bordeaux International String Quartet Competition in France. Chamber Music America awarded the quartet the prestigious biennial Cleveland Quartet Award for the 2009–2011 seasons. The Parker Quartet recently joined the faculty of Harvard University’s Department of Music as Blodgett Artists-in-Residence.
Highlights of the 2014–2015 season include the project Schubert Effect in collaboration with Shai Wosner at the 92nd Street Y, the premiere of a new string quartet by Augusta Read Thomas as part of the quartet’s four-concert series at Harvard University, and return engagements at Wigmore Hall and Music at Amherst. The Quartet also continues to be a strong supporter of Kim Kashkashian’s project Music for Food by participating in concerts throughout the Boston area for the benefit of the Boston Food Bank. Performance highlights from recent seasons include appearances at Carnegie Hall, 92nd Street Y, Philadelphia Chamber Music Society, Library of Congress, the Slee Series in Buffalo, Music Toronto, Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, Wigmore Hall in London, Musikverein in Vienna, Monte Carlo Spring Festival, Seoul Arts Center, Rockport Chamber Music Festival, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Festspiele in Germany, and San Miguel de Allende Festival in Mexico. The quartet has recently collaborated with artists including Kim Kashkashian, Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg, Anne- Marie McDermott, Shai Wosner, Kikuei Ikeda of the Tokyo Quartet, Jörg Widmann, and Claron McFaddon. In 2012 the Parker Quartet was the recipient of a Chamber Music America commissioning grant, enabling the ensemble to commission and premiere Capriccio, an hour-length work by American composer Jeremy Gill.
Successful early concert touring in Europe helped the quartet forge a relationship with Zig-Zag Territoires, which released their debut commercial recording of Bartók’s String Quartets Nos. 2 and 5 in July 2007. The disc earned high praise from numerous critics, including Gramophone: “The Parkers’ Bartók spins the illusion of spontaneous improvisation… they have absorbed the language; they have the confidence to play freely with the music and the instinct to bring it off.” The quartet’s second recording, György Ligeti’s complete works for string quartet, was released on Naxos in December 2009 to critical acclaim. This recording won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance. They are the last string quartet to have won this category.
The Quartet was founded and is currently based in Boston. In addition to their full-time residency at Harvard, they will continue its visiting residency at the University of South Carolina. From 2008 to 2013, the quartet spent much of its time in St. Paul, MN, where they served as Quartet-in-Residence with the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra (2008–2010), were the first-ever Artists-in-Residence with Minnesota Public Radio (2009–2010), visiting artists at the University of Minnesota (2011–2012), and Artists-in-Residence at the University of St. Thomas (2012–2014).
The Parker Quartet’s members hold graduate degrees in performance and chamber music from the New England Conservatory of Music and were part of the New England Conservatory’s prestigious Professional String Quartet Training Program from 2006–2008. Some of their most influential mentors include the Cleveland Quartet, Kim Kashkashian, György Kurtág, and Rainer Schmidt.
one of the pre-eminent artists of ECM New Series, was born in Detroit, Michigan. She studied at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore with Walter Trampler and Karen Tuttle, and worked intensively with mentor Felix Galimir at the Marlboro Music Festival. A committed proponent of contemporary music, she has enjoyed creative relationships with György Kurtág, Krzysztof Penderecki, Alfred Schnittke, Giya Kancheli, and Arvo Pärt, and commissioned works from Peter Eötvös, Ken Ueno, Thomas Larcher, Lera Auerbach, and Tigran Mansurian.
Kashkashian’s 30-year relationship with ECM Records has produced an extensive discography that includes an award-winning recording of the Brahms sonatas, the complete Hindemith sonatas, the concertos of Bartók, Eötvös, Kurtág, Berio, Kancheli, Olivero, and Mansurian, the Bach Sonatas for viola da gamba (with Keith Jarrett), “Hayren” (music of Tigran Mansurian and Komitas), and “Asturiana”, songs from Spain and Argentina.
The album “Kurtág/Ligeti: Music for Viola” won the 2013 GRAMMY Award for Best Classical Instrumental Album and in the same year Kashkashian was awarded the George Peabody Medal for her exceptional contribution to music in America.