The use of the theatrical in music is an important way in which György Kurtág reminds us of the music's ontological status as deferred presence, and marks an ever-growing awareness of this status on the part of the composer himself. It must be recognised that the performers in Kurtág's theatre of music are themselveses part of the process of signification. Thus the music informs us that it is not itself fully present: its presence is, in the deconstructionists' sense, 'deferred'. This is a different situation from normal music theatre. The realisation that a truly original - and therefore fully self-present - music is impossible, therefore, gives Kurtág the ability to adopt a number of masks with varying degrees of irony, even to the extent of adopting the mask of the dramatic orchestral tutti.