Selections from "Játékok" (Games)
Kurtág's Játékok (Games) are subtitled "diary entries, personal messages," and they often feel like a page torn from a journal, open-ended and ragged-edged. The works are not only fragmentary in the way they infer larger narratives and dramatic scenarios, but also the musical gestures are often cut short. Kurtág strives to connect the physical act of a gesture at the instrument with a visceral sense of timing and sound in his works. An interrupted gesture, then, propels us to complete the statement in the silence that follows. As you will hear in the last work in the set, the form is based on how we "faintly recollect" a melody from childhood; we create the music on the spot, remembering, then forgetting, and ultimately falling back into silence.
-- Xak Bjerken