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Kafka-Fragmente at Atlas

Charles T. Downey, Ihnen and Muehleisen bring out the best of Gyorgy Kurtag’s ‘Kafka-Fragments’
Washington Post, January 13, 2014

available at Amazon
G. Kurtág, Kafka-Fragmente, J. Banse, A. Keller
In an interview, Gyorgy Kurtag once likened his working method to a cartoon he liked, depicting “a snail equipped with a speedometer.” It is an apt description of the Hungarian composer’s music: compact, laconic, enigmatic, yet packed with layers of meaning. These qualities were borne out by a performance of one of his masterpieces, the “Kafka-Fragments,” by mezzo-soprano Megan Ihnen and violinist Martha Morrison Muehleisen on Saturday night at the Atlas Performing Arts Center.

Franz Kafka intended his diaries to be destroyed upon his death, but his literary executor, Max Brod, could not bring himself to do it. Kurtag slowly gathered fragments from the diaries and letters, until in 1985, he later recalled, “almost by accident I began to sketch the music to a few selected texts, like a little boy relishing a forbidden treat.” [Continue reading]
Megan Ihnen (mezzo-soprano) and Martha Morrison Muehleisen (violin)
György Kurtág, Kafka-Fragmente
Video by Karen Yasinsky
Atlas Performing Arts Center

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