György Kurtág composed his Kafka-Fragmente in the mid-1980s, and these forty settings of text fragments by Franz Kafka remain one of his most often-performed works. Although the cycle contains no single narrative thread and tells no coherent 'tale' it has become quite common to present it in staged versions. Many of the movements are extremely brief; in the present recording 11 of the movements are less than half a minute long, and the shortest (Es zupfte mich jemand am Kleid / Someone tugged at my clothes) lasts only 13 seconds. Collected by the composer, the texts have been extracted from Kafka's letters, diaries and notebooks; shards that together form a mosaic at times sardonic, absurd, lyrical or humorous. Kurtág's ability to convey a wide range of situations and emotions transforms each fragment into a vision of dreamlike intensity, where the real becomes surreal. The often highly virtuosic and demanding score is here interpreted by the soprano Caroline Melzer and the violinist Nurit Stark, both performers with a strong commitment to contemporary music who collaborated with a number of eminent composers.