How We Like Our Composers

Submitted by Andy on Wed, 06/14/2006 - 15:27

I would scarcely be even close to attaining my goal of being a "modern concert music blog" without mentioning the passing of Gy├Ârgy Ligeti a couple days ago. Not to say that I just heard of it, I do try and pay attention. (Do The Math and On An Overgrown Path both give stirring eulogies) However as much embarrassmentt as it may bring me I wasn't really familiar with the man's work, and thus felt a little unable to add my praise.

My local library did manage to have some full length Ligeti pieces (most notably his opera Le Grand Macabre), but it of course had that most hallowed of Ligeti primers, the soundtrack to Kubrick's 2001. My feelings towards opera and my clearly patrilineal fondness for Kubrick will have to be different posts, but despite the soundtrack disc's feeling as though the Ligeti pieces were cut up into smaller pieces for easy chewing it's been haunting me for the past couple days. Is the Requiem seriously only six minutes long? What a bonebreaker!

Alas, what perhaps I regret the most is that the man still had to die before I discovered these riches. I'm not sure if his involvement with 2001 caused more notice in the mainstream media, and I'm sure if Kubrick had outlasted him he'd be making a scene. Just more of that "we prefer our composers/artists/poets dead" mentality. Requiem indeed.

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