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Kurtág György: Lebenslauf (1992)

for two basset-horns and two pianos

score and parts

Op. 32
Setting: Mixed Chamber Quartet
Genre: Contemporary Hungarian Works
Period: Contemporary Music
Duration: 7'
Length: 26 pages
Format: 23 x 30,2 cm (Bach)
Weight: 0.134 kg
Published: February 2014
Publisher: Universal Music Publishing Editio Musica Budapest
Item number: 13967
ISMN: 9790080139677
The work was composed in 1992 for the 85th birthday of Kurtág's teacher, Sándor Veress. The ensemble of instruments is unusual: two basset horns and two quarter-tone pianos (the well-known predecessor of the latter is Charles Ives' Three Quarter-Tone Pieces for two pianos). The special tuning in this case is not that the tonality moves in an ultra-chromatic direction, rather that it makes the contours more nebulous, somewhat incomprehensible and dreamlike, and especially that the two wind instruments align themselves with the normal pitch of the piano. In many respects the musical material links with Kurtág's other compositions, for example the familiar movements of the Games series, the colinda reflections and the second piece of Three Old Inscriptions (op. 25). The broad spanning and profusely ornamented cantilena of the two basset horns reflects the inspiration of folk music.

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