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György Ligeti Edition 1: String Quartets and Duets - Arditti String Quartet

4.8 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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  • György Ligeti Edition 1: String Quartets and Duets - Arditti String Quartet
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Artist: LIGETI,G.
Title: QT STR/DUET
Street Release Date: 01/28/1997
Domestic
Genre: CLASSICAL COMPOSERS

Amazon.com

This is a fine collection of moving, muscular performances by this seminal postwar composer. Surely the best known of the works on this disc is the Second String Quartet, one of the masterpieces of 20th-century music--although you might not know it's a masterpiece until the heartbreaking last movement. But the First String Quartet, written before Ligeti emigrated from Hungary to the West, is fascinating: it shows Ligeti working through the influence of Bartók, particularly Bartók's Third and Fourth Quartets--music Ligeti knew only silently, from the score, since performances of Bartók's music were banned by the Hungarian communist regime. This excellent recording provides a complete overview of Ligeti's compositional career through the medium of string chamber music, from homages to Bartók to the achievement of Ligeti's own groundbreaking style. --Joshua Cody
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Product Details

  • Performer: David Alberman, Irvine Arditti, Garth Knox, Rohan deSaram, Arditti String Quartet
  • Orchestra: Gyorgy Ligeti
  • Audio CD (January 28, 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • Run Time: 58 minutes
  • ASIN: B0000029OY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #138,538 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on December 6, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Sony's "Gyorgy Ligeti Edition 1: String Quartets and Duos" is the first disc of the 13-volume series--continued after the 8th installment by Teldec's "The Ligeti Project"---of Gyorgy Ligeti's collected works in performances overseen by the composer itself. It collects his impressive two strings quartets, a brief birthday greeting to another composer, a work inspired by an ethnomusical stint in Romania, and another early work. The works are performed by the Arditti Quartet, who have done so much to provide satisfying and lasting performances of modern string repetoire.

String Quartet No. 1 ("Metamorphoses nocturnes") was written between 1953 and 1954, as the composer was struggling to express himself creatively in Stalinist Hungary. The work shows clear inspiration from Bartok's third and fourth quartets, which Ligeti knew only from their score as they had been suppressed. Similarly, Ligeti had no hope his own work would be performed, and it was written essentially "for his desk drawer". Ironically, when Ligeti submitted the piece to a Western competition, it was deemed too traditional for recognition. This first string quartet is a study in the juxtaposition of unlike sections; under a thin verneer of normality, the music is heterogenous. I think this is a fine work, and it is one of the composer's few pre-emigration pieces that do not sound like juvenalia in comparison with his later works.

String Quartet No. 2 (1968) was composed long after Ligeti's move to the West and so is entirely avant-garde, linked with the techniques of his other works of the 1960's. Ligeti was quite proud of this piece, claiming it as his favourite of his works of the time, and feeling that he had made a permanent contribution to the string quartet tradition.
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Format: Audio CD
This recording is my first venture into the chamber music of Ligeti, though I have loved the orchestral and choral music for years. This is a beautiful recording of some of the most important string music of the last 50 years comparable in originality only to the Scelsi quartet cycle.
String Quartet No. 1 was written under the influence of the Bartok middle period quartets, though Ligeti only knew them from the scores, as they were banned under communist rule. Though the Bartok influence can be heard in the first quartet, this is Ligeti's own music, not Bartok's. The work succeeds on it's own merits. It's formally adventurous and the melodic motives are striking.
The real reason to get this CD is the Quartet No. 2. This later work extends Ligeti's method of micropolyphony to the chamber medium with spectacular results. The work is no longer about melody harmony and form...rather it is a work that transforms from texture to texture, rather like an electronic piece. It is aurally stunning and deeply emotional, not something that most avent-gardists manage to pull off well.
The disc is rounded off by a duet for two stringed instruments and two folk inspired pieces from Ligeti's early career in Romania. They are delightful, if not as important as the string quartets.
If you are a fan of avant-garde string music, buy this CD...now!You might also enjoy the boxed set of the string quartets of Gianocinto Scelsi. Ligeti and Scelsi went in parallel directions musically, and though the results are different, they are mutually enlightening.
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This Ligeti Edition disc collects all three of Ligeti's works for string quartet -- No. 1 and No. 2 each approximately 20 minutes long -- plus two string duets. The Arditti Quartet is stunning as always. Most striking is the contrast between the String Quartet No. 1 from 1953-54, which was inspired by Bartok's Third and Fourth, according to Ligeti's liner notes, and the String Quartet No. 2 from 1968, an expression of Ligeti's mature style. Of this work, Ligeti says "[t]here is no longer any motivic writing...no contours, only sound textures, which are sometimes frayed and almost fluid...and at other times grainy and machine-like..." The two closing pieces are from 1950, and are both delightful, if not groundbreaking -- a sweet conclusion to a feast of dense, difficult and rewarding 20th century music!
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Format: Audio CD
György Ligeti se está convirtiendo en los últimos años en el "principal compositor vivo", tras los fallecimientos de Messiaen y Lutoslawsky. Sin duda, Ligeti cuenta con todos los merecimientos para recibir este honor: amplio catálogo, voz propia, variedad, calidad y "cierta accesibilidad". Los cuartetos que aquí nos ocupan forman parte del núcleo fuerte de su obra. Ya se ha dicho repetidamente la filiación del primero "Metamorfosis Nocturnas" respecto de los últimos cuartetos de Bartók, llegando a afirmarse que podría pasar por el séptimo de éste último. En cuanto al segundo cuarteto es un alarde de inventiva a la par que un completo resumen de las inquietudes del húngaro durante la década de los sesenta, utilizando procedimientos que ya hallamos en muchas de sus obras orquestales de la época. Cada movimiento es un mundo aparte y muestra a las claras que vanguardismo, calidad y capacidad de fascinación no son conceptos excluyentes. ¿Qué decir del Arditti Quartet, única formación que, hasta el momento, se ha atrevido con ambas obras?. Se trata de una interpretación magistral, superior a la que ya ofrecieron en su grabación para el sello Wergo hace ya algunos años. Además este disco incluido en la serie Ligeti Edition incluye algunos piezas menores no grabadas hasta este momento que aumentan su atractivo. Por cierto ¿a qué se debe el parón de esta serie?. En prácticamente dos años solamente ha salido al mercado la nueva versión de la ópera "El gran macabro".
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