Sunday 12 June 2011

Five years without Ligeti

Hard to believe, but it's five years since Gyorgy Ligeti died.  Ligeti hit the big time when his music was used in the film 2001:  A Space Odyssey - there's a story, which I would love to believe, that he didn't know about the pivotal use of his music in the seminal film until he went to see it at the cinema.

Ligeti's string music includes two string quartets, concertos for violin and cello and sonatas for the same instruments that come from each end of his career.  He has the distinction of being one of the few hardcore avant garde composers that most people will happily sit through, and I've always thought this is because his music has an immediate and visceral thrill which transcends whatever intellectual techniques have been used to put it together.  Below is a fun video with a colourful graphic score created for his electronic piece Artikulation.

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