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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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Compositional Flourishing (1967–70)

Compositional Flourishing (1967–70)

(p.210) Chapter 6 Compositional Flourishing (1967–70)
Metamorphosis in Music

Benjamin R. Levy

Oxford University Press

Having codified a repertoire of personalized techniques, Ligeti deployed them in many new combinations in an extremely productive period at the end of the 1960s. Works composed in this period include Continuum, Two Études for Organ, String Quartet no. 2, Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet, Ramifications, and the Chamber Concerto. This chapter looks at the contrapuntal techniques that built on the composer’s previous practice as well as those derived from harmonic networks. The latter allowed Ligeti to move away from the cluster-based harmonic palate characteristic of his earlier works. In these works Ligeti looked for diverse means of expression and presentation, and he founds ways of composing transitions between techniques, putting patterns derived from harmonic procedures into polyphonic combinations and deriving static harmonic fields from material generated as a melody.

Keywords:   Continuum, Ramifications, Chamber Concerto, pattern meccanico, harmonic network, microcanon, Double Concerto, Coulée, Melodien

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