• Humanities
  • 30 de April de 2024
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The subtle art of György Ligeti influenced by Salvador Dalí

The subtle art of György Ligeti influenced by Salvador Dalí

The subtle art of György Ligeti influenced by Salvador Dalí

Ligeti has revealed himself as a  key element for the XX century avant-garde

Antonio Campoy from Madrid, España – The memory persistence, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=138975968 

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Marta Vela


Beyond the cinema language and the extreme celebrity of his music after its appearance in kubrik films,  the leading figure of  Ligeti has revealed himself as a key element for XX century avant-garde thanks to its subtle sound textures and the amount of hidden messages that contains.

Concepts like the memory, the sound footprint and the blurred images  were the first visual inspirations of Ligeti,  he started to develop this composition ideas in the late fifty’s during the peak of a systematic movement like the total serialism, totally alien to his sensitivity. Although in his first stages, influenced by Bartok, the great Hungarian composer of the first half  of the XX  century, refer to  obvious rhythmic and percussive structures just like the “ la musica reicercata”(1951-1953) that sounds to extenuation in “ Eyes wide shut” (1999), soon the reminiscences of the medieval polyphony, especially (Ockeghem) reproduced  in giant sound masses at the pace of the canon would take hold of his initial productions after his escape of Hungary in works such as Apparitons (1958-1959), Atmosphères (1961) <Lux Aeterna (1966) or  Lontano (1967) all of them under the influence of the so called micropolyphony

“Micropolyphony is a microscopic  counterpoint, a dense texture internally animated where  a great number of instruments play slight different versions of the same line. In essence, there can be a counterpoint in three or four parts of different melodies, but each one of them is multiplied, maybe, in a dozen or more variants of itself , and as a result we have and intricately complex  net. Although micropolyphony can use simultaneously all the instruments of the score, the most characteristic is that the mass of instruments go in and out  and the ability of the composer consists  in  keeping timbre colorations  moving”

STEINITZ, R., (2003): György Ligeti, Music of the Imagination, London, Northeastern University Press, p. 104. (translated from French)

However , during the seventy’s,  after the success of the works mentioned before,  Ligeti made his way in  a language  even more  mecanicco  and with its intersection with the micropolyphony, merged in the  successful expression of  clocks and clouds , and homage to Karl Popper  and the conjunction of both terms  in  his essay Of Clouds and Clocks : And approach to the problem of rationality and the freedom of man (1966)

Just since the composition  of (Poeme symphonique pour cent metronomes (1962) Ligeti had retaken his interest in the rhythm that had culminated in a more meccanico style ( that is to say with more clocks than clouds) that his first visit to EEUU confirmed.

There, two capital works emerged, Clocks and Clouds (1972-1973) and San Francisco Polyphony (1973-1974) that combined  the former micropolyphony with new rhythmic effects.

To this evolution of the ligetian language, as usual, other extra music influences added ,just as the illusory images  of Escher  and the texts of Borges concerning labyrinthine   and concentric structures. In fact when he was watching the  Dali canvas  “ the persistence and disintegration of memory” Ligeti decide to call his new tendency Clocks and Couds combining the soft superficies with hard and impenetrable, creating a sounding  melting pot of  subtle chiaroscuro, whose flux  freely expands into the threshold of times.

Thus , like an artistic amalgam the music of Ligeti, totally contemporary, and if you want, dissonant, contains a code of artistic  interactions that is very useful to take into consideration when you are listening him.

Not in vain, in front of the scientism manifest  of  the integral Serialism ( Structures, Punkte, Kontra-Punkte..) the powerful  imagination of ligeti would reflect in the poetical condition of his work titles, that the composer offers us under several artistic influences  with the intricate arts of the magician.

Source: educational EVIDENCE

Rights: Creative Commons

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