The Compositions of Gyorgy Ligeti in the 1950s and 1960s
From the mid-1950s through the 1960s, Hungarian composer György Ligeti went through a remarkable period of stylistic transition, from the emulation of his fellow countryman Béla Bartók to his own individual style at the forefront of the Western-European avant-garde. Through careful study of the sketches and drafts, as well as analysis of the finished scores, Metamorphosis in Music takes a detailed look at this compositional evolution.
Author Benjamin R. Levy includes sketch studies created through transcriptions and reproductions of archival material-much of which has never before been published-providing new, detailed information about Ligeti's creative process
and compositional methods. The book examines all of Ligeti's compositions from 1956 to 1970, analyzing little-known and unpublished works in addition to recognized masterpieces such as Atmosphères, Aventures, the Requieim, and the Chamber Concerto. Discoveries from Ligeti's sketches, prose, and finished scores lead to an enriched appreciation of these already multifaceted works. Throughout the book, Levy interweaves sketch study with comments from
interviews, counterbalancing the composer's own carefully crafted public narrative about his work, and revealing lingering attachments to older forms and insights into the creative process. Metamorphosis in Music is an
essential treatment of a central figure of the musical midcentury, who found his place in a generation straddling the divide between the modern and post-modern eras.