IVÁN MADARÁSZ (b.1949): The Last Waltz.
Catalogue Number: 11L104
Reference: HCD 32573
Description: This is a tragedy of Everyman, the plot concerned with the pointlessness of life in the face of the passage of time and the inevitability of death and forgetting, and being forgotten. A disjunct middle-class family - an aging couple who long ago gave up having any interest in each other, and their self-absorbed adult son, a successful academic, stand for all of us; their lifetimes are represented by an afternoon each; their deaths by passage through a creaking door in the house. The waltz of the title is from the woman's past, from the ball where she met her husband. Madarász' music is tonal, very much in the style and mood of Bartók's Bluebeard. Madarász uses obsessively repeated motifs a good deal, heightening the oppressive atmosphere of the piece; when the characters are having their 'conversations'- dual monologues, neither responding to the other, but continuing their own train of thought quite oblivious to their interlocutor - these repetitive ostinati adopt a minimalistic circularity of argument. The overall gloom of the work is relieved by its strong narrative thrust and dramatic characterization, and the intrusion of the waltz, and a ghostly entracte suggesting elusive memories and the passage of many years - the longest and most stylistically diverse section of the piece - provide musical variety. Hungarian-English libretto. Ildikó Iván (soprano), Péter Fried (bass), Tamara Takács (mezzo), Attila Wendler (tenor), Hungarian State Opera Orchestra; Gábor Hollerung.