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Kōan IV : a lesson upon Mozart with Kurtág : for solo viola

by James Cuddeford (2016)

Kōan IV


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Kōan IV : a lesson upon Mozart with Kurtág, for solo viola / James Cuddeford.

Library shelf no. 787.3/CUD 1 [Available for loan]

Work Overview

A kōan is a paradoxical statement or ambiguous riddle used by certain Zen practitioners to aid meditation and bypass normal intellectual thought processes. My series of works with this title are reflections upon self-constructed, enigmatic, musical kōans that provide stimulus in the compositional process.

Kōan IV (a lesson upon Mozart with Kurtág) is based upon material from the first movement of Mozart's great Divertimento in E flat KV 563. As a teenager I studied this work in great depth during chamber music classes with Kurtág. He would employ what could be described as musical kōans as inspirational guides in his lessons. The Mozart is here refracted through Kurtág's intense teaching and vision-"giant steps", concepts of intonation, intervallic stretching, rhythmic "games", phrasing challenges-and the personal response I had to his approach (most notably, the nervous chattering of teeth, quasi Vivaldi).

James Cuddeford

Work Details

Year: 2016

Instrumentation: Viola.

Duration: 7 min.

Difficulty: Advanced

First performance: by James Cuddeford — 17 Jan 17. The Fringe Club Hall, Hong Kong

Performances of this work

17 Jan 17: The Fringe Club Hall, Hong Kong. Featuring James Cuddeford.

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