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  • 1 University at Buffalo, State University of New York Buffalo
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Kurtág's musical language contains layers of memories. The result is a music filled with reference to the musical past and present (from medieval to avant-garde, to Hungarian folk music) and to subjective life experiences. These are made obvious by the homages and dedications, the titles and the annotations slipped into the score. The fact that the music does contain layers of personal memories leads to different forms of recall or repetition: quoting works of other composers and his own; developing musical ideas or entire pieces from his mental repertoire; extending a former work by presenting each phrase in the original order and elaborating on each in turn. This paper studies the forms of repetition used in some of Kurtág's instrumental music, particularly the String Quartet, opus 28. The analyses focus on the forms of recall used and on the way in which Kurtág achieves continuity in works that at first may appear to be collages of quotations and references.