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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")
Title: Pieces (10) For Wind Quintet
Title: Bagatelles (6) For Wind Quintet
Title: Sonata For Viola
x

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

x

Track List: Ligeti: Complete Piano Music

Disc 1
Title: Etudes (6) For Piano, Book 1

1. Etudes (6) For Piano, Book 1: I. Desordre

2. Etudes (6) For Piano, Book 1: II. Cordes A Vide

3. Etudes (6) For Piano, Book 1: III. Touches Bloquees

4. Etudes (6) For Piano, Book 1: IV. Fanfares

5. Etudes (6) For Piano, Book 1: V. Arc-en-ciel

6. Etudes (6) For Piano, Book 1: VI. Automne A Varsovie

Title: Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2

7. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: VII. Galamb Borong - Adapted For 2 Player Pianos

8. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: VIII. Fem

9. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: IX. Vertige

10. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: X. Der Zauberlehrling

11. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: XI. En Suspens

12. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: XII. Entrelacs

13. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: XIII. L'escalier Du Diable

14. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: XIV. Coloana Infinita

Title: Etudes (3) for piano, Book 3

15. Etudes (3) for piano, Book 3: XV. White On White

16. Etudes (3) for piano, Book 3: XVI. Pour Irina

17. Etudes (3) for piano, Book 3: XVII. A Bout De Souffle

18. Etudes (3) for piano, Book 3: XVIII. Canon

Disc 2
Title: Early Pieces (4) for piano ("Basso Ostinato")

19. Early Pieces (4) for piano ("Basso Ostinato"): No. 1. Allegro

20. Early Pieces (4) for piano ("Basso Ostinato"): No. 2. Allegretto

21. Early Pieces (4) for piano ("Basso Ostinato"): No. 3. Trefas Moderato

22. Early Pieces (4) for piano ("Basso Ostinato"): No. 4. Allegro Vivace

Title: Induló (March), for piano, 4 hands

23. Induló (March), for piano, 4 hands: Indulo (March) For 2 Pianos

Title: Polifón etüd (Polyphonic Étude), for piano, 4 hands

24. Polifón etüd (Polyphonic Étude), for piano, 4 hands: Polifon Etud (Polyphonic Etude)

Title: Allegro, for piano, 4 hands

25. Allegro, for piano, 4 hands: Allegro For Piano 4 Hands

Title: Capriccio No. 1 For Piano

26. Capriccio No. 1 For Piano: Allegretto Capriccioso

Title: Capriccio No. 2 For Piano

27. Capriccio No. 2 For Piano: Allegro Robusto

Title: Invention For Piano

28. Invention For Piano: Invention

Title: Sonatina for piano, 4 hands

29. Sonatina for piano, 4 hands: I. Allegro

30. Sonatina for piano, 4 hands: II. Andante

31. Sonatina for piano, 4 hands: III. Vivace

Title: Lakodalmi tánc (3) (Wedding dances), for piano, 4 hands (arr. of original setting for female voices & piano)

32. Lakodalmi tánc (3) (Wedding dances), for piano, 4 hands (arr. of original setting for female voices & piano): No. 1. A Kapuban A Szeker

33. Lakodalmi tánc (3) (Wedding dances), for piano, 4 hands (arr. of original setting for female voices & piano): No. 2. Hopp Ide Tisztan

34. Lakodalmi tánc (3) (Wedding dances), for piano, 4 hands (arr. of original setting for female voices & piano): No. 3. Csango Forgos

Title: Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano

35. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: I. Sostenuuto - Misurato - Prestissimo

36. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: II. Mesto, Rigido E Cerimoniale

37. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: III. Allegro Con Spirito

38. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: IV. Temp De Valse (Poco Vivace - (A L'orgue De Barbarie))

39. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: V. Rubato. Lementoso

40. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: VI. Allegro Molto Capriccioso

41. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: VII. Cantabile, Molto Legato

42. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: VIII. Vivace. Energico

43. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: IX. (Bela Bartok In Memoriam) Adagio. Mesto - Allegro Maestoso

44. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: X. Vivace. Capriccioso

45. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: XI. (Omaggio A Girolamo Frescobaldi) Andante Misurato E Tranquillo

Title: Chromatische Phantasie, for piano (suppressed by composer as juvenalia)

46. Chromatische Phantasie, for piano (suppressed by composer as juvenalia): Chromatische Phantasie

Title: Bagatelles (3) for piano

47. Bagatelles (3) for piano: No. 1. —

48. Bagatelles (3) for piano: No. 2. —

49. Bagatelles (3) for piano: No. 3. —

Title: Pieces (3) for 2 pianos: Monument, Selbstporträt & Bewegung

50. Pieces (3) for 2 pianos: Monument, Selbstporträt & Bewegung: No. 1. Monument

51. Pieces (3) for 2 pianos: Monument, Selbstporträt & Bewegung: No. 2. Selbstportrait Mit Reich Und Riley (Und Chopin Ist Auch Dabei)

52. Pieces (3) for 2 pianos: Monument, Selbstporträt & Bewegung: No. 3. In Zart Fliessender Bewegung

x

Track List: Ligeti: Mechanical Music

Title: Continuum, For Harpsichord

1. Continuum, For Harpsichord: Adaptations For Barrel Organ: Continuum

Title: Hungarian Rock (Chaconne), For Harpsichord

2. Hungarian Rock (Chaconne), For Harpsichord: Adaptations For Barrel Organ: Hungarian Rock

Title: Capriccio No. 1 For Piano

3. Capriccio No. 1 For Piano: Adaptations For Barrel Organ: Capriccio No. 1

Title: Invention For Piano

4. Invention For Piano: Adaptations For Barrel Organ: Invention

Title: Capriccio No. 2 For Piano

5. Capriccio No. 2 For Piano: Adaptations For Barrel Organ: Copriccio No. 2

Title: Poème Symphonique, For 100 Metronomes, 10 Performers & 1 Conductor

6. Poème Symphonique, For 100 Metronomes, 10 Performers & 1 Conductor: Poeme Symphonique For 100 Metronomes

Title: Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano

7. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: I. Sostenuuto - Misurato - Prestissimo

8. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: II. Mesto, Rigido E Cerimoniale

9. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: III. Allegro Con Spirito

10. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: IV. Temp De Valse (Poco Vivace - (A L'orgue De Barbarie))

11. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: V. Rubato. Lementoso

12. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: VI. Allegro Molto Capriccioso

13. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: VII. Cantabile, Molto Legato

14. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: VIII. Vivace. Energico

15. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: IX. (Bela Bartok In Memoriam) Adagio. Mesto - Allegro Maestoso

16. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: X. Vivace. Capriccioso

17. Musica Ricercata, Pieces (11) For Piano: XI. (Omaggio A Girolamo Frescobaldi) Andante Misurato E Tranquillo

Title: Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2

18. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: X. Der Zauberlehrling

19. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: IX. Vertige

20. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: XI. En Suspens

21. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: XIII. L'escalier Du Diable

Title: Etude 14a, For Player Piano ("Coloana Färä Stârsit")

22. Etude 14a, For Player Piano ("Coloana Färä Stârsit"): Adaptations For Player Piano: Xiva. Coloana Fara Sfarsit

Title: Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2

23. Etudes (8) For Piano, Book 2: VII. Galamb Borong - Adapted For 2 Player Pianos

Title: Continuum, For Harpsichord

24. Continuum, For Harpsichord: Adaptations For Player Piano: Continuum - Adapted For 2 Player Pianos

x

Track List: Ligeti: Vocal Works

Title: Nonsense Madrigals, For 6 Men's Voices

1. Nonsense Madrigals, For 6 Men's Voices: I. Two Dreams And Little Bat

2. Nonsense Madrigals, For 6 Men's Voices: II. Cuckoo In The Pear-tree

3. Nonsense Madrigals, For 6 Men's Voices: III. The Alphabet

4. Nonsense Madrigals, For 6 Men's Voices: IV. Flying Robert

5. Nonsense Madrigals, For 6 Men's Voices: V. The Lobster Quadrille

6. Nonsense Madrigals, For 6 Men's Voices: VI. A Long, Sad Tale

Title: Mysteries Of The Macabre, For Soprano & Ensemble, Or Trumpet & Piano/ensemble (arr. From "Le Grand Macabre" By E.Howarth)

7. Mysteries Of The Macabre, For Soprano & Ensemble, Or Trumpet & Piano/ensemble (arr. From "Le Grand Macabre" By E.Howarth): Mysteries Of The Macabre

Title: Aventures, For 3 Voices & 7 Instruments

8. Aventures, For 3 Voices & 7 Instruments: Aventures

Title: Aventures & Nouvelles Aventures, Stage Version Of Vocal Works

9. Aventures & Nouvelles Aventures, Stage Version Of Vocal Works: Sostenuto

10. Aventures & Nouvelles Aventures, Stage Version Of Vocal Works: Agitato Molto

Title: Der Sommer (The Summer), Song For Soprano & Piano

11. Der Sommer (The Summer), Song For Soprano & Piano: Der Sommer

Title: Három Weöres-dal, Songs (3) For Soprano & Piano

12. Három Weöres-dal, Songs (3) For Soprano & Piano: I. Tancol A Hold Feher Ingben

13. Három Weöres-dal, Songs (3) For Soprano & Piano: II. Gyumolcs-furt

14. Három Weöres-dal, Songs (3) For Soprano & Piano: III. Kalmar Jott Nagy Madarakkal

Title: Öt Arany-dal, For Voice & Piano

15. Öt Arany-dal, For Voice & Piano: I. Csalfa Sugar

16. Öt Arany-dal, For Voice & Piano: II. A Legszebb Virag

17. Öt Arany-dal, For Voice & Piano: III. A Csendes Dalokbol

18. Öt Arany-dal, For Voice & Piano: IV. A Bujdoso

19. Öt Arany-dal, For Voice & Piano: V. Az Ordog Elvitte A Financot

Title: Lakodalmi Tánc (4) (Wedding Dances), For Female Voices & Piano

20. Lakodalmi Tánc (4) (Wedding Dances), For Female Voices & Piano: I. A Menyasszony Szep Virag

21. Lakodalmi Tánc (4) (Wedding Dances), For Female Voices & Piano: II. A Kapuban A Szeker

22. Lakodalmi Tánc (4) (Wedding Dances), For Female Voices & Piano: III. Hopp Ide Tisztan

23. Lakodalmi Tánc (4) (Wedding Dances), For Female Voices & Piano: IV. Mikor Kedves Laci Batyam

Comments

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2001 space odyssey soundtrack FTW
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A highly under rated contemporary composer. Having played his trio for clarinet, violin and piano. He Is one of my most highly appreciated and respected contemporary composers.
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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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