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Metamorphosis in MusicThe Compositions of György Ligeti in the 1950s and 1960s$
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Benjamin R. Levy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199381999

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780199381999.001.0001

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Discontent and Early Experiments (1950–56)

Discontent and Early Experiments (1950–56)

Chapter:
(p.9) Chapter 1 Discontent and Early Experiments (1950–56)
Source:
Metamorphosis in Music
Author(s):

Benjamin R. Levy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780199381999.003.0002

At the outset of the 1950s Ligeti began to compose secret musical experiments that would not get past the censors of the communist regime in Hungary. Musica ricercata can be seen as an initial attempt to move past the compositional model of Bartók, and in turn, this piano piece worked as a study for the String Quartet no. 1, Métamorphoses nocturnes. Alongside this, however, is a series of unpublished and unfinished projects including the Chromatische Phantasie, Variations concertantes, an unfinished Requiem movement that parallels the choral works Éjszaka and Reggel, and a setting of Sándor Weöres’s Istar pokoljárása. These all show the influence of Schoenberg’s twelve-tone composition at a time when Ligeti claimed to have had only a desultory knowledge of the concept.

Keywords:   Hungary, Communism, Sándor Weöres, Bartók, Métamorphoses nocturnes, Chromatische Phantasie, Variations concertantes, Éjszaka, Reggel, Istar pokoljárása

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