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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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Electronic Works (1957–58)

Electronic Works (1957–58)

(p.50) Chapter 2 Electronic Works (1957–58)
Metamorphosis in Music

Benjamin R. Levy

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the compositional processes used in Ligeti’s three electronic pieces. After his flight from Hungary during the 1956 revolution and his arrival in Cologne in 1957, Ligeti began to work at the electronic music studio of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk. There he met luminaries of the Western European avant-garde including Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gottfried Michael Koenig, and Mauricio Kagel. Immersing himself in the experimental techniques that they expounded, he produced two finished works for tape, Glissandi and Artikulation. In between time spent on these he started another, now called Pièce électronique no. 3 but originally conceived under the title Atmosphères. These works show a remarkable assimilation of ideas from Stockhausen but also reveal diverging aesthetic goals that anticipate Ligeti’s future direction.

Keywords:   Karlheinz Stockhausen, Gottfried Michael Koenig, Mauricio Kagel, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, WDR, electronic music, Glissandi, Artikulation, Pièce électronique no. 3

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