Piano - Márta Kurtág (tracks: 1, 2, 10 to 16, 24, 25, 29, 32, 33)
Piano, Composed By - György Kurtág
Producer - Manfred Eicher
Játékok (Games) and Bach Transcriptions Recorded July 1996 Mozart-Saal, Konzerthaus, Vienna
The duo performances of Márta and György Kurtág have long been distinguished by flinty new music precision, matched by a quick-witted playfulness and underpinned by a quality of affection. "What playing!" raved the New Yorker's Alex Ross of a 'Játékok' concert. "Notes were placed with surgical care; inner voices gleamed in crystalline patterns; elusive emotional states were painted with quick, light strokes." from it's origins in the early 1970s as a good-humoured unsystematic approach to teaching contemporary keyboard techniques to young players (early pieces in the series included use of clusters, glissandi, harmonics, playing with palms and forearms - a wide range of gestures), 'Játékok' (Games) has developed into a compendium of epigrammatic homages, jewelled miniatures dedicated to composers from Scarlatti to Stravinsky and Christian Wolff, and tributes to colleagues and influences. In this special case the whole program - 40 pieces plus three encores - is dedicated to the memory of the Kurtágs' good friend, musicologist Haydée Charbagi (1979-2008). Interspersed amongst György Kurtág's pieces are his much-admired Bach transcriptions - 'Játékok' is a work that has gained strength through contrasting and cross-referencing with other music. The whole program closes with a radiant version of Bach's 'Gottes Zeit ist die allerbeste Zeit'a.