Ligeti Etudes, Book I: An Analysis and premier livre () by Hungarian composer György Ligeti. . comments for Désordre, Fanfares, and Arc-en-ciel. In Ligeti’s own description of the piano etudes he tell that they are “etudes in a 5: Arc-en-ciel – melody and harmony resembles a raimbow. Arc-en-ciel Lyrics: Instrumental. Arc-en-ciel. György Ligeti “Arc-en-ciel” Track Info. Written By György Ligeti. Music Video.
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The Etudes are conventionally regrouped in 3 books, composed during the period between and and they constitute a milestone in the history of music for piano and in the field of composition.
Although the theorization is valid more or less for all the etudes, we will concentrate our writ on the most meaningful etudes, especially from the first and the second book.
The 18 etudes are arranged in three books: However, the complicated, yet highly organized configuration does not detract from poetic expression. In other words, etudes perfectly combine virtuoso technical problems with expressive content, like rarely was done in the second half of the 20 th century.
How is known, Ligeti revealed some of the inspirational fonts, in various interviews, but mostly by means of the article: Their directness of communication, innovative rhythmic texture and virtuosic pianism place them among the most attractive and important works of contemporary piano literature.
As a matter of fact, the originality of the compositional technique used in the 3 books is really meaningful: While one hand holds down various clusters sounding them or notthe other executes very quick chromatic figures, probably impossible to human-perform at great speed, without the use of such of technique. The procedure of Ligeti composing the etudes was that he laid his ten fingers on the keyboard and imagines music, then his fingers copy this mental image as he presses the key 7.
He felt that the feedback between idea and tactile execution is very inaccurate, and as a result, pianists sometimes feel awkward executing some passages. As such, his pianistic approach in the etudes he composed generally follows the concepts of composers who he believes thought and composed pianistically. Here is a list of the 18 preludes with their title Ligeti gave a title only after the composition of the musical material.
The etude has many connection with Hill Evans. Is a very rhythmic etude and harmony compose itself by fifths sovrapposition. Ligeti combined various sources in the etudes, most of them are associated with African polyrhythm: Ligeti is influenced by classical music of his past as well as present and traditional African and Indonesian music; the composer has after all revealed his interest in American jazz, singling out for special praise the pianists Thelonius Monk and Bill Evans.
The influences on his etudes are categorized as following:. Hypothesis and elements of joining with aksak, tango-nuevo, jazz and slavonian music in some of the most meaningful etudes.
But what is the measure of this influence?
Études (Ligeti) – Wikipedia
These are the questions we will try to answer in this chapter, remembering what G. Right hand plays white keys while left hand plays black ones. At the beginning of the piece, as is possible to deduce from the imagine, the two melodies are synchronized together, giving an impression of order; impression gradually disappear from the fourth bar, when accents in the left hand start to lag behind those of right hand. The rhythmic lag grows lligeti when the listener is not anymore able to recognize which melody leads on the other.
There is then a distinction between metre and pulsation. How already written, Ligeti adapted to the piano keys, Cameroon and Zimbabwe technique of polyrhythmic playing on lamellophone one executor can play until three or four different rhythms, 18 but perhaps also the Hungarian Gypsy style of playing the cimbalom.
We will return on this topic treating etudes Fem and Fanfares. The character of this etude is less aggressive than the first one. The rhythmic is not so complex, following the only principle of hemiola 2: Tempo is 96 M.
The melody is counterpointed by arpeggios on the principal note almost always the 7 th or 9 th of the chord and the harmony is relatively simple, using ceil of maj7 and min9 Probably the most post-modernist of the etudes.
Hemiola, Tempo Andantino rubato, arpeggios ostinato, melody type and harmony, make us speculate a formal and sound-like connection with the Argentinean Milonga.
Influence of Tango Nuevo, Slavonian Folk and Jazz Music on G. Ligeti’s “Etudes pour piano” |
The accompaniment is in hemiola. Harmony is mostly in minor, often using minor 9 th and major 7 th chords. Here is a comparison between Cordes a vide and a milonga. Ligeti, fragment from second Prelude: Cordes a vide, Another perpetual motion etude, the constant quaver ar that one plays is incongruent with that one hears.
The title Blocked keys how we already wrote about, refers to a very interesting pianistic technique whereby one hand plays a rapid even succession of notes in a chromatic scale while the other hand blocks prescribed keys by keeping lgieti silently depressed, affecting the rhythm pattern. The result is a series of complicated patterns that appear chaotic.
The connection with this pianist is clearer in the fourth and eight etudes. Ghost notes are in the jazz language, not played or partially played sounds that our mind imagines and figures like logic phrase notes, but our ear cannot effectively ear. In this paragraph we are cifl to treat the jazzy and aksak character of two among the most meaningful etudes: Fanfares and Fem, we shall also argument the strict relation between the two etudes. The perpetual ostinato, which is repeated times with only octave transpositions, is the most distinct feature of this piece.
But what means aksak? Anyway the title fanfares, suggests a folk Slavic brass formation. Fem arrc a Hungarian word indicating a bright metal. The etude ar characterized by an African pygmies clavevery similar to a Cakewalk or Rag-tim e 22 syncopated rhythm, and like in rag-timechords are formed by two couples of fifths:.
Ligeti, 4 th etude, Fem.
This similarity is absolutely not denied by Ligeti, who wrote as performing indications for this etude: Finally, Ligeti gives a very strong prove of jazz fonting in the last part of the etudes: Monk quartet, Paris, Embedded in its tempo indication is another reference to jazz with the instruction: Also Ligeti footnotes the opening measure: He did not say much about jazz theory, but expressed his thought simply through his playing.
He employed innovative voicings based on his classical training. This includes his sensitivity in differentiating tone qualities between voices, controlling the phrases of contrapuntal lines, and his experiments in altering melodies.
He brought an unusual harmonic idiom to jazz, among them, his distinctive voicing and rootless chords. An important aspect to be treated is the internal structure rhythm. This etude streams with consecutive sixteenth notes in four different types of rhythm, two in the right hand and two in the left hand. Subdivision is provided that divides a measure in the treble part into three, while the bass part is divided into two. This element of twelve-beat groups divided into 3: The ethnomusicologist Aron called this polyrhythmic element: The lament motive consists of descending chromatic lines that are often associated with expressions of grief and sadness.
The following figure illustrates the first three phrases in the top voice of Arc-en-ciel:. This lament motive resembles Transylvanian funeral songs White on ac and Pour Irina.
Is also remarkable in the last preludes, the abandon of triadic and 7 th chord system, and the use of diatonic modality. In the precise case of 11 th etude, Aeolian mode. Keith Jarrett with his linear modal simple improvisation style. Fonts are many, but my etudes are neither African music nor geometric fractal construction. My rejection of avant-garde music also lays me open to attacks and accusations of being a postmodern composer. Ernest Eulenburg Ltd The influences on his etudes are categorized as following: His interests in African rhythm.
The African music and rhythm involves: He gave his gratitude especially to ethnomusicologist Simha Aron, who developed a kind of rhythm that divides twelve beats into 3: The hemiola Ligeti used is an inspiration taken from the Romantic-era piano music of Chopin and Schumann.
Ligeti believed that hemiola is one of the most important cifl of music from centuries ago: Stemming from the mensural notation of the late Medieval period, hemiola arises from the metric ambiguity posed by a measure of six beats, which can be divided into three groups of two or two groups of three. Hemiola was amongst the most popular compositional devices in the dance music of the Baroque in the Courantefor example and above all in the piano music of the 19th century.
This effect can be observed in the Piano Concerto third movement and his piano etude No. The compositions for the player-piano and computer-generated images from chaos theory and fractals are ideas that Ligeti aec in his etudes. Ligeti stated on this subject: He showed that there were entire worlds of rhythmic-melodic subtleties that lay far beyond the limits that we hadrecognized in modern music until then.
This lament motive also resembles Transylvanian funeral laments. We will satisfactory treat this themes in the next and central chapter.
Influence of Tango Nuevo, Slavonian Folk and Jazz Music on G. Ligeti’s “Etudes pour piano”
Ligeti Works for Piano. African polyphony and polyrhythm: Erato, Ligeti Works for Piano. Pierre-Laurrent Aimard, Sony3. Cordes a vide, Eric Drott analyzed the ljgeti structure of this prelude in the book: Collier, Cooper, Azzi and Martin. Ernest Eulenburg Ltd 3. Fanfares and Fem In this paragraph we are going to treat the jazzy and aksak character of two among ligetii most meaningful etudes: Six Dances in Bulgarian Rhythm G.
The etude is characterized by an African pygmies clavevery similar to a Cakewalk or Rag-tim e 22 syncopated rhythm, and like in rag-timechords are formed by two couples of fifths: