Kurtag: Kafka Fragments

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LABELS: Ondine
WORKS: Kafka Fragments
PERFORMER: Anu Komsi (soprano) Sakari Oramo (violin)
Each of these Fragments is such a ‘little world made cunningly’ that forty of them is almost too much to listen to at one sitting. Kurtág’s art of distillation is that of his own musical history and of his own life experience: never a technical end in itself. The placing of every note, the shaping of every phrase, is precisely imagined to bear his own vivid and compassionate response to a text, and to communicate it passionately. These particular Fragments are described perfectly in the enclosed notes as the reflection of Kafka’s ‘world of glass shattered into tiny shards’. And the performances of the Finnish soprano Anu Komsi and her husband, violinist and conductor Sakari Oramo (Rattle’s future successor at the CBSO), reveal the biting aphorism and the fragrant poetry within that world. Hilary Finch