Hommage a Gyorgy Kurtag
Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, born in 1962 in Mannheim (Germany), studies in composition, music theory, piano, musicology, philosophy, and sociology with Brian Ferneyhough, Klaus Huber, and Jürgen Habermas, among others. Music degree and PhD. Since 1984 international prizes and awards, including the Gaudeamus Prize, Stuttgart Composition Prize, Ernst von Siemens Music Grant, Villa Massimo. He has been a Professor of Composition at the Leipzig Academy of Music and Theater since 2005. Editor of the journal Musik & Ästhetik and the book series New Music and Aesthetics in the 21st Century, author of over 120 essays and numerous books (e.g. Kritische Theorie der Musik). "After Angelus Novus, I reached a fork in my path. I felt the need to work separately through the different expressive areas I had previously sought to combine in the form of cycles specifically conceived for this purpose, in order to gather the necessary experience so that, one day, my musical language would once again be able to reach some form of (higher) synthesis. Among these is my Kurtág cycle. Kurtág represents this sad, mourning, remembering, 'nostalgic' consciousness in relation to past culture. The miniaturization and concentration of material is reminiscent of Webern, while his roots in folk culture call Janácek to mind. He writes -- using conservative means -- a music whose conservative nature is experienced as non-conservative; no other composer achieved this. He is a miracle in the midst of modernity."