Friday, February 01, 2008

Ligeti split

Omniscient Mussel just finished a contest involving identifying a piece of music.

It was by Ligeti.

Therefore in a somewhat abrupt branching, I have my own challenge.
Who said this and where?

"In the long run, government systems are not maintained by the pressure of violence, but by faith in their soundness and in the truthfulness in which they represent and advance the interest of the people".

If you don't know at least say whether you agree.

There is no prize offered.


Blogger butch said...

György Sándor Ligeti (IPA: [ˈɟørɟ ˈliɡɛti]) (May 28, 1923 – June 12, 2006) was a composer. He was born in Romania to a Hungarian Jewish family and lived in Hungary before later becoming an Austrian citizen. Many of his works are well known in classical music circles, but to the general public, he is best known for the various pieces featured in the Stanley Kubrick films 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut.

The Requiem for soprano, mezzo-soprano, five-voice chorus, and orchestra is a four-movement work in the same totally-chromatic style as Atmosphères. The first movement, the Introitus, has a thin texture, but the Kyrie/Christe is a stunning, brilliant evocation of searing appeal. It is a massive (twenty-part choral) quasi-fugue where the counterpoint is re-thought in terms of the material, consisting of melismatic masses interpenetrating and alternating with complex skipping parts. It was a part of this movement that accompanied the enigmantic monolith scenes in Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. The last instance quoted in the movie (at Jupiter: Beyond the Infinite), this movement (interrupted by a loud radio-tone screech from the monolith) segues to the opening of Atmosphères. The penultimate movement, de Die Judicii Sequentia (Day of Judgement Sequence) is a colossal montage of contrasts: fff loud versus ppp soft, masses of sound versus soloists, etc. In the final movement, Lacrimosa (weeping), the chorus is muted, and only a reduced orchestra accompanies the plangent singing of the soloists. Ligeti confirmed that there are strong traces of his reaction to the Holocaust (in which his family was annihilated, except his mother, who survived Auschwitz) in this work.

Lux Aeterna is a 16-voice a cappella piece whose text is also associated with the Latin Requiem, which also was partially used in Kubrick’s movie (for the moon-bus scene en route to the TMA-1 monolith in the crater Tycho). The piece is strongly modeled after the masterful mensuration canons of Johannes Ockeghem (listen to his famous Missa Prolationum for examples), and accomplishes much the same effect, but with secundal, rather than tertian harmony, in a paradoxically thick-but-transparent 16-voice texture.

The third Kubrick use of Ligeti’s music was from his mimodrama Aventures (in the even more cryptic final scenes), distorted by an echo chamber. Ligeti was not asked for permission to use his music in the movie, but other than annoyance at the disruptive sound effects, because he was a Kubrick admirer, appreciated the exposure — although the cosmic associations the music subsequently acquired had never been his intent.

From the 1970s, Ligeti turned away from total chromaticism and began to concentrate on rhythm. Pieces such as Continuum (1970) and Clocks and Clouds (1972-73) were written before he heard the music of Steve Reich and Terry Riley in 1972, yet the second of his Three Pieces for Two Pianos, "Self-portrait with Reich and Riley (and Chopin in the background)," commemorates this affirmation and influence. He also became interested in the rhythmic aspects of African music, specifically that of the Pygmies. In the mid-'70s he wrote his first opera, Le Grand Macabre, a work of absurd theatre with many eschatological references.

His music of the 1980s and 1990s continued to emphasize complex mechanical rhythms, often in a less densely chromatic idiom (tending to favor displaced major and minor triads and polymodal structures). Particularly significant is the Piano Concerto (1985-88), which Ligeti described as a statement of his "aesthetic credo." Also important are his Études pour piano (Book I, 1985; Book II, 1988-94; Book III, 1995-2001), which draw from such diverse sources as gamelan, African polyrhythms, Bartók, Conlon Nancarrow, and Bill Evans; Book I was notably written as preparation for the Piano Concerto, which contains a number of similar motivic and melodic elements. Other notable works in this vein include the Horn Trio (1982), the Violin Concerto (1992), and the a cappella Nonsense Madrigals (1993), one of which sets the text of the alphabet.

Your political quote sounds like one by Abraham Lincoln regarding the country divided during, before, after the Civil War; but probably it was a speech by Richard Millhouse Nixon regarding the dissent in this country during the Vietnam War; or some unobtrusive president like Harrison or Hoover; of maybe it was not an American politician at all, and maybe not a president.

Good quote, although it is pollyana as hell. Government systems are maintained by lobbyists, greed, homosexuality, big oil interests, cronyism, lies, deceit, adultery, pedophilia,and money, that demon Bigbuckus. Idiots like George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, are shamelessly controlled by their "advisors" who are bed with every oil shiek, demogogue, dictator, drug baron, and asshole in this world that serves their interests and need for MORE PROFIT! Long live, Viva, Vive Capitalism!!!! We all "know" this, and Bush's administration has shoved it down our throats for 7 years with liberal helpings of bogus taxes, and useless killing and maiming of our youth in a 21st century Crusade.

Don't get me started.


11:39 AM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

Beautiful guesses!
Not the right ones, however.
I'll leave it up for a while.

Do you agree with it?

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hallo, Lane:
I do agree, with a reservation.
If the government is a dictatorship, it is usually maintained by the threat of violence against those who it governs who don't agree with what it is doing.
-- Anonomann

5:25 PM  
Blogger butch said...

Gosh, Sir Savant, a lot of days have swung by without the light from your keyboard illuminating the darkness that surrounds us. We can only hope that you are not under the weather, victim to yet another virus; pesky critters. Or that Meredith had put you to work with other honey-dos. Or that you have been working so hard on your musical compositions that you have no extra energy to deal with your blog buddies and bloggettes out here.

Emily and Eddy Emerald are emailing me, asking me what do I know about your state of silence.

I figure that you are just in a slump, and have nothing specific to share or bitch about. Am I right, or am I right?


12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, buddy-boy, or Bub, or whatever your moniker is, I can speak for myself. I been doing it that way for eons, and I will continue to do so.

Dougie: Some of us out here in the jazzclub, NETHERZONE BLUE, have had some trepidation about your lack of verbosity; in other words, we wants you to mouth off
a bit more. We like it when you mouth off, teaching us vocabulary building, and challenging our knowledge of music, philosophy, politics, history, movies, and the nefarious SSO.

So how about it, what the haps, kid?

Eddy Emerald

12:17 PM  
Blogger Lane Savant said...

I'll give y'all a few more days on the quote. Here's a hint, you're all right, and it has some significance for Ligeti.

3:37 PM  

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