Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Greg Anderson plays Ligeti Etude 13: "The Devil's Staircase"

This might qualify as Difficult Listening for some, but it is wicked.

As a quick primer, György Ligeti (1923-2006) was a Romanian-born composer best known for his pieces popularized in Stanley Kubrick's films 2001: A Space Odyssey, The Shining, and Eyes Wide Shut. He was influenced, in his early days by his countryman Béla Bartók, but in later years, he spanned out more into the avant-garde. He wrote electronic music alongside Karlheinz Stockhausen and composed works for orchestra, voice, chamber and keyboard.

What may be his most popular work, Atmosphères (1961) along with excerpts of Lux Aeterna and Requiem were used by Kubrick in 2001 without Ligeti's permission, but other than annoyance at echo effects that were added, because he was an admirer of Kubrick, he didn't raise a fuss. He actually appreciated the exposure and I'm sure he was flattered, I would be. However, the cosmic associations these works subsequently acquired because of the film were never his intent. (To refresh your memory, think 'monolith music' and 'Jupiter pod-trip freak-out.')

In later years, Ligeti composed a series of Études pour piano, one of which, you see above.

check out gnanderson on YouTube for some more outrageous piano work.

via Шизополис


john salisbury said...

Hope I transcribed that right--I can't Ctrl+V on Blogger, apparently.

It's a favorite of mine . . .

John M. said...

I love Bartok.

You should be able to. The link was good. Funny, it comes up live in my email but only as text in Blogger.

I have had people send bad/malware site links, so I guess it's all for the best that way. That's why I turned the moderation back on.