Neither avant-garde, nor traditional ...

"My compositions defy all attempts to categorise them: they're neither avant-garde, nor traditional, nor tonal, nor atonal. And certainly not post-modern, for dramatizing the past in ironic fashion is something that is completely foreign to me." - György Ligeti, born Tirnaveni 28 May 1923, died Vienna 12 June 2006

Now playing - György Ligeti Etudes with Toros Can piano. "My studies for piano are not jazz, not Chopin either, nor Debussy or Nancarrow, and even less mathematical constructions ... They are virtuoso pieces for piano, studies in the pianistic sense of the word and in the sense of the composition itself. "

György Ligeti certainly defies all attempts to categorise him. When he appeared on BBC Radio 3's Private Passions programme on 22nd November 1997 his personal choice of music was:

*Nancarrow, Study No. 3a, Conlon Nancarrow (player piano) Wergo WER 6168-2
* Trad., 'Gending: Dhenggung Turulare', Langen Praja Seven Seas KICC 5184 (Pliable - Javanese gamelan,
follow this link for audio files)
* Trad., 'Piere', Etienne Ngbozo (small sanza and voice) / Joseph Sasmba (large sanza) / Daniel Hgadike, Robert Tarapai, Raymond Doko (voice, rattle and percussion sticks) Ocorra c 580008(Pliable - African drumming)
* Trad., Whistle Ensemble, Banda-Linda Ensemble Auvidis/UNESCO 8020 (Pliable -
African ethnic music)
* Claude Vivier, Lonely Child, Susan Narucki (soprano) / Schonberg and Asko Ensembles / Reinbert de Leeuw Philips 454 231-2
* Beethoven, Sonata in C minor, Op. 111 (second movement), Alfred Brendel (piano) Philips 446 701-2

Image credit - Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk
Now take An Overgrown Path to Ligeti's Etudes fit the Bill and György Ligeti's Private Passions


Pliable said…
Interesting, in view of the quote above, that the BBC News story on Ligeti's death reads:

"He was known for his avant garde compositions, including the 1962 piece Poeme Symphonique, which is played on 100 metronomes."

While over on the Guardian website Ivan Fischer, the director of the Budapest Festival Orchestra, says:

"Ligeti was an avant-garde, definitely modern composer who did the most for renewing the musical language in the second half of the 20th century."
Pliable said…
Great for serious music to see the mainstream media devoting so much coverage to György Ligeti.

Not so great for serious music to see the music blogging community taking such a precious attitude towards György Ligeti.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the Ligeti tribute post, especially the playlist. Cheers.

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