Friday 5 October 2007

"The matchstick man" - a look into Kurtág´s universe

Very reluctantly, Hungarian composer György Kurtag accepted the presence of director Judit Kele and her film crew for this documentary.

The resulting portrait The matchstick man is essential viewing. The life of Kurtág, is documented by sequences from rehearsals, master-classes, concerts and composing-sessions providing unique insight into his thought process as well as his interpersonal relations. The look at his face upon hearing Claudio Abbado rehearse his music with the Berlin Philharmonics is priceless. To be followed by: "I have now given the piece to you and it is of course yours now to form, but....". Fellow composers, such as Ligeti appear as well, and Kurtag´s towering, though quiet, presence in Hungarian cultural life is quite evident.

The second film on this DVD is The seventh door (a reference to Bluebeards Castle) about fellow Hungarian composer Peter Eötvös. Also well worth seeing and providing interesting insights into the works and world of Peter Eötvös. A brilliant sequence shows Eötvös, Pierre Boulez and David Robertson rehearsing Stockhausens´"Gruppen" . Not to mention Eötvös practice ow to smash two stones together to get the exact right sound for a composition "The stones", dedicated to Pierre Boulez.

Highly recommended.

Kurtag playing "Quarrel" with his wife:

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