Classical Music | Piano Music

György Kurtág

Les Adieux from Játékok ("Games")  Play

Jenny Q. Chai Piano

Recorded on 08/08/2012, uploaded on 12/06/2012

Musician's or Publisher's Notes

Kurtág began composing this collection of pedagogical performance pieces for piano (two hands and four hands) in 1973.  As of 2010, he had produced 8 books of the miniature pieces.  In them, the composer was trying to recapture something of the spirit of “children playing spontaneously, children for whom the piano still means a toy”.  The many small movements represent an informal musical diary of what concerned the composer at the time.      Jenny Q Chai



More from Jenny Q Chai:

In our busy 21st century world, we are bombarded with wanted and unwanted information about almost anything.

Some music is to be played only to oneself, and Kreisleriana is most certainly one of those pieces. In the Romantic era, filled with individuals who became increasingly gregarious and grandiose, Schumann remained a poet whose amorous and imprisoned soul conversed with its self. 

Kurtág is another poet of the same type, his musical language remaining pure and intimate, regardless of the influence of the outer world. His contemporaries wrote music that was tied closely to politics and reactions to World War II, while Kurtág's music reflected his memories of friends. Les Adieux is a homage to Leoš Janáček, reflected in the title “Farewells in the Style of Janáĉek”. 

In today’s program, I chose Kurtág as a portal to Schumann’s personal world, in the hope that the intimacy and solitary poeticism will bring out something unlikely from the mundane world.