Ligeti, in good company

About this project

Our project, celebrating the 100th anniversary of György Ligeti’s birthday, is an immersive journey through compositions of Ligeti and further compositions related to him.

Creative disruption is a concept that would apply to the integral work of György Ligeti.

His seminal compositions flip aesthetic propositions and topoi that had existed in vastly different temporal, geographic and stylistic dimensions.  Unrelated otherwise, the referential propositions form a continuum through Ligeti, and it is through his work that the disperse and multifarious propositions emerge as attributes of a new canon.

Conlon Nancarrow’s compositions for player piano moved Ligeti to say that they are “the best music by any living composer of today”. Nancarrow’s Studies for Player Piano inspired everything Ligeti has written after 1980, tonight you will hear the orchestration of No. 5 from the series.

Before Ligeti, densely superimposed musical elements could form a homogenous sound, however, after Ligeti the sound, often the sound mass itself becomes an atomic element of the music, with all sorts of supersaturated things making out its texture.  In search for a composition method to provide texture for sound masses of a spider web quality, he developed the technique of micropolyphony in dialogue with the renaissance polyphony by taking Ockeghem as my model and adopting his ‘varietas’ principle, where the voices are similar without being identical.

Ligeti’s music is such a referential point for his disciples as well, and so our concert features two Ligeti piano études in the orchestration of his student, Hans Abrahamsen, along with one of his own compositions. Jana Kmit’ova’s compositions are directly related to the musical heritage of Ligeti and offer a dynamic approach to the concept of sound mass.