Wednesday, 14 June 2006

The Death of a Din-Meister

The composer Gyorgy Ligeti has died; and it is only fitting that his passing has become the occasion for a mercifully short cacophony of praise in respect of his legacy.
.....I’ve often wondered if anyone listens to the music of Ligeti or Stockhausen when there is no one else around to witness the act. It strikes me as highly unlikely that someone would sit alone at home and think, “What I need now is a little Ligeti or Stockhausen to raise the spirit or soothe the soul or stimulate the intellect”. I for one would sooner listen to the cistern refilling. Even taking into consideration the adage that there is no accounting for taste, I am still of the strong suspicion that the Ligetis and Stockhausens of this world would get nowhere without playing upon the pretensions of others.

8 comments:

The Pedant-General in Ordinary said...

" I for one would sooner listen to the cistern refilling. "

But Deogolwulf old chap, have you not heard Laffing von MurthRestraining-Girdle's seminal work, the "Concerto for Urinal And Armpits No.1 in A (Cottage)"?

ninme said...

Sounds like tuning.

No actually, it sounds like our little high school music theory introduction. Band conductor told us to run off and compose, doing things like transcribing and inversions and changing keys and layering over and over to create new patterns. I think I came up with something sounding very much like "Hamburg Concerto for Solo Horn, Chamber Orchestra & 4 Natural Horns: III. Aria, Aksak, Hoketus".

(Samples courtesy of iTunes preview)

Deogolwulf said...

"Laffing von MurthRestraining-Girdle's seminal work, the 'Concerto for Urinal And Armpits No.1 in A (Cottage)'"

Might I have read about this on your blog? It rings a bell somehow (or pulls a chain).

Ninme, I think any high-school band will do, just so long as the band-members are told that they should not under any circumstances make any efforts towards making a tune.

Anonymous said...

Must say,, i did like the hellishly atmospheric Ligeti works (Lux Aeterna?), used in Kubrick's 2001:A Space Odyssey.

dearieme said...

My wife always turns off Radio Three when they announce "And now for some British music." As she so sagely says, if they meant Elgar, they'd say Elgar.

Deogolwulf said...

Sagely indeed.

Dennis Mangan said...

I put on a CD of Ligeti's Piano Concerto the other day when I heard of his death. (I've also heard it performed live.) Soul-destroying cacaphony is what it is. His compatriot Bartok sounds like Brahms next to him.

Anonymous said...

I quite like him, and Stockhausen and I love Bartok.