Hyperion Records

Pilinszky János: Gérard de Nerval
1984; solo cello; from the series Signs, Games and Messages

'Lieux retrouvés – Music for cello & piano' (CDA67948)
Lieux retrouvés – Music for cello & piano
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Track 11 on CDA67948 [1'35]

Pilinszky János: Gérard de Nerval
Gérard de Nerval was a nineteenth-century French poet whose tragic life ended in suicide. Pilinszky’s poem of that name (rather literally translated here) is bleak:

A riverside which is not a riverside.
A memory which has never been a sunrise,
then something of a moat
and a fiery pin in the head.

Kurtág’s response, while full of inner pain, is also tender, its chromatic falling sighs evoking a memory of the Sarabande of Bach’s fifth Suite. Only the final pizzicato chord evokes the ‘fiery pin in the head’.

from notes by Steven Isserlis © 2012

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