The music of the Hungarian Györgi Ligeti, a composer “marked by independence” in relation to his country and the European vanguards, will be featured in the “Music & Revolution” cycle, starting Saturday at Casa da Música.
The ‘Music & Revolution’ will run from Friday to Tuesday, April 30, and features concerts by the Symphonic Orchestra, the Choir and the Remix Ensemble, resident groups of the House of Music, around the work of Ligeti (1923-2006).
The cycle starts with the ‘Symphonic Poem for 100 metronomes’, a hundred mechanical devices playing simultaneously, but at different rhythms in the cyberspace, at 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, exploring a’ conceptual artwork by Ligeti.
The artistic director of the institution, António Jorge Pacheco, described the moment as a ‘happening’, which creates’ a complex polyrhythmic that goes from the rhythm to which they are beating to stagnation when they ‘lose the rope’ and they also switch off at different speeds. ”
The timing “serves as an aperitif for the ensuing concerts,” and is described as “a unique experience” for which several Education Service technicians will work to power the metronomes “in a precise and right order.”
The moment has some informality, but it requires “a lot of concentration to have a complete visual and sound experience so that the person is allowed to impregnate and achieve an almost hypnotic effect.”
Before, in the Sala Suggia, a documentary will be presented in which “one can hear Ligeti himself speak out loud“, to meet “one of the most remarkable composers of the 20th century“, not only “for the radicality of his language, but above all for its independence. ”
In the second year in which the cycle focuses only on a composer, after the Austrian Anton Webern in 2018, attention is drawn to an author who left Hungary under communist rule, also escaping from the ‘moorings’ of ‘socialist realism as aesthetic current’.
He worked with Karlheinz Stockhausen and made contact with the vanguards of the Western world, but “always followed his own path” and would later say that he always composed “in a prison: one wall is the avant-garde, the other is the past. ”
At 6:00 pm, the Remix Ensemble explores the chamber concert and cello concert, followed by the Symphony in the second part, exploring ‘Lontano’, ‘Apparitions’ and excerpts from the ‘anti-opera’ ‘Le Grand Macabre’, with Swedish soprano Susanna Andersson.
Known to the general public for the use of various film themes, such as in Stanley Kubrick’s ‘2001: Odyssey in Space’, or in several works by Martin Scorsese, these ‘double concerts’ combine lesser-known works with ‘classics’.
Thus, on Sunday, at 6:00 p.m., the performance begins with the Symphony, in a program that includes the ‘Concert Romanês’, ‘perhaps his most linked work to the roots of Hungarian popular music’, according to the artistic director of Casa da Música.
In the second part, the Remix Ensemble joins the “world interpreter par excellence of Ligeti“, the French pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard.
“He is one of the great pianists of today and has a very close connection with the composer since Ligeti dedicated a lot of works to him. Aimard will then play a solo on the 30th, several of those works dedicated to him “, reveals António Jorge Pacheco.
In its entirety, this edition of “Music & Revolution” presents “a perhaps unpublished collection of works by Ligeti, which allow the public to take an in-depth knowledge about this enormous composer who has marked the course of Western music“, with a total of 14 works of the Hungarian.
Born in 1923, Ligeti was born in Transylvania and lived in Hungary under communist rule until he moved to Austria in 1956, dying in 2006 in Vienna after a life in which he sought to distance himself from the dominant aesthetic currents.
The polyrhythmic approach, experimentalism and bold language brought him the recognition of the musical world, mirrored in numerous awards, and eventually became one of the most advanced figures of contemporary music in the twentieth century.
The connection to the cinema was noted above all in Kubrick’s work, but also with Scorsese or Michael Mann, and continues to this day, as in “The Killing of a Sacred Deer” by the Greek Yorgos Lanthimos.