György Ligeti – String Quartet No. 2 Cello (1968)

Recorded at Henry Wood Hall, Trinity Church Square, London on July 13-15, 1994.

Performed by Arditti String Quartet: Rohan de Saram – Cello / Garth Knox – Viola / David Alberman – Violin / Irvine Arditti – Violin

György Ligeti’s String Quartet No. 2 is a string quartet that was composed between February and August 1968.[1] It consists of five movements:  Allegro nervoso Sostenuto, molto calmo Come un meccanismo di precisione Presto furioso, brutale, tumultuoso Allegro con delicatezza It is approximately 21 minutes in duration. It is dedicated to the LaSalle Quartet who gave its first performance in Baden-Baden on the 14 December 1969. [source]

György Sándor Ligeti (28 May 1923 – 12 June 2006) was a composer of contemporary classical music. He has been described as “one of the most important avant-garde composers in the latter half of the twentieth century” and “one of the most innovative and influential among progressive figures of his time”.[1]  Born in Transylvania, Romania, he lived in Hungary before emigrating and becoming an Austrian citizen. [source]

Here is the full concert:

“Now there is no taboo; everything is allowed. But one cannot simply go back to tonality, it’s not the way. We must find a way of neither going back nor continuing the avant-garde. I am in a prison: one wall is the avant-garde, the other wall is the past, and I want to escape.”
– György Ligeti
Said in A lecture at the New England Conservatory in 1993

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[Inspired by Viktória Nádas]

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Paul Hindemith – Sonata for viola and piano in F major, Op.11, No.4 (1919)

Paul Hindemith (1895-1963). Hindemith is among the most significant German composers of his time. His early works are in a late romantic idiom, and he later produced expressionist works, rather in the style of early Arnold Schoenberg, before developing a leaner, contrapuntally complex style in the 1920s. This style has been described as neoclassical, but is very different from the works by Igor Stavinsky labeled with that term, owing more to the contrapuntal language of Johann Sebastian Bach and Max Reger than the Classical clarity of Mozart. [source]

1. Phantasie (3:06)
2. Thema mit Variationen (4:01)
3. Finale mit Variationen (10:09)

Kim Kaskashian – Viola
Robert Levin – Piano

From: Paul Hindemith – Kim Kashkashian – Robert Levin ‎- Sonatas For Viola And Piano And Viola Alone, released in 1988.

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Luigi Nono: Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima (1979)

In 1979, after a three year long compositional crisis, Luigi Nono returned to composition with a series of works which seemed to be radically different from anything he had made in the preceding three decades. One of these works is the string quartet Fragmente-Stille, an Diotima, which was premiered by the LaSalle Quartet in 1980. Few postwar works have been commented – and praised – as much as this quartet. Only a year after the premiere, Heinz-Klaus Metzger called it Nono’sturning point, and thirty years later, David Metzer looked back at it as one of the works from around 1980 that introduced a new phase of musical modernism. [source]

Diotima was Socrates’ teacher, and is associated with the concept of time. Performed by the Arditti String Quartet, this music is guided by lines from Holderlin’s famous poem, which are present only as an unspoken meditation and guidepost written into the score in 52 places. Nono poses the fundamental questions “Where am I, and who am I?” by examining old music and memories from the distant past as producers of both pain and hope. The composer seeks to “externalize as fully as possible that which has been internalized….” He concludes, “That is what matters today.” [source]

COMPOSER : Luigi Nono

QUARTUAR ARDETTI:
Rohan de Saram – Cello
Levine Andrade – Viola
David Alberman – Violin
Irvine Arditti – Violin

Recorded in Cologne, July 1990 and released in 1991 on Montaigne.

 

 

 

 

 

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John Cale – At About This Time Mozart Was Dead And Joseph Conrad Was Sailing The Seven Seas Learning English (1967)

From Steinless Gamelan: Inside The Dream Syndicate Volume III by John Cale.

On the album’s longest work, “At About this Time, Mozart Was Dead and Joseph Conrad Was Sailing the Seven Seas Learning English,” at nearly half an hour for wollensack, viola, and guitar, tape edits are sliced into the mix, altering whole tones and creating intervals out of seeming half and semi-quavers. Interestingly, since the notion of the piece is to move ever upward, these cuts seem to create intervals of modulation where there were none. [source]

John Cale – Tape (Wollensak), Viola, Guitar

Sterling Morrison – Viola, Guitar

The track is recorded May 1967. Released on Table Of The Elements. © John Cale 1967.

 

The London Symphony Orchestra is joking!

The LSO is running a little joke competition on their Facebook page. Who said classical music was boring?

Here is my favourite:

A famous conductor was about to go on stage to perform with one of the world’s best orchestra’s when suddenly he was taken ill. The orchestra manager was frantic, and had no idea what to do, when a young viola player came forward, saying he knew the piece, had done a bit of conducting, and would be happy to step in. The concert was a roaring success – never before had the orchestra performed with such vigour, excitement and sensitivity. The audience went wild. The critics went wild. The orchestra were in raptures – a star was born!! Back stage after the concert the viola player was surrounded by his colleagues and friends, all wanting to congratulate him. He spotted his fellow viola players all standing nearby and went to see them. “Guys!! So? What did you think?!” They all turned to him and said “About bloody time!!! Where the f*** have you been??”