György Kurtág: Kafka-Fragmente

György Kurtág: Kafka-Fragmente

Soprano Anna Prohaska and violinist Isabelle Faust are musical forces of nature. Their exuberant imagination and natural inquisitiveness keep their performances fresh and alive in even the most familiar repertoire. Now they’ve joined forces in Hungarian composer György Kurtág’s Kafka-Fragmente (1985-1987), 40 miniature settings, nearly half of which last less than a minute. And that’s the key: everything is refined down to its most vital components—it’s all in the moment. Blink, and you’re almost bound to miss something important. Prohaska and Faust hurl themselves into the fray with alacrity, employing a dazzling range of techniques and imparting a unique soundworld to each setting. One particular fragment features a short text about unwanted attentions from a coat-tugger, offset by manically obsessive violin pizzicatos. It’s all over in 13 seconds, but here it’s made utterly unforgettable.

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