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György Kurtág selected fragments from Franz Kafka's Tagebücher, Octavhefte, Kafka's letters and other writings for his Kafka-Fragmente, op. 24. The 40 fragments in György Kurtág's, op. 24 use 38 texts. 12 are taken from the Tagebücher, 12 from the Octavhefte, 11 from other fragments and aphorisms, and 1 each from Kafka's letters to Oskar Pollock, Felice Bauer, and Milena Jesenská. The texts contain 1103 syllables, unequally distributed. The fragments selected by Kurtág cover a broad range of rhythmic situations, some of wich echo one another across the work. One of the major variables is the extent to which, in a given fragment, the sequence of accents approaches the predictability of conventional verse meters. A second major variable is the extent to which the singer's rhythmic figures are announced, supported, or echoed by the violin. A third is the presence, or absence of brief melismas or extended vocalises. A forth is the correlation, or lack of correlation between shifts in text rhythm and shifts from one group of tones to another.

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