Concerts at the countryside
About the program
How does a contemporary work “behave” in a historic environment? Can it fit in among the compositions of former ages? And does the new work influence our appreciation of the well-known pieces of the repertoire? These are some of the questions that the programme of this evening may prompt. The context for Kurtág’s music will be provided by “Calm Sea and Prosperous Voyage”, an overture Mendelssohn wrote in 1832 under the inspiration of a Goethe poem, and by Schumann’s Symphony No. 4.
The orchestral version of Kurtág’s Zwiegespräche (Dialogues) was prepared by Olivier Cuendet. “For me, Kurtág’s music is the big synthesis. Kurtág is like Bach, who once created the synthesis of the diatonic and the chromatic. Kurtág helps us to learn to rediscover old things. He can relate very complex things with very simple devices,” said the Swiss conductor in an interview. Of the work now on the programme, Cuendet said: “Zwiegespräche is the joint composition of the two Kurtágs, of father and son, for synthesizer and string quartet, which was performed by the Keller and Arditti string quartets on a few occasions. With the permission of György Kurtág, I made an orchestral arrangement of ‘Games’, which I toured with my ensemble, and at the Budapest stop of the tour we also performed, with György Kurtág, Jr, one or two movements from this work. Afterwards, they both asked me to prepare the orchestral arrangement for the whole work, for Gábor Takács-Nagy.”
Robert Schumann’s Symphony No. 4 is the last work on the programme. The first version of the piece was written in 1841, for the birthday of the composer’s wife, Clara Schumann. For the final version, completed in 1851, the composer substantially revised and re-orchestrated the work.