More Ligeti: BORIS FEINER plays Etude #6 “Autumn in Warsaw”

This is a live performance. Autumns in Warsaw must be pretty creepy, at least this isn’t what I normally would consider autumnal music. Ligeti music is clearly structured despite the difficult writing. The structure comes from rhythm changes, texture, and layered dynamics. Also in this piece Ligeti uses the extreme high and low ranges of the keyboard to mark climaxes at structural points.

The piece features a shifting chromatic descent generally in the treble against a lot of shifting single notes in the left hand which unfortunately is difficult to see in this video. Although probably not strictly atonal in the Schoenbergian sense, there’s really no recognizable harmonic cadences. There does seem to be strict adherence to certain intervallic relationships and somehow certain dissonances sound like resolutions of other dissonances. I feel Ligeti is a pioneer of future music while the German atonal school was a culmination of the music of the past. It’s also interesting how such complex music has an audible relationship to eastern European folk music-I can hear the “folk soul” more in Ligeti than in say Bartok.


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