Marino Formenti’s Kurtág’s Ghosts

[‘Kurtág’s Ghosts’ is a] gorgeous stream-of-consciousness trek through music from Guillaume de Machaut to György Kurtág … redefine[s] the possibilities of the solo recital.” —Joshua Kosman, San Francisco Chronicle.

“A Glenn Gould for the 21st century, a visionary for whom the usual limitations of either technique or tradition are not an issue.” —Los Angeles Times

The Italian-born pianist Marino Formenti brings his delicate, otherworldly cycle of interlocked piano pieces to Drogheda on 2 May 2015 as part of the Drogheda Arts Festival. Kurtág’s Ghosts is based on the work of György Kurtág, the Hungarian modernist who taught András Schiff. In this hybrid composition, bursts of Messaien, Stockhausen, and Bartók intercut with fragments from Kurtág, creating a spectral network of citation that leaves audiences in “a state of exhilaration beyond any experience” (LA Weekly).

The evening of music entitled “Kurtág’s Ghosts,” contains 70 short pieces of music selected by Formenti as a musical homage to the 20th century Hungarian composer. In it, Formenti seamlessly integrates Kurtág’s “miniatures” with shorts from the composer’s musical idols including Bach, Boulez, Schumann, Stockhausen, Ligeti and Machaut. His playing locates the connections between the works so that the six centuries of music flow in an unbroken stream of sound.

This programme is first of all a tribute to one of the greatest living composers, Gyorgy Kurtag, whose music is indeed- maybe more than anyone’s else’s- full of explicit homages to, memories of, echoes from…

Kurtag’s music, among the more intensely expressive and the most original of our time, is also a declaration of love for the great artists of our past, and first of all for what they stand for.

It is perhaps the last great attempt to speak of and to handle with the broadest, most varied and deeply human material, the object of the great masters’ reflections. This trip is-also-a reflection about our musical heritage and about what it means to us.

Technically, Formenti is a wizard, with a wealth of tone colors at his disposal, a huge dynamic range and the ability to get around the keyboard with terrifying accuracy and stamina.

Formenti is a unique artist, and Kurtag’s Ghost is a concert that should not be missed. “What James Joyce did for the novel, Formenti seems intent on doing for the piano recital. The results were unforgettable…He is a unique artist, whose presentations should not be missed.” —San Francisco Chronicle

PROGRAM:

KURTAG’S GHOSTS

With compositions of: GYÖRGY KURTÁG / GUILLAUME de MACHAUT / KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN / OLIVIER MESSIAEN / PIERRE BOULEZ / MODEST MUSSORGSKY / DOMENICO SCARLATTI / J. S. BACH / JOSEPH HAYDN / FRANZ SCHUBERT / BELA BARTÓK / LUDWIG VAN BEETHOVEN / HENRY PURCELL / ROBERT SCHUMANN / LEOS JANÁCEK / FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN / GYÖRGY LIGETI / FRANZ LISZT

Funded by the Arts Council and Create Louth. Part of Drogheda Arts Festival 2015