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A . for Ligeti
June 12, 2006 11:57 AM   Subscribe

RIP. Composer Gyorgy Ligeti dies in Vienna at age 83.
posted by NemesisVex (28 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
A less browser-crippling link than Billboard.com.
posted by NemesisVex at 12:01 PM on June 12, 2006


:(

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posted by Mwongozi at 12:08 PM on June 12, 2006


The Forbes obit emphasizes his contribution to the 2001 soundtrack, but wasn't he upset with Kubrick's use of his music?

Regardless:

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posted by Bromius at 12:11 PM on June 12, 2006


Ligeti did a lot for me. I really love those crazy string quartets... they can take your head somewhere totally amazing.

Thanks and .
posted by n9 at 12:16 PM on June 12, 2006


I just played two of his pieces on my radio show the other day.

The first movement of his sonata for solo viola is just gorgeous.

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posted by kenko at 12:18 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by Mr. Six at 12:30 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by ob at 12:50 PM on June 12, 2006


Another good obit here. More info and some samples here. I especially love his Etudes for piano.

Rest in peace, we can never repay what you have given us.


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posted by LooseFilter at 12:57 PM on June 12, 2006


I’m very sad to hear this: he never lost his edge…
posted by misteraitch at 1:24 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by nickyskye at 1:30 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by klausness at 1:46 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by thethirdman at 1:52 PM on June 12, 2006


o/`
posted by Dreama at 2:05 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by jann at 2:07 PM on June 12, 2006


That's a tremendous and sad loss for the music world.

Just a few months ago, I finished collecting Sony's 8-volume Ligeti Edition series and Teldec's 5-volume Ligeti Project. If you're inclined to check out his music, those are good places to start.

I've never met a serious musician familiar with Ligeti's music who didn't insist that it was required listening. He was praised almost unanimously throughout the music world, especially from corners you'd never expect. He was on any serious critic's list of the top living composers, and it's truly sad that his composing has finished. What he wrote will be loved and appreciated forever.
posted by cribcage at 2:22 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by mr.marx at 2:23 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by oog at 3:08 PM on June 12, 2006


noooooooooooo !! I loved his music. His works were used in several of Kubrick's films (2001 and Eyes Wide Shut too)

a dot in bold for Ligeti. May he rest in peace, his music illuminated many of my days, and offered solace in many nights.

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posted by seawallrunner at 3:14 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by jmcmurry at 3:22 PM on June 12, 2006


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Man, just yesterday I played my wife his opera Le Grand Macabre for the first time. Other than Arvo Part, Ligeti was the only living 'classical' composer who really interested me. I'll second cribcage's suggestion of those sets, they're great.

Huge empty spaces filled with respect for this true great.
posted by stinkycheese at 3:23 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by Eothele at 4:11 PM on June 12, 2006


he was amazing - so funny and inventive. Some of his viola music was written for an old teacher of mine so I've taken a particular interest - not that I could ever tackle the sonata properly, apart perhaps from the first movement that kenko mentions.

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posted by altolinguistic at 4:11 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by infidelpants at 5:36 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by TwoWordReview at 5:45 PM on June 12, 2006


If you're interested in any of the recordings I mentioned, here is a list of Amazon links.

The Ligeti Project (Teldec)
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5

Gyorgi Ligeti Edition (Sony Classical)
Volume 1
Volume 2
Volume 3
Volume 4
Volume 5
Volume 6
Volume 7
Volume 8

Also, this book.
posted by cribcage at 7:19 PM on June 12, 2006


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posted by umlaut at 9:22 PM on June 12, 2006


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I've played on a few occasions with his son, Lukas, a fine drummer and a really decent human being. This next story is from my memory from a long time ago and might be a little wrong.

Ligeti did not consent to have his music used in 2001. When contacted by Kubrick he said, "No, you'll cut bits out and play them out of order and repeat sections" (and he was quite right) but Kubrick simply used the music anyway and eventually settled out of court. Ligeti wasn't pleased but didn't make a big deal about it.

Shortly after, Kubrick said various untrue things about that incident in an interview -- Ligeti was interviewed by an Austrian newspaper and politely gave the true story whereupon he was contacted by Kubrick's lawyer threatening all sorts of legal mayhem. He was distressed until someone from the Austrian government contacted him and told him (I do hope I'm getting this wording right) as a treasure of Austria, it was inconceivable that they'd even allow such a suit to be filed.

This is only one side of the story of course, but I've only heard good things about Ligeti. His son is a really sweet guy and speaks very highly of his father.

If you wanted to get one piece of his, I'd suggest the cello concerto -- this looks like a promising recording though I've never heard it). It's absolutely stunning: the opening, where the cello holds one note for several minutes (with dramatic variations in timbre and intensity and the orchestra prowling around that pedal tone) is one of the great moments in twentieth century music.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:48 PM on June 12, 2006


man, I was just playing him on the radio too. Damn.
posted by hototogisu at 5:08 PM on June 14, 2006


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