GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Brewski on April 06, 2007, 05:55:57 AM

Title: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on April 06, 2007, 05:55:57 AM
One of my favorite composers, and hard to believe it's not even a year since his death. 

Next season Vladimir Jurowski and the Philadelphia Orchestra are presenting a concert of music used in Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey (except for the Brahms).  If anyone else has seen a program like this it would be interesting to know about it.  I don't recall ever hearing these two Ligeti works on the same program, much less coupled with the Strauss.

April 10, 11 and 12, 2008
The Philadelphia Orchestra
Vladimir Jurowski, conductor
Nikolaj Znaider, violin
The Philadelphia Singers Chorale (David Hayes, music director)

Ligeti: Atmosphères
Brahms: Violin Concerto
Ligeti: Lux Aeterna (for chorus)
Strauss: Also sprach Zarathustra

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Harry on April 06, 2007, 10:31:16 AM
I don't know what it is with me, but Ligeti is really hard for me to listen to.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on April 06, 2007, 10:31:46 AM
Well, this really isn't a recreation of the 2001 soundtrack, since it lacks both Litgeti's Requiem and The Blue Danube.

Ah, but there will no doubt be encores... ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on April 06, 2007, 10:40:57 AM
I don't know what it is with me, but Ligeti is really hard for me to listen to.

Not to worry, Harry -- you listen to so many other composers that most people overlook!  With your interests, you have more breadth than many listeners.  

One of the reasons Ligeti was so revolutionary is that his musical ideas were so unusual.  Often his ideas are about texture, for example, rather than melody, so if you're in the mood for a "Straussian line" that's not what he offers.  For people who aren't familiar with the works in the film 2001 that brought him international attention, I would suggest that they begin with the Piano Etudes, which I think are pretty approachable on many levels.  If nothing else, they are diabolically difficult to play, and impressive just on that level alone.  

For example, you might enjoy Aimard's Ligeti encores on his Carnegie Hall recital CD, if you haven't heard it already.  The program includes the Berg Sonata, Beethoven's No. 23 "Appassionata," plus works by Liszt and Debussy.  

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on April 06, 2007, 10:41:58 AM
The Philadelphia Orchestra never does encores.

Joe, I'm joking, I'm joking!  ;D  (Although the idea of someone -- anyone -- doing the Ligeti Requiem as an encore is putting a smile on my face.)

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Harry on April 06, 2007, 10:43:39 AM
Not to worry, Harry -- you listen to so many other composers that most people overlook!  With your interests, you have more breadth than many listeners.  

One of the reasons Ligeti was so revolutionary is that his musical ideas were so unusual.  Often his ideas are about texture, for example, rather than melody, so if you're in the mood for a "Straussian line" that's not what he offers.  For people who aren't familiar with the works in 2001 that brought him international attention, I would suggest that they begin with the Piano Etudes, which I think are pretty approachable on many levels.  If nothing else, they are diabolically difficult to play, and impressive just on that level alone.  

For example, you might enjoy Aimard's Ligeti encores on his Carnegie Hall recital CD, if you haven't heard it already.  The program includes the Berg Sonata, Beethoven's No. 23 "Appassionata," plus works by Liszt and Debussy.  

--Bruce

Well I can certainly try!
Thanks Bruce.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Symphonien on April 07, 2007, 03:43:22 AM
Cool program there Bruce.

Well so far I've only heard his Lontano, Atmosphères, Apparitions, San Francisco Polyphony and Concert Românesc. And enjoyed it all! I'm certainly interested in discovering his piano etudes, concerti and requiem in the future.

The thing I find fascinating about Ligeti is what Bruce mentioned, the textures. It's so interesting the sounds that he produces through such massed orchestral forces. The liner notes in Ligeti Project II contain an extract from Lontano and the score has so many staves! To think how much work it would have taken to write all of that out by hand and how Ligeti was able to imagine how it would all sound in his head is simply amazing. He produces some fascinating sonorities too - there are parts in Lontano that I swear resemble electronic music. How he manages to do this with an orchestra is astounding...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: toledobass on April 07, 2007, 03:52:01 AM
Joe, I'm joking, I'm joking!  ;D  (Although the idea of someone -- anyone -- doing the Ligeti Requiem as an encore is putting a smile on my face.)

--Bruce

LMAO.....if that were to happen,  somewhere a parallel universe would implode.

Allan

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: facehugger on April 07, 2007, 04:58:49 AM
they should have done the kodaly instead of the brahms

neat programme though
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on April 07, 2007, 08:01:25 AM
I don't know what it is with me, but Ligeti is really hard for me to listen to.

Originally, I had planned to go to Symphony tonight, for the following program:

Ligeti, Atmosphères
Wagner, Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin
Bartók, Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4 in F Minor


But I made those plans without reckoning on when Easter falls this year, and since I am required at a service at St Paul's this evening, I had to select another concert.

The good news, though, is that I learnt last night that my friend Drew, a second-year (I think) student at Berklee, made it to Thursday night's concert.  (Drew is studying composition, and he wants to write music for video games, among other things.)  Apart from the Tchaikovsky, all the program was new to him;  and it was infectious to hear how excited he was about all four pieces on the concert.

But he was especially overwhelmed by Atmosphères.

It's just a pity you're not in Boston this weekend, Harry!  I wonder if simply experiencing the piece played well, in the space, would not 'unlock' it for you, mijn vriend.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Harry on April 07, 2007, 08:08:17 AM
Originally, I had planned to go to Symphony tonight, for the following program:

Ligeti, Atmosphères
Wagner, Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin
Bartók, Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4 in F Minor


But I made those plans without reckoning on when Easter falls this year, and since I am required at a service at St Paul's this evening, I had to select another concert.

The good news, though, is that I learnt last night that my friend Drew, a second-year (I think) student at Berklee, made it to Thursday night's concert.  (Drew is studying composition, and he wants to write music for video games, among other things.)  Apart from the Tchaikovsky, all the program was new to him;  and it was infectious to hear how excited he was about all four pieces on the concert.

But he was especially overwhelmed by Atmosphères.

It's just a pity you're not in Boston this weekend, Harry!  I wonder if simply experiencing the piece played well, in the space, would not 'unlock' it for you, mijn vriend.

Well also I, have to attend many duties in church, so the weekend is pretty occupied! ;D
Welcome dear friend, I missed you!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: The Emperor on April 07, 2007, 11:43:34 AM
Atmosphères live must be something out of this world, i wish i could see that!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Harvested Sorrow on April 08, 2007, 02:28:52 PM
I have the string quartets disc, chamber music disc, choral works and vocal works disc from the Sony Ligeti set.  I must say that I love virtually everything I've heard from this composer...and yes, I love the textures.  His texturing tends to make it very clear that he was influenced by electronic music.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: scottscheule on April 09, 2007, 11:52:48 AM
So far as Atmosphères and Lontano go--I don't get it.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: BachQ on April 09, 2007, 01:22:13 PM
Great idea for a thread, Bruce!  8)

I would suggest that they begin with the Piano Etudes, which I think are pretty approachable on many levels.  If nothing else, they are diabolically difficult to play, and impressive just on that level alone.  

Ligeti's Etudes are truly a tour de force, and they alone are enough to convince me that Ligeti is one of the greatest composers of the 20th/21st Century . . . . . . .
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: toledobass on April 10, 2007, 05:41:44 AM
This weekend the Cleveland orchestra will be performing Lontano.  I plan on going on Thurday and perhaps again on Sunday.  My introduction to Ligeti was in my grad school training where I played the Chamber Conterto for 13 instruments.  Soon after that performance,  my post-tonal theory class began analysis of the 10 Pieces for Wind Quintet.  I've loved the music since then but I've never had the chance to hear anything performed live.  I'm looking forward to it hearing what these textures sound like live.


Allan
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on April 10, 2007, 05:42:31 AM
This weekend the Cleveland orchestra will be performing Lontano.  I plan on going on Thurday and perhaps again on Sunday.

Terrific, Allan!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: toledobass on April 13, 2007, 05:21:10 AM
Last nights performance of Ligeti's Lontono at a Cleveland Orchestra concert was a revelation.  It is quite remarkable to hear this music live especially when performed by world class musicians.  As I imagined,  and just like all music,  hearing it live brings a new perspective to the piece.  There is so much you don't get to experience when listening to a recording.  I get a similar reaction in the difference between seeing Monet's art in a book in comparison to the real deal at a museum.

The first thing that gained my attention was the visual aspect of the piece.  There are many different entrances for all the players.  Instrument sections don't start and end together as a tutti section but single players or a small group of players will have an entrance.  This is also sonically very interesting since you get to hear pockets of sound from many different areas of the stage.  This relates to the second thing that astounded me.  Something as simple as a single performer having one note then another performer or group of performers joining in with the same exact pitch can is a huge effect in the hands of Ligeti.  The final thing that really made me smile was just simply hearing the sound blossom in a big space.  It was something I've never quite experienced before hearing some of the tight intervals develop and blossom and sounding more consonant than a perfectly in tune C major chord.  It's all context I guess.


I know there is a lot I'm neglecting to include.  I'm hoping to find the time to go again Sunday,  if even just for the Ligeti.  If you ever get a chance to hear his music live, it's an amazing experience.

Allan
 
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 05:25:11 AM
Wonderful, Allan!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on April 13, 2007, 05:36:13 AM
Allan, thanks for the great post-concert comments, and you can hear the excitement in your writing.  It's a fantastic thing to hear live, eh!  I heard it last October with the NY Phil with Jonathan Nott conducting -- was excellent -- but it must have been great to hear it with Cleveland. 

You're absolutely right about all the staggered entrances.  I haven't seen the score, but I'd bet that each section (i.e., the strings) is divided into at least three or four parts, or even individual parts.  (Maybe someone who has seen it can weigh in.)  And the spatial thing is crucial.  As marvelous as it is to hear it in the privacy of your own home, on a great sound system, nothing compares to being there when it as you say, blossoms in a big space. 

PS, that's a nice program, with the Haydn "Drumroll" and the Brahms Second -- if I were there I'd go again!  :D

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on April 13, 2007, 05:38:32 AM
Allan, thanks for the great post-concert comments, and you can hear the excitement in your writing.  It's a fantastic thing to hear live, eh!  I heard it last October with the NY Phil with Jonathan Nott conducting -- was excellent -- but it must have been great to hear it with Cleveland. 

You're absolutely right about all the staggered entrances.  I haven't seen the score, but I'd bet that each section (i.e., the strings) is divided into at least three or four parts

Yes, Bruce; it's a while since I saw the score, and it was not a conducting score, but a 'study score' (still large-ish pages, though) and there were so many staves that I should have needed spectacles, even in my sprier days then, to make out the notes . . . .
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: greg on April 13, 2007, 06:09:52 AM
Originally, I had planned to go to Symphony tonight, for the following program:

Ligeti, Atmosphères
Wagner, Prelude to Act I of Lohengrin
Bartók, Piano Concerto No. 2
Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 4 in F Minor

you missed that concert?
man, that must really suck......
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Don Giovanni on April 13, 2007, 07:55:51 AM
I love some of the polyrhythms Ligeti uses in the Piano Concerto.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: toledobass on April 16, 2007, 07:09:06 AM
 ;D Sweeeeeeeeet......



Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 8:00 PM

Blossom Music Center

The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Ligeti: Atmosphères
Debussy: Ibéria
Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Allan
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on April 16, 2007, 07:12:24 AM
;D Sweeeeeeeeet......



Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 8:00 PM

Blossom Music Center

The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Ligeti: Atmosphères
Debussy: Ibéria
Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Allan

Wow, is that going to be a great concert, or what... :o

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: S709 on April 23, 2007, 12:54:03 PM
After hearing enormous amounts of modern and contemporary music, my appreciation for Ligeti has only grown. His music is so unique and innovative and also highly communicative and powerful.

Lux Aeterna is one of the most beautiful pieces ever written, and yet it is so unusual and otherworldly!

The 3 concertos for piano, violin and cello are the some of the best highlights in each genre of the whole 20th century.

Ligeti is really brilliant. One could go on forever... anyway I think this recent 4CD set from DG is perfect for anyone wanting to get a good overview of Ligeti (but of course it is far from a complete set):

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51OaeaxRE6L._AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/György-Ligeti-Cloudy-William-Pearson/dp/B000HWZALK)

Opinions about this set?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on April 23, 2007, 02:32:25 PM
It's definitely a good set, with some great recordings on it (Abbado's Lontano and Atherton's Melodien being two particular highlights). If I didn't have about two thirds of it already, I would buy it.

Fortunately, Ligeti fans have multiple good in-print recordings to choose from in many of the composer's most important works. Long may this remain the case!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: val on April 25, 2007, 03:07:57 AM
I heard recently the string quartets. The first seems under the influence of Berg but is a remarkable work, deeply inspired and personal. It's structure reminds a suite.

The second string quartet is much more balanced, powerful and in the 2nd movement, Sostenuto, it is as if Ligeti wanted to compose his own "Night music", the kind of music that appears so frequently in Bartok's works.

These are two masterpieces, showing a very strong personality and a wonderful inspiration.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Don Giovanni on April 28, 2007, 08:36:54 AM
I'm planning on getting Ligeti's Quartets along with some of his other works. Any suggestions?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on April 28, 2007, 08:41:42 AM
The Ardittis on Sony are a very safe recommendation for the quartets.
The other other chamber music disc you'll need would be the Sony disc with the Horn Trio (IMO Ligeti's finest chamber work), the music for wind quintet and the viola sonata.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Don Giovanni on April 28, 2007, 08:46:17 AM
Thanks a lot, edward.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: George on April 29, 2007, 06:35:44 AM
The Ardittis on Sony are a very safe recommendation for the quartets.

Seconded, I also like the piano etudes by Aimard form the same series.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Benji on April 29, 2007, 07:20:09 AM
The thing I find fascinating about Ligeti is what Bruce mentioned, the textures. It's so interesting the sounds that he produces through such massed orchestral forces.

It is indeed, though it must be said he doesn't even need a mass of force - listen to his 2nd string quartet and at times you could be convinced it was any instrument except the strings.  :o

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Benji on April 29, 2007, 07:22:06 AM
And it is fantastic to see that Atmospheres is becoming something of a repertoire piece. I can't wait for an opportunity to hear it live.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: greg on April 29, 2007, 09:41:28 AM
"The Notorious MOG?"
makes me think of a rapping moogle (a pink little creature from Final Fantasy, almost looks like a Pikachu)

(http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/images/andrewingram/2005/03/05/moogle.jpg)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Benji on April 29, 2007, 10:29:09 AM
That's just too cute...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Harvested Sorrow on April 29, 2007, 03:34:25 PM
I'm planning on getting Ligeti's Quartets along with some of his other works. Any suggestions?

I'll second the recommendation for the Chamber Music disc on Sony.  I love horn trios... ;D
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: greg on April 30, 2007, 04:50:27 AM
That's just too cute...
now, look real closely..... he doesn't like that you called him cute
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on April 30, 2007, 05:33:27 AM
And it is fantastic to see that Atmospheres is becoming something of a repertoire piece. I can't wait for an opportunity to hear it live.

Quite true.  And I wish you a live performance of it sooner, rather than later!  You will be totally delighted when it happens.

PS, just a hearty "second" for the Ardittis in the quartets, and for anything in the Sony/Teldec Ligeti series.  All of those discs are interesting, well-performed and very beautifully recorded.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on April 30, 2007, 12:05:36 PM
-boulez disc on DG with the 3 concertos: piano, cello & violin.
-boulez disc on DG with the Chamber Concerto and Lux Auterna
These two discs can now be found in their entirety on the DG Clear or Cloudy box set, plus various desirable bonuses such as the Kontarsky brothers playing the three pieces for two pianos and the outstanding Atherton recording of Melodien.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Choo Choo on May 01, 2007, 01:10:08 AM
;D Sweeeeeeeeet......



Saturday, July 14, 2007 at 8:00 PM

Blossom Music Center

The Cleveland Orchestra
Franz Welser-Möst, conductor
Ligeti: Atmosphères
Debussy: Ibéria
Mahler: Symphony No. 1

Allan

I'd be very interested to hear what you think of that one.

W-M got a very rough ride when he was with the LPO - and when I saw him conducting Mendelssohn & Verdi in Vienna before Christmas, I'm sorry to say he gave the very clear impression of not having much of a clue what he was doing.  But maybe it is the choice of repertoire.  I wasn't that taken with Tilson-Thomas either until I heard him conduct Stravinsky - in which he was revelatory - and then I got a better idea of how he heard things.

I do agree about Atmosphères heard in concert:  especially the way bands of sound move around the orchestra.  Always a treat, more or less whoever is conducting/playing.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: val on May 03, 2007, 12:19:51 AM
Quote
edward

The Ardittis on Sony are a very safe recommendation for the quartets.

Regarding both quartets I agree. But I also have the first in the version of the Hagen Quartet and I can assure you it is an extraordinary performance.

In the second I would put the Arditti before the LaSalle.

I recently heard the Arditti in Dutilleux: it was sublime. They are perhaps the best string quartet in the interpretation of XX century music.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Heather Harrison on July 13, 2007, 06:37:54 PM
After hearing enormous amounts of modern and contemporary music, my appreciation for Ligeti has only grown. His music is so unique and innovative and also highly communicative and powerful.

Lux Aeterna is one of the most beautiful pieces ever written, and yet it is so unusual and otherworldly!

The 3 concertos for piano, violin and cello are the some of the best highlights in each genre of the whole 20th century.

Ligeti is really brilliant. One could go on forever... anyway I think this recent 4CD set from DG is perfect for anyone wanting to get a good overview of Ligeti (but of course it is far from a complete set):

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/51OaeaxRE6L._AA240_.jpg) (http://www.amazon.com/György-Ligeti-Cloudy-William-Pearson/dp/B000HWZALK)

Opinions about this set?

I just got this set, and as I listen to it carefully, I am taking down notes on each composition.  I am familiar with a few of his works, and generally like his compositions, but much of what is in this set is new to me.

Anyway, I just finished listening to the first CD, and here is what I jotted down.

Sonata for solo cello:  This is a beautiful short piece; I have always liked music for unaccompanied string instruments.  It is a shame that such pieces aren't more common.  The first movement beautiful and lyrical, and a bit mournful.  The second movement is a virtuoso showpiece.  This piece is very accessible and easy to appreciate.

Six bagatelles for wind quintet:  These are light, accessible pieces; a bit reminiscent of the style of the light, whimsical works of Les Six, with somewhat minimalistic textures thrown in here and there.  No. 5 has a darker tone and is a bit heavier and more dissonant.

String Quartet No. 1:  This piece has numerous short movements.  The opening is dissonant and intense.  The piece, overall, is quite varied, ranging from slow and troubled to dissonant and stormy.  One section has the character of a grotesque dance.  It is quite a fascinating piece and will likely reward repeated listening.

Ten pieces for wind quintet:  These pieces have a more serious character than the Bagatelles.  Ligeti seems to be exploring different sound textures here.  He gets an amazing variety of sounds out of these instruments.  No. 9, in particular, consists of a texture of sustained shrill notes and is a bit hard on the ears but is interesting nonetheless.

String Quartet No. 2:  This is a five-movement piece.  The first movement starts with a high-pitched, agitated sound texture, interrupted by short stormy passages.  The second movement starts out soft and slow, with an atmosphere of quiet tension and occasional outbreaks of dissonant energy.  Third movement starts with pizzicato in regular beats which blends into arco passages; it is very agitated and somewhat repetitive.  The fourth movement starts with a dark, troubled, dissonant theme; it stops periodically, as if to catch its breath, and reveals a rather dark, sustained texture underneath.  It is very intense.  The fifth movement starts with an agitated, quiet, somewhat minimalistic texture.  The volume gradually builds and then recedes again a few times; the same agitated texture persists throughout.  The piece finally dies away in a high pitch reminiscent of the beginning of the first movement; it is as if the whole thing has come full circle.  This is a fascinating piece; I suspect that it has secrets which will be revealed slowly upon repeated listening.

I'll get back to this thread as I listen to the other CDs in this set.  Hopefully this gives some idea of what these pieces are like, but these are, for the most part, first impressions.  This is complex music; I can't possibly fully capture the nature of it after just one hearing.

Heather
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on July 14, 2007, 11:09:42 AM
Let us know your later impressions, Heather!  And meanwhile, I'm really envious that tonight Allan is hearing the Cleveland Orchestra do Atmosphères...  If you're reading this, do give us a report...

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: S709 on July 17, 2007, 05:21:55 AM
Thanks for those descriptions, Heather!

I realize I actually haven't heard the solo cello sonata yet. But I do know the solo viola sonata, which I very very strongly recommend... :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Heather Harrison on July 18, 2007, 03:21:31 PM
Here are my impressions of the second CD.  It consists of a variety of one-movement pieces that explore sound textures in various ways.

Atmospheres.  This piece is quite well known; I have heard it a few times, and a few months ago I heard it in live concert.  It is a series of sound textures with little indication of rhythm, melody, or harmony.  It demonstrates the wide variety of sounds that an orchestra can make.  Many of the sounds are rather harsh and chilling, but there is a great variety.  It is a very interesting piece; I have never become bored with it.

Volumina.  This is an exploration of sound textures for organ.  While listening to this, I was amazed at the different sounds an organ can make.  For the most part, it moves rather slowly, but at points the textures change very quickly.  This is another very interesting piece.

Lux aeterna.  In this case, the sound textures are explored through the medium of the choir.  Again, rhythm and melody are reduced in favor of creating a world of sounds.

Organ Study No. 1.  This is another exploration of sound textures for organ; this one is slower and more serene than Volumina.

Lontano.  This is another exploration of sound textures for orchestra.  In this work, Ligeti allows some motifs and harmonies to break out of the sound world.  It is less harsh and more subdued than Atmospheres.

Ramifications.  This piece is for a small string orchestra.  As with the others, it explores sound textures, but here there are hints of motifs and rhythm.  It starts with short alternating notes and short scales, giving it a somewhat minimalist feel.  It moves on to sustained textures, and later some sustained harmonies briefly appear.  As the piece moves on, it moves through similar styles and finally ends in a brief passage of choppy notes.  Microtonal tuning is used.

Melodien.  This is another orchestral sound texture piece.  Here, a lot of atonal thematic material appears over the textures; it is somewhat repetitive, showing some minimalist tendencies.  The orchestration is rich and varied.  At a few points, many of these melodies, in counterpoint, create a rather fluid sound texture.

This was a good choice of material to place together on a CD; it shows how Ligeti's way of working with sound textures evolved during the 1960's.  All of these pieces are quite interesting.

Heather
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Kiddiarni on July 19, 2007, 03:03:48 PM
The Lux Aeterna is giving me the creeps.  Can't imagine how hard it is to perform it...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scriptavolant on July 19, 2007, 03:43:02 PM
I'm downloading "Le Grand Macabre", does anyone has a thought about it?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on July 19, 2007, 04:34:52 PM
I'm downloading "Le Grand Macabre", does anyone has a thought about it?
Very uneven, and doesn't really add up to more than the sum of its parts.

Having said that, there's some wonderful music in it, even if I don't think it really hangs together. Are you downloading the original version or the 1997 revision? Either does provide a good summary of Ligeti's stylistic variance up till the end of the '70s.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scriptavolant on July 19, 2007, 05:23:24 PM
Very uneven, and doesn't really add up to more than the sum of its parts.

Having said that, there's some wonderful music in it, even if I don't think it really hangs together. Are you downloading the original version or the 1997 revision? Either does provide a good summary of Ligeti's stylistic variance up till the end of the '70s.

It is vol. 8 of the Ligeti Edition.
This one:

(http://ec1.images-amazon.com/images/I/516JOFFzrwL._SS500_.jpg)

I don't know if it is the original or rather the revised edition. I'll have to check. Thank you for your answer, then  :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on July 19, 2007, 05:59:54 PM
That's the revised version.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Heather Harrison on July 20, 2007, 05:38:37 PM
Here are some brief descriptions of the third CD in the DG Ligeti set.

Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures:  These pieces are somewhat humorous; three vocalists make a series of strange and funny noises, backed up by seven instrumentalists.  The music ranges from funny to violent to just plain strange.  It is rather unpredictable and quite entertaining.

Cello concerto:  This piece is very slow and meditative.  Like many other mid-to-late 1960's works, explores sound textures, but a few motifs manage to rise out of the texture.  There is some agitation in the second movement.

Chamber concerto:  This work has fluid, somewhat minimalistic sound textures with occasional melodies.  Wind instruments are prominent.

Mysteries of the Macabre:  This is an arrangement for trumpet, piano, and somebody making funny noises by Elgar Horvath.  It is an unusual piece with largely atonal melodies, accompanied by funny noises.  It is hard to describe; it really must be heard.

Double concerto for flute and oboe:  The first movement is mellow and meditative, with smooth sound textures and slow melodies.  The second movement is largely fast and lively, with short fragments of melodies and minimalistic textures.  It ends abruptly.

This is an interesting and varied group of compositions.  I'll post the last CD after I listen to it - probably tomorrow.

Heather
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Heather Harrison on July 21, 2007, 12:23:11 PM
Here are my impressions of the music on the final CD of DG's Ligeti set.  These are later works; Ligeti moved on from his sound texture work of the 1960's, and his music became more melodic, often atonal, and sometimes minimalistic in nature.

The Big Turtle Fanfare from the South China Sea:  This trumpet fanfare is melodic and very short.  It is quite different from the earlier sound texture works.

Three pieces for two pianos:  These show strong influence of minimalism.  The second is quieter than first, and the third has fluid texture; it builds in intensity, then peters out at the end.

Piano Etudes Nos. 2 and 4.  No. 2 is slow and melodic, while No. 4 is fast and lively; also melodic and with minimalistic tendencies.

Piano concerto:  This piece is somewhat atonal (sometimes, a tonal center does feel present) and often melodic, with a variety of moods and tempos.  It is quite complex and would require a few hearings to decipher.

Violin concerto:  This piece has more of an atonal feel to it than the piano concerto.  It also features many changes and moods.  It makes great use of the possibilities of the violin, and it has an interesting and unique orchestration.

In general, the music on this CD is more accessible than most of the music on the other CDs, but it is still interesting and full of surprises.  All in all, I think this was a worthwhile set.  Of course, my descriptions here are mostly first impressions, and with such complicated music, first impressions might not be all that useful.  One who knows these pieces well would be better able to describe them.

Heather
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on July 21, 2007, 12:30:46 PM
Of course, my descriptions here are mostly first impressions, and with such complicated music, first impressions might not be all that useful.  One who knows these pieces well would be better able to describe them.


But first impressions are useful, and I think it's great that you are devoting so much time to Ligeti, whom many people feel is one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.  (Since he just died last year, he belongs a bit to the 21st as well.)

PS, did you catch the ocarinas in the Violin Concerto?  I first heard this piece live, and when a small group of wind players suddenly hoisted up ocarinas, I almost laughed out loud!  A very imaginative, colorful effect.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Heather Harrison on July 21, 2007, 01:44:21 PM
PS, did you catch the ocarinas in the Violin Concerto?  I first heard this piece live, and when a small group of wind players suddenly hoisted up ocarinas, I almost laughed out loud!  A very imaginative, colorful effect.

Yes - I noticed that; it is one reason why I found the orchestration to be unique and interesting.

I'm glad I found that 4-CD set.  Of course, since I was already familiar with some of Ligeti's music and I wanted to find more, it wasn't a hard decision to buy it.  It was definitely worth the time going through it, and basically everything there deserves repeated listening.

Heather
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 26, 2007, 12:30:56 PM
Just finished watching this wonderful film (http://ubu.artmob.ca/video/Follin-Michel_Gyorgy-Ligeti-un-portrait_1993.avi), downloaded today. It's over an hour (629 mb) of beautiful footage and extended monologues from Ligeti himself - not telling me much I didn't know about already, perhaps, but finding the most pertinent shots, archive material etc. Very moving indeed, at times, especially in the lengthy sections about his childhood (close-up footage of an aged 'folk' violinist was particularly beautiful). It's in French - but I found Ligeti's French very easy to understand, perhaps because, though he is completely fluent, it is evidently not his mother tongue, and so he speaks deliberately and clearly.

The film comes from the extraordinary Ubuweb collection; their Ligeti film page also includes  a 'performance' of the Poeme Symphonique for 100 metronomes (http://ubu.artmob.ca/video/Ligeti-Gyorgy_Poeme-Symphonique-For-100-Metronomes.avi). But I'd urge people to have a nose round this fabulous resource - there are real gems there for the unearthing.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: S709 on July 26, 2007, 03:40:54 PM
That is really awesome, thanks so much Luke !!!

His French is quite clear, yes!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lukeottevanger on July 26, 2007, 10:20:05 PM
Glad you enjoyed it. My sleep last night was full of bizarre dreams, which I'm sure stem from watching this film with all its potent imagery in a gradually darkening room just before bed!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on December 13, 2007, 11:25:21 AM
James, thanks for that link.  Don't have time to hear it now, but will get to it later.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 08, 2008, 09:45:17 PM
After hearing enormous amounts of modern and contemporary music, my appreciation for Ligeti has only grown. His music is so unique and innovative and also highly communicative and powerful.

Lux Aeterna is one of the most beautiful pieces ever written, and yet it is so unusual and otherworldly!



Ligeti is really brilliant.

Really convincing ::)
you sound so genuine and believable.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on February 09, 2008, 01:20:39 AM
Really convincing ::)
you sound so genuine and believable.

Pot, kettle, black.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: toledobass on February 09, 2008, 07:23:26 AM
Pot, kettle, black.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 09, 2008, 08:20:18 AM
look I realize Ligeti's family was brutally mudered by the nazis, and Ligeti  suffer all his life from the horrors of german occupation, he himself never recovered. Who could?
But I wouldn't go over board about his music.
call me cruel, but i have to judge art as it presents itself, aside from the tormented artist.
A great man indeed to pull off the number of works that he did. Nazi germany destroyed many a  great artists, and prevented others, Schonberg, Berg, Webern from going even further in their mastery. Shostakovich also was held back by fascist russia.
But on a  artistic scale, Ligeti just doesn't manage to rise above his captors grips.
sad i know, WW2 is never fully over.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on February 09, 2008, 03:23:22 PM
look I realize Ligeti's family was brutally mudered by the nazis, and Ligeti  suffer all his life from the horrors of german occupation, he himself never recovered. Who could?
But I wouldn't go over board about his music.
call me cruel, but i have to judge art as it presents itself, aside from the tormented artist.
A great man indeed to pull off the number of works that he did. Nazi germany destroyed many a  great artists, and prevented others, Schonberg, Berg, Webern from going even further in their mastery. Shostakovich also was held back by fascist russia.
But on a  artistic scale, Ligeti just doesn't manage to rise above his captors grips.
sad i know, WW2 is never fully over.

Oh, boy. Who is letting you get within 50 yards of a computer and why are you so determined to embarrass yourself in public?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 09, 2008, 04:07:57 PM
Ligeti at his finest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8v-uDhcDyg&feature=related

 :D
 :P
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ephemerid on February 09, 2008, 04:27:04 PM
Interesting. Sort of reminds me of Steve Reich's Pendulum Music (I have a feeling you won't care for this Paul...  ;D )

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z6r3HDn6wFU

Too bad its not the whole thing.  Its one of his early works from the mid 60s...

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 09, 2008, 04:30:22 PM
Hi Josh
I am almost afraid to click the youtube link to Ligeti, so far we 2 just don't get along very well.
i'll keep trying though.
I know what the guy went through. UNREAL sufferings.
I respect the guy for his artisic talent and courage in the face of the monster germans.

EDIT:
Oh no, i thought that was a  link to other Ligeti.
Its Reich on your link. For me thats a worse option for music than Ligeti.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on February 09, 2008, 04:30:34 PM
Ligeti at his finest
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8v-uDhcDyg&feature=related

 :D
 :P


Silly bugger. Ligeti at his finest:

Requiem
Lontano
Atmospheres
Le Grand Macabre

Like many avant-garde, experimental composers, not everything Ligeti wrote is a masterpiece. But his finest works, particularly the Requiem and Lontano, will be adored by audiences long after you and I are pushing up the daisies.  ;D
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 09, 2008, 04:38:23 PM

Le Grand Macabre



I had this and 2 other Sony cds of Ligeti.
You need to read the comments one page over,  on that gawd awful *opera* thingy.
My first run in with Ligeti was over at a  music library, but after being COERCED by Ligeti-ITES, I thought what do I have to lose but $60 for the 5 cds. 
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on February 09, 2008, 04:51:39 PM
I had this and 2 other Sony cds of Ligeti.
You need to read the comments one page over,  on that gawd awful *opera* thingy.
My first run in with Ligeti was over at a  music library, but after being COERCED by Ligeti-ITES, I thought what do I have to lose but $60 for the 5 cds. 

Well, if you (really) spent $60 on CDs that you subsequently hated, then I have to respect you for at least trying. I would seriously suggest that you borrow (not buy, given your previous bad experiences!!) Gielen's recording of the Requiem. If you really can't get on with that piece, then that's your loss.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 09, 2008, 05:01:58 PM
Thanks for acknowledging my efforts.
I'll keep an open door for Ligeti in the future. The cd you mention.
Thanks :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: greg on February 11, 2008, 12:32:54 PM
Hi Josh
I am almost afraid to click the youtube link to Ligeti, so far we 2 just don't get along very well.
i'll keep trying though.
I know what the guy went through. UNREAL sufferings.
I respect the guy for his artisic talent and courage in the face of the monster germans.

EDIT:
Oh no, i thought that was a  link to other Ligeti.
Its Reich on your link. For me thats a worse option for music than Ligeti.
here's another one for you, paul  ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po0ELeXFQuc&feature=related

 ;D
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 11, 2008, 01:34:51 PM
Yeah right, as soon as i brought up the page and saw Glass,
DO NOT ENTER
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: andy on February 11, 2008, 02:18:35 PM
look I realize Ligeti's family was brutally mudered by the nazis, and Ligeti  suffer all his life from the horrors of german occupation, he himself never recovered. Who could?
But I wouldn't go over board about his music.
call me cruel, but i have to judge art as it presents itself, aside from the tormented artist.
A great man indeed to pull off the number of works that he did. Nazi germany destroyed many a  great artists, and prevented others, Schonberg, Berg, Webern from going even further in their mastery. Shostakovich also was held back by fascist russia.
But on a  artistic scale, Ligeti just doesn't manage to rise above his captors grips.
sad i know, WW2 is never fully over.

Are you making the implication that Ligeti's music sucked (in your not-so-humble-opinion) because he never recovered from the loss of his family by Nazi Germany?

Wow. I don't have anything to add to MDL's statement:

Oh, boy. Who is letting you get within 50 yards of a computer and why are you so determined to embarrass yourself in public?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 12, 2008, 05:11:15 AM
Are you making the implication that Ligeti's music sucked (in your not-so-humble-opinion) because he never recovered from the loss of his family by Nazi Germany?

Wow. I don't have anything to add to MDL's statement:


For whatever reasons his music sucks (in my humble and honest opinion) I can't explian based solely on the traumas of nazi brutalities. I do think the nazi's caused some harm to his creative process. No one could go through whAt Ligeti did and not be affected deeply in the creative process.
I hear his music as a  man struggling with the forces of evil, but inescapably succumbing to the evil. The music never rises ina   liberated sense.
If you want to hear someone who did manage to rise about the horrors of fascist brutality , listen to the music of Shostakovich.
Ligeti is a  hero , in that he survived the horror and did not commit suicide, and went on to actually write music. That along makes him a  heroic consciousness.
Shostakovich went further, in that he not only survived emotionally, but he forged a  tremendous creative process in bringing forth powerfully creative works.
Ligeti I am afraid succumbed to the forces of evil. Sad I know, but true.
If you naively think that when Hitler died, that his evil was at the end. Think again, we still see the reprecussions of that fascist attitude within germany even today.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: ChamberNut on February 12, 2008, 05:31:20 AM
Has anyone mentioned Ligeti's Musica Ricercatas?  How are all of them?

I've only heard the No. 2, from the Eyes Wide Shut soundtrack, and used heavily and very effectively in dramatic moments of the film.  Chilling!

After seeing all of the recommendations for the string quartets, I'll definitely have to explore that further.  :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: toledobass on February 12, 2008, 07:15:53 AM

Shostakovich went further, in that he not only survived emotionally, but he forged a  tremendous creative process in bringing forth powerfully creative works.


It doesn't matter if you like the music or not but, could you explain this more?  How exactly is Ligeti's language not creative?


Allan

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on February 12, 2008, 07:45:49 AM
Has anyone mentioned Ligeti's Musica Ricercatas?  How are all of them?

I've only heard the No. 2, from the Eyes Wide Shut soundtrack, and used heavily and very effectively in dramatic moments of the film.  Chilling!

After seeing all of the recommendations for the string quartets, I'll definitely have to explore that further.  :)

If you like the piano etudes, you'll probably find the Musica Ricercata quite interesting.  Here (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musica_ricercata) is a pretty good explanation of the set, that shows the increasing pitches as they go along.

And yes, the string quartets are among the most creative (not to mention, just fun to listen to) of the 20th century.  I don't think it's by accident that there are so many good recordings of them available.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 12, 2008, 10:19:50 AM
It doesn't matter if you like the music or not but, could you explain this more?  How exactly is Ligeti's language not creative?


Allan



This youtube clip is poor transfer, this sq is actuallly pretty good.
Of the 6 cds I've heard of Ligeti, this q is the only think i like.
thats not to say i will order this Naxos. I may order the sq's in the future, I do not know.
Its possible.
I do hear alot of influence from Bartok and Shostakovich.
though i admit this sq is pretty good, his most creative effort i do believe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f9ugcGqJoQ&feature=related

poor transfer, stops all along the way.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: greg on February 12, 2008, 10:23:37 AM
This youtube clip is poor transfer, this sq is actuallly pretty good.
Of the 6 cds I've heard of Ligeti, this q is the only think i like.
thats not to say i will order this Naxos. I may order the sq's in the future, I do not know.
Its possible.
I do hear alot of influence from Bartok and Shostakovich.
though i admit this sq is pretty good, his most creative effort i do believe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f9ugcGqJoQ&feature=related

poor transfer, stops all along the way.

hm, i didn't know they had Ligeti's SQ on youtube.
I looked it up, and wow! that is some seriously good stuff!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: toledobass on February 12, 2008, 10:36:13 AM
This youtube clip is poor transfer, this sq is actuallly pretty good.
Of the 6 cds I've heard of Ligeti, this q is the only think i like.
thats not to say i will order this Naxos. I may order the sq's in the future, I do not know.
Its possible.
I do hear alot of influence from Bartok and Shostakovich.
though i admit this sq is pretty good, his most creative effort i do believe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_f9ugcGqJoQ&feature=related

poor transfer, stops all along the way.


Nevermind, you haven't and probably aren't going to answer my question.

Allan
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: George on February 12, 2008, 10:41:16 AM
hm, i didn't know they had Ligeti's SQ on youtube.
I looked it up, and wow! that is some seriously good stuff!

Arditti knocks them out of the park on their Sony CD.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Josquin des Prez on February 12, 2008, 11:00:10 AM
Personally i was never impressed by the first string quartet nor by the musica ricercata. They are early works and not important ones. The second string quartet and the late piano miniatures are the real masterpieces.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 12, 2008, 11:07:52 AM
Nevermind, you haven't and probably aren't going to answer my question.

Allan

Well let me ask you, what's SO GREAT about Ligeti's music?
You answer me.

read prez's comment above.
"1st sq, nothing great"

But what do i know, some told me that Tippett is good music, the problem is me. So what do i know?
nothing!

Sir Michael Tippett, composer.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on February 12, 2008, 11:16:22 AM
read prez's comment above.
"1st sq, nothing great"

Paul, read prez's comment above:

Personally i was never impressed by the first string quartet nor by the musica ricercata. They are early works and not important ones.

So, you want us to dismiss all Pettersson because one could easily say that his early works are not important?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 12, 2008, 11:20:55 AM
Paul, read prez's comment above:

So, you want us to dismiss all Pettersson because one could easily say that his early works are not important?

what i am saying is if I get the sq's , and find too much Bartok and Shostakovich there, I might find that i reach more often for either, and rarely for Ligeti.
I can't take buying stuff that is not for me.
Ligeti so far has not worked.
There is something wrong with me, the music is fine.
I'll stick with Bartok's 6 sq's, thanks.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: toledobass on February 12, 2008, 11:23:56 AM
Well let me ask you, what's SO GREAT about Ligeti's music?
You answer me.

read prez's comment above.
"1st sq, nothing great"

But what do i know, some told me that Tippett is good music, the problem is me. So what do i know?
nothing!

Sir Michael Tippett, composer.



Paul,
You made a statement implying that Ligeti could never reach any creative depth.  I'm trying to understand your point of view here.  My view of Ligeti has nothing to do with any of your statement.

Allan
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 12, 2008, 11:29:38 AM
Here go read all the hype rom 15 Ligeti devotees on amazon. all give 5 stars,
FOR A CD WHICH HAS ONLY ONE WORK WORTH LISTENING, THE 2ND SQ TIMED AT 19 MINUTES

so you want me to buy a  cd for 19 minutes worth of music??
Get out of here.
The 6+ cds i 've heard from Ligeti were all bunk
Pump him if you care.
I'll have nothing to do with a  composer who is pumped, with very little to offer. 8)


http://www.amazon.com/Gy%C3%B6rgy-Ligeti-Quartets-Arditti-Quartet/dp/B0000029OY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1202844136&sr=1-1
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 12, 2008, 11:31:10 AM
that really gets on my nerves ,w hen people pump composers who offer very little real substance.
Its the sign of the times we live in.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on February 12, 2008, 11:42:06 AM
that really gets on my nerves, when people pump composers who offer very little real substance.

My ears find more substance in Ligeti than in Pettersson, Paul.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 12, 2008, 11:43:09 AM
My ears find more substance in Ligeti than in Pettersson, Paul.

well goody goody for you ;D

and that comes as no surprise at all. ;)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on February 12, 2008, 11:44:21 AM
But we understand if Ligeti is too modern for you, Paul.  The cozy Romanticism of Pettersson is a lot safer  8)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on February 12, 2008, 11:47:23 AM
I think the first quartet is well worth hearing.  Granted, it's not representative of his mature style, but I like what edward here wrote, suggesting it might be the closest thing we have to a seventh Bartók string quartet.  In my mind, that can only be a good thing, and one question could be: would you rather have it available for listening, or not?  I'd vote for the former.  

This is the same question I ask when considering reconstructed works, or those completed by another composer, e.g., Mahler's Tenth Symphony.  No, I don't enjoy it quite as much as the first nine, but after hearing it, I'm really glad the imperfect, reconstructed Tenth is around for me to listen to.

--Bruce

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Kullervo on February 12, 2008, 12:00:53 PM

Pump him if you care.


To quote Elvis Costello and possibly an old SNL skit, "Pump it up!"
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ephemerid on February 12, 2008, 12:05:08 PM
Quite a few weeks a go I downloaded his Etude No. 2 for organ-- mysterious & beautiful, a softly glowing sort of thing.  There are sounds on there I have no idea how they are being made (it almost doesn't even sound like a pipe organ).  Anyone know anything about this piece? 
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ephemerid on February 12, 2008, 12:09:42 PM
Correction-- I think its Etude No. 1 "Harmonies" (I don't have it here with me)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on February 12, 2008, 12:15:28 PM
You're right: that's the first one.  The second is Coulée (1969).  I've heard them (the Sony version) but can't offer much more about their composition--maybe someone else can.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ephemerid on February 12, 2008, 12:24:15 PM
I'm not familiar with Ligeti much except for that Etude No. 1 for organ and Lux Aeterna (I have copies of only these two pieces).  Well, I know I've heard some other stuff (Lux Aeterna being one of them) in some of Kubrick's films.  I think Atmospheres is one of them?  I've seen the term "micropolyphany" or something like that in connection with those particular works I think...?

I'm really interested in more Ligeti works like this, along these lines... It reminds me a bit of some of Eno's darker ambient work (like On Land), except its acoustic.  Any suggestions, anybody?

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on February 12, 2008, 12:36:38 PM
If you like Atmosphères, you will probably like Lontano, and also Ramifications, for 12 strings, with half of them tuned a quarter-tone sharp. 

Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg0RYRjBCiw) is a reading of Ramifications on YouTube (although the performers aren't identified).

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ephemerid on February 12, 2008, 12:43:09 PM
If you like Atmosphères, you will probably like Lontano, and also Ramifications, for 12 strings, with half of them tuned a quarter-tone sharp. 

Here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tg0RYRjBCiw) is a reading of Ramifications on YouTube (although the performers aren't identified).

--Bruce

Cool, thanks!  Just needed to be pointed in the right direction to get started.  I'll listen to that YouTube clip when I get home tonight too...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: andy on February 12, 2008, 01:56:50 PM
Well let me ask you, what's SO GREAT about Ligeti's music?
You answer me.

It's interesting that you say Shostakovich went deeper than Ligeti, because I feel Shosta's music is very shallow compared to Ligeti's. Shostakovich never moved last late romanticism, whereas Ligeti pushed boundaries throughout his career. His 1st string quartet is not a very good example of this; Ligeti himself didn't think much of it. His 2nd string quartet; however, is his most important piece up till the end of the 60s because it sums up all of his techniques to that point.

Paul, I would think a self proclaimed iconoclast like yourself would enjoy the fact that Ligeti bucked the European avant-garde trend and never wrote serialized music. He called it a fad and wrote a paper pointing out errors in a totally serialized piece of Boulez, asking what's the point of such a rigid sructure if inventor can't even stick to it.

Past his earlier, very influential tone cluster music, Ligeti grew and began to incorporate other influences into his work. His piano etudes, for instance, show influence of African-pigmy music, fractals, and even the influence of American minimalists. His Piano Concerto (arguably one of the best PCs of the 20th century) uses these influences and is incredibly rich and deep -- much deeper than Shostakovich ever went. It's a very playful piece as well, which seems to be at odds with your theory that Ligeti's music was eternally smeared by Hitler's actions (I'm not saying some of his work wasn't, just that not all of it was).

On the topic of Ligeti's influences, one of his more "horrific" pieces Atmospheres was influenced by his fear of spiders. He sought to create "webs" of sound.

And all this is just scratching the surface on why Ligeti is one of the best and most influential composers of the 20th century...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on February 12, 2008, 02:43:43 PM
Paul, I would think a self proclaimed iconoclast like yourself would enjoy the fact that Ligeti bucked the European avant-garde trend and never wrote serialized music.

Well, you see, Andy, what we have here is the difference between what iconoclasm means, and the warm-fuzzy feeling of proclaiming oneself an iconoclast, without any regard for what it might mean  8)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 12, 2008, 03:24:24 PM
because I feel Shosta's music is very shallow compared to Ligeti's. -- much deeper than Shostakovich ever went. 

That just got to karl
No wonder Karl came over to the Pettersson topic with his suggestions that I should *let it go*.
I couldn't figure out what i said that *got to him*.
It was you Andy.
Karl should be a   nice chap and let Andy and myself say how we feel, as long as our comment offends on one personally, which is the case.

I respect what you say Andy, no issues with me. With Karl now, i can't speak for him.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ephemerid on February 12, 2008, 04:03:51 PM
Just ordered this:

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41KHE29HX4L._AA240_.jpg)

Heard an excerpt of Lontano & I WANT IT!!

I did download the first two books of his Etudes for piano-- every different stylistically from Atmospheres, Lontano & Lux Aeterna, but it sounds interesting-- some lovely stuff going on in this...  (listening to that now)

Also downloaded a recording of Ramifications (by the Ligeti Project).  I'm spending money I ought not to, but oh well  >:D

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: paulb on February 12, 2008, 04:09:01 PM
I'm spending money I ought not to,



There's a bit of prophesy in there. ;)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on February 12, 2008, 04:09:38 PM
Ah, now that is one of my favorites in the entire cycle!  :D  It's a great performance of Lontano.  You might also want to try to find an Abbado/Vienna disc called Wien Modern, with a live performance of it that is excellent.  I'll see if I can find a cover pic to attach.  

Edit: ah, found it.  This is a great disc (but maybe not for the $38 that CD Universe wants for it).  Has a live Atmosphères also.

--Bruce

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on February 12, 2008, 04:17:18 PM
And yes, yes, yes--the piano etudes are marvelous, and quickly becoming repertoire staples.  Check out Pierre-Laurent Aimard's versions of them.  He does a few on his live Carnegie Hall recital disc, for example. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ephemerid on February 12, 2008, 04:18:15 PM
Ah, now that is one of my favorites in the entire cycle!  :D  It's a great performance of Lontano.  You might also want to try to find an Abbado/Vienna disc called Wien Modern, with a live performance of it that is excellent.  I'll see if I can find a cover pic to attach. 

--Bruce


I know the one you're talking about-- I spotted it as well-- I was weighing whether to get that one or this one, opted for the Sony disc. 

Still listening to these Etudes-- very rhythmic stuff! (yes, its Pierre-Laurent Aimard on the piano  :) )  I know next to nothing about him except "he's that 2001 guy" so I'm going to do a bit of homework on him now...

There's a bit of prophesy in there. ;)

LOL Paul
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on February 12, 2008, 04:24:43 PM
Still listening to these Etudes-- very rhythmic stuff! (yes, its Pierre-Laurent Aimard on the piano  :) )  I know next to nothing about him except "he's that 2001 guy" so I'm going to do a bit of homework on him now...

Well, despite the flood of suggestions, take your time and enjoy getting to know his work.  Lots of invention, and several people have commented on the playfulness and humor in some of his pieces.  (Personally, the first time I heard the Violin Concerto I couldn't help but chuckle...he uses an instrument not normally found in a symphony orchestra.)

 :D

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Symphonien on February 13, 2008, 02:24:31 AM
What is there not to love about Ligeti? 8) He was so incredibly versatile, writing amazing pieces in all genres, and he was not afraid to absorb a wide range of influences and explore them in different ways - yet he was also a great pioneer himself and no matter what's going on in the music, his personal style is always recognisable.

And I'm always discovering new pieces by him. For example, I just recently came across the sheet music for a piano piece called "3 Bagatelles". Written in 1961 and dedicated to the famous avant-garde pianist of the time, David Tudor, they seem to be Ligeti's way of poking fun at John Cage. Not sure if I'm really allowed to post this here or not, but I don't think Ligeti would really have minded since he didn't really take them seriously, with a recording not appearing in the Ligeti Project series which he overviewed. If you have a basic knowledge of musical notation, I hope you will find them as amusing as I did. ;D

 Ligeti - Trois Bagatelles (http://rapidshare.com/files/91429158/Ligeti_-_Trois_Bagatelles.pdf.html)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on February 13, 2008, 02:27:04 AM
Ah, now that is one of my favorites in the entire cycle!  :D  It's a great performance of Lontano.  You might also want to try to find an Abbado/Vienna disc called Wien Modern, with a live performance of it that is excellent.  I'll see if I can find a cover pic to attach.  

Edit: ah, found it.  This is a great disc (but maybe not for the $38 that CD Universe wants for it).  Has a live Atmosphères also.

--Bruce



The Abbado's good, but the Teldec recording is much better, I think. There's a slight breakdown of ensemble at a clinching point just after the final climax that has always bugged me on Abbado's recording. I flinch each time I hear it. No such grumbles about the Teldec.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on February 13, 2008, 05:33:45 AM
Paul, you're luxuriating in your customary double-talk:

That just got to karl

[. . .]

With Karl now, i can't speak for him.

QED
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: greg on February 13, 2008, 07:07:03 AM


Heard an excerpt of Lontano & I WANT IT!!


some really good stuff, possibly my favorite Ligeti work.
You should check out the score, over 50 staves on some of the pages.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on February 13, 2008, 07:16:58 AM
Lontano and Atmosphères are both beauties!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: andy on February 13, 2008, 10:34:19 AM
Heard an excerpt of Lontano & I WANT IT!!

I did download the first two books of his Etudes for piano-- every different stylistically from Atmospheres, Lontano & Lux Aeterna, but it sounds interesting-- some lovely stuff going on in this...  (listening to that now)

Good choice with the Ligeti Project 2. It's got his three most famous tone cluster pieces on there, which are a great introduction to Ligeti. I can't pinpoint "the" Ligeti album I have that is my favorite, I have to agree with James on this...

Indeed. So is Melodien, the Chamber Concerto, the Double Concerto, the Violin Concerto, the Piano Concerto, Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet, Lux Aeterna, the Requiem, Trio for Violin, Horn & Piano, the Piano Etudes, the String Quartets, the Viola Sonata & others...

Ligeti didn't publish a whole lot of music, so almost his entire output is gold.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Josquin des Prez on February 15, 2008, 09:06:28 AM
It's interesting that you say Shostakovich went deeper than Ligeti, because I feel Shosta's music is very shallow compared to Ligeti's. Shostakovich never moved last late romanticism, whereas Ligeti pushed boundaries throughout his career.

There we go with the worship of innovation for innovation's sake.  ::)

Notwithstanding that Shostakovich had no particular choice on the matter of "pushing boundaries", why would that make his music inherently shallow? What about Bach then, or Brahms? Are those also shallow?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Josquin des Prez on February 15, 2008, 09:11:03 AM
Here go read all the hype rom 15 Ligeti devotees on amazon. all give 5 stars,
FOR A CD WHICH HAS ONLY ONE WORK WORTH LISTENING, THE 2ND SQ TIMED AT 19 MINUTES

so you want me to buy a  cd for 19 minutes worth of music??
Get out of here.
The 6+ cds i 've heard from Ligeti were all bunk
Pump him if you care.
I'll have nothing to do with a  composer who is pumped, with very little to offer. 8)

Well, i never said that the first string quartet is worthless, i just wouldn't call it a masterpiece. What you don't understand is that the music of Ligeti is extremely concentrated and there's more material packed into those 19 minutes then a Patterson's symphony. 

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ephemerid on February 15, 2008, 09:21:46 AM
There we go with the worship of innovation for innovation's sake.  ::)

Notwithstanding that Shostakovich had no particular choice on the matter of "pushing boundaries", why would that make his music inherently shallow? What about Bach then, or Brahms? Are those also shallow?

Good call, Josquin!  Innovative music and good music are not necessarily synonymous.  Its not innovation in and of itself that makes a piece of music good (or great)-- rather it is what you do with the musical materials at hand (regardless of how much musical boundaries are pushed or not).  Otherwise music is just a matter of one-upmanship in terms of new musical innovations-- and also implies that they are disoposable once newer innovations come along. 

Musical innovations are just new tools to expand our expanding musical vocabulary, innovation should never be an end in itself. 

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Dr. Dread on March 12, 2009, 06:04:44 AM
Is his last name pronounced "liggity"? Because that's how they pronounced it on MPR this morning.  ;D And, if so, I've been pronouncing wrong: li-GET-ti. Maybe because I like author Thomas Ligotti.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on March 12, 2009, 06:08:59 AM
Yes, MPR is right: it is "LIG-uh-tee."  Did they play some of his music?

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Dr. Dread on March 12, 2009, 06:10:43 AM
Yes, MPR is right: it is "LIG-uh-tee."  Did they play some of his music?

--Bruce

Yes, sir. Some piano thing.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Novi on March 12, 2009, 06:11:54 AM
Is his last name pronounced "liggity"? Because that's how they pronounced it on MPR this morning.  ;D And, if so, I've been pronouncing wrong: li-GET-ti. Maybe because I like author Thomas Ligotti.

Yep, accent on first syllable.

Oh, and this is a good Ligeti boxset ;D:

(http://208.131.143.232/i/1/1/7/4/3/8/9.jpg)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Dr. Dread on March 12, 2009, 06:14:32 AM
Yes, sir. Some piano thing.

Gyorgy Ligeti - Etude no. 4 "Fanfare"
Yuja Wang, piano


She's the lastest Chinese piano sensation. Or so they say...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on March 12, 2009, 06:17:08 AM
Gyorgy Ligeti - Etude no. 4 "Fanfare"
Yuja Wang, piano


She's the lastest Chinese piano sensation. Or so they say...

Oh cool...the Etudes are amazing, IMHO some of the greatest piano works of the 20th century.  Haven't heard Wang, though.  Did you like her? 

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Dr. Dread on March 12, 2009, 06:19:44 AM
Oh cool...the Etudes are amazing, IMHO some of the greatest piano works of the 20th century.  Haven't heard Wang, though.  Did you like her? 

--Bruce

I had to turn it off so I heard little.

She has a new CD out or about to come out from DG.

I might get it.

(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51tVf-bhIwL._SL500_AA240_.jpg)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on March 12, 2009, 07:07:39 AM
Popped into Harold Moores records on Great Marlborough Street in my lunch break and they were playing the second movement from Ligeti's Chamber Concerto, which was nice. I would have stayed to listen, but I had to dash back to work. Bugger.

And about the pronunciation of his name, am I right in saying that in Hungarian (Ligeti was born in the Hungarian-speaking area of Transylvania, wasn't he?), the stress always falls on the first syllable?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: purephase on March 12, 2009, 08:01:43 AM
Ligeti is currently Radio 3's Composer of the Week.  The last 4 shows are still available.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006tnxf
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: John Copeland on March 12, 2009, 08:33:10 AM
Pronunciation of his name?

Li - gi- ty    as in Liggity

Not Ligetty
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: The Ninth on June 19, 2009, 09:28:28 AM
Oh, and this is a good Ligeti boxset ;D:

(http://208.131.143.232/i/1/1/7/4/3/8/9.jpg)
I just bought this one from Amazon.

I was introduced to Ligeti through the pieces used in Kubrick films (Musica Ricercata, Atmospheres, etc.) . I've since listened to many more of his works and have found that, as with Debussy, it's very rare for me to find something I don't enjoy. I think he may become my favorite composer of the twentieth century.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on June 19, 2009, 10:15:07 AM
I think he may become my favorite composer of the twentieth century.

He's definitely one of mine.  (I would agonize over having to choose just one!)  But I agree: there are very few works I've heard that I don't like.  Some are among my favorite works, period, e.g., the string quartets, Lontano, Atmosphères, Lux Aeterna, Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet, and of course, the great piano etudes.

I have most of the individual recordings from which that Teldec box--a great series. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: CRCulver on June 19, 2009, 11:03:12 AM
It's a real shame that while Teldec released that box set (as did DG, though those aren't composer-approved recordings), Sony is letting the Gyorgy Ligeti Edition completely fall out of print. :-(
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Henk on June 19, 2009, 11:52:04 AM
Another fan here. Have all the individual discs (which have cost me much more then the box  :-\).

I know that Ligeti had problems with the Sony cycle at some point. Don't know the exact story, but that could be a reason why they are out of print.

Henk
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: CRCulver on June 19, 2009, 12:03:01 PM
Another fan here. Have all the individual discs (which have cost me much more then the box  :-\).

I know that Ligeti had problems with the Sony cycle at some point. Don't know the exact story, but that could be a reason why they are out of print.

The reason they are out of print has nothing to do with Ligeti or his performers, it's because Sony refocused itself to classical crossover a few years back and has junked almost all of its serious recordings from the 1990s. At least they mid-priced them first, so that you can pick up some excellent Salonen discs, for example, for cheap, but soon it'll be difficult to find them without paying rarities prices.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Lethevich on June 19, 2009, 12:58:29 PM
It's a real shame that while Teldec released that box set (as did DG, though those aren't composer-approved recordings), Sony is letting the Gyorgy Ligeti Edition completely fall out of print. :-(

Story of Sony's life, really... the amount of valuble, important and lucrative things they have allowed to fall permenently OOP can only lead me to think that they are too incompetent to deserve to remain in business...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Sid on August 27, 2009, 10:52:24 PM
It's interesting to read everyone's posts...

I've only got Ligeti's Requiem, Aventures, Nouvelles Aventures on a Wergo reissue. I especially like the Requiem, which is very haunting, spooky & dark. The other two works are like wordless nonsense operas. I like how Ligeti really pushed the boundaries of music, and I plan to get that Teldec box set. I think he will easily become one of my favourite composers once I hear more of his music.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on August 28, 2009, 12:49:35 AM
There's an excellent full-page article about Le Grand Macabre in today's Guardian. Whoo-hoo!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/aug/27/le-grand-macabre-gyorgy-ligeti


Tom Service
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 27 August 2009 22.45 BST
 
ENO's new production of Le Grand Macabre. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive

It takes all of about five seconds before you realise that Hungarian composer György Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre is an opera of the unexpected. The piece starts with a prelude – a conventional enough idea, except that instead of being played by the orchestra, it's scored for 12 car horns, performed by the hands and feet of three percussionists. It's a surreal coup de musique that starts Le Grand Macabre on its absurdist journey, in which you meet a perennially pissed antihero called Piet the Pot, a sado- masochistic astronomer, a pair of sex- obsessed lovers, a layabout prince, and a couple of preening, pernicious politicians. All of them are subject to the whims of Nekrotzar, the despotic Grand Macabre himself, who has come to visit annihilation on the people of Breughelland, "the entirely run-down but nevertheless carefree and thriving principality" in which the opera is set. Nekrotzar doesn't succeed, however, as Piet gets him drunk, and instead of commanding the minions of hell to raze Breughelland to the ground, he misses his own apocalypse and falls off a rocking horse.

Ligeti wrote his mock-apocalyptic opera in the 1970s, and, three years after his death, the piece has its first UK production for 27 years at English National Opera in London. Le Grand Macabre is Ligeti's only opera, it's the longest piece he ever wrote, and it's one of the few postwar operas to have earned a firm place in the repertoires of opera companies, with more than 30 productions since its premiere. The opera's wild, scatological humour, its grotesque fantasy, biting satire, and above all, the directness and invention of its music make it one of the most riotous experiences you can have in an opera house.

But the significance of Le Grand Macabre isn't just that it's the most successful piece of music theatre by any avant-garde composer. It's also that, with typically elliptical humour, Ligeti holds up a mirror to late-20th-century society, politics, and relationships, and the image it throws back is full of unpleasant truths that still resonate today: politicians from the Black and White parties whose policies are interchangeable, a docile and selfish populace, the vaunting ambition of humourless bureaucrats, the seduction of morbid, millennial fantasies – it's all there.

Yet if you rewind to the mid-60s, when the opera was first commissioned by Royal Swedish Opera, the question is why Ligeti would want to write an opera at all. For any self-respecting modernist composer of Ligeti's generation (he was born in 1923), an opera house was the last place you wanted to be seen. At that stage, avant-garde musicians, spearheaded by Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen, shunned opera as a form stultified by convention and crippled by artistic conservatism, an emblem of the old musical order they had spent their compositional lives trying to dismantle.

Ligeti knew both Stockhausen and Boulez. He escaped to the west from Budapest after the October uprising of 1956, hiding from the Soviets under postbags in a train carriage, and ended up working with Stockhausen in his electronic studio in Cologne. He met Boulez at the summer schools for new music in Darmstadt, where as a lecturer and writer he exposed contradictions in Boulez's compositions and theories, resulting in bitterness between them that took decades to heal. Ligeti's own music put him on a different course to these two masters of avant-garde music. His central problem with both was their use of pre-compositional systems. When I interviewed him in 2003, Ligeti described Stockhausen's approach as "like a Soviet five-year plan. He has to have this planification. Nobody in Hungary would think this way."

Ligeti the man and the musician resisted ideological doctrines in all their forms. He grew up as a Hungarian Jew in what was then Romanian Transylvania, and was the only member of his family not to be transported to the concentration camps. Only his mother survived. In Budapest after the war, he found one ideological nightmare replaced by another as the Soviets took control, and then, in the west, met a group of composers who were deliberately shackling themselves to musical and compositional dogmas. It seemed crazy to Ligeti.

All of this affects Le Grand Macabre, which teems with characters that satirise the people, politics, and systems that terrorised Ligeti's life: there's a chief of the secret police called the Gepopo, a part sung by a soprano that's full of hysterical, nonsensical violence, and Nekrotzar himself is a brilliantly drawn parody of the death-obsessed dictators of the 20th century. Ligeti's synopsis describes him as a "sinister, shady, demagogic figure, humourless, pretentious, and with an unshakeable sense of mission". The lugubrious, self-important music Ligeti writes for him sends him up just as ruthlessly as the moment in the story when his dreams of genocide go up in smoke.

The text is based on a work by the little-known Flemish writer Michel de Ghelderode, La Balade du Grand Macabre. Ligeti, looking for something "cruel and frightening based on the pictures of Breughel and Bosch", could not have found better source material in De Ghelderode's grotesque cavalcade of a play. With his co-librettist, Michael Meschke, who also directed the first production, Ligeti updated the drama's bawdiness and brutality, writing lines like "Stupid dickhead make your prick red!" They originally called the two lovers Spermando and Clitoria (they're now less offensively titled Amando and Amanda), and together they created a text that sends up such operatic conventions as virtuosic coloratura arias and comic ensembles.

But that's nothing to what the music does. Ligeti's score is a gleeful two fingers to virtually every major opera composer – the prelude for car-horns mimics Monteverdi, there are passages that send up Mozart, parody Rossini, pilfer from Offenbach and take the mickey out of Verdi – but it's also a gesture of defiance to the ideologues of the avant-garde. If there was any possibility of writing music for the opera house in the late-20th-century, the end-point seemed to have been reached in Mauricio Kagel's unclassifiable stage-work, Staatstheater. "A masterpiece of musical anti-theatre," Ligeti called it when he saw this piece of non-linear narrative and gesture in 1971. In contrast, what Ligeti was doing in Le Grand Macabre was composing an "anti-anti-opera", as his biographer Richard Steinitz says. And "since two successive 'antis' cancel each other out, an 'anti-anti-opera' must be … well, opera!".


And that's the point about Le Grand Macabre: it works brilliantly in the opera house. Its dramatic and musical grotesqueries aren't just there to create a clever-clever contemporary parody, they create a work that has a complete expressive world. The music, chaotic on the surface, is rigorously controlled by Ligeti, nowhere more so than in the final Passacaglia, a severe baroque form that is used to stage the work's moral: "Fear not to die, good people all!/ No one knows when his hour will fall!/ And when it comes, then let it be/ Farewell, till then in cheerfulness!"

Ligeti was almost as precise in his vision of what Le Grand Macabre should look like on stage as he was about how it should sound, but although he was pleased with the work's success, he saw only one production that he felt did the piece justice. (Richard Steinitz reports that no version of the opera has ever realised Ligeti's incredibly detailed stage directions.) The nadir came in 1997, with the Salzburg premiere of the revised version of the opera, directed by Peter Sellars. Ligeti dissociated himself from the staging, a wilful updating of Le Grand Macabre to a post-nuclear future. Sellars's production was due to reopen the Royal Opera House a decade ago, but Covent Garden cancelled it at the last minute.

So will ENO fare any better this time around? The signs are good. The show is produced by Catalan company La Fura dels Baus, and premiered in Brussels, to rave reviews. A teaser on YouTube reveals some of what's in store for London audiences: a gigantic maquette of a reclining woman, in whose innards and out of whose orifices the drama is staged. It looks like a properly Boschian interpretation of the piece, a garden of earthly delights and disgusts that Ligeti himself might finally have endorsed.

Le Grand Macabre opens at English National Opera, London on 17 September. Box office: 0871 911 0200.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on August 28, 2009, 08:40:49 AM
So will ENO fare any better this time around? The signs are good. The show is produced by Catalan company La Fura dels Baus, and premiered in Brussels, to rave reviews. A teaser on YouTube reveals some of what's in store for London audiences: a gigantic maquette of a reclining woman, in whose innards and out of whose orifices the drama is staged. It looks like a properly Boschian interpretation of the piece, a garden of earthly delights and disgusts that Ligeti himself might finally have endorsed.

Thanks so much for posting this, and I'm going to seek out the YouTube clip.  Making me anticipate the spring of 2010 even more, when Alan Gilbert and the New York Philharmonic will do a semi-staged concert version of the piece at Lincoln Center.  It could be one of the season's highlights.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on August 29, 2009, 03:54:13 AM
The reason they are out of print has nothing to do with Ligeti or his performers, it's because Sony refocused itself to classical crossover a few years back and has junked almost all of its serious recordings from the 1990s. At least they mid-priced them first, so that you can pick up some excellent Salonen discs, for example, for cheap, but soon it'll be difficult to find them without paying rarities prices.

I'm about to pop out and haven't got time to do the research (sloppy, I know), but I'm sure that years ago, I read somewhere that Ligeti did have a falling-out with Salonen about some allegedly below-par orchestral performances, which is one reason why the project switched to Teldec.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Sid on September 10, 2009, 07:07:54 PM
Since my last post, I've acquired 2 more Ligeti cd's: on Wergo, the Chamber Concerto, Ramifications, Lux Aeterna, Atmospheres & on Naxos, Idil Biret playing the Etudes (Books 1 & 2). I've really enjoyed all of these. I like the complexity of Ligeti's style, every listen I hear something new. My next step will be to get the Boulez interpretation on DG of Ligeti's 3 concertos. I look forward to that...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: CRCulver on September 11, 2009, 10:03:13 AM
My next step will be to get the Boulez interpretation on DG of Ligeti's 3 concertos. I look forward to that...

Get the complete DG box "Clear or Cloudy". It's better value.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Guido on September 14, 2009, 02:36:46 AM
Just listened to his magnificent horn trio - I am enjoying discovering this composer so very much.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Tahar Mouslim on September 14, 2009, 12:23:28 PM
There's an excellent full-page article about Le Grand Macabre in today's Guardian. Whoo-hoo!

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2009/aug/27/le-grand-macabre-gyorgy-ligeti


Tom Service
guardian.co.uk, Thursday 27 August 2009 22.45 BST
 
ENO's new production of Le Grand Macabre. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive

It takes all of about five seconds before you realise that Hungarian composer György Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre is an opera of the unexpected. The piece starts with a prelude – a conventional enough idea, except that instead of being played by the orchestra, it's scored for 12 car horns, performed by the hands and feet of three percussionists. It's a surreal coup de musique that starts Le Grand Macabre on its absurdist journey, in which you meet a perennially pissed antihero called Piet the Pot, a sado- masochistic astronomer, a pair of sex- obsessed lovers, a layabout prince, and a couple of preening, pernicious politicians. All of them are subject to the whims of Nekrotzar, the despotic Grand Macabre himself, who has come to visit annihilation on the people of Breughelland, "the entirely run-down but nevertheless carefree and thriving principality" in which the opera is set. Nekrotzar doesn't succeed, however, as Piet gets him drunk, and instead of commanding the minions of hell to raze Breughelland to the ground, he misses his own apocalypse and falls off a rocking horse.

Ligeti wrote his mock-apocalyptic opera in the 1970s, and, three years after his death, the piece has its first UK production for 27 years at English National Opera in London. Le Grand Macabre is Ligeti's only opera, it's the longest piece he ever wrote, and it's one of the few postwar operas to have earned a firm place in the repertoires of opera companies, with more than 30 productions since its premiere. The opera's wild, scatological humour, its grotesque fantasy, biting satire, and above all, the directness and invention of its music make it one of the most riotous experiences you can have in an opera house.

But the significance of Le Grand Macabre isn't just that it's the most successful piece of music theatre by any avant-garde composer. It's also that, with typically elliptical humour, Ligeti holds up a mirror to late-20th-century society, politics, and relationships, and the image it throws back is full of unpleasant truths that still resonate today: politicians from the Black and White parties whose policies are interchangeable, a docile and selfish populace, the vaunting ambition of humourless bureaucrats, the seduction of morbid, millennial fantasies – it's all there.

Yet if you rewind to the mid-60s, when the opera was first commissioned by Royal Swedish Opera, the question is why Ligeti would want to write an opera at all. For any self-respecting modernist composer of Ligeti's generation (he was born in 1923), an opera house was the last place you wanted to be seen. At that stage, avant-garde musicians, spearheaded by Pierre Boulez and Karlheinz Stockhausen, shunned opera as a form stultified by convention and crippled by artistic conservatism, an emblem of the old musical order they had spent their compositional lives trying to dismantle.

Ligeti knew both Stockhausen and Boulez. He escaped to the west from Budapest after the October uprising of 1956, hiding from the Soviets under postbags in a train carriage, and ended up working with Stockhausen in his electronic studio in Cologne. He met Boulez at the summer schools for new music in Darmstadt, where as a lecturer and writer he exposed contradictions in Boulez's compositions and theories, resulting in bitterness between them that took decades to heal. Ligeti's own music put him on a different course to these two masters of avant-garde music. His central problem with both was their use of pre-compositional systems. When I interviewed him in 2003, Ligeti described Stockhausen's approach as "like a Soviet five-year plan. He has to have this planification. Nobody in Hungary would think this way."

Ligeti the man and the musician resisted ideological doctrines in all their forms. He grew up as a Hungarian Jew in what was then Romanian Transylvania, and was the only member of his family not to be transported to the concentration camps. Only his mother survived. In Budapest after the war, he found one ideological nightmare replaced by another as the Soviets took control, and then, in the west, met a group of composers who were deliberately shackling themselves to musical and compositional dogmas. It seemed crazy to Ligeti.

All of this affects Le Grand Macabre, which teems with characters that satirise the people, politics, and systems that terrorised Ligeti's life: there's a chief of the secret police called the Gepopo, a part sung by a soprano that's full of hysterical, nonsensical violence, and Nekrotzar himself is a brilliantly drawn parody of the death-obsessed dictators of the 20th century. Ligeti's synopsis describes him as a "sinister, shady, demagogic figure, humourless, pretentious, and with an unshakeable sense of mission". The lugubrious, self-important music Ligeti writes for him sends him up just as ruthlessly as the moment in the story when his dreams of genocide go up in smoke.

The text is based on a work by the little-known Flemish writer Michel de Ghelderode, La Balade du Grand Macabre. Ligeti, looking for something "cruel and frightening based on the pictures of Breughel and Bosch", could not have found better source material in De Ghelderode's grotesque cavalcade of a play. With his co-librettist, Michael Meschke, who also directed the first production, Ligeti updated the drama's bawdiness and brutality, writing lines like "Stupid dickhead make your prick red!" They originally called the two lovers Spermando and Clitoria (they're now less offensively titled Amando and Amanda), and together they created a text that sends up such operatic conventions as virtuosic coloratura arias and comic ensembles.

But that's nothing to what the music does. Ligeti's score is a gleeful two fingers to virtually every major opera composer – the prelude for car-horns mimics Monteverdi, there are passages that send up Mozart, parody Rossini, pilfer from Offenbach and take the mickey out of Verdi – but it's also a gesture of defiance to the ideologues of the avant-garde. If there was any possibility of writing music for the opera house in the late-20th-century, the end-point seemed to have been reached in Mauricio Kagel's unclassifiable stage-work, Staatstheater. "A masterpiece of musical anti-theatre," Ligeti called it when he saw this piece of non-linear narrative and gesture in 1971. In contrast, what Ligeti was doing in Le Grand Macabre was composing an "anti-anti-opera", as his biographer Richard Steinitz says. And "since two successive 'antis' cancel each other out, an 'anti-anti-opera' must be … well, opera!".


And that's the point about Le Grand Macabre: it works brilliantly in the opera house. Its dramatic and musical grotesqueries aren't just there to create a clever-clever contemporary parody, they create a work that has a complete expressive world. The music, chaotic on the surface, is rigorously controlled by Ligeti, nowhere more so than in the final Passacaglia, a severe baroque form that is used to stage the work's moral: "Fear not to die, good people all!/ No one knows when his hour will fall!/ And when it comes, then let it be/ Farewell, till then in cheerfulness!"

Ligeti was almost as precise in his vision of what Le Grand Macabre should look like on stage as he was about how it should sound, but although he was pleased with the work's success, he saw only one production that he felt did the piece justice. (Richard Steinitz reports that no version of the opera has ever realised Ligeti's incredibly detailed stage directions.) The nadir came in 1997, with the Salzburg premiere of the revised version of the opera, directed by Peter Sellars. Ligeti dissociated himself from the staging, a wilful updating of Le Grand Macabre to a post-nuclear future. Sellars's production was due to reopen the Royal Opera House a decade ago, but Covent Garden cancelled it at the last minute.

So will ENO fare any better this time around? The signs are good. The show is produced by Catalan company La Fura dels Baus, and premiered in Brussels, to rave reviews. A teaser on YouTube reveals some of what's in store for London audiences: a gigantic maquette of a reclining woman, in whose innards and out of whose orifices the drama is staged. It looks like a properly Boschian interpretation of the piece, a garden of earthly delights and disgusts that Ligeti himself might finally have endorsed.

Le Grand Macabre opens at English National Opera, London on 17 September. Box office: 0871 911 0200.



I just want to come back to this message, because:

 - the opening at English National Opera starts this week,

 - I saw the same production in Bruxelles, at La Monnaie, in March 2009.

This production by Catalan company La Fura del Baus is absolutely extraordinary. They understood all the dimensions of this opera, which is surrealist, grand - guignol, but also a farce and a modern singspiel ( Le Grand Macabre is the equivalent of die Zauberflöte of the end of the XX century...just much more interesting ;D)

The 1997 production by Peter Sellars was gloomy, dark, but badly missed the singspiel & farce dimensions in my mind. And, as a matter of fact,  the composer was very critical of this production.

I missed the production by Roland Topor, which was the one Ligeti preferred: too bad, this amazing composer passed away without witnessing the superb work of La Fura del Baus.

The real question is about the two different versions of the opera and does one prefer the 1997 revision to the original 1975 German first draft for the Swedish Opera House?

I both have the Salonen Box and the Wergo live rendition made during the premiere in German & I must say I prefer the original version, much more radical, although being much more busy & confused.

With that said, I wouldn't live without both of them nowadays!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on September 22, 2009, 12:02:19 PM
A great review (http://www.musicweb-international.com/SandH/2009/Jul-Dec09/ligeti1709.htm) of ENO's Le Grand Macabre by Colin Clarke on MusicWeb, with two terrific photos.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on September 23, 2009, 03:35:06 AM
I saw Le Grand Macabre last night at the ENO and thoroughly enjoyed it. The staging is amazing: the action takes place on and around a huge statue, which is frequently used as a screen for startlingly effective projections. Each half of the evening opened with a short film in which a woman collapses after a junk-food binge, which segued very neatly into the live action. The ENO band were on superb form. My only gripe was that the text wasn't always audible, even though I had a really good seat in the stalls. I know the opera pretty well, so it wasn't a problem for me, and surtitles were provided.

A great evening, then. And any opera in which a spacehopper plays a prominent part is a thing to be cherished!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Guido on October 04, 2009, 08:11:43 AM
I went to see that astonishing production of Le Grande Macabre last night - if you haven't been, and you possibly can I urge everyone to go - there's just one more night (Oct 9th).

James I can see why this wouldn't work on just a recording - it's so visual and theatrical - You really need to see it on the stage (like most opera).

There's a moment when the huge human figure that comprises the set has its skeleton projected onto it whilst it is rotating - it is astonishing as the thing looks like a 3D skeleton at that point, the projection changing at precicely the right speed so that the illusion works from the audiences perspective. The most astonishing video art I have ever seen. (You can see a still of this in the review that Bruce posted above - the second picture).

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: DavidW on October 04, 2009, 08:18:34 AM
Is there a dvd for that opera?  I've been looking but I can't find anything. :-\
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on October 08, 2009, 03:38:02 AM
Is there a dvd for that opera?  I've been looking but I can't find anything. :-\

Nothing that I'm aware of. Sulk.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on May 28, 2010, 09:32:52 AM
Great review of the New York Philharmonic's production of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, led by Alan Gilbert (whom I heard got the loudest ovation of the evening). 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/arts/music/29macabre.html

I'm going tomorrow night, and getting a little too excited.  ;D

Update: And check out this photo on Alex Ross's blog.  (Click to enlarge.)

http://www.therestisnoise.com/2010/05/ligeti-sells-out.html

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on May 28, 2010, 01:43:16 PM
Great review of the New York Philharmonic's production of Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre, led by Alan Gilbert (whom I heard got the loudest ovation of the evening). 

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/29/arts/music/29macabre.html

Yes, that's just about right, and will save me the trouble of writing a review. The one reservation I had was that the stage extension was built to the left side of the hall (stage right), so that viewers on the opposite side of the hall (such as myself) had to crane their necks to see the action. I don't know why the extension couldn've have been built stage center. But this was more bothersome in the first (shorter) act than the second. On the other hand, our side got a close-up look at the projectionists and their paraphenalia of miniature models and cameras, which was in some ways just as interesting. A team of 5-6 stage hands, led by a spectral figure in wrap-around glasses and a long brown leather coat (who occasionally participated in the action), performed all their hundreds of intricate cues apparently from memory. And the projections, which dominate the back of the stage framed by a huge oval with starbursts emanating in all directions, were consistently brilliant (as were the costumes - most strikingly, the countertenor singing Prince Gogo, a tiny young man, is costumed in what can only be called a huge globe to emphasize the character's gluttony).

As music, this isn't the best thing Ligeti ever did in my opinion, but as a stagework it never lets up, and much of Act Two especially was genuinely hilarious. There was not a weak link in the cast, orchestra, conducting, or staging. Even the troublesome Avery Fisher Hall sounded great from my location (orchestra N14). An absolute triumph for Alan Gilbert and the NYP, and let's hope this is only one of many. Forget about tickets if you don't have one already, but if they do this again, don't hesitate.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on May 29, 2010, 02:35:31 PM

As music, this isn't the best thing Ligeti ever did in my opinion,


I agree. His Requiem remains (to my admittedly amateur ears) Ligeti's masterpiece and one of the most astounding works of the last century.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on May 30, 2010, 10:44:46 AM
Yes, that's just about right, and will save me the trouble of writing a review. The one reservation I had was that the stage extension was built to the left side of the hall (stage right), so that viewers on the opposite side of the hall (such as myself) had to crane their necks to see the action. I don't know why the extension couldn've have been built stage center. But this was more bothersome in the first (shorter) act than the second. On the other hand, our side got a close-up look at the projectionists and their paraphenalia of miniature models and cameras, which was in some ways just as interesting. A team of 5-6 stage hands, led by a spectral figure in wrap-around glasses and a long brown leather coat (who occasionally participated in the action), performed all their hundreds of intricate cues apparently from memory. And the projections, which dominate the back of the stage framed by a huge oval with starbursts emanating in all directions, were consistently brilliant (as were the costumes - most strikingly, the countertenor singing Prince Gogo, a tiny young man, is costumed in what can only be called a huge globe to emphasize the character's gluttony).

As music, this isn't the best thing Ligeti ever did in my opinion, but as a stagework it never lets up, and much of Act Two especially was genuinely hilarious. There was not a weak link in the cast, orchestra, conducting, or staging. Even the troublesome Avery Fisher Hall sounded great from my location (orchestra N14). An absolute triumph for Alan Gilbert and the NYP, and let's hope this is only one of many. Forget about tickets if you don't have one already, but if they do this again, don't hesitate.

Great comments...

After last night, I wish I could have gone to all 3 performances, as well as the final dress rehearsal.  There was so much going on, it was impossible to catch everything in the score, and Douglas Fitch did a brilliant job with the visuals.  (I also thought it would have been fun to sit overlooking the tech crew.)

Am still a bit overwhelmed by it all, but eager to see it and hear it again.  And heartiest kudos to Alan Gilbert, for thinking of doing this piece in the first place. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on May 30, 2010, 12:04:06 PM
As music, this isn't the best thing Ligeti ever did in my opinion
Agreed too. On the other hand, Ligeti at something short of his best is still music of a quality that most composers could only dream of emulating.

Very pleasing to hear that all the performances sold out. Though judging by the reactions I've seen to Ligeti from people not particularly enthusiastic about new music, I can't say I'm surprised. It seems to me that his music is rapidly becoming part of the mainstream repertory (I've read a couple of articles which suggested he thought his music would be forgotten after his death--how wrong he was).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: False_Dmitry on May 30, 2010, 12:15:53 PM
It's hard to believe that one of the most staged & successful Operas of the 2nd half of the 20th century hasn't yet.

A little bird tells me the problem lies in the conditions imposed by Ligeti's publishers for such a recording (viz a royalty payment that no production company views as realistic).  It's a great pity for this issue to stand in the way of a dvd release - but Ligeti wouldn't the last major C20th composer to have his subsequent artistic legacy compromised by the financial aspirations of crasping publishers, heirs, etc.

Guess why there's no DVD of Glass's AKHNATEN, for example? :(  Whatever your views of the piece, it's one of the most-often-staged of late-C20th operas.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on June 05, 2010, 02:44:21 PM
The NY Philharmonic has put up a few excerpts from last week's performance of Le Grand Macabre.  Here is Barbara Hannigan as Gepopo, along with Anthony Roth Costanzo as Prince Go-Go.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-p1utKFxCg

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on June 09, 2010, 12:06:48 PM
Tomorrow night (Thursday) at 9:00 P.M. (EDT), WQXR-FM will broadcast the New York Philharmonic's Le Grand Macabre.  Although I can't predict how it will fare without the visuals, I'm definitely going to listen again.  Here (http://www.wqxr.org/programs/new-york-philharmonic/2010/jun/10/) is the link to the broadcast, which can be heard online as well.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on June 09, 2010, 01:33:02 PM
I gotta admit ... honestly the visuals gave me douche-chills.

Uh...is that a positive, or a negative?  ???  (First time I've heard that one...maybe I don't get out enough.  ;D)

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on June 09, 2010, 11:02:44 PM
Uh...is that a positive, or a negative?  ???  (First time I've heard that one...maybe I don't get out enough.  ;D)

--Bruce

I'm going to drop it into the office conversation today and see what reaction it gets.

BTW, I can't play the video. I keep getting some message about "friend request" or something.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on June 10, 2010, 06:23:56 AM
Sorry about the video!  I changed the link so it's not embedded with Flash, so it should work now.  (I have no idea why that "friend" message appeared; it wasn't there when I watched it!)

Anyway, here it is again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-p1utKFxCg

--Bruce

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: UB on June 18, 2010, 10:22:20 AM
Tomorrow night (Thursday) at 9:00 P.M. (EDT), WQXR-FM will broadcast the New York Philharmonic's Le Grand Macabre.  Although I can't predict how it will fare without the visuals, I'm definitely going to listen again.  Here (http://www.wqxr.org/programs/new-york-philharmonic/2010/jun/10/) is the link to the broadcast, which can be heard online as well.

--Bruce
For those who missed the broadcast you can still listen to it on demand on the NYP (http://nyphil.org/broadcast/broadcast_main.cfm) site until the 25th of June.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on June 18, 2010, 10:29:31 AM
For those who missed the broadcast you can still listen to it on demand on the NYP (http://nyphil.org/broadcast/broadcast_main.cfm) site until the 25th of June.

Oh thanks--I hadn't noticed!  :D   And I actually want to listen to it again.  So far, it's getting better each time.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: mjwal on June 19, 2010, 04:56:28 AM
It's been fascinating reading this thread, which I have only just turned my attention to. I enthusiastically endorse most of the positive comments on Ligeti's music & performances thereof. I don't know about Le Grand Macabre, since my opera-going days are more or less over - I heard it on the radio once but couldn't make much of it without getting a real feeling for its theatrical qualities, though I do enjoy re-listening to the excerpt Ligeti authorised as an independent piece,  Mysteries of the Macabre. As a sidelight on this point, I remember when I first heard his music; it was back in late 1965 or early '66, at the North German Radio, where they did the 2 Aventures pieces, the Nouvelles Aventures being the world premiere, as I recall. It was hilariously enjoyable and had a "performance" aspect which helped all the innovations seem to make perfect sense in the live context. I do not listen much to these on record - some music is made to be listened to again and again, preferably alone, other music depends more on performance, IMHO. I particularly love the Chamber Concerto - ever since I got to know it on that DG Contemporary Classics CD I have been hooked on the variety and richness of musical invention on display. It was performed very correctly and adequately by Boulez on that recording, but my love for the work was increased and intensified by a later live recording conducted by Stefan Asbury on an interesting rag-bag 2 CD set called London Sinfonietta: Warp Works & Twentieth Century Masters. The sound is less airless, there is more sense of perspective and the potency of individual instrumental timbre; when listening I experience excitement coupled with joint disbelief/acceptance  that somebody could actually be going there, the "shock of recognition" Edmund Wilson regarded as essential for literary greatness. And it's so romantic in places e.g. the second movement's moody  meditation, suddenly broken up by shrieking brass and woodwind only to die out in an almost Ivesian way. The Boulez recording is also cooler, smoother, flatter and less manic (no coughs, either), which may be preferred by some.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on June 29, 2010, 10:01:15 AM
I generally don't post links here to every article I write, but I thought some might enjoy this review (http://monotonousforest.typepad.com/monotonous_forest/2010/06/death-drunkenness-and-ligeti.html) of Le Grand Macabre.

--Bruce

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: knight66 on June 29, 2010, 10:21:09 AM
Sorry about the video!  I changed the link so it's not embedded with Flash, so it should work now.  (I have no idea why that "friend" message appeared; it wasn't there when I watched it!)

Anyway, here it is again:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-p1utKFxCg

--Bruce

Amazing stuff. I was wondering how on earth the singers were keeping in touch with the conductor, then glimpsed an assistant conductor in front of them. I assume he was working from a monitor. It does seem like a piece to see as well as hear.

Mike
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on June 29, 2010, 10:23:25 AM
IIRC, there were actually two assistant conductors!  I only saw one, down on the floor in front of the stage, but I believe there was one more lurking around there somewhere.

I hope, hope, hope they release this on DVD.  Truly, they could sell thousands of copies (if it's an economic worry).

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: knight66 on June 29, 2010, 10:54:05 AM
.....Ligeti wouldn't the last major C20th composer to have his subsequent artistic legacy compromised by the financial aspirations of crasping publishers, heirs, etc.

Guess why there's no DVD of Glass's AKHNATEN, for example? :(  Whatever your views of the piece, it's one of the most-often-staged of late-C20th operas.

The same thing has happened re Glass 'La Belle et la Bete', but this time the difficulties are caused by the copyright owners of the film. Otherwise, there would be a DVD version of the film with a new Glass conception for the soundtrack. Instead of that you watch the film, or you hear the discs, or you set them both going and keep trying to synchronise sound and vision.....life is toooo short.

Mike
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on June 29, 2010, 01:21:36 PM
IIRC, there were actually two assistant conductors!  I only saw one, down on the floor in front of the stage, but I believe there was one more lurking around there somewhere.

I hope, hope, hope they release this on DVD.  Truly, they could sell thousands of copies (if it's an economic worry).

--Bruce

Oh, yeah? I hope somebody can release the stunningly staged Grand Macabre from the ENO last year on DVD! I think we're heading for a Ligeti face-off here. Actually, it would be nice if either of us won...  :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on June 29, 2010, 01:29:13 PM
Oh, yeah? I hope somebody can release the stunningly staged Grand Macabre from the ENO last year on DVD! I think we're heading for a Ligeti face-off here. Actually, it would be nice if either of us won...  :)

[rooting for both, rooting for both]  No reason there can't be two DVDs of this piece--I mean, really!

 ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on July 13, 2010, 03:49:23 PM
Am I one of the few out there that seems to prefer Reinbert de Leeuw's performances of Ligeti to Boulez's? It seems that Boulez has constantly been touted as a Ligeti expert with infallible musical decisions among musical circles, and while his performances of them are certainly not bad for the most part, Reinbert de Leeuw's performances just seem to have more commitment, excitement, and confidence to them, as far as I can hear. That said, the Ligeti Project is probably my most cherished set of Ligeti, and I prefer it to the Clear or Cloudy set and the Ligeti Edition, despite the varying amounts of music and completeness on them, due largely in part to de Leeuw's conducting.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: just Jeff on August 26, 2010, 01:30:22 PM
Amazing recording (what would you expect from 70s Decca), I listened to this last weekend on a high end system from UK LP pressing.  Stunningly great!

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/LEGITIHEADFT.jpg)
(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/LEGITIHEADBK.jpg)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on August 26, 2010, 05:10:24 PM
PIANO & VIOLIN CONCERTOS


I was just listening to the Cello Concerto from that set, a very enigmatic piece in my estimation, which ends with a blazing flash of virtuosity. Very, very '60s.

The Double Concerto (Abbado/DG), also very groovy, has a sparkling brilliance I found almost an optimistic BAZimmermann.

I think his wildest piece has to be San Francisco Polyphony. I only heard it once on the Sony, but, wow, that seems to be the Ligeti thing's logical conclusion.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on August 26, 2010, 10:48:49 PM
Amazing recording (what would you expect from 70s Decca), I listened to this last weekend on a high end system from UK LP pressing.  Stunningly great!

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/LEGITIHEADFT.jpg)
(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/Unused%20Covers/LEGITIHEADBK.jpg)

Ah, memories! That LP was in my school library (which wasn't that extensive, but managed to include Stockhausen's Trans, Kontakte and Penderecki's EMI Threnody/Awakening of Jacob etc) and I still have a copy of it on cassette. The recordings were released on mid-priced CD well over a decade ago and very stupidly, I didn't buy it. The recording of Melodien was recently included on a DG compilation, but the other performances have been lost to the deletions axe as far as I can tell. Shame. Perhaps they'll pop up on the Explore label which has done so much to resurrect recordings from Decca's stunning Headline series.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: just Jeff on August 27, 2010, 01:40:43 PM
Ah, memories! That LP was in my school library (which wasn't that extensive. (edit), The recordings were released on mid-priced CD well over a decade ago and very stupidly, I didn't buy it. The recording of Melodien was recently included on a DG compilation, but the other performances have been lost to the deletions axe as far as I can tell. Shame. Perhaps they'll pop up on the Explore label which has done so much to resurrect recordings from Decca's stunning Headline series.

Yes, might be Out of Print, but here is used copies on CD, not too high priiced:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000E44C/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on August 28, 2010, 12:31:09 AM
Yes, might be Out of Print, but here is used copies on CD, not too high priiced:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00000E44C/ref=cm_cr_asin_lnk


Oooooh, thanks! I'm really crap when it comes to seeking out elusive items on Amazon or eBay. I tend to think if it isn't in HMV, I'll never been able to find it. What an eejit.

I'll have to snap that up. Ta!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 12, 2010, 06:27:52 AM
Listened to my first substantial Ligeti, the string quartet #1.  I found much to interest me.  Not knowing anything about the music a priori, I don't get the sense that it is "tonal" but more or less freely chromatic.  But the intense counterpoint in the vigorous passages and the odd atmosphere of the more contemplative passages are attractive.

Aside from this one disc from the Sony Ligeti edition, I have the Teldec "Ligeti Project" set.  But I think I need more Ligeti chamber music and might pick up an additional volume of two from the Sony set.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on September 12, 2010, 08:13:21 AM
But I think I need more Ligeti chamber music and might pick up an additional volume of two from the Sony set.

Definitely get the Piano Etudes with Aimard. A near-desert island disc for me (and not only me). The vol. with the Horn Trio is also highly recommended.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: The new erato on September 12, 2010, 08:26:54 AM
The box is now so cheap that it makes little sense to buy two single volumes.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 12, 2010, 08:39:31 AM
The box is now so cheap that it makes little sense to buy two single volumes.

The single volumes are also cheap now.  Out of 9 discs in the edition, there are 3 volumes I could imagine listening to,I already have one and the other two I've just ordered for about 4 bucks each.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: The new erato on September 12, 2010, 08:54:44 AM
I see, the resellers cut their losses after the box was issued!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: AndyD. on September 12, 2010, 09:08:25 AM
Listened to my first substantial Ligeti, the string quartet #1.  I found much to interest me.  Not knowing anything about the music a priori, I don't get the sense that it is "tonal" but more or less freely chromatic.  But the intense counterpoint in the vigorous passages and the odd atmosphere of the more contemplative passages are attractive.

Aside from this one disc from the Sony Ligeti edition, I have the Teldec "Ligeti Project" set.  But I think I need more Ligeti chamber music and might pick up an additional volume of two from the Sony set.


George turned me onto this SQ today, having never heard anything by Ligeti. I was floored by the music, alternatingly despairing and lashing. Absolutley riveting. George has since told me tha the Arditti set is great, and I hope to grab that one soon (cheap too).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 12, 2010, 09:13:01 AM

George turned me onto this SQ today, having never heard anything by Ligeti. I was floored by the music, alternatingly despairing and lashing. Absolutley riveting. George has since told me tha the Arditti set is great, and I hope to grab that one soon (cheap too).

That's the one I have.  It is fantastic.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: George on September 12, 2010, 01:30:37 PM

George turned me onto this SQ today, having never heard anything by Ligeti. I was floored by the music, alternatingly despairing and lashing. Absolutley riveting. George has since told me tha the Arditti set is great, and I hope to grab that one soon (cheap too).

So glad you liked it and even more glad that it's affordable for you.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on September 12, 2010, 01:46:35 PM
Has anyone heard the recent Naxos CD of the string quartets? It had some good reviews and it's obviously really cheap, but I've got the DG Hagen/La Salle recordings and I'm not sure if I need new versions of these works.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Sid on September 12, 2010, 06:55:02 PM
Has anyone heard the recent Naxos CD of the string quartets? It had some good reviews and it's obviously really cheap, but I've got the DG Hagen/La Salle recordings and I'm not sure if I need new versions of these works.

The Naxos recording (with the Parker Quartet) play well. This has been the first (and only)version of these works I have heard, and I have found them very idiomatic (to use the reviewer's jargon). There is a shorter work for SQ accompanying the two quartets on the disc (called Andante and Allegretto). It is an early work and tonal, interesting because it makes me think of the earlier generation like Kodaly (& maybe Vaughan Williams). It sounds nothing like what Ligeti came to be later. If you have other good version/s of the two quartets, then you don't really need this one, unless you want another "take" on this music, but otherwise you might want it for the less known bonus track...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 13, 2010, 05:56:41 PM
Well, moving from the first to the second quartet, I must say I find myself at something of a loss.  To quote Ligeti himself in the notes "There is no long any motivic writing in this music, no contours, only sound textures."  The first question that comes to mind, is this actually music, as the term is normally defined?  The second question, if it is music, why would anyone write music like this?  What value is there defining music by what it lacks (motives, contours)?  I have no idea what these sounds are supposed to be saying to me.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on September 13, 2010, 07:30:01 PM
I have no idea what these sounds are supposed to be saying to me.

Enjoy the air conditioning! ;),... cause it's cooooool 8)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 13, 2010, 07:36:06 PM
The general problem I have with Ligeti is I don't know where his music is heading. It just sounds like an awash of sounds and textures, which for some this might be great while for others, like myself, finds it irritating.
 
I have the highest recommended box set of his orchestral works (I don't care about his chamber or solo instrumental works) on Teldec. I should try to go back and listen to his music some more. I don't want to close the door completely, but from what I've heard so far, it has been musical nonsense.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Sid on September 13, 2010, 09:03:39 PM
...(I don't care about his chamber or solo instrumental works)...

I think that your exclusively devoting yourself to the orchestral works may be part of the reason you are having a 'blockage' with Ligeti. I think that his chamber and solo instrumental works (eg. Chamber Concerto, Ramifications, String Quartets, Bagatelles, Horn Trio, Etudes) are some of the most engaging in his output. Not to speak of the a Capella choral works like Lux Aeterna, as well as the Requiem, which has instrumental accompaniment. If you want a "back door" into his opera (Le Grand Macabre), listen to the short and quirky Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures. You may need to listen to some of these works to get a fuller picture of this amazing (& versatile) composer. Not all of his works are the same as his Atmospheres or the solo concertos. Take a look around & discover the variety, then go back to the orchestral stuff to gain a better understanding. I must admit that I am more "turned on" by his non-orchestral stuff, he really had a nack for writing for smaller forces, as well as for the human voice (revivifying choral traditions of the past)...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on September 13, 2010, 10:50:18 PM
The general problem I have with Ligeti is I don't know where his music is heading. It just sounds like an awash of sounds and textures, which for some this might be great while for others, like myself, finds it irritating.
 

:o

I'm a complete musical amateur and so have no idea about harmonic progression or any of those big grown-up concepts, but even I can sense that Lontano, far from being a wash of sounds and textures, is a piece that works its way through a musical argument every bit as purposeful and inexorable as a Bruckner or Mahler adagio.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: AndyD. on September 14, 2010, 02:37:03 AM

:o

I'm a complete musical amateur and so have no idea about harmonic progression or any of those big grown-up concepts, but even I can sense that Lontano, far from being a wash of sounds and textures, is a piece that works its way through a musical argument every bit as purposeful and inexorable as a Bruckner or Mahler adagio.

I think Lontano is fascinating. It might come down to breaking through one's preconceptions about what constitutes music. For many folks, music means motivic development, repetition, sonata form. Beethoven's late string quartets helped to begin the push beyond that. I think the post Tristan und Isolde composers (Mahler, Bruckner, Schoenberg, Bartok, Ligeti, Richard Strauss) really helped music by taking the experiments that LvB and Wagner pioneered, and riding them out into even more dangerous (read: "exciting") highways.

Without experimentation, music for me would be phenomenally boring.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 14, 2010, 05:11:43 AM
I think Lontano is fascinating. It might come down to breaking through one's preconceptions about what constitutes music. For many folks, music means motivic development, repetition, sonata form. Beethoven's late string quartets helped to begin the push beyond that. I think the post Tristan und Isolde composers (Mahler, Bruckner, Schoenberg, Bartok, Ligeti, Richard Strauss) really helped music by taking the experiments that LvB and Wagner pioneered, and riding them out into even more dangerous (read: "exciting") highways.

Without experimentation, music for me would be phenomenally boring.

Experimentation is critical, but what I am having trouble getting past is discarding essential characteristics of music, rather than using it in a new way.    To quote Ligeti himself (again)

Quote
There is no long any motivic writing in this music, no contours, only sound textures

What is left when you abolish motivic writing and contours?  Texture, I guess.  Ligeti's first quartet had interesting textures along with free chromatic counterpoint, sort of in the Bartok string quartet style.  In the second quartet he lost me.

Another thing that strikes me, is that if your goal is the creation of textures, what is the point of writing a string quartet?   The point of a string quartet is to have four individual voices which create a more or less homogeneous texture but whose clarity allows a musical conversation to occur.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2010, 05:35:15 AM
Another thing that strikes me, is that if your goal is the creation of textures, what is the point of writing a string quartet?

One possible answer, I suppose, is to write in that method, employing the timbral resources of the string quartet.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: AndyD. on September 14, 2010, 05:40:41 AM

What is left when you abolish motivic writing and contours?  Texture, I guess.  Ligeti's first quartet had interesting textures along with free chromatic counterpoint, sort of in the Bartok string quartet style.  In the second quartet he lost me.

Another thing that strikes me, is that if your goal is the creation of textures, what is the point of writing a string quartet?   The point of a string quartet is to have four individual voices which create a more or less homogeneous texture but whose clarity allows a musical conversation to occur.


These are all excellent points. But I wonder if maybe Ligeti was more concerned with creating new vistas in string quartet writing with no.2.  In other words, the point might have been that he was attempting to add to the definition of what makes a "string quartet", introducing fresh variables ready made to be incorporated, assimilated into future string quartet compositions. I mean, without Beethoven's opus 130, perhaps string quartet writing (shoot, perhaps all of music composition itself) might have been doomed to repeating the strictly defined sonata style ad infinitum (yawn).

One possible answer, I suppose, is to write in that method, employing the timbral resources of the string quartet.

This is another helpful perspective.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 14, 2010, 05:44:16 AM
One possible answer, I suppose, is to write in that method, employing the timbral resources of the string quartet.

Well yes, the question is why.  It seems like a waste of resources to have four conservatory trained musicians, playing instruments that have been treasured and cared for since they were made in the 18th century, making sounds that sound like fingernails on a chalkboard (literally).   ;D
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 14, 2010, 05:51:21 AM

These are all excellent points. But I wonder if maybe Ligeti was more concerned with creating new vistas in string quartet writing with no.2.  In other words, the point might have been that he was attempting to add to the definition of what makes a "string quartet", introducing fresh variables ready made to be incorporated, assimilated into future string quartet compositions. I mean, without Beethoven's opus 130, perhaps string quartet writing (shoot, perhaps all of music composition itself) might have been doomed to repeating the strictly defined sonata style ad infinitum (yawn).

That's the point.  Ligeti's second quartet doesn't strike me as an extension, so much as a contraction of the string quartet.  It's just boring.  I don't hear much in the way of texture that I haven't heard in other adventurous string quartets (including Ligeti's first).  Those quartets were using texture to present a musical idea in a weird way.  Now the idea is gone and the weird texture is all that's left.  The only idea that comes across to me is "it's not over yet."
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2010, 05:52:43 AM
Without experimentation, music for me would be phenomenally boring.

I don't have anything against experiementation as long as the end result is something musical.
 
 
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2010, 05:55:39 AM
Well, I must really listen to the quartet myself, before I have aught else to add ; )
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: AndyD. on September 14, 2010, 05:57:31 AM
Well yes, the question is why.  It seems like a waste of resources to have four conservatory trained musicians, playing instruments that have been treasured and cared for since they were made in the 18th century, making sounds that sound like fingernails on a chalkboard (literally).   ;D


Or maybe all those resources added up to something completely new and thus really exciting? Just speculating.

Or, they went through all that training, and ended up being trained further by Ligeti's string quartet.


That's the point.  Ligeti's second quartet doesn't strike me as an extension, so much as a contraction of the string quartet.  It's just boring.  I don't hear much in the way of texture that I haven't heard in other adventurous string quartets.  Those quartets were using texture to present a musical idea in a weird way.  Now the idea is gone and the weird texture is all that's left.  The only idea that comes across to me is "it's not over yet."



Vive le difference! I respect what you're saying, and I can hear what you mean. 

For me, it's tremendously exciting and inspiring.




I don't have anything against experiementation as long as the end result is something musical.
 
 


But again, we're back to the definition of "musical": whether something "musical" has to fall under rules. Maybe it's because I'm a cantankerous person, but that doesn't work for me. Rules can be for fools. Just my opinion.

Well, I must really listen to the quartet myself, before I have aught else to add ; )

I'd personally love to hear your thoughts, and enjoy where this thread has gone in general. Really interesting for me at least.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 14, 2010, 06:02:08 AM
Vive le difference! I respect what you're saying, and I can hear what you mean. 

For me, it's tremendously exciting and inspiring.

Well, it may be premature for me to give up on this piece, it is certainly premature to give up on Ligeti, I responded very positively to his first quartet.   But I'll probably list to other music by Ligeti before trying too hard on that second quartet.  I recently got the Teldec "Ligeti Project" set and will be poking around in it in the near future.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: AndyD. on September 14, 2010, 06:03:34 AM
  I recently got the Teldec "Ligeti Project" set and will be poking around in it in the near future.


Heyyy, that sounds really good! Please keep us posted!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2010, 06:09:50 AM
But again, we're back to the definition of "musical": whether something "musical" has to fall under rules. Maybe it's because I'm a cantankerous person, but that doesn't work for me. Rules can be for fools. Just my opinion.

For me, music is rhythm, harmony, melody, and structure. These is not about rules in my opinion. This is about my own perceptions of what I consider music. All great composers break the theoretical rules of music everyday, so this is nothing new. That's not the issue with me. What is the issue is the music itself and how it sounds to me, which in Ligeti's case like calculated noise. I don't have anything against dissonance, I like Berg for crying out loud, but what do have something against is music that lacks direction and doesn't have anything to latch onto.

I don't have anything against Ligeti. If people like him, then that's great, but not everybody enjoys the same composers. I'm simply just sharing my impressions of what I've heard and what I continue to hear in his music.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2010, 06:09:54 AM
Well, it may be premature for me to give up on this piece, it is certainly premature to give up on Ligeti, I responded very positively to his first quartet.   But I'll probably list to other music by Ligeti before trying too hard on that second quartet.

You might also give the Prokofiev Second a fresh spin ; )
 
Seriously, sometimes when a certain piece leaves me a little quizzical, some other piece which is even wilder often serves as an excellent ‘palate-cleanser’.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2010, 06:13:11 AM
For me, music is rhythm, harmony, melody, and structure. These is not about rules in my opinion. This is about my own perceptions of what I consider music.

Fair enough, although . . . I wonder about melody as a cardinal element (even allowing for the fact that what makes a good melody varies, sometime widely, from epoch to epoch).

If the objection to a piece by Ligeti is, that it is devoid of melody . . . where is the melody in Ionisation, for instance? (And I am taking it as read that we all agree that Ionisation is just plain a fine piece of music.)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Luke on September 14, 2010, 06:31:29 AM
A word for the second quartet....

I think Scarpia is making a few assumptions when he says that

Quote
The point of a string quartet is to have four individual voices which create a more or less homogeneous texture but whose clarity allows a musical conversation to occur.

because I don't think there is a rule book anywhere which says that there is a single 'point' to The String Quartet. However, I can appreciate the point he is making. It seems to me, however, that this is precisely what Ligeti is doing in this piece, and wonderfully successfully too. To my mind it's one of his most rigourous pieces, with exactly the homogeneity of texture that Scarpia mentions but more intensively, virtuosically applied than in, say Ramifications (to mention a more-or-less contemporary Ligeti piece also for strings-only). The conversation occurs for the most part at the micro level, as in so much Ligeti of this period, and it means that the piece is always walking a delicate balance between four instruments acting independently and four instruments acting as one super-instrument; it also means that Ligeti can explore his favourite imagery, e.g. that of the machine breaking down, the 'super-instrument' falling apart into its constituent parts (most clearly in the pizzicato movement, one of Ligeti's clearest and best 'machine' pieces, and one where following the different lines, and the correspondences between them is the whole point. 

Ligeti's words are a little misleading, if taken at face value, too. He's trying to explain the approach to the whole quartet in a few words, by saying that it is concerned with texture, not motive, but this doesn't really tell the story, I think. It's true that this piece is not motivic, if by motive we mean only intervalic and rhythmic motive in the Beethovenian sense. But if musical shapes (gestures) are motives, then the piece is full of them. Some gloriously evocative ones, too... And if texture is a motive, or at least affect us with the shock of recognition as a motive does, which (as we can see from countless Romantic works) it can certainly be, then this work is highly motivic. As for contour - well, Ligeti is refering to melodic contour; but contour itself, register, tessitura, it handled absolutely virtuosically in this piece, in fact this feature of it, typical Ligeti, is perhaps the single unifying feature of the piece, the way the registers are written for, combined and extended is practically scientific in its accuracy.

Finally (sorry, this is a very incoherent post, I am desperate to leave work!):

Quote
I don't hear much in the way of texture that I haven't heard in other adventurous string quartets (including Ligeti's first).  Those quartets were using texture to present a musical idea in a weird way.  Now the idea is gone and the weird texture is all that's left. 

it should be noted that a) texturally the first and second quartets share pretty much nothing (there are side-by-side score samples of them somewhere in the scores thread - two more different-on-the-page pieces by one composer it would be hard to imagine); and b) the second quartet was AFAIK one of the very first to treat a string quartet in this hyper-textural way. Just as an addendum to the above quotation, nothing more.

 :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 14, 2010, 07:27:17 AM
it should be noted that a) texturally the first and second quartets share pretty much nothing (there are side-by-side score samples of them somewhere in the scores thread - two more different-on-the-page pieces by one composer it would be hard to imagine)

Clearly falls into the category of music that is better than it sounds.    ::)

Quote
and b) the second quartet was AFAIK one of the very first to treat a string quartet in this hyper-textural way.

From my point of view, hopefully the last.   ;D
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Luke on September 14, 2010, 11:53:10 AM
Clearly falls into the category of music that is better than it sounds.    ::)

One always has to be wary of talking about 'what the music LOOKS like,' or any other similar such matter, because it invites comments such as this, and fair enough, music is of course 'about' the resultant sound, not about the trip made by the composer to get there. Nevertheless, the technical is the one level about which we can talk about music in a fairly objective way; it takes us further than 'I [don't] like the sound of this' and enquires into the nature of the notes themselves, so it oughtn't to be dismissed. And after all, in talking about your lack of approval of Ligeti's relative lack of focus on certain dimensions of music in the second quartet, you are also indulging in objective, analytical philsophising on the technical nature of the piece, its aesthetic, and not just its sound.

I'm not saying, in comparing the quartets like this, that one is better than the other (actually, I just adore the first quartet, I think it's a mini-masterpiece of its sort), nor am I saying that, never mind the way it sounds, the second looks great on paper and that is what counts. I'm just making the observation that, in fact, from a technical point of view, the two pieces share almost nothing; and in fact, even in places where there might be some kind of aural similarity (some of the denser passages of the first, for instance, might sound similarly manic to some passages in the second), there is in fact no technical similarity at all. The first is an intensely process-driven piece, the second is much more intuitive. And that kind of observation, which I suppose many people might want to dismiss as 'merely' technical, might help someone appreciate either or both works more - it might be that an awareness that the first quartet is built on absolutely rigid pattern-making to a rare degree might help a listener find their way around it even better - if one's ears are opened to the processes the invention of the piece springs off the page even more astonishingly. Similarly it might be that an awareness that the second quartet operates in a much more quantum way, where things flick into life unbidden, where imitations are never exact, where mysterious chain reactions and heterophony are always the order of the day, might be similarly useful. Who knows? But it doesn't hurt to think about the pieces in these ways, and others.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 14, 2010, 12:20:24 PM
Well, my musical education is nowhere near good enough to allow me to study complex scores in isolation, but I have certainly gotten lots of insight by looking at scores of pieces the sound of which I enjoy.   (Having the score in front of me certainly makes it easier to keep track of the voices in a Bach fugue, for example.)  But it seems like you are saying that these scores contain lots of complex stuff that can't be heard.  Isn't that what you were ridiculing Saul for all that time? 
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: karlhenning on September 14, 2010, 12:48:23 PM
I don't believe Luke ever ridiculed Saul, but has consistently shown him exemplary patience.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Luke on September 14, 2010, 01:55:25 PM
Well, my musical education is nowhere near good enough to allow me to study complex scores in isolation, but I have certainly gotten lots of insight by looking at scores of pieces the sound of which I enjoy.   (Having the score in front of me certainly makes it easier to keep track of the voices in a Bach fugue, for example.)  But it seems like you are saying that these scores contain lots of complex stuff that can't be heard.  Isn't that what you were ridiculing Saul for all that time?

Briefly, no. If you want a fuller answer, I'll give you one, but I suspect you know the difference, so I won't take the time right now. Suffice it to say, Saul writes stuff which is full of plain and simple error, notationally speaking and technically speaking, before we even come to the actual slimline content of the music; Ligeti wrote music which was always impeccably notated, technically ultra-sophisticated and ultra-demanding, but with material which suited this kind of treatment.

As you rightly say, having  the score in front of you with a Bach fugue helps you to keep track of things. But what goes for Bach goes for Ligeti. I'm sure you aren't saying that because studying a Bach score helps you get to grips with the music better Bach's music is therefore music that is looks better than it sounds, or that it contains stuff that can't be heard  - but both of these are suggestions you have made re Ligeti's 2nd quartet and my talking about its score). (and to be clear, I haven't said that there this piece contains loads of complex stuff that can't be heard - the opposite, in fact: in all the recordings I've heard, every note can be heard, if one wants to listen, or one can adapt ones ears to hear the general micropolyphonic contour; it makes for a fun listening experience)

I hope you'll admit then, the possibility that the score of Ligeti's 2nd quartet may well help to elucidate some of what is going on. It's a fascinating read - but then, so many of Ligeti's scores are: his scores are just full of fun, joy, exuberance and deeply Ligetian idiosyncrasies. Reading them, one subliminally gets a wonderful idea of the character of the music - a character which is obvious once one knows it is there, just as is true of most great composers. Here's the page of the second quartet which I put up as a mystery score, years ago now, I suspect. It's from that 'machine-breaking-down' pizzicato movement - you can see that idea returning on the bottom system, with all four instruments appplying different types of pizzicato to repeated notes in what are effectively four different tempi. Just as with a Bach fugue, it's all audible just listening to the piece, looking at the score doesn't make the piece sound any better per se, of course, but seeing it on paper makes it all that bit more concrete, and it allows one to ruminate over relationships between notes which, when the piece is played, are over in a flash (that is one of the chief joys of studying scores, to me, that ability to freeze time, to replay it, to take an overview...). I chose this page way back then because it shows quite a few of the many things that are going on in this piece. But not all of it, of course:

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Luke on September 14, 2010, 02:15:20 PM
Just for contrast, here's the page of the first quartet that I posted on that thread too - a typically motive-saturated page, featuring the opening of that wonderful little waltz section, all triadic and rhythmically (relatively) uncomplicated.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 14, 2010, 05:19:43 PM
Fair enough, although . . . I wonder about melody as a cardinal element (even allowing for the fact that what makes a good melody varies, sometime widely, from epoch to epoch).

If the objection to a piece by Ligeti is, that it is devoid of melody . . . where is the melody in Ionisation, for instance? (And I am taking it as read that we all agree that Ionisation is just plain a fine piece of music.)


Well my opinion about music is more of a generalization of what I listen for, it's not a means to an end. There's a lot of music that seems to be devoid of melody. Sometimes I'm just more into harmony. Sometimes a rhythm fancies my ear rather than a melody. It's just all a matter of the music I'm listening to.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 14, 2010, 08:55:24 PM
Here's the page of the second quartet which I put up as a mystery score, years ago now, I suspect. It's from that 'machine-breaking-down' pizzicato movement

The pizzicato movement was one on part of the quartet that had some appeal to me.  I'm beginning a survey of Ligeti's music and I don't expect to come back to it for some time.  I am still fairly skeptical that I will ever come to terms with it, though.  It seems that Ligeti made a point of ignoring all of the basic aspects of music that I find interesting.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Sid on September 14, 2010, 09:05:45 PM
...It seems that Ligeti made a point of ignoring all of the basic aspects of music that I find interesting.

What aspects are they? His music has many aspects, but they are not conventional. Eg. thematic development in the first quartet, rhythmic contrast in the etudes, counterpoint in the Requiem. He was by no means a traditional composer (at least not after he left Hungary), but the fact is, his music has many "basic aspects" which are developments and extensions of what had gone on in music of the previous generation/s...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 14, 2010, 09:09:53 PM
What aspects are they? His music has many aspects, but they are not conventional. Eg. thematic development in the first quartet, rhythmic contrast in the etudes, counterpoint in the Requiem. He was by no means a traditional composer (at least not after he left Hungary), but the fact is, his music has many "basic aspects" which are developments and extensions of what had gone on in music of the previous generation/s...

I was referring specifically to the second quartet where Ligeti, by his own description, focuses on texture to the exclusion of all else, including melody and motivic development.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Luke on September 15, 2010, 04:41:53 AM
The pizzicato movement was one on part of the quartet that had some appeal to me.  I'm beginning a survey of Ligeti's music and I don't expect to come back to it for some time.  I am still fairly skeptical that I will ever come to terms with it, though.  It seems that Ligeti made a point of ignoring all of the basic aspects of music that I find interesting.

Fair enough - but I don't think judging him on the basis of this quartet really gives much of a clue as to what the mature Ligeti is about. After all, there are many stylistic shifts in his work, and at least two mature periods - the atonal micropolyphonic style of which the 2nd quartet is an example, and the tonal later style, with its rhythmic hi jinks a la Nancarrow, its clouds of natural harmonics etc. etc. So can I suggest you give some of the later music a try? The late 60s/70s micropolyphony and texture-play of which the second quartet is a fine example may not be up your alley (though perhaps in more colourfully orchestrated dress - e.g. the dazzling chamber concerto - you might find something more in it), but the later music is all melody, really. Try some of the piano etudes (there are some melodic gems in there, especially in the first book); try the piano concerto, or the violin concerto, with its haunting slow movement (chock-full of melody, that one); try the horn trio... Of all the post 1950 masters, Ligeti, I think, was the most natural born composer, a practical notes man rather than an ideas man, a poet rather than a philosopher - of course there's a theoretical basis to his composing, as there is to everyone's, but everything is worn very lightly, everything is audible, he's just bursting with invention, and he has the technical ability and knowledge to pull off the most spectacular instrumental magic. There are textures and sounds in Ligeti you will never hear from anyone else, and always consummately realised; there are games and processes going on which are a treat for the ear to follow. And, to put it bluntly, I can't think of many composers who are as much fun, as full of mischief and wizardry as Ligeti, let alone any of the late 20th century's major figures. He's a blast - and yet, at the same time, there is a really sensitive, profound side to him (as in that violin concerto slow movement, or in the Chopinesque last etude of the first book). Everything is refracted in late Ligeti, things refer to other things refer to other things, there is a wonderful jumble of ideas and influences, Africa, America, Eastern Europe, Nancarrow, the microtonality of natural harmonics, all the weight of previous classical music understood and treated with a light, deft touch; - the horn trio's instrumentation refers to Brahms but its music refers to Beethoven, all refracted through this wonderful crazy mind through which the new makes the old seem older and the old makes the new seem newer - it's like some kind of a summation of what music and musical reference can do - Ligeti is able to play with and within these limits in a much more joyful and lithe way than any other composer I know (sorry, these are thoughts I was having this morning whilst listening to the horn concerto on my drive to work)

 :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 15, 2010, 05:39:42 AM
Fair enough - but I don't think judging him on the basis of this quartet really gives much of a clue as to what the mature Ligeti is about. After all, there are many stylistic shifts in his work, and at least two mature periods - the atonal micropolyphonic style of which the 2nd quartet is an example, and the tonal later style, with its rhythmic hi jinks a la Nancarrow, its clouds of natural harmonics etc. etc. So can I suggest you give some of the later music a try? The late 60s/70s micropolyphony and texture-play of which the second quartet is a fine example may not be up your alley (though perhaps in more colourfully orchestrated dress - e.g. the dazzling chamber concerto - you might find something more in it), but the later music is all melody, really. Try some of the piano etudes (there are some melodic gems in there, especially in the first book); try the piano concerto, or the violin concerto, with its haunting slow movement (chock-full of melody, that one); try the horn trio... Of all the post 1950 masters, Ligeti, I think, was the most natural born composer, a practical notes man rather than an ideas man, a poet rather than a philosopher - of course there's a theoretical basis to his composing, as there is to everyone's, but everything is worn very lightly, everything is audible, he's just bursting with invention, and he has the technical ability and knowledge to pull off the most spectacular instrumental magic. There are textures and sounds in Ligeti you will never hear from anyone else, and always consummately realised; there are games and processes going on which are a treat for the ear to follow. And, to put it bluntly, I can't think of many composers who are as much fun, as full of mischief and wizardry as Ligeti, let alone any of the late 20th century's major figures. He's a blast - and yet, at the same time, there is a really sensitive, profound side to him (as in that violin concerto slow movement, or in the Chopinesque last etude of the first book). Everything is refracted in late Ligeti, things refer to other things refer to other things, there is a wonderful jumble of ideas and influences, Africa, America, Eastern Europe, Nancarrow, the microtonality of natural harmonics, all the weight of previous classical music understood and treated with a light, deft touch; - the horn trio's instrumentation refers to Brahms but its music refers to Beethoven, all refracted through this wonderful crazy mind through which the new makes the old seem older and the old makes the new seem newer - it's like some kind of a summation of what music and musical reference can do - Ligeti is able to play with and within these limits in a much more joyful and lithe way than any other composer I know (sorry, these are thoughts I was having this morning whilst listening to the horn concerto on my drive to work)

I don't have any intention of giving up on Ligeti, the first quartet made a good impression. 

Besides the string quartet disc, I have amassed this collection:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514JTV92T2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51p8A3i4wNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-LzDTpOYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

There are a few other pieces on the string quartet disc that I have yet to hear, after that I was thinking of trying the other two discs from the Sony edition, piano music and chamber music.

As far as what I enjoy in music, it is not primarily melody.  Probably complex harmony and imitative counterpoint are the things that fascinate me most.  If I was magically endowed with the ability to compose music I think it would probably come out sounding like a Schoenberg chamber symphony, a late Bartok string quartet, or Beethoven Op. 127.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Luke on September 15, 2010, 05:53:07 AM
I don't have any intention of giving up on Ligeti, the first quartet made a good impression. 

Besides the string quartet disc, I have amassed this collection:
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/514JTV92T2L._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51p8A3i4wNL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51-LzDTpOYL._SL500_AA300_.jpg)

Well, everything I recommended is in there, and more besides - you have pretty much all the essential stuff  :) :) :)

There are a few other pieces on the string that I have yet to hear, after that I was thinking of trying the other two discs from the Sony edition, piano music and chamber music.

As far as what I enjoy in music, it is not primarily melody.  Probably complex harmony and imitative counterpoint are the things that fascinate me most.  If I was magically endowed with the ability to compose music I think it would probably come out sounding like a Schoenberg chamber symphony, a late Bartok string quartet, or Beethoven Op. 127.

No, I wasn't imagining that melody was the thing of primary importance to you - I was only mentioning it because it was one of the aspects of music which you said (and quoting Ligeti) was not focussed on in the second quartet. When I read your Schoenberg/Bartok/Beethoven list there - and what wouldn't we all give to compose like that! - it'sd strange, because I think Ligeti comes closer to this magic combination than any other late 20th century composer I can think of. The mercurial invention and lightning speed (of movement and of mind) of the Schoenberg op 9 is matched by Ligeti - I think the piano concerto might be the closest match; as for Bartok, well, clearly the first quartet, which you enjoyed, has many Bartokian moments, but in the later music Ligeti really stands as Bartok's heir, in a true Hungarian sense - those typical Eastern European-Bartokian additive rhythms which are such a feature of the older composer's quartets, for instance, reach a kind of culmination in some of Ligeti's piano etudes; Bartok's way of looking at an old, forgotten form or texture afresh is something Ligeti also excels at in his later music (somehow the Horn Concerto strikes me as rather Bartokian); the earlier, Hungarian, Ligeti, writing in the state sponsored national style (but doing so marvellously well) reminds me of the early Barok (of e.g. the Rhapsody) doing similarly. As for Beethoven - no, Ligeti doesn't call Beethoven to mind for me very often, but he is so aware of the tradition that includes Beethoven, and his music draws on this awareness at all times (unlike that of those contemporary 'great 20th century composers born in the same decade - Xenakis, Boulez, Stockhausen et al). The Horn Trio is a particularly rich work in that respect.  :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Scarpia on September 20, 2010, 06:20:17 AM
I did listen to the remaining items on the string quartet disc, a few small pieces from Ligeti's early days, and a brief piece for violin and cello from the 80's.  The 80's piece was interesting, and an early string quartet from Ligeti's school days was well crafted, if not very adventurous.

But after some mention of the etudes for piano above I popped in volume 3 of the Sony edition and played the first Etude.  Very interesting piece.  I am looking forward to the piano music.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2011, 12:57:30 PM
Lately, I've getting into Ligeti's music much more. I've come to appreciate his approach to music, which, to me, seems like it's much more about texture than anything else. This, of course, doesn't mean that a person can't detect a melody here or there, because if you listen closely enough there are a lot of melodies that fly by mostly little snippets. I can't help but wonder what Ligeti must have thought about Debussy's Jeux? This work had to be influential to him.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2011, 08:35:50 PM
I don't know what it is with me, but Ligeti is really hard for me to listen to.

I used to be the same way, but I actually went as far as ridiculing the music and dismissing out-of-hand. That was only two years ago. Now, I'm plowing my way through his music and loving every minute of it. I have found out, in the process of listening, which Ligeti style I like best. I'm particularly impressed with works like Atmospheres, Lontano, Melodien, and Clocks & Clouds where there are these dense textures created by long sustained, almost like overtones from the different orchestral sections. Within these sustained textures, they move into other octaves and so forth, which creates a shift and new ideas can be created from these shifts. For me, this is the kind of music I would probably work my way towards if I were a composer, but this style of Ligeti's is not quite spectral music like Murail, Vivier, or Grisley, because from what I've heard of this music there is little change.

I think one of the main things is you've got to keep an open-mind when you're listening and you have to approach the music with a different set of ears than you do when you listen to say Schubert or Dvorak. This music is not easy by any stretch of the imagination, but you'll never know if you like it or not if you don't give it a chance.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 12, 2011, 08:48:09 PM
Atmosphères live must be something out of this world, i wish i could see that!


Same here. That would be an unbelievable experience, especially seeing a world-class orchestra perform like the Berliners for example:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOlXgCaKhIQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOlXgCaKhIQ)

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on January 13, 2011, 12:56:13 AM

Same here. That would be an unbelievable experience, especially seeing a world-class orchestra perform like the Berliners for example:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOlXgCaKhIQ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOlXgCaKhIQ)

I've heard it live conducted by Dohnanyi, Salonen and Nott. If you get a chance to hear it live, I'd recommend sitting fairly close to the orchestra because in the flesh, it's much quieter than you might realise from recordings.
Strange, but that's been my experience of it.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on January 13, 2011, 07:37:51 AM
I think one of the main things is you've got to keep an open-mind when you're listening and you have to approach the music with a different set of ears than you do when you listen to say Schubert or Dvorak.
Certainly true--yet when I listen to Lontano, I hear Bruckner behind the Ligetian colours and surface.

I think one of the hallmarks of Ligeti's greatness was that once he'd worked through through the potential of his "clocks and clouds" phase he was able to come up with a new, equally compelling style. The music from the horn trio on may have more in common with Bartok, Janacek and Stravinsky (the three composers that Ligeti himself cited in one of his last interviews) yet it could be by no-one else.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on January 13, 2011, 08:38:33 PM
Certainly true--yet when I listen to Lontano, I hear Bruckner behind the Ligetian colours and surface.

I think one of the hallmarks of Ligeti's greatness was that once he'd worked through through the potential of his "clocks and clouds" phase he was able to come up with a new, equally compelling style. The music from the horn trio on may have more in common with Bartok, Janacek and Stravinsky (the three composers that Ligeti himself cited in one of his last interviews) yet it could be by no-one else.


I'm still familiarizing myself with Ligeti's output, but I have really come to enjoy many of the works, in addition to the ones I mentioned above, Requiem, Piano Concerto, Hamburg Concerto, and the Violin Concerto. There is one section of Sippal, dobbal, nadihegeduvel that is so freaking addicting like one of those damn pop songs that just linger in your head for days after hearing it.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Joaquimhock on February 15, 2011, 05:46:10 AM
Fascinating performance of Ligeti's Requiem by Salonen and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France http://liveweb.arte.tv/fr/video/Salonen_Presences_Ligeti_Messiean/

If someone know how to save this precious video...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on February 15, 2011, 06:54:33 AM
Fascinating performance of Ligeti's Requiem by Salonen and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France http://liveweb.arte.tv/fr/video/Salonen_Presences_Ligeti_Messiean/

If someone know how to save this precious video...

Amazing! Thanks for posting. How long will this video stay up?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Joaquimhock on February 15, 2011, 07:06:40 AM
177 days.

three other Salonen concerts (one to come) with works by Lutoslawski and Saariaho for instance: http://sites.radiofrance.fr/chaines/concerts09/presence/  Click on "VOIR LA VIDEO"
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on February 15, 2011, 07:51:34 AM
Fascinating performance of Ligeti's Requiem by Salonen and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France http://liveweb.arte.tv/fr/video/Salonen_Presences_Ligeti_Messiean/

If someone know how to save this precious video...

Wow! Thanks for posting that!

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 27, 2011, 06:18:37 PM
BUMP

I've recently been listening to some Ligeti in particular the Violin Concerto. Ligeti never stopped growing as a composer.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 02, 2011, 01:34:15 PM
Ligeti has been swimming around in my mind for several days. I'm planning a revisit of the Ligeti Project box on Teldec soon. I have to say that I love his approach to color, but his approach is far removed from Messiaen's or Boulez's. There also always seems like there's rhyme and reason to his music. It's always driven by some motif or idea. Forward motion is always there even when the music seems stagnant.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on May 02, 2011, 07:54:40 PM
Ligeti has been swimming around in my mind for several days. I'm planning a revisit of the Ligeti Project box on Teldec soon. I have to say that I love his approach to color, but his approach is far removed from Messiaen's or Boulez's. There also always seems like there's rhyme and reason to his music. It's always driven by some motif or idea. Forward motion is always there even when the music seems stagnant.

Kinda like Villa-Lobos! :P
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 02, 2011, 08:26:37 PM
Kinda like Villa-Lobos! :P

Lol... :P

You know that's a fair shot. I realize that I'm in a minority with my VL praise parading, but you know what? His music is just so inspiring to me that no matter the criticism, I just roll with it. :D
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: just Jeff on July 11, 2011, 12:09:22 PM
Next up on my needle dropping adventures (doing CD-Rs from LPs never issued on CD) is this rather rare EMI LP from the UK (stickered for Germany).  There was another (later) recording of the work from the Stockholm Wind Quintet on Caprice, but I'll stick with the original EMI recording that had György's involvement.

If there is a CD release of this, I ain't seen it.

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/2011%20EBAY%20LPs/LIGETIEMIFT.jpg)

(http://i995.photobucket.com/albums/af80/hiptone/2011%20EBAY%20LPs/LIGETIEMIBK.jpg)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 06, 2011, 06:07:23 PM
Time to revive this thread. What does everybody think of the Violin Concerto? I think this is a remarkable work and may be one of the finest concertos of the last 50 years or so.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on August 06, 2011, 06:18:04 PM
Time to revive this thread. What does everybody think of the Violin Concerto? I think this is a remarkable work and may be one of the finest concertos of the last 50 years or so.

Totally agree. I would consider it to be Ligeti's best concerto (I wish I liked the piano concerto as much as the violin concerto) and the best of his late works. One thing that occurred to me recently is that Thomas Adès's new violin concerto seems to take a lot from the Ligeti, in particular the opening. Hey, not a bad composer to steal from, and I'm sure Stravinsky would agree.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 06, 2011, 07:23:47 PM
Totally agree. I would consider it to be Ligeti's best concerto (I wish I liked the piano concerto as much as the violin concerto) and the best of his late works. One thing that occurred to me recently is that Thomas Adès's new violin concerto seems to take a lot from the Ligeti, in particular the opening. Hey, not a bad composer to steal from, and I'm sure Stravinsky would agree.

I can't say that I've heard any of Adès' music. I've read some things about him, but do you think this is a composer I would enjoy since I like Lindberg, Ligeti, Salonen, and Dutilleux?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on August 06, 2011, 08:07:32 PM
I can't say that I've heard any of Adès' music. I've read some things about him, but do you think this is a composer I would enjoy since I like Lindberg, Ligeti, Salonen, and Dutilleux?

He's RIGHT up your alley. He has a slightly more cosmopolitan sound (a bit more than Salonen) and a very highly rhythmically complex language (similar to Ligeti's later music). He's relatively young, too, so we have a lot to look forward to. His large orchestral work Asyla is the best place to start with him. It sounds like it came directly from the soundworld of Ligeti and Salonen (think LA Variations).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 06, 2011, 08:30:30 PM
He's RIGHT up your alley. He has a slightly more cosmopolitan sound (a bit more than Salonen) and a very highly rhythmically complex language (similar to Ligeti's later music). He's relatively young, too, so we have a lot to look forward to. His large orchestral work Asyla is the best place to start with him. It sounds like it came directly from the soundworld of Ligeti and Salonen (think LA Variations).

Very cool. Thanks for the recommendation. I think I have the performance of Asyla in the Simon Rattle British box set. I'll have to dig it out and, in the meantime, buy some Ades recordings.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on August 06, 2011, 08:53:59 PM
Totally agree. I would consider it to be Ligeti's best concerto (I wish I liked the piano concerto as much as the violin concerto) and the best of his late works. One thing that occurred to me recently is that Thomas Adès's new violin concerto seems to take a lot from the Ligeti, in particular the opening. Hey, not a bad composer to steal from, and I'm sure Stravinsky would agree.
Agreed there; late Ligeti seems to me to be a really major influence on Adès's more recent work.

As for the violin concerto, I wouldn't argue with calling it his finest concerto and one of his key works: with its borrowings from Musica ricercata and the horn trio, its place in Ligeti's output seems almost to be as a final summing up of his career, given that there was little more to follow.

I've heard it live three times now, and I don't think it's an accident that every time it's been a big hit with audience members who weren't necessarily predisposed to liking "difficult" new music (similarly with the Etudes, of course).

I have wanted Christian Tetzlaff to record this work for so long now; his performance of it at the 2000 Edinburgh Festival still lingers in my mind.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on August 06, 2011, 09:10:36 PM
As for the violin concerto, I wouldn't argue with calling it his finest concerto and one of his key works: with its borrowings from Musica ricercata and the horn trio, its place in Ligeti's output seems almost to be as a final summing up of his career, given that there was little more to follow.

The piano concerto takes quite a bit from the first book of piano etudes, so one can argue that that piece is also quite derivative, not that there's anything wrong with that. The cello concerto and chamber concerto seem to be entirely "original", if one could even say that, given that the style is completely different. I would agree that the violin concerto is a sort of summing up, though.

What is the overall opinion of the Hamburg Concerto? I really like the use of the extra horns as natural brass instruments in it, much like in the horn trio. However, I feel that the piece is just too short, and I wish it were a bit more substantial, similar to the violin concerto.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 06, 2011, 09:15:54 PM
Agreed there; late Ligeti seems to me to be a really major influence on Adès's more recent work.

As for the violin concerto, I wouldn't argue with calling it his finest concerto and one of his key works: with its borrowings from Musica ricercata and the horn trio, its place in Ligeti's output seems almost to be as a final summing up of his career, given that there was little more to follow.

I've heard it live three times now, and I don't think it's an accident that every time it's been a big hit with audience members who weren't necessarily predisposed to liking "difficult" new music (similarly with the Etudes, of course).

I have wanted Christian Tetzlaff to record this work for so long now; his performance of it at the 2000 Edinburgh Festival still lingers in my mind.

I imagine Tetzlaff would do great things with this work. Frank Peter Zimmermann did a fantastic job with it on Teldec. Very inspiring performance. I wouldn't call Ligeti's music difficult now, especially for me, because I have been exposed to it for a long period of time. There are people who don't get Ligeti and I except that. I don't get Messiaen, but a lot of people love his music, so I think it's all a matter of how the music is presented to us and how it sounds. Ligeti wasn't too difficult to get into especially coming from a heavy diet of Berg, Schoenberg, and Dutilleux. A person does have to approach Ligeti differently. His music asks different things of the listener, but this can be said of all music.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 06, 2011, 09:19:18 PM
What is the overall opinion of the Hamburg Concerto? I really like the use of the extra horns as natural brass instruments in it, much like in the horn trio. However, I feel that the piece is just too short, and I wish it were a bit more substantial, similar to the violin concerto.

The Hamburg Concerto is a very cool work. I think this may have been one of the first Ligeti works I heard. It was enough for me to explore his music in depth. It has great sonorities and textures. I don't remember anything about the length, but I'll have to revisit it soon.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on August 06, 2011, 09:33:43 PM
The piano concerto takes quite a bit from the first book of piano etudes, so one can argue that that piece is also quite derivative, not that there's anything wrong with that. The cello concerto and chamber concerto seem to be entirely "original", if one could even say that, given that the style is completely different. I would agree that the violin concerto is a sort of summing up, though.

What is the overall opinion of the Hamburg Concerto? I really like the use of the extra horns as natural brass instruments in it, much like in the horn trio. However, I feel that the piece is just too short, and I wish it were a bit more substantial, similar to the violin concerto.
I'd agree the Hamburg Concerto is too short; it also feels underdeveloped to me, more like a suite of fifteen or so retrospective miniatures. The addition of the final movement did help a lot in terms of the overall shape of the work, but as with the third book of Etudes and the viola sonata, I think the level of inspiration has fallen off markedly from his peak.

For me, the best of the very late works is Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel; a modest-in-ambition work but executed with a flair and sense of humour that is sadly lacking to me in other works of that period.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on August 06, 2011, 09:39:02 PM
For me, the best of the very late works is Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel; a modest-in-ambition work but executed with a flair and sense of humour that is sadly lacking to me in other works of that period.

That's a fun work!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on August 07, 2011, 09:45:10 AM

I have wanted Christian Tetzlaff to record this work for so long now; his performance of it at the 2000 Edinburgh Festival still lingers in my mind.

Ha, I heard Tetzlaff do it that very same year in New York, with Boulez/LSO. I also heard the piece here in Moscow last year, played by a local new music group as part of a Ligeti-Lutoslawski program called "Double Portrait."

Agree with the general opinion, that it's the best of his concerti.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Sandra on August 07, 2011, 12:59:46 PM
One night I heard Ligetti's string quartet (no 1) on a classical music channel. It sounded so similar to Bartok I was sure it was one of Bartok's quartets. So I took bet with my sister (a violist) who said it wasn't Bartok... I lost the bet when the title come on. :(

His second quartet though... is very different from Bartok, that's where he explores his real personal style.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Roberto on August 08, 2011, 01:00:30 AM
One night I heard Ligetti's string quartet (no 1) on a classical music channel. It sounded so similar to Bartok I was sure it was one of Bartok's quartets. So I took bet with my sister (a violist) who said it wasn't Bartok... I lost the bet when the title come on. :(

His second quartet though... is very different from Bartok, that's where he explores his real personal style.
Although I haven't heard any of Ligeti's work yet, I've read an interview-book about him. He said the 2nd quartet was his first piece where he could realize his intentions most clearly first. The 1st was a Bartókian work because Bartók influenced him mostly. After the II. World War he knew well Bartók only. He influenced by Stravinsky and Berg a little but he don't know other modern composers at this time. The the first half of the 50's he realized that he has to leave the Bartókian model. The 2nd quartet summarizes his new thinking. He said the 2nd quartet contains the sound of the 1st also although very dissolved.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Sandra on August 08, 2011, 08:47:24 AM
Although I haven't heard any of Ligeti's work yet, I've read an interview-book about him. He said the 2nd quartet was his first piece where he could realize his intentions most clearly first. The 1st was a Bartókian work because Bartók influenced him mostly. After the II. World War he knew well Bartók only. He influenced by Stravinsky and Berg a little but he don't know other modern composers at this time. The the first half of the 50's he realized that he has to leave the Bartókian model. The 2nd quartet summarizes his new thinking. He said the 2nd quartet contains the sound of the 1st also although very dissolved.

Oh yeah! Those two quartets are very different. But after hearing them again, I do see that even his first quartet had pretty original features. Great fun to listen to. I wish had written 10 such "Bartokian" quartets before moving on with other experiments. :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on August 09, 2011, 05:54:37 PM
Oh yeah! Those two quartets are very different. But after hearing them again, I do see that even his first quartet had pretty original features. Great fun to listen to. I wish had written 10 such "Bartokian" quartets before moving on with other experiments. :)

Husa and Adler, amongst others. have Great Early Bartokian SQs. ;)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2011, 05:17:36 PM
Ligeti fans need to get a hold of this: Peter Eotvos's latest Ligeti release. Eotvos conducting Ligeti is always an event because of his importance in the contemporary movement: assisstant of Pierre Boulez at the Ensemble Intercontemporain and his successor. Besides, he is a good conductor. Ligeti's drama was, he wanted to sound like Penderecki and Lutoslawski, but Penderecki and Lutoslawski already sounded that way; so, he was stuck with taking the harmonic motifs & adopting sounds no one else wanted to use. Well, except science-fiction authors: as the the Requiem sounds like Captain Picard sucked by a time warp into Umberto Ecco's Middle Age.

(http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m465/Phil1_05/LigetiEotvos2.jpg)

What label is this on and is it released yet?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2011, 05:23:03 PM
Yes it has been released: just got my copy today (I ordered it from one of the European Amazons, amazon.UK offering the best postal rate). It's published by the Budapest Music Center (BMC), it also included a DVD, which I have not looked at yet but which seems to feature the same music as the CD.

Thanks for the information, Toucan. I'll be checking this one out.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on September 10, 2011, 09:52:36 AM
Ligeti fans need to get a hold of this: Peter Eotvos's latest Ligeti release. Eotvos conducting Ligeti is always an event because of his importance in the contemporary movement: assisstant of Pierre Boulez at the Ensemble Intercontemporain and his successor. Besides, he is a good conductor. Ligeti's drama was, he wanted to sound like Penderecki and Lutoslawski, but Penderecki and Lutoslawski already sounded that way; so, he was stuck with taking the harmonic motifs & adopting sounds no one else wanted to use. Well, except science-fiction authors: as the the Requiem sounds like an androgin from out of space sucked by a time warp into Umberto Ecco's Middle Age.

(http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m465/Phil1_05/LigetiEotvos2.jpg)


BLOODY HELL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I had no idea that a new Requiem had been released. It's one of my all-time favourite pieces. I will be scuttling off to the record shop first thing on Monday (will be too busy at the Thames Festival tomorrow). Thanks for posting.

£24.90 on Amazon. Ouchy-ouch!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Roberto on September 12, 2011, 03:10:44 AM
Ligeti fans need to get a hold of this: Peter Eotvos's latest Ligeti release.
Yes! I've bought it yesterday at the Palace of arts Budapest along with this one:
(http://www.bmcrecords.hu/images/boritok/nagy/162.jpg)
These are my first Ligeti recordings. I've checked it on earphones but the real test will be at weekend on my hi-fi. The first impression: magical.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 12, 2011, 03:57:23 PM
I must get my hands on both of those recordings. Any idea if both or either of those will make it to the American Amazon.com? I'd like to get them without paying an arm and a leg.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Roberto on September 12, 2011, 09:37:01 PM
I must get my hands on both of those recordings. Any idea if both or either of those will make it to the American Amazon.com? I'd like to get them without paying an arm and a leg.
Unfortunately I don't know. On the BMC homepage there are distributors: http://bmc.hu/ (http://bmc.hu/). I've found it on http://www.jpc.de/ (http://www.jpc.de/) also (although I don't know if they post overseas).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on September 16, 2011, 11:17:11 PM
Ligeti fans need to get a hold of this: Peter Eotvos's latest Ligeti release. Eotvos conducting Ligeti is always an event because of his importance in the contemporary movement: assisstant of Pierre Boulez at the Ensemble Intercontemporain and his successor. Besides, he is a good conductor. Ligeti's drama was, he wanted to sound like Penderecki and Lutoslawski, but Penderecki and Lutoslawski already sounded that way; so, he was stuck with taking the harmonic motifs & adopting sounds no one else wanted to use. Well, except science-fiction authors: as the the Requiem sounds like an androgin from out of space sucked by a time warp into Umberto Ecco's Middle Age.

(http://i335.photobucket.com/albums/m465/Phil1_05/LigetiEotvos2.jpg)

Arrived from Amazon yesterday; played it to death already. A friend asked me if this is the revised version of the Requiem, but I haven't noticed anything radically different to the Wergo or Teldec versions. There's some really impressive choral work, particularly in the Kyrie, although I don't think the Kyrie is as focused as the previous recordings. On the whole, I think I prefer it to Nott, but I'll need to give that another whirl to compare.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: petrarch on September 17, 2011, 02:54:53 AM
Speaking of Eotvos, heard thru the grapevine that he will be conducting MOMENTE feat. soprano Julia Bauer in Lisbon shortly (November 10th & 11th) - hopefully this will coincide with recording sessions?
.

It's official:

http://www.teatromariamatos.pt/pt/prog/musica/20112012/momente
http://musicaonline.sapo.pt/agenda/105582

If I still lived there I would attend. Gulbenkian in Lisbon is where I attended some of the most memorable concerts and premieres of my life.

About recording sessions, I am sure Pedro Amaral will be recording it all.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Roberto on September 17, 2011, 04:35:57 AM
Arrived from Amazon yesterday; played it to death already.
I've heard this CD right now. It was absolutely thrilling. The Requiem is one of the darkest music I've ever heard. Terrifying and exalted at the same time. The Apparitions is great and interesting and so is the San Francisco Polyphony where the tunes and rhythms start to go back to Ligeti's music.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on September 17, 2011, 12:21:58 PM
Speaking of Eotvos, heard thru the grapevine that he will be conducting MOMENTE feat. soprano Julia Bauer in Lisbon shortly (November 10th & 11th) - hopefully this will coincide with recording sessions?
.

Splutter! Gasp! How amazing would it be to have an accessible recording of Momente? Wish I could go to  the concert; the one time I've heard it live (Queen Elizabeth Hall, London, well over a decade ago) was absolutely wonderful. As wonderful as the first time I heard Ligeti's Requiem live, with Ligeti in attendance; he handed out sunflowers to the soloists, which was a suitably odd touch.

James, Toucan? Please kiss and make up.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Roberto on September 19, 2011, 04:03:27 AM
I listened to the Apparitions and San Francisco Polyphony at least 3 times at weekend. (The Requiem only once. It is an emotionally wearing work so I have to wait more before I listen to it again.) I've heard some electronic ambient works before and I noticed that sometimes Ligeti gives us very "electronic" sonority from a classical orchestra. It was very interesting.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on September 19, 2011, 01:40:28 PM
I listened to the Apparitions and San Francisco Polyphony at least 3 times at weekend. (The Requiem only once. It is an emotionally wearing work so I have to wait more before I listen to it again.) I've heard some electronic ambient works before and I noticed that sometimes Ligeti gives us very "electronic" sonority from a classical orchestra. It was very interesting.

The Requiem is indeed wrenching, but I've always found its weird mix of awe, comic hysteria and pathos utterly gripping and addictive.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 09:56:31 AM
I was just listening to Angela and Jennifer Chun Play Ligeti's Ballad and Dance on youtube. Some very refined and beautiful music by Ligeti. Most of his other music is hard to listen to and like noise. This doesn't so I would be interested in other works by him like this. This work is short but if there are other longer works that have good melodies I would like some feedback from you all. Sorry I don't have time to read all of this thread to find my answer.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnQqlZNP7_c&feature=related (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FnQqlZNP7_c&feature=related)

Sounds like you don't even like Ligeti.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 27, 2011, 02:08:36 PM
I do like Ligeti, but only when he is well crafted and not harsh. I have searched more on youtube and I found a good work, the Six Bagatelles for Woodwind Quintet. It is earthy but not crude like some of his usual music. This work has the humour of Prokofiev and Poulenc. It is neoclassical and not too atonal. I usually dont like atonal so this is good.

Those are from his early, immature works. They are also not atonal. Many of them even have key signatures. Do try out Ligeti's latest music from the 80s and 90s. These works are often modal and have a similar sort of humor one finds in his immature works, with an eclectic sort of influences. Don't let the harder edge of his works from the 60s and 70s put you off (these works are still great, though).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 02:30:33 PM
I do like Ligeti, but only when he is well crafted and not harsh. I have searched more on youtube and I found a good work, the Six Bagatelles for Woodwind Quintet. It is earthy but not crude like some of his usual music. This work has the humour of Prokofiev and Poulenc. It is neoclassical and not too atonal. I usually dont like atonal so this is good.

The early works of Ligeti are of little, if any, interest to me. His mature style is found through works like Lontano, Atmospheres, Clocks and Clouds, Requiem, the Violin Concerto, etc. This is true Ligeti and not Ligeti filtered through a Bartokian lense.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 02:49:16 PM
The Modern period is my favorite of them all.

Are you sure? All I've seen you do so far is tear down one Modern composer after another.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: petrarch on September 27, 2011, 03:49:23 PM
I know most of those and I don't like them because they are very harsh and dark. His Ballad and Dance and Bagatelles which I listened to lately are more pleasant for me and better crafted. I am looking for his music that has more melody and less ugly distorted sounds.

::)

Better crafted than the Chamber Concerto for 13 instrumentalists? Better crafted than Lontano? I guess we have very different concepts of "craft".

Watch this for a good introduction to the man and his music: http://www.ubu.com/film/ligeti_follin.html
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 04:08:35 PM
I liked those, except the first one which was unpleasant and noisy.

 ::)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: bwv 1080 on September 27, 2011, 04:11:53 PM
I liked those, except the first one which was unpleasant and noisy. .

Don't be such a weenie
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: bwv 1080 on September 27, 2011, 04:24:15 PM
I actually like piano music that is loud if it has purpose. Not just ugly random noise. Like Beethoven's Hammerklavier, which is so far the best of dissonant piano music. Or anything by Scriabin or Debussy, Ravel's Gaspard and many others. I'm just stretching myself with Ligeti's piano music that's it.

the first piece is all about rhythm - listen to the African-inspired polyrhythms - nothing by Beethoven or any of the other composers you mention has anything going on rhythmically like this
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 04:28:24 PM
the first piece is all about rhythm - listen to the African-inspired polyrhythms - nothing by Beethoven or any of the other composers you mention has anything going on rhythmically like this

Suggestions to this member is futile. He/she simply thinks anything that doesn't fit comfortably into their "box" is somehow noisy, loud, harsh, or all three rolled into one.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 27, 2011, 04:53:49 PM
Why does everything have to be idealistic and traditional? Must all piano music sound happy, bright, or like Beethoven and Scriabin? Variety is the spice of life, and Ligeti's whole body of work and its influences teaches us this. "Harsh" sounds are used with a purpose, not just to annoy certain listeners with myopic perceptions of what music "should" be.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 05:14:15 PM
Why does everything have to be idealistic and traditional? Must all piano music sound happy, bright, or like Beethoven and Scriabin? Variety is the spice of life, and Ligeti's whole body of work and its influences teaches us this. "Harsh" sounds are used with a purpose, not just to annoy certain listeners with myopic perceptions of what music "should" be.

Great post. This member lives in a plastic bubble.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 05:22:44 PM
Why am I attacked for saying what I like and don't like?

Because your opinion(s) reveal ignorance and don't give whoever is reading them much to go on. You keep going on and on without much explanation as to why you dislike this work or that work. More people have heard Ligeti's Atmospheres than a work like Concert Românesc. Ligeti's earlier work isn't recognized much because it was an emulation of other composers that influenced him most notably Bartok, therefore, it isn't distinctive and has little to do with the composer he grew into.

Like I said on another thread, you continue to beat a dead horse.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 05:26:05 PM
I have been listening to fine music for a long time and I know what I like and what I don't. I am free to say this here or anywhere else. You have been following me on these threads ever since I joined.

Define fine music. Yes, you can say whatever you want, but bare in mind, I have a right to repute anything you say.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 05:30:33 PM
I think I said before I don't care that much about innovation or emulation. But I really care about what makes me feel emotionally attached to the music. You hardly know anything about me I just joined. Youve been on my back ever since.

 ::)


Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 05:39:42 PM
http://www.youtube.com/v/vOlXgCaKhIQ

Absolutely f****** brilliant! This is the Ligeti we all know and love.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: DavidW on September 27, 2011, 05:49:07 PM
Recently I've been listening through a big box set of Ligeti and there a couple of gems I really enjoy: the middle movements of the piano concerto and the cello concerto are each haunting and lyrical in their separate ways.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 06:07:02 PM
Thank you Heather. I just listened to this work on youtube. It is very lyrical and mournful as you say. The cello strikes such emotion in my soul. This is a Ligeti work that I will listen to often in future. Another discovery.

jhns, here's some Ligeti you might enjoy, it's from his folk-influenced days:

http://www.youtube.com/v/F_XkMdyioFg

To me, these early works of Ligeti sound as if he's trying to please somebody. They don't really bare the composer's true musical voice.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 06:27:41 PM
Thank you that concerto by Ligeti is good. I'm listening now. It is like Lutoslawski's early concerto which is folk based. I agree it is not like his typical music but it's what I like. But sometimes I like more experimental music. It depends on what I feel emotionally in the music. I don't mind if it's important to music history or too much like old music.

Glad you enjoyed it. I have a performance of it in the Ligeti box set released by Teldec.

Lutoslawski is still a tough nut for me to crack. I loved his Concerto for Orchestra and much of his early works, but I have a hard time getting into his later output. The problem lies with me though and not with the music.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 27, 2011, 06:56:47 PM
To me, these early works of Ligeti sound as if he's trying to please somebody. They don't really bare the composer's true musical voice.

Actually Ligeti composed this way because he lived in Hungary during a time when all "modern" or "formalist" music was banned (so I guess he was trying to please somebody and/or his true musical voice wasn't bared in those works). He was forced to compose in a conservative style during the 40s and 50s due to this. He finally composed in a style he wanted to compose in when he wrote works like Apparitions and Atmosphères, which are the real start of his genius. I like certain early works like the Cello Sonata and the Concerto Romanesc, but they are by no means masterworks and are very derivative. I'll continue to encourage jhns to throw away any preconceived notions about what music (or art in general) "should" be. Masterworks such as Atmosphères and the Requiem aren't universally lauded for nothing.

By the way, my earlier post was not an attack. I am merely trying to do my part in discouraging artistic myopia, which is something that runs all too rampant these days, leaving many modern masters' masterpieces justly underperformed in the concert halls.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2011, 07:11:16 PM
Actually Ligeti composed this way because he lived in Hungary during a time when all "modern" or "formalist" music was banned (so I guess he was trying to please somebody and/or his true musical voice wasn't bore in those works). He was forced to compose in a conservative style during the 40s and 50s due to this. He finally composed in a style he wanted to compose in when he wrote works like Apparitions and Atmosphères, which are the real start of his genius. I like certain early works like the Cello Sonata and the Concerto Romanesc, but they are by no means masterworks and are very derivative. I'll continue to encourage jhns to throw away any preconceived notions about what music (or art in general) "should" be. Masterworks such as Atmosphères and the Requiem aren't universally lauded for nothing.

By the way, my earlier post was not an attack. I am merely trying to do my part in discouraging artistic myopia, which is something that runs all too rampant these days, leaving many modern masters' masterpieces justly underperformed in the concert halls.

Well thankfully Ligeti found his music voice and continued to grow as a composer. I like his textural phase with works like Lontano, Atmospheres, Melodien, Clocks and Clouds, San Francisco Polyphony, and the real culmination of this period the Requiem. I like this period of his composing the best, but I do enjoy the Violin Concerto, Hamburg Concerto, and the Piano Concerto a great deal.

I think this member is just mixed up right now and still trying to find what they enjoy, but as I said, Ligeti's earlier works aren't representative of the composer at all.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: DavidW on September 29, 2011, 02:49:38 AM
So does anyone else like the slow movements from the piano and cello concertos?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on September 29, 2011, 03:02:34 AM
So does anyone else like the slow movements from the piano and cello concertos?
Most definitely to both. The first movement of the 'cello concerto--with its gradual movement from the middle register to the single note suspended high above the double bass--was one of the first things by him that really grabbed me.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 29, 2011, 05:11:46 AM
I have been listening to a lot of Ligeti's music since joining this forum.

My favourite pieces are the Wind Bagatelles, Passacaglia ungherese for harpsichord (1978), Hungarian Rock for cembalo (1978), Concert Romanesc, Sonata for solo cello. I am exploring further than I was before. Some of his music is just sound experimentation which I dont like. I am planning to do more of this later. He is a good composer but my favourite Modern Hungarian is still Zoltan Kodaly.

You can't really say that Ligeti was doing "just sound experimentation" (that really devalues the compositional processes he used). I am quite sure he knew exactly what he was doing, and that he really wanted to do it, and it's not like others weren't doing it. Penderecki, Baird, Bacewicz, and even Lutoslawski were composing similarly at the time, with different results. I'm hoping you move part Ligeti's juvenalia soon, for that really is not his best.

Also, Kodály is not modern (he died in 1967 and composed many of his significant works far before then). Ligeti is modern (he died in 2006). You wouldn't call the moon landing or the invention of television a recent modern event, would you?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 29, 2011, 03:30:46 PM
You are myopic as you called me.

I'm not going to play this game. I'm done trying to help you out. If you think I'm not helpful, that's your prerogative. I had a point with what I said, but if you choose to ignore it, well, that's on you.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: eyeresist on September 29, 2011, 04:42:29 PM
jhns, people are going to disagree with you. That's the way the world is. It doesn't mean they are trying to hurt your feelings.


This thread is making me think I should give the Ligeti Project box another listen. I only went through it once a couple of years ago, and it didn't grab me. I had the impression that L was a little too distracted by the problem of always trying to come up with something new, rather than refining what he had already. Let's see what I think this time....
 
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 29, 2011, 05:41:14 PM
jhns, people are going to disagree with you. That's the way the world is. It doesn't mean they are trying to hurt your feelings.


This thread is making me think I should give the Ligeti Project box another listen. I only went through it once a couple of years ago, and it didn't grab me. I had the impression that L was a little too distracted by the problem of always trying to come up with something new, rather than refining what he had already. Let's see what I think this time....

Ligeti has said in an interview that he wanted to make music accessible to people. I think compared to composers like Boulez, Stockhausen, or Xenakis, he has achieved this goal. This is avant-garde music that I can stand strongly behind and say that I've thoroughly enjoyed the music. Do I like every Ligeti work? Of course not, I do think he was constantly trying new things and I admire that, because I think composers should constantly push themselves in as many directions as they can. This is how they grow and learn.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: petrarch on September 29, 2011, 05:45:12 PM
This thread is making me think I should give the Ligeti Project box another listen. I only went through it once a couple of years ago, and it didn't grab me. I had the impression that L was a little too distracted by the problem of always trying to come up with something new, rather than refining what he had already. Let's see what I think this time....

Yes, there's a quote from him dating from the early years after escaping from Hungary where he said that he needed to innovate, no matter how. Although his works from that period are still my favorites (he managed to really pull it off), I don't agree with that principle at all.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 29, 2011, 05:46:45 PM
Both Kodaly and Ligeti were Modern

This could be argued. Kodaly's outlook may or may not have been Modern, but his music doesn't sound Modern unlike his contemporary Bartok. Ligeti is from a completely different generation whose ideals were far different than that of Kodaly or Bartok. The only thing they share is they are each Hungarian. As I have said, Ligeti's early music reflects the Bartok influence, but this was in no way what Ligeti really wanted to do with music as evidenced by the direction he went in. Kodaly and Bartok were friends and collected folk music together, but Kodaly's musical language was light years behind Bartok's.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 29, 2011, 06:03:52 PM
I dont agree. The solo cello sonata by Kodaly is very modern for the time. It is not less modern than Bartok's solo violin sonata. I think you are making a general statement but they were both very Modern but different.

 ::) Kodaly was Modern only in the sense that Glazunov was Modern. Kodaly sounds like watered down, leftover chicken soup. It still tastes pretty good, but it lost most of it's flavor overnight.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 29, 2011, 06:14:05 PM
I dont agree. The solo cello sonata by Kodaly is very modern for the time. It is not less modern than Bartok's solo violin sonata. I think you are making a general statement but they were both very Modern but different.

Define what you mean by modern. Do you mean "doesn't follow common practice rules" when you say modern? Then technically modernism started when Liszt wrote his Bagatelle sans tonalité and continued when Debussy wrote his famous orchestral works at the end of the 19th century. That's over 100 years of modernism! There needs to be a cutoff at some point. I still think you shouldn't call anything modern if it was written before 1950 (and that is being generous).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Josquin des Prez on September 29, 2011, 06:38:43 PM
Ligeti innovated because once he said something, it was pointless to say it again. Every one of his compositions was a perfect statement of the idea or technique he wanted to explore. Since he couldn't improve on a particular idea why not just move to something else?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: eyeresist on September 29, 2011, 07:42:28 PM
Kodaly was Modern only in the sense that Glazunov was Modern. Kodaly sounds like watered down, leftover chicken soup. It still tastes pretty good, but it lost most of it's flavor overnight.

I'd say Kodaly's musical qualities, or lack thereof, derive from his personality and not from how musically "advanced" he was.


Define what you mean by modern. Do you mean "doesn't follow common practice rules" when you say modern? Then technically modernism started when Liszt wrote his Bagatelle sans tonalité and continued when Debussy wrote his famous orchestral works at the end of the 19th century. That's over 100 years of modernism! There needs to be a cutoff at some point. I still think you shouldn't call anything modern if it was written before 1950 (and that is being generous).

There is inevitably some confusion caused by the term Modernism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernism) (capital M), which should not be taken as synonymous with "contemporary". Modernism is a catch-all label for a particular cultural period, which was notable for a trend of creative people consciously trying to overturn or at least radically revise the inherited methods, not just in their own practice but more generally in whatever medium they worked in. I think Wagner is generally held to be the first major musical Modernist in this sense. It is debatable (and debated) whether we are currently in the Modern period, in the Postmodern period, or maybe at the beginning of another kind of "-ism".
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 29, 2011, 07:47:46 PM
There is inevitably some confusion caused by the term Modernism (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Modernism) (capital M), which should not be taken as synonymous with "contemporary". Modernism is a catch-all label for a particular cultural period, which was notable for a trend of creative people consciously trying to overturn or at least radically revise the inherited methods, not just in their own practice but more generally in whatever medium they worked in. I think Wagner is generally held to be the first major musical Modernist in this sense. It is debatable (and debated) whether we are currently in the Modern period, in the Postmodern period, or maybe at the beginning of another kind of "-ism".

While you do have a valid point, here is how I think of it: what are we going to call the period between 1890~1910 until now about 100 or 200 years from now? It would be impossible to call it modern, obviously. It is even ridiculous to call anything between Debussy and Bartók modern right now, in my opinion.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: eyeresist on September 29, 2011, 07:52:02 PM
Nonetheless, Modern is the generally used term, so you'll have to get used to it. :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 29, 2011, 08:16:37 PM
This is why I like his music, each piece is different. Some more emotional others are experimental. I like his music with folklore and many emotions the most.

How can you say this when all you've done is call Ligeti's later music noisy? The problem with most of your posts in regards to Ligeti that I've read so far is you don't display a willingness to learn about his mature style, so instead you would rather hang onto some notion that Ligeti wrote music in the vein of Bartok or Kodaly than to actually sit down and listen to the music. Open up your ears man!!! Talk less, listen more!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 29, 2011, 08:21:12 PM
Glazunov was both Romantic and Modern. He was Romantic earlier but later Modern in his Saxophone Concerto. Kodaly was much younger and only Modern not Romantic.

No, you're wrong. Glazunov was a Romantic from the time he started composing up until his death. The Saxophone Concerto is NOT a Modern work by any stretch of the word. You can call this all you want to, but just because he used a saxophone doesn't make something Modern. If anything Glazunov was a slave to Romanticism (not that there's anything wrong with that) and his music reflects this. He remained a man trapped in the wrong time. A reactionary instead of a revolutionary.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: eyeresist on September 29, 2011, 08:39:33 PM
If anything Glazunov was a slave to Romanticism (not that there's anything wrong with that) and his music reflects this. He remained a man trapped in the wrong time. A reactionary instead of a revolutionary.

I'm not happy with the use of "reactionary" and "revolutionary", as though musical styles had some sort of inherent political agenda. Maybe that's not exactly what you meant, but it's evocative of an unreal attitude too often used in the defense of 20th century Modernism, that the old styles were oppressive and totalitarian while the new music was liberating and "democratic".
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 29, 2011, 09:12:59 PM
I'm not happy with the use of "reactionary" and "revolutionary", as though musical styles had some sort of inherent political agenda. Maybe that's not exactly what you meant, but it's evocative of an unreal attitude too often used in the defense of 20th century Modernism, that the old styles were oppressive and totalitarian while the new music was liberating and "democratic".

There are only two kinds of composers: reactionary and revolutionary. I'm not talking any kind of political agenda. Where the hell did that come from? ??? I'm talking about two different kinds of composers: the traditionalist and the revolutionist. Of course there are composers that were both.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 29, 2011, 09:15:57 PM
Yours is not the way to get new people to like Ligeti's music. You should be encouraging not telling me what to do.

I'm not telling you what to do. I'm telling you that your idea of Ligeti is based upon a few early works that don't reflect the composer's true musical voice.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 29, 2011, 09:16:12 PM
I think that if somebody doesn't like Kodaly or Glazunov they should just say it. They should be simply honest.

I happen to agree with Mirror Image about his views on Glazunov and Kodály. That said, I still like some works by them and by other conservatives at the time, the biggest one certainly being Rachmaninoff, who hated the modernism of his time. Thinking that someone is not revolutionary and enjoying their music are not mutually exclusive.

Then why dont you think R-korsakov, Balakirev, Mussorgski or Tchaikovski didn't compose Saxophone Concertos? In my opinion, the Glazunov concerto is the finest for the instrument.

You obviously haven't heard many saxophone concertos. I haven't met one saxophone player (and I know many) that prefers it over many modern ones (and by modern I mean ones written after 1950). Most of them consider it far inferior. The saxophone was invented in 1846, but, in my opinion, no one really knew how to compose for it until after jazz took it over. I'll just leave it at that.


I'll also add a few more two cents of mine by saying that I don't think that Ligeti would appreciate very much the sort of branding of "noise for the sake of noise" and "experimentation versus emotion" talk being thrown at his works from the late 1950s to his works in the late 1970s or so (to avoid using any sound mass technique synonyms).  I also don't think he would appreciate that someone only bases their opinion on immature works, some of which were written under the iron curtain. Again, I'll just leave it at that.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: eyeresist on September 29, 2011, 10:24:20 PM
There are only two kinds of composers: reactionary and revolutionary. I'm not talking any kind of political agenda. Where the hell did that come from? ??? I'm talking about two different kinds of composers: the traditionalist and the revolutionist. Of course there are composers that were both.

"Reactionary" and "revolutionary" are inherently political terms, and even if they weren't I don't think you can arbitrarily categorise all composers as either of these extremes (or both, since you want to have it both ways). A reactionary composer is by definition not only resisting all change in instrumental and composing technique, but condemning all innovation as perverse and undesirable, and meanwhile the revolutionary composer condemns the old ways as decadent, corrupt and invalid, and scours out of his scores anything which might seem respectful of tradition. There are a small number of composers who might fit these descriptions - I'd say there are about as many "reactionary" and "revolutionary" composers as there are "reactionary" and "revolutionary" listeners, i.e. very few. Most of us are in the middle, and, if we're honest, we like what we like without referring to abstract categories to determine musical value.


Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: petrarch on September 30, 2011, 01:34:39 AM
"Lux aeterna" (1966) for sixteen solo voices

Good progress! From there to Lontano or Atmosphères isn't that big of a leap. I bet that if you heard the Chamber Concerto with some help "visualizing" the music you'd get the hang of it in no time.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: DavidW on September 30, 2011, 02:54:56 AM
Most definitely to both. The first movement of the 'cello concerto--with its gradual movement from the middle register to the single note suspended high above the double bass--was one of the first things by him that really grabbed me.

Cool beans!  I'll have to relisten to the whole cello concerto soon, what a great work!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on September 30, 2011, 09:23:17 AM
Well, clearly your hate for his "experimental" music was just a result of not listening. Great to see that progress is being made. Be sure not to miss Clocks and Clouds, which hopefully will fit your qualifications of "emotional", whatever they are.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on November 20, 2011, 03:44:23 AM
I'm in a rush and haven't got time to go through all the pages on this thread, so apologies if this has already been posted a dozen times: a documentary about Ligeti in seven parts. I've only dipped into it so far, but it looks fascinating.

Start here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jGyFDHPs2M (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jGyFDHPs2M)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: petrarch on November 20, 2011, 04:04:45 AM
I'm in a rush and haven't got time to go through all the pages on this thread, so apologies if this has already been posted a dozen times: a documentary about Ligeti in seven parts. I've only dipped into it so far, but it looks fascinating.

Start here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jGyFDHPs2M (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7jGyFDHPs2M)

Available in a single part at http://www.ubu.com/film/ligeti_follin.html
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: MDL on November 20, 2011, 04:17:47 AM
Available in a single part at http://www.ubu.com/film/ligeti_follin.html

Whoo-hoo! Even better. Ta!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on November 20, 2011, 06:21:17 AM
PIANO CONCERTO


Listened to this last night again. I find it a very delicate piece. It's not the most virtuoso piece ever, even though it contains much Ligeti Etude writing. In all, there's nothing 'wrong' with this piece, it's just a very accessible, modern PC in five movements. Not much to say here, is there? I do like the ocarinas!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Lethevich on April 14, 2012, 03:49:17 PM
Assuming a person has the three boxes (DG, Teldec and Sony), are there any major works not included in these sets, and could any recordings of them be suggested? (I am looking to "finish" my collection.) I wonder how many discs Wergo recorded?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: CRCulver on April 14, 2012, 04:51:04 PM
Assuming a person has the three boxes (DG, Teldec and Sony), are there any major works not included in these sets, and could any recordings of them be suggested? (I am looking to "finish" my collection.) I wonder how many discs Wergo recorded?

Together, the Sony and the Teldec sets collect all the pieces that Ligeti recognized in performances he considered definitive. There are really no "major works" outside that collection.

If you feel like a Ligeti completist, then the only really necessary additional purchases are that Wergo disc with his tape piece Glissandi, suppressed as juvenalia, and a BIS disc where Ullen performs a piano étude that Ligeti decided not to include in the canonical set. Also, Ramifications exists in two versions (for string orchestra or solo strings), and only one of those versions is in the Sony-Teldec collection, so you might want to get a separate recording of the other version.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Lethevich on April 14, 2012, 05:36:47 PM
Thank you both :) I have my eye on the Ullen disc, although not neccessarily for the extra etude - though that does add another reason for me to pick it up.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: CRCulver on April 15, 2012, 11:07:37 AM
Oh yes, I forgot Book 3 of the Piano Etudes. If you want them in performances by Aimard, Ligeti's handpicked pianist, then you'll need to get the Teldec African Rhythms (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00008UVCD?ie=UTF8&tag=3636363-20&linkCode=xm2&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00008UVCD) where Aimard performs these pieces alongside recordings of the Aka Pygmies who inspired Ligeti.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Lethevich on April 15, 2012, 02:32:26 PM
I've picked up from various mentions (although can't recall where) that Ligeti's powers were declining a little during the writing of that third etude book - would that be fair to say?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: CRCulver on April 15, 2012, 04:50:08 PM
I've picked up from various mentions (although can't recall where) that Ligeti's powers were declining a little during the writing of that third etude book - would that be fair to say?

Who knows whether it was declining powers or merely revised compositional goals, but the pieces in Book 3 are nowhere near as complex and overtly virtuosic like the first two books. Still worth collecting IMHO, because the Aka Pygmies music on that disc is amazing.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on April 15, 2012, 05:35:14 PM
I've picked up from various mentions (although can't recall where) that Ligeti's powers were declining a little during the writing of that third etude book - would that be fair to say?
Yes.

To my mind, the best piece from his last ten years is the song cycle Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel, which though not major Ligeti retains the imagination and magic of his best works. The Hamburg Concerto also does to some extent, though it seems not fully fleshed out to me (the extra final movement added in 2003 did help some, though). The third book of Etudes and the viola sonata are the most disappointing to my ears; inspiration is at a low ebb and they feel a bit routine to me (a description that I would say fits very little of Ligeti's output).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Madiel on September 05, 2012, 03:36:15 AM
Hello all you Ligeti fans.

He's just been a name to me thus far.  I'm having a look at the DG "Clear and Cloudy" box set, and doing those lovely 90-second iTunes samples.  Yes, yes, I know perfectly well it doesn't tell me a lot about a 10-minute plus piece of music... but it works well for String Quartet No.1 where there are movements of less than a minute!

Just wondering, are the recordings in the set generally considered good ones.  Earlier indications from this thread seem to be a 'yes'.

EDIT: And I know the cello/piano/violin concertos were literally award-winning. Apart from that, the Penguin Guide is beginning to demonstrate how useless it is becoming these days - I have 2003, 2008 and 2010 editions and they all have the exact same reviews of the exact same discs.  ::)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: CRCulver on September 05, 2012, 04:00:21 AM
I'm having a look at the DG "Clear and Cloudy" box set... Just wondering, are the recordings in the set generally considered good ones.  Earlier indications from this thread seem to be a 'yes'.

They are good. However, I'd recommend getting the Sony box set (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00303WQMO?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00303WQMO&linkCode=xm2&tag=3636363-20) instead of the DG one, because the composer considered those recordings definitive. (The Sony box set seems a little expensive now, but you could also collect the individual discs, the string quartets are on volume 1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000029OY?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0000029OY&linkCode=xm2&tag=3636363-20) for all of US$4.)

The String Quartet No. 1 is not especially representative of Ligeti's work. It is much more imitative of Bartók than other pieces written in the same era.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Madiel on September 05, 2012, 04:15:04 AM
They are good. However, I'd recommend getting the Sony box set (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00303WQMO?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B00303WQMO&linkCode=xm2&tag=3636363-20) instead of the DG one, because the composer considered those recordings definitive. (The Sony box set seems a little expensive now, but you could also collect the individual discs, the string quartets are on volume 1 (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000029OY?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creativeASIN=B0000029OY&linkCode=xm2&tag=3636363-20) for all of US$4.)

The String Quartet No. 1 is not especially representative of Ligeti's work. It is much more imitative of Bartók than other pieces written in the same era.

Right now it's DG or nothing, simply because I am looking at a particular sale from a retailer here in Australia, and I've spent quite enough on music in the last few weeks without going hunting for further options beyond the 120-odd boxes they're offering me!

Yes, I'm aware SQ No.1 isn't terribly representative, I mentioned it only because I could hear a lot of it via the quirks of iTunes' criteria. It's been interesting to see what I've responded to, from these quick samples.  The 6 bagatelles for wind quintet were appealing, but I know they're early. Ramifications and Melodien both sounded promising.  But Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures were definitely things I'd need to work up to!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 05, 2012, 09:55:36 AM
Hello all you Ligeti fans.

He's just been a name to me thus far.  I'm having a look at the DG "Clear and Cloudy" box set, and doing those lovely 90-second iTunes samples.  Yes, yes, I know perfectly well it doesn't tell me a lot about a 10-minute plus piece of music... but it works well for String Quartet No.1 where there are movements of less than a minute!

Just wondering, are the recordings in the set generally considered good ones.  Earlier indications from this thread seem to be a 'yes'.

EDIT: And I know the cello/piano/violin concertos were literally award-winning. Apart from that, the Penguin Guide is beginning to demonstrate how useless it is becoming these days - I have 2003, 2008 and 2010 editions and they all have the exact same reviews of the exact same discs.  ::)

I don't understand why you don't go for The Ligeti Project box set on Warner? I mean it's simply one of the best sets of music I've ever encountered. All the performances are outstanding and it can be bought cheap as well. The DG set, in my view, is only for completist.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Madiel on September 05, 2012, 06:06:48 PM
I don't understand why you don't go for The Ligeti Project box set on Warner?

Because my wallet is not a bottomless pit.

I've already explained the criteria, whether you accept them or not the criteria in this instance are (1) store has been selected, (2) now considering composers. It certainly isn't the way that I buy my music most of the time, but at this point of time that's the rule I've imposed on myself and I'm sticking with it.  Store is not offering Warner box set. Therefore, Warner box set is not being bought.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 05, 2012, 09:13:35 PM
Because my wallet is not a bottomless pit.

I've already explained the criteria, whether you accept them or not the criteria in this instance are (1) store has been selected, (2) now considering composers. It certainly isn't the way that I buy my music most of the time, but at this point of time that's the rule I've imposed on myself and I'm sticking with it.  Store is not offering Warner box set. Therefore, Warner box set is not being bought.

Your self-imposed limitation to one store seems rather silly and childish to me, but, hey, what do I know? I own the DG set Clear Or Cloudy and it's non-essential. It's four discs of material that has been better performed elsewhere. Go online and speak with Ligeti fans and most of them will talk about the Teldec recordings and with good reason: they are the best representation of the composer available. These were performances that were also done in the presence of the composer himself. The other box set to own is the one Culver linked for you. This has all the other works and chamber pieces that you need. After buying these two sets, you don't need the DG set unless, like me, you're a completist.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 05, 2012, 09:22:00 PM
To my mind, the best piece from his last ten years is the song cycle Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel, which though not major Ligeti retains the imagination and magic of his best works.

This is a fun work, edward! I like the instrumentation --- very different. It has this sort of craziness to that only Ligeti could compose. Had another composer come up with this instead of Ligeti, I doubt I would have even put much stock into it, but the inventiveness of this music captivated me from start to finish.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Madiel on September 06, 2012, 12:24:33 AM
Your self-imposed limitation to one store seems rather silly and childish to me, but, hey, what do I know?

Temporary self-imposed limitation, and whatever you know isn't helping if you start answering questions that weren't asked.  You're like a person standing with me in an ice cream shop, looking at the 25 flavours available in that ice cream shop, and telling me "I don't understand why you won't buy butterscotch" when none of the 25 flavours in front of me are butterscotch.  If I'm not inclined to go to your favourite ice cream shop down the street which is awash with butterscotch, does that make me silly and childish?

Thanks for helping rule out Ligeti for now, as neither of the people who responded seem to think the DG set is worth buying.  It doesn't matter, for current purposes, precisely why you think it's not worth buying.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Madiel on September 06, 2012, 02:51:03 AM
At last count, it's a choice between a box of Ligeti and 15 other boxes that are still in the running.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on September 06, 2012, 04:03:40 AM
But if the choice is a binary one between the DG box and no Ligeti at all, then sure, I'd get it, no question.  This is accessible and enjoyable music.  It may be different, but it's not difficult.
Yup. Lots of outstanding music on the DG set, even if it's bits & pieces rather than any kind of thorough coverage of the composer. Particular highlights to me are Abbado's Atmospheres and Lontano; Atherton's Melodien and the Kontarsky brothers in the Three Pieces for Two Pianos, but there's little that's anything other than excellent stuff here.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2012, 06:31:37 AM
Thanks for helping rule out Ligeti for now, as neither of the people who responded seem to think the DG set is worth buying.  It doesn't matter, for current purposes, precisely why you think it's not worth buying.

 ::) If you don't want to explore Ligeti's music, that's your own prerogative. You're missing out. I chose not to acknowledge your own criteria because the criteria you're using is moronic.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on September 06, 2012, 06:47:21 AM
At last count, it's a choice between a box of Ligeti and 15 other boxes that are still in the running.

Do consider the DG box, especially if you haven't heard many of the works included. Since I have many of the original recordings I haven't bought it, but can agree with edward: it's well worth considering. Highlights: Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic doing Atmosphères and Lontano, the North German Radio choir in Lux aeterna, the Violin Concerto with Saschko Gawriloff and the Piano Concerto with Aimard. And Zacher's performance of Volumina is a beast, if you're up for it; I recall almost being frightened, the first time I heard it.  ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: petrarch on September 06, 2012, 07:07:37 AM
::) If you don't want to explore Ligeti's music, that's your own prerogative. You're missing out. I chose not to acknowledge your own criteria because the criteria you're using is moronic.

I see you returned in top shape ::).

Orfeo, go for the DG box. It is a good starting point to get into Ligeti's music as others pointed out. Also, given the constraints (low price), it can't be beaten. Did you explore Ligeti's music on youtube already? It might give you an idea of what else you are missing in that box and whether it is enough to satisfy you for now.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on September 06, 2012, 07:10:24 AM
Did you explore Ligeti's music on youtube already? It might give you an idea of what else you are missing in that box and whether it is enough to satisfy you for now.

Great advice, which I always forget.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: petrarch on September 06, 2012, 07:19:24 AM
Just to add to the discussion, the recording of the Chamber Concerto on DG is still my favourite Ligeti work ever, and it was only more than a decade later that I decided to complement the individual DG discs I had with the Sony and Telarc releases. In other words, you can live very happily with the DG box and not feel shortchanged.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2012, 07:21:19 AM
Just to add to the discussion, the recording of the Chamber Concerto on DG is still my favourite Ligeti work ever, and it was only more than a decade later that I decided to complement the individual DG discs I had with the Sony and Telarc releases. In other words, you can live very happily with the DG box and not feel shortchanged.

You mean Teldec. I can see you've been posting in top shape as well.  ::)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Madiel on September 06, 2012, 07:30:09 AM
::) If you don't want to explore Ligeti's music, that's your own prerogative. You're missing out. I chose not to acknowledge your own criteria because the criteria you're using is moronic.

 ::) If I wasn't interested in exploring Ligeti's music, I wouldn't have posted in this thread in the first place. I would have posted in the thread of another composer.

Look, maybe you're retired or something.  Maybe you have the time to listen to 100 or so new CDs at once. Maybe you have the option to add every composer you're interested in adding to your music library all at once. 

I don't, okay? I have to cut the list down to something more manageable.  It's called prioritisation.  I have 15 interesting boxes to consider adding to the 18 CDs I already purchased recently, and you can't seem to get it through your brain that I am simply not interested in adding further options beyond the ones I've already been presented by another source!  The goal is to CUT DOWN the list, not add more, larger boxes to it.

There is nothing moronic about this whatsoever., except to someone who has nothing to do all day besides listen to music.  It might be open to you to simultaneously buy the works of Ligeti, Beethoven, Delibes, Handel, Shostakovich, Poulenc, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, Berg, Elgar, Janacek, Dvorak, Prokofiev, Bridge and Debussy that I'm considering, but it's completely IMpractical for me unless I plan to make no further purchases until some time in the middle of 2014.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2012, 07:40:11 AM
::) If I wasn't interested in exploring Ligeti's music, I wouldn't have posted in this thread in the first place. I would have posted in the thread of another composer.

Look, maybe you're retired or something.  Maybe you have the time to listen to 100 or so new CDs at once. I don't, okay? I have to cut the list down to something more manageable.  It's called prioritisation.  I have 15 interesting boxes to consider adding to the 18 CDs I already purchased recently, and you can't seem to get it through your brain that I am simply not interested in adding further options beyond the ones I've already been presented by another source!  The goal is to CUT DOWN the list, not add more, larger boxes to it.

There is nothing moronic about this whatsoever.

You come here inquiring whether the Ligeti DG box is worth adding to your collection and I say it's a good set BUT the Warner set is better. I really don't care how many box sets you're looking at. That's irrelevant to me and I'm simply not going to play your game. What I am going to do is offer a much better recommendation which would be the Warner set, but since you seem unable to buy from an online source, then I guess you'll have to get the DG set then won't you?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Madiel on September 06, 2012, 07:44:41 AM
I really don't care how many box sets you're looking at. That's irrelevant to me and I'm simply not going to play your game.

Yes, because when I ask a question it's all about your desires, not mine.  ::)

I'm sure then, you'll be able to tell me which of the composers I've added to my last post I should ignore.

EDIT: I recommend you pick about 10 to 12.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2012, 07:55:29 AM
Yes, because when I ask a question it's all about your desires, not mine.  ::)

I'm sure then, you'll be able to tell me which of the composers I've added to my last post I should ignore.

EDIT: I recommend you pick about 12.

No, it's about me not really caring what box sets your looking at. You came here asking about the Ligeti DG set, I gave you a better alternative. Take it or leave it. It must be hell limiting yourself to only one store, but that's the restriction you put on yourself.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Madiel on September 06, 2012, 01:27:38 PM
Yes, it is.  And if you hadn't taken the "I don't know why you don't...." tone we needn't have had this entire conversation where you keep saying you don't actually care.  Now you DO know.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: CRCulver on September 06, 2012, 03:20:40 PM
orfeo, if money is an issue, I'd just recommend pirating the Sony and Teldec boxes just so that your first acquaintance with Ligeti is from the composer-approved recordings. Get the DG if you'd like, but hear it after the definitive sets.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2012, 04:20:52 PM
Yes, it is.  And if you hadn't taken the "I don't know why you don't...." tone we needn't have had this entire conversation where you keep saying you don't actually care.  Now you DO know.

You still crying about this? Let it go, man. Buy what you want. As CRCulver just said, the Warner and Sony sets are composer approved and much better performances, but, in the end, you'll do whatever you want which I understand.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Madiel on September 06, 2012, 06:49:11 PM
Right. So now they're "much better performances".  Got it.

Oh, and a huge no to pirating.  Absolutely not
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on September 06, 2012, 07:23:17 PM
Right. So now they're "much better performances".  Got it.

Oh, and a huge no to pirating.  Absolutely not

Get the Warners ;)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2012, 07:27:58 PM
Right. So now they're "much better performances".  Got it.

If you've actually read my posts to you, I've been saying this all along. YES, they're much better performances. Duh!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on September 06, 2012, 07:39:03 PM
I listened to Ramifications, the Chamber Concerto, and Melodien (all DG),... oh, and the 10 wind pieces.

I'm finding some Ligeti just annoying to the ears at this post-Post Modern phase, but I heartily enjoyed the Chamber Concerto. And, sure, I like the other Concertos just fine, and other things,.. but I find I can only listen to Ligeti in doses. And... he has such a small quantity of music, dense as it is.

I almost cracked open the Arditti/Sony that I've had for years. Not yet! ::)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 06, 2012, 07:47:09 PM
I listened to Ramifications, the Chamber Concerto, and Melodien (all DG),... oh, and the 10 wind pieces.

I'm finding some Ligeti just annoying to the ears at this post-Post Modern phase, but I heartily enjoyed the Chamber Concerto. And, sure, I like the other Concertos just fine, and other things,.. but I find I can only listen to Ligeti in doses. And... he has such a small quantity of music, dense as it is.

I almost cracked open the Arditti/Sony that I've had for years. Not yet! ::)

The Violin Concerto, Piano Concerto, Melodien, Atmospheres, Clocks & Clouds, Lontano, and the Requiem are the main reasons I continue coming back to Ligeti. There are many works by him that do nothing for me. I don't like his Chamber Concerto or the Cello Concerto at all. I think those two pieces fail as they don't contain any accessible points of entry for me. They sound like one huge wash of noise, but the works I mentioned give Ligeti high marks for me. An enjoyable composer and certainly one of the few late 20th Century composers I can actually get into without getting out some kind of earplug. 8)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: DavidW on September 22, 2012, 03:58:02 PM
Coming September 25th ..




Finally!!  I can watch this opera, I will be ordering this, thanks James for the find! :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on November 15, 2012, 07:12:39 AM
An intriguing nugget of information tucked away in Ondine's recent Reger violin concerto issue:

Quote
In 2013, Ondine will release Ligeti’s violin concerto with Benjamin Schmid.

I can see Schmid doing particularly exciting things with this concerto (though Tetzlaff still needs to make a recording).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on November 29, 2012, 02:43:56 PM
Also on the Ligeti front, a new 2CD set with Patricia Kopatchinskaja playing the Ligeti violin concerto alongside Bartok's second and the first recording of Eotvos' recent violin concerto Seven.

The Guardian asked her to nominate her favourite 20th century work:

Quote
Ligeti's Violin Concerto is the best violin concerto after Beethoven. Ligeti is one of the most impressive figures of recent times. Like a scientist in a laboratory, he never did anything routinely, but for every single piece he invented new methods and solutions. While his fellow Hungarian Bartók used the eastern European folklore as material and inspiration, Ligeti uses anything he can find – for example, in the violin concerto there are several okarinas, instruments that are more than 10,000 years old. He wants them deliberately out-of-tune, which produces an exhilarating effect. He also uses elements of the Notre-Dame choir school of the 12th century, Hungarian folk melodies and complex Bulgarian rhythms. The orchestra consists of only two dozen musicians, but they do not provide just an accompaniment – everybody is challenged to their musical and technical limits, as is the soloist. This might sound very intellectual, but Ligeti is like a child at play, with humour, cheekiness and temper tantrums. And if everybody meets the challenge, this concerto becomes a big spaceship: complicated, luminous and nonsensical, taking off and flying to Neverland.

Perhaps a bit hyperbolic, but it is one hell of a piece IMO.

(Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/nov/29/rest-is-noise-festival-favourites )
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on November 29, 2012, 02:50:19 PM
I have that recent Kopatchinskaja set, and I love every minute of the set, except when she substitutes her own cadenza instead of using Gawriloff's excellent one, which appears in Ligeti's score, with his approval. Her cadenza seems to lose the spirit of the piece and doesn't really fit. Other than that, she does a masterful job with the work. Eötvös's conducting is great, also. Eötvös's own violin concerto 'Seven' is also a great work to listen to! I'm not sure if it's a major new violin concerto in the repertoire, but it has a lot of great moments, especially the frequent interactions between violin and the various forms of percussion he uses, not unlike Ligeti.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on November 29, 2012, 02:58:48 PM
(though Tetzlaff still needs to make a recording)

100% agree - why hasn't this happened already!

And thanks for the quote from Kopatchinskaja (new to me) about the piece. Yes, a bit over-the-top, but a joy to read comments from someone who adores the work so much. Not sure that I've thought about the "best violin concerto after Beethoven," but...hm... :-\...this one could be it.

I have that recent Kopatchinskaja set, and I love every minute of the set, except when she substitutes her own cadenza instead of using Gawriloff's excellent one, which appears in Ligeti's score, with his approval. Her cadenza seems to lose the spirit of the piece and doesn't really fit. Other than that, she does a masterful job with the work. Eötvös's conducting is great, also. Eötvös's own violin concerto 'Seven' is also a great work to listen to! I'm not sure if it's a major new violin concerto in the repertoire, but it has a lot of great moments, especially the frequent interactions between violin and the various forms of percussion he uses, not unlike Ligeti.

And thanks for that info, too (and on Eötvös, whose work I like, also). I'd actually be curious to hear her Ligeti cadenza, even if it doesn't quite work. In 2005 I heard Jennifer Koh do the piece (IIRC the only version I've heard other than Tetzlaff) and she used a new cadenza by John Zorn - recall liking it, but only heard it the single time. The Gawriloff sets a very high bar.

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on November 29, 2012, 04:33:52 PM
The Gawriloff sets a very high bar.
Agreed; it of course also has the advantage of being based at least partially on otherwise-unknown Ligeti (though I don't know exactly how much of it comes from the original first movement of the concerto).

There's at least one other cadenza, by Barnabas Keleman, written for when he gave the Hungarian premiere of the work (while still a student at the Franz Liszt Academy). I've heard him play the work with his own cadenza once--it's in some ways more conventional as it recaps the material from all five movements while also being less so as it includes the violinist singing in dialogue with his playing--and would be interested to hear a recording.

One thing I keep wondering is whether there are any bootlegs floating around of the original three-movement version of the concerto. It'd be interesting to hear what the rejected first movement sounds like (I've seen more than one review of the work complain that the replacement first movement was grossly inferior to the original).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: lescamil on November 29, 2012, 04:59:41 PM
it includes the violinist singing in dialogue with his playing--and would be interested to hear a recording.

This also occurs in Kopatchinskaja's cadenza, something which was a better part of the cadenza, but I thought it was unsuccessful overall as a cadenza.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Archaic Torso of Apollo on November 29, 2012, 08:36:31 PM
Re: cadenzas

I heard Tetzlaff play the VC in Carnegie Hall in 2000, and what I remember is that he based it on that long winding melody that appears in the second (I think) movement. The tune seems to be a favorite of Ligeti: he used it in Musica ricercata and in the woodwind 5tet arrangement of some of its sections. I was slightly disappointed when I then got Gawriloff's recording and didn't hear that tune at the end.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on April 21, 2013, 06:43:22 AM
Susteck is on a roll under Wergo .. Stockhausen, Rihm and now ..


composer: György Ligeti - Dominik Susteck
interpreter: Dominik Susteck
booklet writer: Ingo Dorfmüller
Dominik Susteck: organ

Although György Ligeti composed only three works for the organ – “Volumina”, “Harmonies“, and “Coulée” – these pieces mark significant stages in the course of his compositional development; more importantly, they revolutionized the world of organ music and provided the initial spark for an entire wave of New Music for the organ.

“Volumina” completely dispenses with the parameters normally used to structure time in a musical work, such as melody, rhythm, and harmony. The only active structural parameter in this music is the tone colour. The music is perceived more in a spatial than a temporal sense, with the title “Volumina” referring to differently dimensioned “stationary” sound spaces.

The two études “Harmonies“ and “Coulée” take up and vary the idea of a stationary sound space: „Harmonies“ unfolds as an unbroken chain of ten-note chords; only one note is changed from one chord to the next. The tone colour, however, changes more often, with almost imperceptible continuous transitions. “Coulée” is a chain of extremely fast quavers which describe a slow harmonic progression, giving it a kind of trembling and buzzing motion: “So that the individual notes can no longer be distinguished: the motion almost melts into a continuum.” (Ligeti)

In the eleven-movement piano cycle “Musica ricercata” Ligeti explores the possibilities of using the twelve chromatic semitones for composition: Starting with the repetition and octave transposition of a single note, each of the following pieces works with a tonal vocabulary expanded by one note each, with the intervallic relationships changing from piece to piece. One of the movements was arranged for the organ by Ligeti himself; the others have been arranged by the organist Dominik Susteck.

Susteck, who performed and recorded these works on the organ of Kunst-Station Sankt Peter in Cologne, also presents on this CD an original composition: his organ improvisations “Sprachsignale” which are inspired by Ligeti’s piece “Artikulation”.

coproduction with Deutschlandradio

Content:
György Ligeti
Musica ricercata per pianoforte (1951–53), arranged for organ by Dominik Susteck (2012)
Two Etudes for organ (1967/69)
Volumina for organ (1961/62, rev. 1966)


Dominik Susteck
Sprachsignale. Improvisations for organ (2012)

http://www.wergo.de/shop/resources/721135.pdf


What? Is it a cozy 39mins.???????
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on May 16, 2013, 02:47:59 PM
Concerto for Violincello
Double Concerto


Lontano
Ramifications
Chamber Symphony
Melodien


Actually, these two works are both in two contrasting movements. Though all the pieces share similar concerns, I thought I would concentrate on these two.

The CC is certainly the most modern sounding CC up to that point. The first movement is in Ligeti's 'slack' style, whilst the second is in his 'agitated' mode. There is some of the Feldman (to come later) feel in the way Ligeti milks the falling semi-tone, but, there is so much going on here, it certainly is more than just a simple concerto. It does remind one a bit of BA Zimmermann's latter CC, with stylistic clashes (no post-modern quotations here I think). The pieces ends with a grating feedback solo for the cello, a wonderful rock-n-roll moment. Except for Ligeti's penchant for dynamics so low I can't hear anything, this CC is a tonic for these weary modern ears.

The Double Concerto seemed very similar, but the voltage seems to simmer in the mid-range here. There is a bit of the Xenakis blending of tones, which, of course, Ligeti is ALSO known  for! I had a much harder time hearing the music here, and I really didn't want to turn it up too loud. I was perplexed by this piece's apparent aimlessness, even as it followed the earlier piece to a tee.

Anyhow, what do you think of these two pieces?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on June 07, 2013, 07:39:50 AM
The Keller Quartetts association with ECM has yielded outstanding recordings, among them Bachs Art of the Fugue, Shostakovichs String Quartet No. 15 and works by the ensembles mentor, Gyorgy Kurtag.

This newest release is another remarkable addition to the Budapest-based groups discography; the album bridges musical worlds in a way that would have been difficult to imagine just a few decades ago, as it juxtaposes works by two seeming antipodes of 20th-century music: American romanticist Samuel Barber (1910-81) and post-war Hungarian modernist Gyorgy Ligeti (1923-2006).

Ligetis two string quartets are bracing creations of the 1950s and 60s that like the quartets of his great precursor, Bartok are as mysterious as they are earthy. Between these two works appears the slow movement from Barbers String Quartet of 1936, a slice of tonal terra firma between the restlessly shifting, even dizzying sounds of the Ligeti. Barber later orchestrated this slow movement, turning it into his famous Adagio for Strings a work that, after its premiere by Toscanini in 1938, would serve as musical catharsis for occasions of great mourning. The aesthetic distance between Barber and Ligeti is compressed not only by the passing of time but by the keen interpretive perceptiveness of the Keller Quartett. The group finds common contours in these pieces, spirits that are kindred. Here, the Ligeti has an expressiveness that is moving; the Barber, played with sparing vibrato, sounds strangely unfamiliar, ghostly, unsettling.

The CD booklet for this album includes an insightful essay by Paul Griffiths. Underscoring the startling juxtaposition of the Ligeti and the Barber, he points out that the Romantic tradition was home for Barber, and home was for him a place to cherish. For Ligeti whose father and brother were murdered in Nazi concentration camps, and whose hometown of Budapest was the scene of a Soviet crackdown in 1956, the year he escaped to the West home was a place to leave, whether that home was geographical or musical.

This title will be released on July 23, 2013



"The Keller's next release will pair Stockhausen and Tchaikovsky."
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on June 07, 2013, 11:45:28 AM
Really odd choice; I don't see any way the two works can illuminate each other, particularly with them not even playing the whole Barber.

Given how good the Kellers' Kurtag disc was, it would've made a lot more sense to pair the Ligeti with the pieces for string quartet Kurtag's written since that disc was issued.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Pessoa on February 08, 2014, 05:26:49 AM
Yes. Síppal, dobbal, nádihegedüvel, which though not major Ligeti retains the imagination and magic of his best works.
How true, what a delightful work.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 12, 2014, 08:36:12 PM
Here's an interesting interview (in English!) with Ligeti:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNFq6HIlMEc
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEuUM6hAcDY
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 13, 2014, 12:26:55 PM
Here's an interesting interview (in English!) with Ligeti:
Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNFq6HIlMEc
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DEuUM6hAcDY

I've seen this interview before. I'd love just to have had 15 minutes talking with him. He seems like such a down-to-earth, mellow person.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 13, 2014, 07:37:19 PM
Yes, I agree. I feel similarly about Bartok, though there aren't too many good resources like these since he was earlier (a couple of radio interviews, I think).

For me, the pieces that really sum up his brilliance and diversity are

1. Clocks and Clouds
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SyO7c6U5dEw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3jcZy-HGH0

2. San Francisco Polyphony
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3IklGo9CQ5o
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uk8iDfB47g

3. Piano Concerto
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L5SJDLkE7Tg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiAmhiB2-fs

"San Francisco Polyphony" is such a great tone-poem of a colorful, vibrant, busy city. The first few minutes of the work give me the impression of watching the morning rush-hour from a second-story window of an apartment. He has these lyrical melodic figurations emerge from the crowd, only to pass on and fade back. This goes on for a bit -- and then the fog sets in...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 13, 2014, 07:39:56 PM
Yes, I agree. I feel similarly about Bartok, though there aren't too many good resources like these since he was earlier (a couple of radio interviews, I think).

For me, the pieces that really sum up his brilliance and diversity are

1. Clocks and Clouds
http://www.youtube.com/v/SyO7c6U5dEw http://www.youtube.com/v/-3jcZy-HGH0

2. San Francisco Polyphony
http://www.youtube.com/v/3IklGo9CQ5o http://www.youtube.com/v/6uk8iDfB47g

3. Piano Concerto
http://www.youtube.com/v/L5SJDLkE7Tg http://www.youtube.com/v/LiAmhiB2-fs

"San Francisco Polyphony" is such a great tone-poem of a colorful, vibrant, busy city. The first few minutes of the work give me the impression of watching the morning rush-hour from a second-story window of an apartment. He has these lyrical melodic figurations emerge from the crowd, only to pass on and fade back. This goes on for a bit -- and then the fog sets in...

There we go. Now people can view the videos. :D All you have to do is replace the = with a / and delete watch? within the link.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 13, 2014, 07:43:20 PM
Oh, cool! I already edited the post just to include the links, but thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 13, 2014, 07:43:27 PM
BTW, Bartok is another one of my heroes. Incredible composer. I would have loved to speak with him as well. Also, all of those Ligeti works you linked are top-notch. Love each of them. That Ligeti Project Warner box set is still one of my most cherished musical possessions.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 13, 2014, 07:45:06 PM
Oh, cool! I already edited the post just to include the links, but thanks for the tip!

You're welcome! By the way, it's great seeing another Ravel fan around here.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 13, 2014, 08:13:38 PM
You know, I read Toop's biography of Ligeti (from a series on 20th-century composers) and I was very upset to find out that Ligeti wasn't too fond of Ravel (preferring Debussy). Then, of course, there's the whole thing with Ravel being a huge fan of Mozart, who I really dislike in general (I think this is the point where I get blacklisted from the forums, right?). I guess it just goes to show you that even the "greats" have preferences.

Bartok was my first favorite composer, along with Mendelssohn. Once I discovered Ligeti, I really opened up to the idea of music without straightforward melody (i.e. music emphasizing texture, timbre, and harmony). This also led me to appreciate other composers much more (i.e. Debussy) and with a different perspective.

I like both the Ligeti Project and the "Clear or Cloudy" set. I was always mad that "Clear or Cloudy" didn't have "Clocks and Clouds" (I bought it because I thought that the title implied it, haha). It has so much great music on it that I could hardly feel ripped-off, though. Plus, it has some awesome album art (right up there with the cover of the legendary Reiner recording of Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra):

(http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/imgs/s300x300/4776443.jpg)

"Clocks and Clouds" was his first piece I heard. I even asked for (and received) a copy of the conductor's score for Christmas last year. It is not published as a study score, but Schott sold my parents the full rental-set score. For me, this is probably my most cherished musical possession.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: kishnevi on February 13, 2014, 08:22:53 PM
You know, I read Toop's biography of Ligeti (from a series on 20th-century composers) and I was very upset to find out that Ligeti wasn't too fond of Ravel (preferring Debussy). Then, of course, there's the whole thing with Ravel being a huge fan of Mozart, who I really dislike in general (I think this is the point where I get blacklisted from the forums, right?). I guess it just goes to show you that even the "greats" have preferences.

Bartok was my first favorite composer, along with Mendelssohn. Once I discovered Ligeti, I really opened up to the idea of music without straightforward melody (i.e. music emphasizing texture, timbre, and harmony). This also led me to appreciate other composers much more (i.e. Debussy) and with a different perspective.

I like both the Ligeti Project and the "Clear or Cloudy" set. I was always mad that "Clear or Cloudy" didn't have "Clocks and Clouds" (I bought it because I thought that the title implied it, haha). It has so much great music on it that I could hardly feel ripped-off, though. Plus, it has some awesome album art (right up there with the cover of the legendary Reiner recording of Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra):

(http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/imgs/s300x300/4776443.jpg)

"Clocks and Clouds" was his first piece I heard. I even asked for (and received) a copy of the conductor's score for Christmas last year. It is not published as a study score, but Schott sold my parents the full rental-set score. For me, this is probably my most cherished musical possession.

Well,  I too prefer Debussy to Ravel,  but I also like Mozart.  So there   :P
I've had the Warner Ligeti Project box for several years;  I can't say I like any of the music there.  I have a problem with the orchestral works of many 20th century composers, and like several of them (Carter is another good example) I have a much easier time with Ligeti's works for smaller ensembles;  I've loved the Piano Etudes and the String Quartets from the moment I first heard them.  One reason why I decided to go for the Sony box now, which seems to be already going out of print.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 13, 2014, 08:26:50 PM
You know, I read Toop's biography of Ligeti (from a series on 20th-century composers) and I was very upset to find out that Ligeti wasn't too fond of Ravel (preferring Debussy). Then, of course, there's the whole thing with Ravel being a huge fan of Mozart, who I really dislike in general (I think this is the point where I get blacklisted from the forums, right?). I guess it just goes to show you that even the "greats" have preferences.

Bartok was my first favorite composer, along with Mendelssohn. Once I discovered Ligeti, I really opened up to the idea of music without straightforward melody (i.e. music emphasizing texture, timbre, and harmony). This also led me to appreciate other composers much more (i.e. Debussy) and with a different perspective.

I like both the Ligeti Project and the "Clear or Cloudy" set. I was always mad that "Clear or Cloudy" didn't have "Clocks and Clouds" (I bought it because I thought that the title implied it, haha). It has so much great music on it that I could hardly feel ripped-off, though. Plus, it has some awesome album art (right up there with the cover of the legendary Reiner recording of Bartok's "Concerto for Orchestra):

(http://www.deutschegrammophon.com/imgs/s300x300/4776443.jpg)

"Clocks and Clouds" was his first piece I heard. I even asked for (and received) a copy of the conductor's score for Christmas last year. It is not published as a study score, but Schott sold my parents the full rental-set score. For me, this is probably my most cherished musical possession.

I need to revisit that Clear or Cloudy set on DG. I remember enjoying it but not as much as the Warner set. Don't worry I'm not a big Mozart fan either, but I'm definitely not going to turning this into a Mozart bash fest as this just isn't my style. He has too many admirers and a secured place in history to really say anything disparaging about him. Anyway, I hear you with texture, timbre, and harmony. I'm really into these aspects of music as well. Have you listened to any Scelsi? You may or may not be ready for him, but do check him out at some point. Also, have checked out any Dutilleux? He's another composer I think would be right up your alley since you enjoy Ligeti.

Clocks & Clouds is an incredible piece of music. Completely mesmerizing. I love it. The first work by Ligeti I heard was Melodien and I knew after that initial listen I was in for many more pleasant surprises. 8)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 13, 2014, 08:40:14 PM
Well,  I too prefer Debussy to Ravel,  but I also like Mozart.  So there   :P
I've had the Warner Ligeti Project box for several years;  I can't say I like any of the music there.  I have a problem with the orchestral works of many 20th century composers, and like several of them (Carter is another good example) I have a much easier time with Ligeti's works for smaller ensembles;  I've loved the Piano Etudes and the String Quartets from the moment I first heard them.  One reason why I decided to go for the Sony box now, which seems to be already going out of print.



Interestingly, I usually am the opposite. I have more trouble with 20th-century chamber music and I prefer the sound of the 20th-century orchestra. I still don't understand Ligeti's 2nd String Quartet. I like his 1st String Quartet, but that doesn't really count so much since it is very reminiscent of Bartok (ironically, I've only warmed up to the third out of all six of Bartok's quartets and Bartok is my favorite composer).

I need to revisit that Clear or Cloudy set on DG. I remember enjoying it but not as much as the Warner set. Don't worry I'm not a big Mozart fan either, but I'm definitely not going to turning this into a Mozart bash fest as this just isn't my style. He has too many admirers and a secured place in history to really say anything disparaging about him. Anyway, I hear you with texture, timbre, and harmony. I'm really into these aspects of music as well. Have you listened to any Scelsi? You may or may not be ready for him, but do check him out at some point. Also, have checked out any Dutilleux? He's another composer I think would be right up your alley since you enjoy Ligeti.

Clocks & Clouds is an incredible piece of music. Completely mesmerizing. I love it. The first work by Ligeti I heard was Melodien and I knew after that initial listen I was in for many more pleasant surprises. 8)

I've heard the names of both Dutilleux and Scelsi, but I don't know specific works. Any recommendations?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 13, 2014, 08:44:44 PM

I've heard the names of both Dutilleux and Scelsi, but I don't know specific works. Any recommendations?

I suggest ALL of Dutilleux's and Scelsi's orchestral works. :) But to get specific, first check out this work by Scelsi:

http://www.youtube.com/v/H__4F3t4IxE

I love this work and I wish I could tell you why. :) I suppose it's just the whole textural, atmospheric aspect of the work that I love. If you like this then do check out more of Scelsi.

For Dutilleux, it's always hard to beat Symphony No. 2 'Le double':

http://www.youtube.com/v/4jm6CKA6RRs

I hope you enjoy them.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: North Star on February 13, 2014, 10:07:28 PM
Well,  I too prefer Debussy to Ravel,  but I also like Mozart.  So there   :P
I've had the Warner Ligeti Project box for several years;  I can't say I like any of the music there.  I have a problem with the orchestral works of many 20th century composers, and like several of them (Carter is another good example) I have a much easier time with Ligeti's works for smaller ensembles;  I've loved the Piano Etudes and the String Quartets from the moment I first heard them.  One reason why I decided to go for the Sony box now, which seems to be already going out of print.
I own that Piano Etudes disc, and love it too. I'd certainly want to get the whole box at some point. But then again I like the Warner Ligeti Project set just fine, too.

You know, I read Toop's biography of Ligeti (from a series on 20th-century composers) and I was very upset to find out that Ligeti wasn't too fond of Ravel (preferring Debussy). Then, of course, there's the whole thing with Ravel being a huge fan of Mozart, who I really dislike in general (I think this is the point where I get blacklisted from the forums, right?). I guess it just goes to show you that even the "greats" have preferences.

Bartok was my first favorite composer, along with Mendelssohn. Once I discovered Ligeti, I really opened up to the idea of music without straightforward melody (i.e. music emphasizing texture, timbre, and harmony). This also led me to appreciate other composers much more (i.e. Debussy) and with a different perspective.
I'm not too big on people who don't like Mozart, but that wouldn't matter, if only you'd prefer Ravel over Debussy.  ;)
The "greats" are quite often the ones with the strongest and most peculiar preferences indeed, but that usually has sth to do with them being artist with their own goals.

I suggest ALL of Dutilleux's and Scelsi's orchestral works. :) But to get specific, first check out this work by Scelsi:

I love this work and I wish I could tell you why. :) I suppose it's just the whole textural, atmospheric aspect of the work that I love. If you like this then do check out more of Scelsi.

For Dutilleux, it's always hard to beat Symphony No. 2 'Le double':
+1 to both.

And the SQ Ainsi la nuit, too!   Here be the Dutilleux thread (http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,96.0.html)
http://www.youtube.com/v/KhfESb2OG2E&
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Pessoa on February 15, 2014, 04:07:28 AM
Coming September 25th ..




I was watching this last night, subtlited in Catalan as shown on a local TV channel. Music, singing,staging, film editing... I deeply enjoyed it. As for the moral of the story (it seems there was one, as sung as a conclusion at he end of the opera), I found it hackeneyed and unnecessary ( enjoy life while we are at it? never heard or thought of that before. :-\), an intellectual letdown in an overall delicious experience.
Although, on second thoughts, that is ok in the medieval tradition of dances of death...
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 15, 2014, 11:22:59 AM
I'm not too big on people who don't like Mozart, but that wouldn't matter, if only you'd prefer Ravel over Debussy.  ;)
The "greats" are quite often the ones with the strongest and most peculiar preferences indeed, but that usually has sth to do with them being artist with their own goals.
Actually, I do prefer Ravel over Debussy. I tend to connect more with Ravel's music for some reason, though I do love Debussy's orchestral music like "La Mer", "Trois Nocturnes", and especially "Jeux". Forget about the silly plot with boy playing tennis and getting distracted by two girls dancing in the bushes -- "Jeux" is a near-perfect score for a Tom and Jerry cartoon, in my mind. Also, I don't know why people (myself included) group Ravel and Debussy together so frequently. Other than being French and living in the early 1900s, I don't see that they're all that similar. I'm certainly not trying to argue that they're worlds apart, but they don't seem to be as similar as people like to think. It seems to me that Ravel's music is far more varied, though I'm sure that this is quite debatable. Concerning Mozart, I'd never argue that he wrote bad music (whatever this might mean). It's just not for me, that's all.

I suggest ALL of Dutilleux's and Scelsi's orchestral works. :) But to get specific, first check out this work by Scelsi:

http://www.youtube.com/v/H__4F3t4IxE

I love this work and I wish I could tell you why. :) I suppose it's just the whole textural, atmospheric aspect of the work that I love. If you like this then do check out more of Scelsi.

For Dutilleux, it's always hard to beat Symphony No. 2 'Le double':

http://www.youtube.com/v/4jm6CKA6RRs

I hope you enjoy them.

So, I didn't quite get the Scelsi, but I'll be sure to revisit him from time to time. It reminded me a little bit of early Penderecki (who I kind of like, or at least respect greatly), but somewhat more subdued. At least, that was my first impression. I liked the Dutilleux "Symphony No. 2", but I also listened to his "Symphony No. 1" which I really liked a lot.

I was watching this last night, subtlited in Catalan as shown on a local TV channel. Music, singing,staging, film editing... I deeply enjoyed it. As for the moral of the story (it seems there was one, as sung as a conclusion at he end of the opera), I found it hackeneyed and unnecessary ( enjoy life while we are at it? never heard or thought of that before. :-\), an intellectual letdown in an overall delicious experience.
Although, on second thoughts, that is ok in the medieval tradition of dances of death...
I saw "Le Grand Macabre" on YouTube. I can't say that I enjoyed most of it (opera doesn't do much for me), but I love the three arias arranged under the title "Mysteries of the Macabre". There is a version for trumpet (in C) and piano. I have a friend who is quite remarkable at the piano and we performed this last year in college. Since I play violin and not the trumpet, I played the trumpet part on violin. I suspect that it's far easier on violin than on trumpet because the part wasn't hard to learn and I'm not that great at violin (putting it together, however, was extremely difficult -- fast 11/8 + 7/8 time for large sections). To make it more "authentic", we went back to the score of the opera and included several miscellaneous percussion instruments (bongos, temple blocks, slapstick, maracas, police and train whistles). It was a blast.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 27, 2014, 04:54:22 PM
Does anyone here understand/appreciate/enjoy Ligeti's "Cello Concerto"? I never could make this work out. I've listened to it several times (with and without the score in hand) and I actually don't think that it sounds very good. I mean, the first movement is okay; to me it is similar in principle to "Lontano", but nowhere near as interesting. The second movement just sounds, well, like random notes. Especially in the second half. I'm not sure if the problem is with me or if it is generally considered to be a weaker piece of his. It reminds me of the "Aventures" and "Nouvelle Aventures" without the three voices.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on February 27, 2014, 05:19:07 PM
Does anyone here understand/appreciate/enjoy Ligeti's "Cello Concerto"? I never could make this work out. I've listened to it several times (with and without the score in hand) and I actually don't think that it sounds very good. I mean, the first movement is okay; to me it is similar in principle to "Lontano", but nowhere near as interesting. The second movement just sounds, well, like random notes. Especially in the second half. I'm not sure if the problem is with me or if it is generally considered to be a weaker piece of his. It reminds me of the "Aventures" and "Nouvelle Aventures" without the three voices.
It's definitely a work that, if it has any sort of unity, finds it in diversity. As you note, the first movement--which I find very beautiful--is a clear example of Ligeti's cluster style, albeit with an unexpectedly simple and obvious process behind it: music beginning in the alto register and extending both down and up, as the sounds in the alto register fall away to leave the solo cello floating far above the double basses.

This had apparently originally been intended as the first section of a single-movement work, but had expanded to last nearly half the work's duration; the second movement is the remaining twenty-something-odd segments of the original design and could be (very loosely) regarded as a variation set. In its eclecticism and rapid mood switches it reminds me somewhat of the Dies Irae from the Requiem, though Aventures and Nouvelle Aventures are probably good parallels too. (I've not listened to them in a long time as they're amongst the rare Ligeti works I do not particularly enjoy.)

Overall, I would struggle to regard the work as of a comparable quality to the Requiem or Lontano, to note the orchestral works that came before and after it. I'd probably still prefer it to some of the lesser works of the period such as Ramifications and the Double Concerto.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: kishnevi on February 27, 2014, 07:33:44 PM
Quick question:
I know have both the Warner "Ligeti Project" and Sony "Ligeti Edition" boxes. 

I vaguely remember a reference to a recording of Book III of the Etudes containing material not recorded by Aimard, and therefore not in the Sony box.  Is there anything else by Ligeti not represented in some form or other in or another of the two sets.  I'm not referring to, eg, the first version of Le Grand Macabre (the Sony box includes the--more or less-final version)--that is, not to works from which two or more versions issued from Ligeti's pen, but to works not included at all.

And if someone could point again to that recording of Book III I would appreciate it.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: North Star on February 27, 2014, 07:43:51 PM
Here's a recording of all the Books:

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: kishnevi on February 27, 2014, 08:01:23 PM
Thanks, I've wishlisted it for the present.   

One can only hopes that no one ever refers to this recording as the "the Etudes from Hell".  >:D
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on February 27, 2014, 08:09:49 PM
Quick question:
I know have both the Warner "Ligeti Project" and Sony "Ligeti Edition" boxes. 

I vaguely remember a reference to a recording of Book III of the Etudes containing material not recorded by Aimard, and therefore not in the Sony box.  Is there anything else by Ligeti not represented in some form or other in or another of the two sets.  I'm not referring to, eg, the first version of Le Grand Macabre (the Sony box includes the--more or less-final version)--that is, not to works from which two or more versions issued from Ligeti's pen, but to works not included at all.

And if someone could point again to that recording of Book III I would appreciate it.
The late '50s electronic piece Glissandi never appeared in either the Warner or Sony productions. It did appear on this Wergo disc:



The last three etudes in book 3 also: Aimard recorded them (without the first. for some reason) here:



As well as Hell, there are other recordings of book 3 that are complete: Ullen's 2CD set may be as good an option as any: his book 3 is rather rushed but the set comes with some obscurities, such as a withdrawn etude from Book 2 and a musically negligible parody of 4'33". I couldn't find an Amazon link to the CD edition, but I know it exists as my copy's almost within arm's reach right now. :)

Be aware that some "complete etudes" aren't quite complete: for example Toros Can's went to print with one etude as yet unwritten.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: kishnevi on February 27, 2014, 08:45:41 PM
Again, they've been wishlisted, with thanks. 

I was going to say that Aimard didn't include the first etude of Book III on that CD because he had already done it for the CD that is now in the Sony box--until I noticed the CD includes some etudes from Book II, which fact boots my idea out the window....

I take it the Ullen CDs are these ones here (links should work even if the images don't show)




(I guess the Amazon search engine knows better than to displease Oz the Great and Powerful.)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 27, 2014, 08:46:30 PM
Thanks, I've wishlisted it for the present.   

One can only hopes that no one ever refers to this recording as the "the Etudes from Hell".  >:D
Haha, they are the etudes from hell. "Fanfares" is a b**** to learn (and deceiving, since the first 2-3 pages are fairly simple). Then again, I'm a mediocre, untrained pianist. I would never be able to learn this up to performance standards, or even close.

By the way, I found book 3 to be less inspired and less creative overall compared to 1+2. Understandable though, considering Ligeti's health was failing.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Joaquimhock on February 28, 2014, 05:45:21 AM
Quick question:
I know have both the Warner "Ligeti Project" and Sony "Ligeti Edition" boxes. 

I vaguely remember a reference to a recording of Book III of the Etudes containing material not recorded by Aimard, and therefore not in the Sony box.  Is there anything else by Ligeti not represented in some form or other in or another of the two sets.  I'm not referring to, eg, the first version of Le Grand Macabre (the Sony box includes the--more or less-final version)--that is, not to works from which two or more versions issued from Ligeti's pen, but to works not included at all.

And if someone could point again to that recording of Book III I would appreciate it.

There is also a piece influenced by Fluxus artistic movement called "Fragment" for cbsn - bass tbn, cb.tbn - perc - hp, cem, pno - 3 cb

http://www.universaledition.com/Fragment-for-chamber-orchestra-Gyoergy-Ligeti/composers-and-works/composer/430/work/2532

It has been recorded and it exists on a very rare CD of an Austrian festival. Ligeti said it was just a joke and it is certainly not one of his masterpieces, but it is however interesting to hear it. Very few notes during almost 6 minutes... In the same style than Aventures/Nouvelles Aventures.

And there are many juvenilia somewhere in the Sacher foundation archives...

As far as I know no unpublished works appeared after his death... I wonder if it will happen one day. All great composers leave somthing unheard.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on February 28, 2014, 06:27:24 AM
I take it the Ullen CDs are these ones here (links should work even if the images don't show)
This looks like the complete Ullen recording as a 2CD set:


For some reason, searching on amazon.com didn't turn it up: I had to look it up on the UK version first.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 28, 2014, 06:32:10 AM
There is also a piece influenced by Fluxus artistic movement called "Fragment" for cbsn - bass tbn, cb.tbn - perc - hp, cem, pno - 3 cb

http://www.universaledition.com/Fragment-for-chamber-orchestra-Gyoergy-Ligeti/composers-and-works/composer/430/work/2532

It has been recorded and it exists on a very rare CD of an Austrian festival. Ligeti said it was just a joke and it is certainly not one of his masterpieces, but it is however interesting to hear it. Very few notes during almost 6 minutes... In the same style than Aventures/Nouvelles Aventures.

And there are many juvenilia somewhere in the Sacher foundation archives...

As far as I know no unpublished works appeared after his death... I wonder if it will happen one day. All great composers leave somthing unheard.
Yes, I've always wanted to hear this piece "Fragment" so much even though he didn't seem very happy with it. I've heard the short sample the publisher's site, but not all of the piece. It was written for a birthday of Alfred Schlee, who held a high position at Universal Edition. Schlee had little interest in Ligeti's music and was much more interested in the serialism of Boulez and Stockhausen. The notes that Ligeti uses partly (as best he could) spell out the name "S-C-H-L-E-E" using German note names (Like DSCH or BACH). UE composers were urged to write a birthday gift for Schlee and I think that "Fragment" is supposed to be subversive in the sense that he didn't get along well with him. This is why the only three pieces that are published with UE are "Apparitions", "Atmospheres", and "Fragment" -- all far from his best work in my opinion. Of course, "Atmospheres" gained popularity due to Stanley Kubrick so I'm sure that UE makes plenty of royalties from this alone since it is performed so often. While a pivotal composition, I still think that it is a kind of musical prototype -- micropolyphony in its early stages, though most people will vehemently disagree with me I'm sure.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on February 28, 2014, 08:48:50 AM
The late '50s electronic piece Glissandi never appeared in either the Warner or Sony productions. It did appear on this Wergo disc:



The last three etudes in book 3 also: Aimard recorded them (without the first. for some reason) here:



As well as Hell, there are other recordings of book 3 that are complete: Ullen's 2CD set may be as good an option as any: his book 3 is rather rushed but the set comes with some obscurities, such as a withdrawn etude from Book 2 and a musically negligible parody of 4'33". I couldn't find an Amazon link to the CD edition, but I know it exists as my copy's almost within arm's reach right now. :)

Be aware that some "complete etudes" aren't quite complete: for example Toros Can's went to print with one etude as yet unwritten.

Don't I have that Erato/Boulez disc with Donatoni and Ligeti which has Aimard playing some of the 3rd Book? or.....
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: kishnevi on February 28, 2014, 11:33:57 AM
This looks like the complete Ullen recording as a 2CD set:


For some reason, searching on amazon.com didn't turn it up: I had to look it up on the UK version first.

Interesting that the two individual releases are available on Amazon MP, even if not exactly cheap, while the set is completely unavailable at both Amazon US and Amazon UK.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 28, 2014, 06:18:27 PM
How about Ligeti's Requiem? Is this a cool work or what? 8) I own two performances. One on Wergo with Gielen I believe (?) and the other included in the Ligeti Project set with Reinbert de Leeuw.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: springrite on February 28, 2014, 06:21:54 PM
How about Ligeti's Requiem? Is this a cool work or what? 8) I own two performances. One on Wergo with Gielen I believe (?) and the other included in the Ligeti Project set with Reinbert de Leeuw.

One of the coolest work I know!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on February 28, 2014, 06:24:29 PM
One of the coolest work I know!

It certainly is, Paul. I remember when I first heard. It just completely mesmerized me. The textures and sonorities are just out of this world.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on February 28, 2014, 08:43:21 PM
One of the coolest work I know!
This one took me a while to warm up to (especially the 3rd movement), but there was a point where I just "let" the music be terrifying, if that makes sense, and I understand it in the context of this emotion. The American Symphony Orchestra is playing this work in NYC in December. I plan on going just for that!

P.S. The page from hell from the etude from hell:
(https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/5a7ag4d4l8s2stz/Hell.JPG)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on April 07, 2014, 12:08:01 PM
Has anyone heard of this series "Musik in Deutschland"? It has "Clocks and Clouds" on it, though not near the quality of the Ligeti Project recording (not necessarily because of the orchestra, but because it sounds like a live performance). I got it last year on interlibrary loan from my university's library.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DVWkaw0dL._.jpg)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: petrarch on April 09, 2014, 09:47:57 AM
Has anyone heard of this series "Musik in Deutschland"? It has "Clocks and Clouds" on it, though not near the quality of the Ligeti Project recording (not necessarily because of the orchestra, but because it sounds like a live performance). I got it last year on interlibrary loan from my university's library.
(http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51DVWkaw0dL._.jpg)

Yes, there are quite a few interesting recordings in that series, making it quite worthwhile.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: milk on April 20, 2014, 02:28:40 AM
Today I acquired "The Ligeti Project" to introduce myself to this music. I came to this via the Morton Feldman thread. I'm going to use Feldman as a point of reference here - realizing that this is limited and questionable. Just first impressions here: I think that, while Feldman's music is more about the natural world and takes an almost scientific and, perhaps, Zen-like (whether or not Feldman himself cared about Zen or not) approach to music, Ligeti is about the "tremendum," the divine and the horrific. While I sometimes picture the nature channel when listening to Feldman, I can see why Kubric was attracted to Ligeti. Anyway, I think I'm going to like this music. It excited me right away. I don't know why I am so hit or miss, and more often than not miss, with modern/contemporary music. I already feel like Ligeti has something to say to me.

*and thanks to EigenUser for being persistent in steering me over this way. GMG users consistently enrich my life!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on April 20, 2014, 05:27:00 AM
Today I acquired "The Ligeti Project" to introduce myself to this music. I came to this via the Morton Feldman thread. I'm going to use Feldman as a point of reference here - realizing that this is limited and questionable. Just first impressions here: I think that, while Feldman's music is more about the natural world and takes an almost scientific and, perhaps, Zen-like (whether or not Feldman himself cared about Zen or not) approach to music, Ligeti is about the "tremendum," the divine and the horrific. While I sometimes picture the nature channel when listening to Feldman, I can see why Kubric was attracted to Ligeti. Anyway, I think I'm going to like this music. It excited me right away. I don't know why I am so hit or miss, and more often than not miss, with modern/contemporary music. I already feel like Ligeti has something to say to me.

*and thanks to EigenUser for being persistent in steering me over this way. GMG users consistently enrich my life!
Believe me -- no problem! Your posts on Feldman's thread have likewise implored me to explore his music further which is nice because I tend to get "stuck" on pieces that I like and stop looking for more (which, of course, is a shame because there are likely many more things that I'd like).

There is still some Ligeti that I have trouble with -- the cello concerto, the 2nd string quartet, the "Aventures", and that god-awful organ piece "Volumina" (sorry guys :-\ , I had to say it) -- to name a few. It took me a while to warm up to the chamber concerto, though I do love that piece now.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on May 07, 2014, 04:54:09 AM
Oh boy, am I a happy camper! I just came across this high-quality video performance of Ligeti's "Clocks and Clouds" by the Bamberger Symphoniker. I'm saving it for this afternoon. I can't wait!!! I think that it only up for a limited time, though.
http://www.philharmonie.tv/veranstaltung/10/
Also included are "Lux Aeterna" and the early "Apparitions" (his first 'avant-garde' work). Not a favorite, but interesting to see, nonetheless. They also play Honegger's cool tone-poem "Pacific 2-3-1" and Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring".
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on May 07, 2014, 09:22:00 AM
Another release of those fabulous SQs which are currently (rightfully) all the rage with performers & labels ..


This disc brings together the string quartets of György Ligeti, who died in 2006. They are played by the Bela Quartet, quite young yet already past masters in the interpretation of this music and especially appreciated for their work of precision and refinement, commitment, homogeneity and musicality. In their playing, energy and subtlety alternate constantly in an ongoing search for colours, harmonies, rhythms and contrasts. These two works of rare intensity, sometimes blazing brilliantly, allow for understanding how Ligeti's music, regardless of its complexity and rigour, can nonetheless appeal to a very broad public. Here, creation and daring are constant.


all 39 minutes on one cd? impossible!!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on May 07, 2014, 09:27:51 AM
all 39 minutes on one cd? impossible!!

Must be one of those extra-high-capacity CDs!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on May 08, 2014, 04:28:08 PM
Oh boy, am I a happy camper! I just came across this high-quality video performance of Ligeti's "Clocks and Clouds" by the Bamberger Symphoniker. I'm saving it for this afternoon. I can't wait!!! I think that it only up for a limited time, though.
http://www.philharmonie.tv/veranstaltung/10/
Also included are "Lux Aeterna" and the early "Apparitions" (his first 'avant-garde' work). Not a favorite, but interesting to see, nonetheless. They also play Honegger's cool tone-poem "Pacific 2-3-1" and Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring".
Saw half of this yesterday. Great energetic performance of the Honegger. "Clocks and Clouds" came out wonderfully, except the chorus sounded like they were saying "Ta guelle" over and over at one point, which is a very bad way of telling someone to shut up in French.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ken B on May 08, 2014, 05:23:14 PM
Saw half of this yesterday. Great energetic performance of the Honegger. "Clocks and Clouds" came out wonderfully, except the chorus sounded like they were saying "Ta guelle" over and over at one point, which is a very bad way of telling someone to shut up in French.
Ah, those are audience noises. Always a problem with live performances.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on May 08, 2014, 05:29:20 PM
Ah, those are audience noises. Always a problem with live performances.
Well I certainly walked right into that one, didn't I?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on May 25, 2014, 11:38:38 AM
New BBC Radio 3 special on Ligeti -- a week left to listen.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b043wpvd
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on May 25, 2014, 11:50:15 AM
New BBC Radio 3 special on Ligeti -- a week left to listen.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b043wpvd
Thanks... this looks interesting. Louise Duchesneau and Lukas Ligeti might be the two people best positioned to talk about his late music.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on May 25, 2014, 12:30:50 PM
Thanks... this looks interesting. Louise Duchesneau and Lukas Ligeti might be the two people best positioned to talk about his late music.
It was interesting. I didn't learn many new things, but I enjoyed the interviews. That train story was horrifying.

And I loved Ligeti's "real" interpretation of the 4th movement from his PC (as opposed to the common fractal explanation). Made me laugh.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on May 27, 2014, 04:34:55 PM
Tomorrow (May 28th) is going to be Gyorgy Ligeti's 91st birthday! That one's easy for me to remember since it is coincident with my grandfather's birthday. In fact, out of my three favorite composers, Ravel is the only one who's birthday I can't remember since it doesn't fall on a day that is significant to me.

One of the main themes in the fourth movement of his piano concerto is strikingly similar to "Happy Birthday", by the way (Ken, I'm still trying to find "Hey Jude" in the Requiem... ;)). I'm not kidding -- see for yourselves. It's played most obviously and "plainly" at 4:22 in the video.
http://www.youtube.com/v/LiAmhiB2-fs
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ken B on May 27, 2014, 04:53:26 PM
Tomorrow (May 28th) is going to be Gyorgy Ligeti's 91st birthday! That one's easy for me to remember since it is coincident with my grandfather's birthday. In fact, out of my three favorite composers, Ravel is the only one who's birthday I can't remember since it doesn't fall on a day that is significant to me.

One of the main themes in the fourth movement of his piano concerto is strikingly similar to "Happy Birthday", by the way (Ken, I'm still trying to find "Hey Jude" in the Requiem... ;)). I'm not kidding -- see for yourselves. It's played most obviously and "plainly" at 4:22 in the video.
http://www.youtube.com/v/LiAmhiB2-fs
Trap! Trap!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on June 04, 2014, 02:35:17 AM
Here is a 2-minute clip from an interesting interview with Ligeti's assistant Louise Duchesneau (from a BBC Sunday special). She talks about how the fourth movement of the piano concerto is not just associated with fractals (as commonly thought), but also his love of the Marx Brothers.
           
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: 71 dB on September 20, 2014, 07:16:19 AM
Having now listened to the Teldec 5 CD Ligeti boxset "The Ligeti Project", I have to say Ligeti has been a surprise for me. I never realised he is this excentric, crazy and versatile composer. The boxset sounds as if it contained music from 10 different composers. The only common thing of the compositions is weirdness. Ligeti goes from traditional to futuristic, from organic to mechanical, from sane to insane. Ligeti is the Aphex Twin of classical music (or the other way around - Aphex Twin is the Ligeti of electronic music).

'Aventures, Nouvelles Aventures' is among the most insane pieces of music I have heard in my life and I have heard some crazy stuff (such as 'Trip to the Moon' by Acen).

The boxset was such an injection of excentricity. After listening to it trought I feel like wanting to hear something "normal" for now. Corelli's Op. 6 or something like that...

I simply can't comment on how much I like Ligeti, but he is interesting for sure!  :o
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on September 20, 2014, 07:22:44 AM
Having now listened to the Teldec 5 CD Ligeti boxset "The Ligeti Project", I have to say Ligeti has been a surprise for me. I never realised he is this excentric, crazy and versatile composer. The boxset sounds as if it contained music from 10 different composers. The only common thing of the compositions is weirdness. Ligeti goes from traditional to futuristic, from organic to mechanical, from sane to insane. Ligeti is the Aphex Twin of classical music (or the other way around - Aphex Twin is the Ligeti of electronic music).

'Aventures, Nouvelles Aventures' is among the most insane pieces of music I have heard in my life and I have heard some crazy stuff (such as 'Trip to the Moon' by Acen).

The boxset was such an injection of excentricity. After listening to it trought I feel like wanting to hear something "normal" for now. Corelli's Op. 6 or something like that...

I simply can't comment on how much I like Ligeti, but he is interesting for sure!  :o

Yes, there is absolutely a wide variety in his music. The more you get to know it, though, the more common threads you will find between pieces that don't even remotely seem related.

The boxset was such an injection of excentricity. After listening to it trought I feel like wanting to hear something "normal" for now. Corelli's Op. 6 or something like that...
That's just what your ears and mind want you to think :D.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: kishnevi on September 25, 2014, 06:01:04 PM
Is there actually only one recording of the Hamburg Concerto?  Amazon and Arkivmusic both say so, and I am hoping they are wrong, as I don't seem to go for the one in the Warner box (de Leeuw/Asko Ensemble), and am wondering if its the performance or the music at fault.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 25, 2014, 06:06:19 PM
I like the Hamburg Concerto, Jeffrey, but I believe this Teldec performance is the only one available of it.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: 71 dB on September 25, 2014, 10:33:02 PM
Aimard's Ligeti Piano CD on Sony came yesterday. Listened to it one time. Pretty incomprehensible to me at this point.  :D

I also received the Boulez conducts Ligeti CD. I think I have enough Ligeti for now.

Ligeti is a monster. But wait until you explore Karlheinz Stockhausen (http://www.stockhausencds.com/) seriously .. oh boy, look out.

Stockhausen seems difficult to explore. No cheap boxes available. I didn't even find the 'Oktophonie' anywhere.  ::)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on September 26, 2014, 12:20:45 AM
Is there actually only one recording of the Hamburg Concerto?  Amazon and Arkivmusic both say so, and I am hoping they are wrong, as I don't seem to go for the one in the Warner box (de Leeuw/Asko Ensemble), and am wondering if its the performance or the music at fault.
Yes, there is only one recording. It is a great little piece. Especially the third movement.

Keep in mind that it was only composed in 1999 (and revised in 2003, three years before Ligeti's death) so it isn't yet a cause for concern. The BPO is playing it this season and it has apparently been taken up by a few horn players. Ligeti's publisher Schott is creating a horn/piano reduction* of the work, which will also help garner attention.

*In case anyone isn't familiar with this, a solo/piano reduction is just a way for soloists to be able to practice their part without needing an entire orchestra. So, the orchestra part is "reduced" (i.e. arranged) for a solo pianist and the concerto soloist plays along with them. This also allows the soloist to obtain a practice part since they are usually otherwise rental-only (that is, the orchestra rents a set of performance material/parts from the publisher). This probably has a significant factor on recording chances since it makes the music much more obtainable. Rental-only music can be very, very difficult to obtain (trust me!).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: not edward on September 26, 2014, 12:50:19 AM
Is there actually only one recording of the Hamburg Concerto?  Amazon and Arkivmusic both say so, and I am hoping they are wrong, as I don't seem to go for the one in the Warner box (de Leeuw/Asko Ensemble), and am wondering if its the performance or the music at fault.
I doubt the problem is the performance. Marie-Luise Neunecker is a phenomenal player and her reading of the Horn Trio is sensational.

My take on the Hamburg Concerto is that it reflects Ligeti's poor health at the time it was written: there are some striking ideas but it's more a sequence of twelve short miniatures* than a conventional concerto like the violin and piano ones. I think the final movement (added some years after the rest, and the last thing Ligeti wrote), does help the structure to gel a better, but with the exception of the Praeludium and Spectra the work seems atypically underdeveloped to me.


* The second and third movements could both be regarded as two movements played without a break; the fourth movement could be regarded as four movements played without a break.

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: 71 dB on September 26, 2014, 10:14:10 AM
KS has his own label .. and you can buy all of his recordings here: http://www.stockhausencds.com/  .. Oktophonie is CD 41

Oh, that explains things. Stockhausen is like Tangerine Dream (http://www.tangerinedream-music.com/index.php) in this sense. 104 CDs released! ??? How many of these do you have James?

Thanks!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 26, 2014, 10:40:29 AM
Ligeti is a monster. But wait until you explore Karlheinz Stockhausen (http://www.stockhausencds.com/) seriously .. oh boy, look out.

Why must you always turn a thread into your own personal fanboy gushing over Stockhausen? He's not the messiah, James, but that's probably not what you believe. ::)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Ken B on September 26, 2014, 10:58:35 AM
Why must you always turn a thread into your own personal fanboy gushing over Stockhausen? He's not the messiah, James, but that's probably not what you believe. ::)
Cough cough Delius cough

 >:D :P :laugh:
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: North Star on September 26, 2014, 11:09:51 AM
Cough cough Delius cough

 >:D :P :laugh:
Get a vaccination, Ken, and go to your own room.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on September 27, 2014, 01:14:43 AM
Why must you always turn a thread into your own personal fanboy gushing over Stockhausen?
Well, I always assumed that it was the same reason that I always turn a thread into my own personal fanboy gushing over Ligeti :D.

EigenUser in the "Purchases Today" thread:
Buy more Ligeti!

EigenUser in the "Three-Word Post" thread:
Ligeti Ligeti Ligeti

EigenUser in the "What are you eating" thread:
You know who also liked spaghetti? Ligeti!

 ;D

I doubt the problem is the performance. Marie-Luise Neunecker is a phenomenal player and her reading of the Horn Trio is sensational.

My take on the Hamburg Concerto is that it reflects Ligeti's poor health at the time it was written: there are some striking ideas but it's more a sequence of twelve short miniatures* than a conventional concerto like the violin and piano ones. I think the final movement (added some years after the rest, and the last thing Ligeti wrote), does help the structure to gel a better, but with the exception of the Praeludium and Spectra the work seems atypically underdeveloped to me.


* The second and third movements could both be regarded as two movements played without a break; the fourth movement could be regarded as four movements played without a break.
Indeed, twelve short miniatures is a good way of looking at the piece. That's probably why I like it so much, too.

Does anyone else get terrified by the ending? It's like the end of a score to a horror movie. Gives me the creeps.

KS has his own label .. and you can buy all of his recordings here: http://www.stockhausencds.com/  .. Oktophonie is CD 41
Stockhausen CDs are way overpriced. I know that they come with a lot of documentation, etc (he was very good with being complete in documentation and his scores are the same way -- often with photos of the premiere in the front), but the prices are ridiculous. How can one be expected to start explore his music? I mean, I guess you could get his earlier works from other record companies, but that's a pretty narrow range of his output. His label makes the same mistake that Messiaen's (score) publisher Alphonse-Leduc makes. That is, they sell their products at exorbitant prices while the market interest is very, very small. It's a shame, really. That kind of stuff really irritates me. I expect that Messiaen's roughly-$3000 opera score has gilded notes.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on September 27, 2014, 05:19:35 AM
Well, I always assumed that it was the same reason that I always turn a thread into my own personal fanboy gushing over Ligeti :D.

EigenUser in the "Purchases Today" thread:
Buy more Ligeti!

EigenUser in the "Three-Word Post" thread:
Ligeti Ligeti Ligeti

EigenUser in the "What are you eating" thread:
You know who also liked spaghetti? Ligeti!

 ;D

 :P
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on March 11, 2015, 04:30:32 AM
This is an outstanding overview of the PC:
https://www.youtube.com/v/mfTDjrndPHI
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: 71 dB on March 15, 2015, 02:24:49 AM
Somehow I drifted away from exploring/listening to Ligeti for months. I'm trying to get back into it now. Ligeti is very vague to grasp as an artist. I also feel I never understood how important composer Ligeti is. So, I have been confused. Ligeti's music intimidates and fascinates me in a way I don't think I have ever experienced but there is also something hindering the experiment. Maybe Ligeti lived 100 years too early and should have born in 2023 to create a sophisticated style of computer music? I find Ligeti's art very "computer-like".

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on March 16, 2015, 01:55:36 PM
Somehow I drifted away from exploring/listening to Ligeti for months. I'm trying to get back into it now. Ligeti is very vague to grasp as an artist. I also feel I never understood how important composer Ligeti is. So, I have been confused. Ligeti's music intimidates and fascinates me in a way I don't think I have ever experienced but there is also something hindering the experiment. Maybe Ligeti lived 100 years too early and should have born in 2023 to create a sophisticated style of computer music? I find Ligeti's art very "computer-like".
I can definitely see what you mean about the "computer-like" quality of his work. I get this a lot from the Piano Concerto, which is one of my favorite pieces he wrote (along with Clocks and Clouds and San Francisco Polyphony, if you are looking for suggestions... 0:)).
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 16, 2015, 03:48:56 PM
Somehow I drifted away from exploring/listening to Ligeti for months. I'm trying to get back into it now. Ligeti is very vague to grasp as an artist. I also feel I never understood how important composer Ligeti is. So, I have been confused. Ligeti's music intimidates and fascinates me in a way I don't think I have ever experienced but there is also something hindering the experiment. Maybe Ligeti lived 100 years too early and should have born in 2023 to create a sophisticated style of computer music? I find Ligeti's art very "computer-like".

Nothing difficult for me to grasp about Ligeti's artistry. He's actually one of the more accessible composers of the second-half of the 20th Century.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: EigenUser on March 16, 2015, 04:02:32 PM
Nothing difficult for me to grasp about Ligeti's artistry. He's actually one of the more accessible composers of the second-half of the 20th Century.
Agreed, but I think 71dB meant that he is harder to categorize (though I might be wrong). He did have a tendency to write whatever the hell he felt like, leaving behind an enormous variety of music. He can't be pinned down quite like Boulez, Stockhausen, Reich, Riley, etc.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on March 16, 2015, 04:13:48 PM
Agreed, but I think 71dB meant that he is harder to categorize (though I might be wrong). He did have a tendency to write whatever the hell he felt like, leaving behind an enormous variety of music. He can't be pinned down quite like Boulez, Stockhausen, Reich, Riley, etc.

The best composers are actually the ones that are the hardest to pigeonhole or at least in my own listening experience.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: AdamFromWashington on March 16, 2015, 09:50:28 PM
The best composers are actually the ones that are the hardest to pigeonhole or at least in my own listening experience.

The best artists, even. Genius is as slippery as a fish. Whereas simpler folk are all covered in chalk.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: milk on March 17, 2015, 02:33:25 AM
The best artists, even. Genius is as slippery as a fish. Whereas simpler folk are all covered in chalk.
Some artists have a very singular vision. One of my favorite filmmakers is Yasujiro Ozu. For me, he is a greater artist than someone like Kurosawa who made a much wider variety of films in terms of genre and setting.   
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: ritter on March 17, 2015, 03:35:07 AM
Some artists have a very singular vision. One of my favorite filmmakers is Yasujiro Ozu. For me, he is a greater artist than someone like Kurosawa who made a much wider variety of films in terms of genre and setting.   
Even if I'm not familiar with Ozu's work, I venture to post a +1 to this remark.

Proteanism does not necssarily make an artist superior or inferior. One could argue that single-mindedness is as much a virtue as multifacetdness, and it all depends on the artist's output.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: North Star on March 17, 2015, 04:12:19 AM
Even if I'm not familiar with Ozu's work, I venture to post a +1 to this remark.
Proteanism does not necssarily make an artist superior or inferior. One could argue that single-mindedness is as much a virtue as multifacetdness, and it all depends on the artist's output.
Agreed. I'd certainly rather take a Sibelius over a Martinů - but luckily I can listen to both.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: 71 dB on March 17, 2015, 10:06:02 AM
Agreed, but I think 71dB meant that he is harder to categorize (though I might be wrong). He did have a tendency to write whatever the hell he felt like, leaving behind an enormous variety of music. He can't be pinned down quite like Boulez, Stockhausen, Reich, Riley, etc.

Yes, it's not the difficulty of the music. Ligeti is simply much "larger" artists than my clueless expectations. I suppose it's just a matter of having enough time absorbing the music. The 5 CD Ligeti set on Teldec is much to swallow for Ligeti newbies.  ;D
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: AdamFromWashington on March 17, 2015, 11:21:39 AM
Some artists have a very singular vision. One of my favorite filmmakers is Yasujiro Ozu. For me, he is a greater artist than someone like Kurosawa who made a much wider variety of films in terms of genre and setting.   

I should stop using similis... I didn't mean geniuses have to work in lots of different styles. I just meant their work is usually more three-dimensional and difficult to categorize when it comes to opinion. It seems more real (usually), so it can be taken more ways. The Old Man and the Sea was as simple as can be (as far as real literature goes), Hemingway disavowed all symbolism, and people are still trying to interpret it.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brian on April 29, 2015, 04:16:51 AM
BIS CEO Robert von Bahr is proud of his Ligeti recordings, according to today's eClassical "Daily Deal" description:

"When Ligeti was in Stockholm to get a major award, Fredrik was his "demonstration pianist" when Ligeti held a lecture about his Piano Études. I sat right behind him, and after a while he turned to me and said "Robert, who is this guy? I have never heard my Études played better". I told him, also informing him that Fredrik pursued a career also as a Professor of Neurology in the Karolinska Institutet, and asked György's permission to record the Études (up to then unrecorded) and he said: Go right ahead. I don't even have to be there. This is just masterful and precisely as I want them. For anyone who knew Ligeti (we were friends since the '60:s) this statement was unique - he always wanted to supervise recordings. Fredrik's playing is totally according to Ligeti's intentions."

(http://ecstatic.textalk.se/shop/17115/art15/h5903/4445903-origpic-1b0724.jpg) (http://www.eclassical.com/performers/ullen-fredrik/ligeti-the-complete-piano-music-vol1.html)

Click the image to download the album - today only, less than $4!
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006): The Devil's Staircase with Score
Post by: Cato on August 18, 2015, 03:09:47 AM
Just found this today: others may know of it, but if you do not, here is a fun "interactive" site:

http://www.explorethescore.org/gy%C3%B6rgy-ligeti-klavierwerke-die-musik-entdecken-%C3%A9tude-13.html (http://www.explorethescore.org/gy%C3%B6rgy-ligeti-klavierwerke-die-musik-entdecken-%C3%A9tude-13.html)

Follow Pierre Laurent Aimard and the score of The Devil's Staircase.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Uhor on January 30, 2016, 05:27:19 PM
In Ligeti there is as much intuition as there is exploration, he is though best when most rigorous.

Kyrie from Requiem, is a good example on how to expand on new territory over traditional forms, the consecuence of Andante tranquillo from Bartók's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta. So is Lontano of Renaissance choral practice.

In Atmosphères take notice of the interactions between distinct macroscopic textures built from microscopic lines, a new dimension to study.

Ramifications, Double Concerto for example shows an organic inclusion of microtonal deviations as opposed of other trends on the same topic. 
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: (poco) Sforzando on February 08, 2016, 02:10:35 PM
BIS CEO Robert von Bahr is proud of his Ligeti recordings, according to today's eClassical "Daily Deal" description:

"When Ligeti was in Stockholm to get a major award, Fredrik was his "demonstration pianist" when Ligeti held a lecture about his Piano Études. I sat right behind him, and after a while he turned to me and said "Robert, who is this guy? I have never heard my Études played better". I told him, also informing him that Fredrik pursued a career also as a Professor of Neurology in the Karolinska Institutet, and asked György's permission to record the Études (up to then unrecorded) and he said: Go right ahead. I don't even have to be there. This is just masterful and precisely as I want them. For anyone who knew Ligeti (we were friends since the '60:s) this statement was unique - he always wanted to supervise recordings. Fredrik's playing is totally according to Ligeti's intentions."

(http://ecstatic.textalk.se/shop/17115/art15/h5903/4445903-origpic-1b0724.jpg) (http://www.eclassical.com/performers/ullen-fredrik/ligeti-the-complete-piano-music-vol1.html)

Click the image to download the album - today only, less than $4!

Ah, yes. I posted the following some time ago to the General Tchaikovsky thread, where we were talking about especially demanding piano works. It belongs on this thread as well, Ligeti's rank in the army notwithstanding:

With Ligeti on the other hand, I don't even know where to begin. One is often expected to play with one hand solely on the black keys, the other solely on the white, sometimes with one hand practically on top of the other, and such with a degree of rhythmic independence that irregular accents are required in each hand without regard for the other. I can imagine reading a few measures of a Ligeti etude very slowly, but it would be very hard to achieve the required independence of the hands, and in some of the etudes a degree of stamina is required that approaches brutality. Ligeti loves to write dynamics like ffff, followed by ffffff, then piu forte! I heard the Swedish pianist Fredrik Ullén play the etudes complete (and brilliantly) in New York once; by the end the poor man practically collapsed on stage.
Title: "Ligeti Forward": livestreams from last weekend
Post by: Brewski on June 06, 2016, 12:33:25 PM
This past weekend, as part of the New York Philharmonic Biennial, alumni from the Lucerne Academy played three concerts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art titled "Ligeti Forward," curated by the cellist Jay Campbell (who also did the Ligeti Cello Concerto). Each night one of the Ligeti concertos was programmed with other contemporary works. (Piano Concerto on concert 1, Violin Concerto on concert 3.)

Though I couldn't make the last one, the first two were excellent, and now the livestreams are available here. (I have no idea how long they will be up.)

http://www.metmuseum.org/events/programs/met-live-arts/ligeti

Edit: at the moment, only the first two concerts are up, but the third one (from Sunday afternoon) will follow soon.

--Bruce

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: SurprisedByBeauty on October 04, 2016, 04:44:30 AM

Classical CD Of The Week: A Timeless Combination Of Ligeti And Haydn

(http://blogs-images.forbes.com/jenslaurson/files/2016/09/Forbes_Classical-CD-of-the-Week_ONYX_Shai-Wosner-Haydn_Ligeti_Piano-Concertos_Laurson_1200-1200x469.jpg?width=960) (http://www.forbes.com/sites/jenslaurson/2016/09/28/classical-cd-of-the-week-a-timeless-combination-of-ligeti-and-haydn/#7cc6249d2180)
Joseph Haydn / György Ligeti, Concertos , Shai Wosner (piano), Danish National Symphony Orchestra, Nicholas Collon (conductor), Onyx (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B01D3LC2DU/nectarandambr-20)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006) STRING QUARTET RECOMMENDS?
Post by: snyprrr on October 18, 2016, 05:38:48 PM
I finally cracked open the Arditti/SONY disc and went straight for SQ2. Errrrr... my first impression, though this was fine Arditti, was the "dark" SONY recording. It's not bad, ... anyhow, the other version I have is the LaSalle, which I haven't yet compared (but I believe their recording is quite close and up-front).

There's:

LaSalle
Arditti/WERGO
Arditti/SONY
Artemis (Erato)
Keller (ECM)
??? (Naxos)

is there another?? (Hagen in SQ1/DG.....more interested in SQ2)


What do you know here?



Second time through the Arditti?SONY and one must really cherish their playing. I'm just curious if anyone's even mo' betta... but, I mean... I could see a silkier recording with really plush micing.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: aleazk on February 14, 2017, 04:39:58 PM
Pierre-Laurent Aimard's latest entry in his series of lectures and interactive scores about Ligeti's Piano Etudes!

This one is about Entrelacs:

http://www.explorethescore.org/gy%C3%B6rgy-ligeti-piano-works-inside-the-score-%C3%A9tude-12.html

If u r a Ligeti fan, then u gotta check dis!  ;D :P
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: pjme on March 08, 2017, 01:05:49 AM
https://www.youtube.com/v/w0Tvj83xqDw

Never a dull moment with Ligeti!

P.

Title: Jiggity with Ligeti: VIOLIN CONCERTO/ PIANO CONCERTO
Post by: snyprrr on September 28, 2017, 11:18:14 AM
Violin Concerto
Piano Concerto



Broke out the Boulez "Concertos" disc. Yea, wow, I remember bits here and there, but both of these works are BIG, Hollywood (in the best sense of the term) AvantGarde High Modernism of the first order,... I'd say. Both works share a lot of similar features, including prominent roles for the ocarina, and with steel drums in the VC.

Just check out the middle movement of the VC, so many sounds competing, And the "devil's escalator" schtick in the PC is quite beautiful, sounding a little like what I wish more late Xenakis would've sounded like.

I found both works at the top of their game,... are they the "final word" in 'Concertos'? What has happened since then?
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: bwv 1080 on September 28, 2017, 12:04:53 PM
The PC is great, dont care much for the VC - the folkish tune kind of grates on me.

The Hamburg Concerto is worthy of mention, from about the same late period in his life.  But its hard to surpass the Double Concerto and Cello Concerto.

As far as 'final word' in concertos, Ferneyhough's cycle of chamber concertos - Terrain, La Chute d'Icare, Les Froissements d'Ailes de Gabriel, Algebrah are up there

Carter's late works as well - Dialogs for Piano & Orch.. the Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, Horn Concerto and Flute Concerto are all great pieces
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: snyprrr on September 29, 2017, 05:44:44 AM
The PC is great, dont care much for the VC - the folkish tune kind of grates on me.

The Hamburg Concerto is worthy of mention, from about the same late period in his life.  But its hard to surpass the Double Concerto and Cello Concerto.

As far as 'final word' in concertos, Ferneyhough's cycle of chamber concertos - Terrain, La Chute d'Icare, Les Froissements d'Ailes de Gabriel, Algebrah are up there

Carter's late works as well - Dialogs for Piano & Orch.. the Violin Concerto, Cello Concerto, Horn Concerto and Flute Concerto are all great pieces

Ah, yes, very good!

I agree that folksy tune in the VC put me back for a moment.


Ah, I see, yes, Ferney and Carter, very incisive there ;), thx!!!

Ligeti knows how to get it on  ;)

Yea,
Ligeti knows how to get it on  ;)

I just can't deny it! I wish he and Xenakis had... well,... eh,... naw, they're fine as they are. I just think based on these Concertos, he was still zoomin', whereas IX seemed to be weakening slightly with the "old heimies" disease.


Ligeti's "up and down" escalator schtick DOES sound a bit like the IX technique, but they do seem to have different ways of expressing the same basic Universal Theorem (do anything at any time, and it will fit).
Title: Ligeti's Lounge
Post by: snyprrr on February 17, 2018, 07:18:21 AM
Where oh where can I get the whole Ligeti Project for less than a billion $$$??? That would be both Boxes... the Chamber Music one is m.i.a., or, abillion $$$...


Ligeti should be taken in large doses...
Title: Re: Ligeti's Lounge
Post by: snyprrr on February 19, 2018, 11:14:06 AM
Where oh where can I get the whole Ligeti Project for less than a billion $$$??? That would be both Boxes... the Chamber Music one is m.i.a., or, abillion $$$...


Ligeti should be taken in large doses...

After much listening and angst,I realized I'm happy with the Ligeti I have. The pieces I was missing were the Requiem, 'Apparitions', and 'San Fransisco Polyphony', all appearing on that Eotvos disc... but I would rather prefer studio sound, and Teldec bla bla, and so on, and now I don't care!

Too much Ligeti seems to me now too much.



Nusica Ricercarata... wtf was this???? Just heard it for the first time and just haaaated it!! Sounded like a caveman playing Ustvolskaya??? Or Bartok played by a single finger??Unbelievable... what do YOU think?
Title: Re: Ligeti's Lounge
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on February 25, 2018, 09:51:49 PM
After much listening and angst,I realized I'm happy with the Ligeti I have. The pieces I was missing were the Requiem, 'Apparitions', and 'San Fransisco Polyphony', all appearing on that Eotvos disc... but I would rather prefer studio sound, and Teldec bla bla, and so on, and now I don't care!

Too much Ligeti seems to me now too much.



Nusica Ricercarata... wtf was this???? Just heard it for the first time and just haaaated it!! Sounded like a caveman playing Ustvolskaya??? Or Bartok played by a single finger??Unbelievable... what do YOU think?
Musica Ricercata is really just a series of pieces where post-War Ligeti rediscovers and reconsiders ideas about creating a harmonic language. A lot of the pieces are not super sophisticated, but until you take a step back and really understand what it would mean for a composer to write a series of works like this in the context they were written in they really can just come across as simple, fun ditties and nothing more. In any case, each piece is a wonderful miniature in its own right and each one has a very concentrated and in depth look at certain tools and techniques of composition.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: aleazk on May 28, 2018, 02:08:27 PM
Today is Ligeti's 95th birthday... if he were still alive, of course.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: ComposerOfAvantGarde on June 12, 2018, 06:44:02 PM
Here is a really fantastic interview about Ligeti's Etudes:

https://www.youtube.com/v/nKASgWj5wUE
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: SymphonicAddict on September 26, 2018, 10:28:19 AM
About modern/contemporary composers, Ligeti has risen like one of special interest for me. His music evokes bizarre atmospheres by using mesmerizing effects, and some of them somewhat frightening. I think he was a genius. I was listening to some of his concertos: the Concert Romanesc, which is quintessential Rumanian, really very folksy, and the Cello concerto, a work so different from the former, with intriguing fragments. It would be especially interesting to hear this music at night and being alone  >:D
Title: Ligeti live-stream from Paris today
Post by: Brewski on December 07, 2018, 09:46:12 AM
Today, in a little under 2 hours, this all-Ligeti concert will be live-streamed from the Philharmonie de Paris. Matthias Pintscher will conduct the Ensemble intercontemporain in the Requiem and excerpts from Le Grand Macabre. Starts at 2:30pm EST. If you can't watch, they do archive a number of these, so it may be available to view later.

https://live.philharmoniedeparis.fr/concert/1089908.html?_ga=2.33861158.6227426.1544202377-364895801.1544202377

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: steve ridgway on December 12, 2018, 07:23:49 AM
Ligeti was the second proper classical music composer I purchased works by, just after Varese - two years ago now and I still really enjoy it. I think it clicked more having been used to ambient and electronic works in the Rock section.



I'm also very pleased with other one I bought 18 months ago.

Title: Re: Ligeti live-stream from Paris today
Post by: Mandryka on December 12, 2018, 12:09:08 PM
Today, in a little under 2 hours, this all-Ligeti concert will be live-streamed from the Philharmonie de Paris. Matthias Pintscher will conduct the Ensemble intercontemporain in the Requiem and excerpts from Le Grand Macabre. Starts at 2:30pm EST. If you can't watch, they do archive a number of these, so it may be available to view later.

https://live.philharmoniedeparis.fr/concert/1089908.html?_ga=2.33861158.6227426.1544202377-364895801.1544202377

--Bruce

I heard it, though maybe I didn't give it sufficient attention, I didn't get into it  -- it seemed a bit conservative in fact.
Title: Re: Ligeti live-stream from Paris today
Post by: Brewski on May 28, 2019, 06:03:38 AM
I heard it, though maybe I didn't give it sufficient attention, I didn't get into it  -- it seemed a bit conservative in fact.

Ah well, as they say, "YMMV." Perhaps the concert in the post below (four of his concertos) will be more appealing.

--Bruce
Title: Four Ligeti concertos, live from Paris
Post by: Brewski on May 28, 2019, 06:07:50 AM
From May 10 at the Philharmonie de Paris, four Ligeti concertos (piano, horn, cello, violin) with great-looking soloists and the Ensemble intercontemporain, with Matthias Pintscher at the helm.

https://live.philharmoniedeparis.fr/concert/1097298/concertos-de-ligeti-ensemble-intercontemporain-matthias.html

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 03, 2020, 12:12:41 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71LhgAAWn0L._SL350_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81qQSbETPYL._SL355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81xvf%2BzZ5tL._SL350_.jpg)

Just ordered the Sony Masterworks 9CD collection, to complete my trilogy of great Ligeti box sets. I have a few single discs containing some of his works, and the separate 1999 Sony release of Le Grand Macabre .
Ligeti's music has brought so much enjoyment the past year, and I'll write some later regarding some of favorite works of his.

Anyone here have a few favorite works by Ligeti?

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 03, 2020, 03:06:12 PM
(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71LhgAAWn0L._SL350_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81qQSbETPYL._SL355_.jpg) (https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/81xvf%2BzZ5tL._SL350_.jpg)

Just ordered the Sony Masterworks 9CD collection, to complete my trilogy of great Ligeti box sets. I have a few single discs containing some of his works, and the separate 1999 Sony release of Le Grand Macabre .
Ligeti's music has brought so much enjoyment the past year, and I'll write some later regarding some of favorite works of his.

Anyone here have a few favorite works by Ligeti?

Those are all three fantastic sets, Greg. I love Ligeti! A few of my favorite works of his would be the concerti for violin and piano, Études, both SQs, Six Bagatelles for Wind Quintet, Clocks and Clouds, the Requiem, and Lontano. Of course, there are many others, but you asked for only a few.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: steve ridgway on May 03, 2020, 07:35:29 PM
I need to become more familiar with those last two boxes, but definitely Atmospheres, Lux Aeterna and Lontano on the first CD I bought.

(https://img.discogs.com/3xMWCPtOOsa2Z8zOeLyK5I0zeHI=/fit-in/250x226/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-4241554-1364834884-1469.jpeg.jpg)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: TheGSMoeller on May 04, 2020, 04:27:52 PM
I really love Lontano, and the Cello Concerto primarily the performance by Jean-Guihen Queyras. I also love that almost every piece by Ligeti that I listen to creates a completely different sound-world.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on May 04, 2020, 04:50:36 PM
I really love Lontano, and the Cello Concerto primarily the performance by Jean-Guihen Queyras. I also love that almost every piece by Ligeti that I listen to creates a completely different sound-world.

Indeed. I haven’t exactly warmed up to the Cello Concerto yet, but I’m getting there. Lontano is a solid favorite --- love this piece.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: JBS on May 04, 2020, 04:51:16 PM
I tend to like the smaller scale works over the bigger scale works, andnthe DG performances over the others.  But the thread has reminded me it's bern quite a while since I listened to anything in the Warner bix, so I have pulled that for a fresh listen.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mandryka on January 17, 2021, 07:29:15 AM
Anyone enjoy the viola sonata? Favourite performances? I’m quite enjoying the one by Susanne van Els, I’m not totally sure that it’s my sort of music, but maybe.

It’s strange the way the later music is so lyrical, it’s a common phenomenon obvs.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mandryka on January 23, 2021, 08:56:01 AM
(https://images2.medimops.eu/product/4de3ff/M0B075N573DC-large.jpg)

The first performance of the Ligeti cello concerto, which IMO is the greatest work of his that I have heard, and normally I won’t go near music with the word “concerto” in the title, as I was saying, the first performance was given by Siegfried Palm and Henryk Czys (not to be confused with Siegfried Palm’s later recording with Leeuw.) It is exceptionally good, and as far as I know the easiest way to hear it with decent sound is on the CD above (which is connected to a film)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mandryka on January 25, 2021, 03:57:24 AM
Entertaining documentary

https://www.youtube.com/v/4AhKWofVV0E&ab_channel=OmriAbram

He says that when he got to Cologne he was in the place where Stockhausen and Konig were working (41,22) Is he talking about Gottfried Michael Koenig, a new name for me.

http://koenigproject.nl/

Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: hvbias on July 01, 2021, 05:52:59 AM
Listened to the Gielen Requiem, it's been ages since I've heard this, I forgot how dark as hell his interpretation is. The basses sound like they're from another planet.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Mirror Image on July 01, 2021, 06:12:22 AM
Listened to the Gielen Requiem, it's been ages since I've heard this, I forgot how dark as hell his interpretation is. The basses sound like they're from another planet.

I love that performance. Probably my favorite performance of all the ones I own, which is around 3 or 4.
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: vers la flamme on July 01, 2021, 01:34:48 PM
Listened to the Gielen Requiem, it's been ages since I've heard this, I forgot how dark as hell his interpretation is. The basses sound like they're from another planet.

That’s the one I have. I’ll have to revisit it soon
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: steve ridgway on July 04, 2021, 08:09:15 PM
Listened to the Gielen Requiem, it's been ages since I've heard this, I forgot how dark as hell his interpretation is. The basses sound like they're from another planet.

Thanks for mentioning this, I’ve found an MP3 on archive.org and it is indeed very nice. :)
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on November 22, 2021, 11:14:00 AM
Prompted by another poster (believe that it was Todd) in the current listening thread, I've explored a couple of his pieces of his Musica ricercata with Aimard via youtube.  Nos. 1 and 7 so far.  I love that Aimard has posted videos of him playing them and also other educational videos about his music and how the compositions work and the effect, musical timing of the different themes creates certain effects and the "voices" and dimensions in there which I've found to be quite helpful and illuminating.   :)

Do other posters here have certain favorites of the M.R. that they would suggest that I check out early in my journey to listen to them?

PD
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Brewski on November 23, 2021, 06:06:22 PM
Prompted by another poster (believe that it was Todd) in the current listening thread, I've explored a couple of his pieces of his Musica ricercata with Aimard via youtube.  Nos. 1 and 7 so far.  I love that Aimard has posted videos of him playing them and also other educational videos about his music and how the compositions work and the effect, musical timing of the different themes creates certain effects and the "voices" and dimensions in there which I've found to be quite helpful and illuminating.   :)

Do other posters here have certain favorites of the M.R. that they would suggest that I check out early in my journey to listen to them?

PD

If you are inclined, give the ricercata a listen in order, starting at the beginning, only because Ligeti organized the little pieces in increasing order of pitch classes. (I don't know how I would choose a favorite; they're all quite interesting.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musica_ricercata

--Bruce
Title: Re: György Ligeti (1923-2006)
Post by: Pohjolas Daughter on November 24, 2021, 05:57:17 AM
If you are inclined, give the ricercata a listen in order, starting at the beginning, only because Ligeti organized the little pieces in increasing order of pitch classes. (I don't know how I would choose a favorite; they're all quite interesting.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Musica_ricercata

--Bruce
Thank you for the information about them and the suggestion--will do!  :)

And hope that you have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

PD