This radical new musical language was in part facilitated by Ligeti’s recently developed technique of micropolyphony. For much of Atmosphères. GYÖRGY LIGETI – Atmosphères – Volumina · Lux aeterna – Etüde · Etude No. 1» Harmonies«- Lontano · Ramifications – Melodien for Orchestra – Gerd Zacher. Gyorgy Ligeti was born in Transylvania in His family originated in Hungary. I discovered his music after purchasing the soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick’s.

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It is noted for eschewing conventional melody and metre in favor of dense sound textures. After Apparitionsit was the second piece Ligeti wrote to exploit what he called a ” micropolyphonic ” texture.

It gained further exposure after being used in Stanley Kubrick’s film The SWF recorded this performance for broadcast, and this recording has been released commercially on CD several times. Paul Griffiths writes that this performance made Ligeti a “talking point”.

The piece heavily utilizes tone clusters of notes meaning several adjacent notes on a scale are played in which generally no two instruments ever play the same note. The popular music edition All Music Guide describes the piece as having clusters of notes from which sections fall out, leaving “masses of natural notes”. The piece features “shimmering rapid vibratomultiple high glissandiwaves of string harmonics in different meters[and] notes moving along the same path but at different speeds”.

The piece evokes a sense of timelessness in which the listener is lost in a web of texture and tonality. Harald Kaufmann has described it as “acoustically standing still”, a stationary sound which has movement within it that is similar to breathing.

Atmosphères – Wikipedia

Rather the listener hears an all but motionless series of sound evolutions unfolding at various moments”. Large portions of the piece consist of extremely dense counterpointwith up to 56 voices atmoshperes string instrument has his or her own individual part to play. But atmoapheres imitative entrances atmospneres so close to one another that it is impossible to perceive them separately, with apparent immobility as the result. Larry Sitsky has written that in Ligeti’s music “the density of the successive structures is such that the conventional parameters through which musical form melody, rhythm, harmony is traditionally perceived appear to have been evacuated.


Consequently, these evolving sound structures seem stationary, as if detached from the passage of time. To paraphrase the composer himself, the micropolyphonic textures tend to hang like a mighty oriental tapestry, suspended outside time. Gigantic clusters of chords hover in a stasis that negates familiar signposts of harmony and pulse.

This dense sound-fog became known as the signature Ligeti style”. In an essay titled “Metamorphoses of Musical Form”, [19] Ligeti developed the concept of musical “permeability” according to which a musical structure is “permeable” if it allows a free choice of intervals and “impermeable” if not.

Some textures could be layered and juxtaposed; some musical structures will mix with others seamlessly, while other structures will stand out. Atmospheres exemplifies much of Ligeti’s theory suspending harmony in favor of sustained sounds.

The piece opens with a “fully chromatic cluster covering more than five octavesheld by strings and soft woodwinds “, out of which various groups of instruments drop out successively, followed by various “strands of sonic fabric” reenter the composition, first white notes then black notes along with shifts in timbre and duration of notes which drive the piece forward.

The polyphonic structure, he stated, cannot be heard by the listener, but remains “underwater”, hidden from the listener. Stanley Kubrick chose this piece and others by Ligeti for the scenes in deep space and those with the monolith in his atmospehres A Space Odyssey because its quality of mystery was a good sonic realization of his vision. Atmosppheres to program notes published by the San Francisco Symphony OrchestraLigeti was not pleased that his music occurred in a film soundtrack shared by composers Johann and Richard Strauss.

A Space Odysseysuch as a performance by the Nashville Symphony which performed it along with the full-length version of Richard Strauss’ Thus Spake Zarathustra. Instead of presenting these seminal modernist works as separate items, Jurowski segued atmospherres from the nothingness of the Ligeti’s close into the opening bassoon solo of the Stravinsky.


The contrast between these two pieces—the Ligeti atmospherres study in motionlessness, the Stravinsky a convulsive eruption of movement—was only enhanced by Jurowski’s device, making one listen with refreshed ears. Edward Seckerson of UK’s The Independent also described this segue as a “startling atmospberes [30] while Richard Morrison of the daily edition of The Times noted that “Jurowski even kept a beat going, to fool us Another recently acclaimed attmospheres was that by Austria’s Gustav Mahler Jugendorchester Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra performing in England, a performance described as “a focused reading” in which the conductor “Nott duly coerced a delicacy from each section of the orchestra—particularly the centrifugal strings—that gave a wonderful smoothness to the performance”.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Ligeti Accessed 17 November Modern Music and After. Oxford University Press, First published in New Hungarian Quarterly. Retrieved 18 November Ligeti’s homepage also gives the instrumentation.


Music of the Twentieth-Century Avant-Garde: Greenwood Publishing Group, The Definitive Guide to Popular Music 4th ed. Archived from the original on All Music Guide to Classical Music: The Definitive Guide to Classical Music. Publishers Group West, Approaches to Meaning in Music. Indiana University Press, A Space Odyssey—Original Soundtrack.

Rhino Records Compact Disc, “. Lontano for Large Orchestra”. Retrieved November 18, Archived from the original on July 18, Retrieved December 20, Retrieved from ” https: Webarchive template wayback links All articles with dead external links Articles with dead external links from October Articles with permanently dead external links.

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