The concept of reducing orchestral masses to individuals rather than sections was also applicable to purely instrumental music. Schoenberg's Chamber Symphony, Op. The voices always develop simultaneously, but in varying rhythmic configurations and generally at differing speeds. A survivor of both Nazi and Soviet repression - Ligeti and his wife fled their native Hungary on foot following the brutal Russian suppression of nascent Hungarian liberties - Ligeti is a fiercely individual artist, with scant patience for the contentious "isms" of music from the second half of the 20th century.
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Ligeti embarked on his Chamber Concerto just after completing Ramifications; the Chamber Concerto was premiered on October 1, in Berlin by the ensemble Die Reihe, under the direction of Ligeti 's like-minded colleague Friederich Cerha.
Similarly to Ten Pieces for Woodwind Quintet , each of the four movements focus on a particular quality of musical expression, rather than on a motivic or melodic base. The scoring for the Chamber Concerto is flute, clarinet doubling bass clarinet, horn, trombone, harpsichord doubling Hammond organ , piano doubling celeste , and solo strings. As he did in Continuum for harpsichord and Ramifications - , Ligeti superimposes rapidly articulated, simple motifs to form a glittering surface both moving and still.
This is how the first movement of the Chamber Concerto begins; it continues in this fashion with some registral and dynamic variation until the three-minute mark. At that point, the ensemble interrupts the texture with a sustained E-flat in several octaves, a favorite Ligeti gambit mirroring both the first movement of the Cello Concerto and the first movement of the Ten Pieces for Woodwind Quintet.
There is also a relatively brief moment of broad atonal melody in octaves before the Chamber Concerto's first movement ends. The second movement is timbrally quite different, with more defined gestures, and a generally greater tendency toward melody. The third movement is an extended "roomful of clocks," a clear example of Ligeti 's polymetric tendencies, of which there are shorter sections in the Cello Concerto, String Quartet No. Again in this movement, the listener perceives Ligeti 's increasing concern for distinct harmony.
The fourth movement shows clearly the soloistic, "concerto" aspects of the piece. A solo clarinet tremolo becomes a fast ascending scale for several instruments; the rapidly cycling chromatic gestures form the fabric through which the occasional melody shines.
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Chamber Concerto (Ligeti)
Ligeti: Kammerkonzert, Ramifications & Other Works