György Kurtág – Bornemisza Peter mondasai Op. 7: IV. Tavasz (Spring)
n a version for trumpet solo from Rückblick (1993)
Marco Blaauw, trumpet
Janet Sinica, video
Daniel Seitz, sound design
György Kurtág’s Bornemisza Peter mondasai (The Sayings of Peter Bornemisza), Op. 7: IV. Tavasz (Spring), in a version for trumpet solo from Rückblick is played by Marco Blaauw live to tape in our Lockdown Tape #24.
Marco explains why to him Kurtág is one of the greatest and most genius composers of our time:
Tavasz originates from the song cycle “The Sayings from Peter Bornemisza,” for soprano and piano. Tavasz (Hungarian for Spring) is an unaccompanied melody:
“Thy faith’s not dreaming, but is a living being, to his Maker cleaves it ever, embraced Him, and as the day-light, sheds light over all the world, it enlightens all; in hearts such hope it engenders, wherewith the sinful their own pardon may dare to gain above.”
György Kurtág instrumented this song for trumpet solo, as part of “Rückblick,” a cycle of old and new works for 2 pianos, double bass, and trumpet. Kurtág is one of the greatest composers and teachers of our time. His compact melodies and forms are extremely dense and charged and can be analyzed and studied over and over, continually offering us something new to discover or to reflect on. This is very much the case with Tavasz. I feel fortunate and thankful for the several occasions I could work with the composer. The first rehearsal was in 1995, 2 years after “Rückblick” had been premiered. The rehearsals were demanding, a constant search for the right tone, color, dynamic, and intensity. He worked tirelessly, explaining and demonstrating the structure and all the layers of this one melody.
Our most recent work was in the Budapest Music Centre in June 2018, 23 years later. I was taken by surprise when he sat down at the piano singing, humming accompanying himself with an interpretation that made the melody, that I thought I knew so well, sound entirely new for me. He again managed to reveal new layers of expression within that short melody. It proved his genius once again, and that intense study of his work remains relevant and rewarding.
Marco Blaauw, June 2020