KAFKA FRAGMENTS

Ah Young | Patricia Kopatchinskaja | Bram van Sambeek

Hersch | Kurtág

Sat, 21.11. | 21.00 | No. 20503

Kirchensaal MaiHof

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Beethoven Farewell

20.11.-22.11. 2020

 

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    KAFKA FRAGMENTS

    Ah Young | Patricia Kopatchinskaja | Bram van Sambeek

    Ah Young  soprano
    Bram van Sambeek  basson
    Michael Hersch
    sapped from me broken for soprano, violin, and bassoon
    György Kurtág (*1926)
    Kafka Fragments

    for soprano and violin, Op. 24

    Curt, curter, Kurtág: Hungarian composer György Kurtág, who was born in 1926, is the grandmaster of the small form. This trait also applies to his vocal cycle Kafka Fragments, which lasts approximately one hour. Here, Kurtág sets to music 40 diary entries and passages from letters by the writer from Prague; most of them are no longer than a Tweet. “Their world, comprising pithy language and phrasings, filled with sadness, despair and humor, subtlety, and so much all at the same time, never let go of me,” Kurtág noted. The result is an extremely condensed miniature music drama that gauges emotional boundaries. It also demands an enormous range of expression from the performers: singing, whispering, and speaking, the soprano bares her soul, while the violinist explores the meaning of the texts with a wide spectrum of playing techniques that span lush sounds and articulations that are closer to noise. The individual pieces seem “almost unconnected with each other,” explains Patricia Kopatchinskaja, and yet they are “like a whole life.” She combines Kurtág’s Kafka Fragments with a new composition by the American composer Michael Hersch: three songs based on texts by Anja Utler.

    Patricia Kopatchinskaja

    The violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja was born in 1977 in Chişinău in the Republic of Moldova into a musical family – her mother is also a violinist and her father plays cimbalom. In 1989 the family emigrated to Vienna, where Kopatchinskaja began her studies at the Music Academy at the age of 13; she transferred four years later to the Academy of the Arts in Bern, completing her education there with Igor Ozim. She became known in professional circles through her victory at the International Szeryng Competition (2000) and won the Credit Suisse Young Artist Award in 2002. Today Kopatchinskaja works with leading orchestras and attracts attention through her unusual, often radical performances. Equally at home in early music, the Romantic repertoire, and contemporary fare, she is also an animated chamber musician and designs staged concerts. As LUCERNE FESTIVAL’s “artiste étoile” in 2017, she was able to showcase this wide spectrum. In the 2018-19 season, Kopatchinskaja appeared under Kirill Petrenko with the Bavarian Staatsoper Orchestra as well as the Berlin Philharmonic. She made her debut with the Cleveland Orchestra with Peter Eötvös’s violin concerto Seven, played the Tchaikovsky Concerto on a tour with Teodor Currentzis to Japan, and concertized with the Orchestre symphonique de Montréal under Kent Nagano. She also joined with musicians from the Berlin Philharmonic to sing and play as the narrator in Schoenberg’s Pierrot lunaire. Among the awards that Kopatchinskaja’s recordings have garnered are the International Classical Music Award, the Prix Caecilia, and Gramophone magazine’s Recording of the Year Award. Her album Death and the Maiden, which includes works from Dowland to Kurtág, won a Grammy Award in 2018. Her most recent release, with the pianist Polina Leschenko, is of sonatas by Bartók and Poulenc.

    LUCERNE FESTIVAL debut on 7 September 2002 playing the Sibelius Concerto with the Vienna Philharmonic under Mariss Jansons.

    July 2019

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