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György Ligeti

May 28, 1923 - June 12, 2006
born in Discöszentmáton, Transylvania, composed during the Contemporary period
György Ligeti was one of the most important avant-garde composers in the latter half of the twentieth century. He stood with Boulez, Berio, Stockhausen, and Cage as one of the most innovative and influential among progressive figures of his time. His early works show the influence of Bartók and Kodály, and like them, he studied folk music and made transcriptions from folk material. In Apparitions (1958-1959) and Atmosphères (1961), he developed a style forged from chromatic cluster chords that are devoid of conventional melody, pitch and rhythm, but instead grow into timbres and textures that yield new sonic possibilities. The composer referred to this method as "micropolyphony." In Aventures (1962), Ligeti devised a vocal technique in which the singers are required to make a full range of vocalizations, cries and nonsense noises to fashion a kind of imaginary, non-specific drama, but with rather specifically expressed emotions. Ligeti was almost alone among progressive composers from the latter twentieth century who have written popular and widely performed music.

Ligeti was born on May 28, 1923, in the Transylvanian town of Dicsöszentmárton, Romania and grew up in Kolozsvar, Klausenburg. At the age of 14, he began taking piano lessons and soon wrote his first composition, a waltz.

Because he was a Jew living under the Nazi-puppet regime in Hungary, Ligeti was forbidden university study and thus enrolled in the Kolozsvar Conservatory in 1941, and began studies with Ferenc Farkas, a Respighi pupil. Later, in Budapest, he also studied with pianist-composer Pál Kadosa.

In January 1944, Ligeti was arrested and sent to a labor camp where he remained imprisoned until 1945. Other family members were sent to Auschwitz, where only his mother survived. Ligeti graduated from the Budapest Academy of Music in 1949 and began an extended period of study of folk music.

In the years of 1950-1956, he served as a professor at the Budapest Academy. His music was largely unadventurous during this period, owing to restrictions by the Hungarian Communist regime. Ligeti and his wife fled their homeland during the Revolution in 1956, settling in Vienna. Ligeti began studying and composing at the Cologne-based Electronic Music Studio from 1957 to 1959, producing the influential Artikulation (1958), one of his first electronic works.

Other important progressive works followed, such as the orchestral composition, Apparitions (1958-1959) and Atmosphères (1961). In 1959, Ligeti began serving as visiting professor at the Academy of Music in Stockholm and also started teaching courses at Darmstadt.

His choral work Requiem (1963-1965) was another success, as were Ramifications (1968-1969), for string orchestra or 12 solo strings, and Clocks and Clouds (1972-1973). In 1972, Ligeti became Composer in Residence at Stanford University and the following year took on a professorship at the Hamburg Academy of Music. Ligeti composed his opera Le Grand Macabre in the period 1975-1977, but revised it in the 1990s, with the final version completed in 1997. It has become one of his most popular large works.

In 1982, the composer's mother died. That same year saw a return of Ligeti's health after a period of five years' sickness. In the 1980s the composer forswore further composition in the realm of electronic music. Ligeti retired from his post as professor of composition at the Hamburg Music Academy in 1989. In the 1990s, he spent much time on the aforementioned second version of Le Grand Macabre.

Ligeti received his share of awards and prizes, including the 1986 Grawemeyer Prize and the 1996 Music Prize of the International Music Council. ~ Robert Cummings, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

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Track List: The Ligeti Project II: Lontano / Atmosphères / Apparitions / San Francisco Polyphony / Concert Românesc - Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra / Jonathan Nott

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Track List: Boulez Conducts Ligeti: Concertos For Cello, Violin & Piano

Title: Piano Concerto

1. Piano Concerto: I. Vivace Molto Ritmico E Preciso - Attaca Subito:

2. Piano Concerto: II. Lento E Deserto

3. Piano Concerto: III. Vivace Cantabile

4. Piano Concerto: IV. Allegro Risoluto, Molto Ritmico - Attacca Subito:

5. Piano Concerto: V. Presto Luminoso: Fluido, Costante, Sempre Molto Ritmico

Title: Cello Concerto

6. Cello Concerto: I. Dotted Quarter = 40 - Attaca

7. Cello Concerto: II. (Lo Stesso Tempo) Dotted Quarter = 40

Title: Violin Concerto

8. Violin Concerto: I. Praeludium: Vivacissimo Luminoso - Attaca:

9. Violin Concerto: II. Aria, Hoquetus, Choral: Andante Con Moto - Attacca:

10. Violin Concerto: III. Intermezzo: Presto Fluido

11. Violin Concerto: IV. Passacaglia: Lento Intenso

12. Violin Concerto: V. Appassionato: Agitato Molto

x

Track List: Chamber Music

Title: Trio For Horn, Violin & Piano ("Hommage À Brahms")

1. Trio For Horn, Violin & Piano ("Hommage À Brahms"): Andantino Con Tenerezza

2. Trio For Horn, Violin & Piano ("Hommage À Brahms"): Vivacissimo Molto Ritmico

3. Trio For Horn, Violin & Piano ("Hommage À Brahms"): Alla Marcia

4. Trio For Horn, Violin & Piano ("Hommage À Brahms"): Lamento, Adagio

Title: Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet

5. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Molto Sostenuto E Calmo

6. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Prestissimo Minaccioso E Burlesco

7. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Lento

8. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Prestissimo Leggiero E Virtuoso

9. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Presto Staccatissimo E Leggiero

10. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Presto Staccatissimo E Leggiero (2)

11. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Vivo, Energico

12. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Allegro Con Delicatezza

13. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Sostenuto, Stridente

14. Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet: Presto Bizzarro E Rubato, So Schnell Wie Moglich

Title: Bagatelles (6) For Wind Quintet

15. Bagatelles (6) For Wind Quintet: Allegro Con Spirito

16. Bagatelles (6) For Wind Quintet: Rubato, Lamentoso

17. Bagatelles (6) For Wind Quintet: Allegro Grazioso

18. Bagatelles (6) For Wind Quintet: Presto Ruvido

19. Bagatelles (6) For Wind Quintet: Adagio, Mesto

20. Bagatelles (6) For Wind Quintet: Molto Vivace, Capriccioso

Title: Sonata For Viola

21. Sonata For Viola: I. Hora Lunga

22. Sonata For Viola: II. Loop

23. Sonata For Viola: III. Facsar

24. Sonata For Viola: IV. Presto Con Sordino

25. Sonata For Viola: V. Lamento

26. Sonata For Viola: VI. Chaconne Chromatique

x

Track List: György Ligeti Edition 1: String Quartets and Duets - Arditti String Quartet

x

Track List: Ligeti: Mechanical Music

Title: Continuum, For Harpsichord
Title: Hungarian Rock (Chaconne), For Harpsichord
Title: Capriccio No. 1 For Piano
Title: Invention For Piano
Title: Capriccio No. 2 For Piano
Title: Poème Symphonique, For 100 Metronomes, 10 Performers & 1 Conductor
Title: Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano
Title: Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2
Title: Etude 14a, For Player Piano ("Coloana Färä Stârsit")
Title: Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2
Title: Continuum, For Harpsichord
x

Track List: Ligeti: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2

Title: String Quartet No. 1 ("Métamorphoses nocturnes")

1. String Quartet No. 1 ("Métamorphoses nocturnes"): Allegro Grazioso - Presto

2. String Quartet No. 1 ("Métamorphoses nocturnes"): Prestissimo - Andante Tranquillo

3. String Quartet No. 1 ("Métamorphoses nocturnes"): Tempo Di Valse, Moderato, Con Eleganza, Un Poco Capriccioso - Allegretto, Un Poco Gioviale -

4. String Quartet No. 1 ("Métamorphoses nocturnes"): Subito Allegro Con Moto - Prestissimo

Title: String Quartet No. 2

5. String Quartet No. 2: I. Allegro Nervoso

6. String Quartet No. 2: II. Sostenuto, Molto Calmo

7. String Quartet No. 2: III. Come Un Meccanismo Di Precisione

8. String Quartet No. 2: IV. Presto Furioso, Brutale, Tumultuoso

9. String Quartet No. 2: V. Allegro Con Delicatezza

Title: Movements (2) for string quartet

10. Movements (2) for string quartet: Andante Cantabile

11. Movements (2) for string quartet: Allegretto Poco Capriccioso

x

Track List: Ligeti: Vocal Works

Title: Nonsense Madrigals, For 6 Men's Voices
Title: Mysteries Of The Macabre, For Soprano & Ensemble, Or Trumpet & Piano/ensemble (arr. From "Le Grand Macabre" By E.Howarth)
Title: Aventures, For 3 Voices & 7 Instruments
Title: Aventures & Nouvelles Aventures, Stage Version Of Vocal Works
Title: Der Sommer (The Summer), Song For Soprano & Piano
Title: Három Weöres-dal, Songs (3) For Soprano & Piano
Title: Öt Arany-dal, For Voice & Piano
Title: Lakodalmi Tánc (4) (Wedding Dances), For Female Voices & Piano

Comments

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benjamincask e y 0 2
He passes me out every evening
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This is my first exposure to Ligeti. Very powerful.
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grafitexture
An amazing artistic force. I so love this composer!!!
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Beautiful!!!
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I likes it!
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reficuln
"His choral work Requiem (1963-1965) was another success, as were Ramification s (1968-1969), for string orchestra or 12 solo strings, and Clocks and Clouds (1972-1973)" ...

It would be nice ...

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