Shmidt discusses Kurtag’s Kafka Fragments

Here is my second interview with Mikhail Shmidt.  In this video Shmidt talks about Hungarian composer Gyorgy Kurtag’s “Kafka Fragments,” a piece he will perform this Saturday as part of Icebreaker V.  “Kafka Fragments” is no ordinary piece; it is one of Kurtag’s most important works and one of his most difficult.  People describe it as part song cycle and part autobiography.  Based on my own survey of the piece and Shmidt’s assessment, “Fragments” is daunting for musicians and listeners.  Saturday’s performance may end up as one of the best concerts so far this year.

Mikhail Shmidt discusses Kafka Fragments from gatheringnote on Vimeo.

Following on TGN’s successful live blog of “Drums Along the Pacific,” I will be live blogging “Kafka Fragments.”  “Fragments” is well suited for live blogging.  Songs tend to be short, many lasting less than a minute.  Perfect for snap judgments and short bursts of commentary.

If you can’t attend the performance of “Kafka Fragments,” do the next best thing and check out the live blog on the Live Blogs page.  Closer to the event, I will set up a dedicated post where you can follow the live blog.

Information for the concert can be found at


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