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  Исполнитель(и) :
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  Наименование CD :
   Trio Fur Violine, Horn Und Klavier



Год издания : 1993/1986

Компания звукозаписи : Wergo

Время звучания : 52:52

Код CD : Wergo 60100-50

  Комментарий (рецензия) :

CD, стоящие на полке рядом : Classics (Modern Classics)      

Trio fur Violine, Horn und Klavier / Passacaglia ungherese / Hungarian Rock / Continuum / Monument, Selbstportrait, Bewegung

========= from the cover ==========

Trompe-l'Oreille, Allusion, Illusion - concerning some works by Gyorgy Ligeti

Solo harpsichord, duo-pianos, a trio for violin, horn, and piano - it is not easy to relate the five works presented on this record. There are of course obvious aspects which the pieces have in common: for one thing, they are all by same composer; for another, they are all works Ligeti has written since the end of the 1960s using a keyboard instrument alone, doubled, or as part of a chamber music ensemble.

It might be more helpful to view the pieces chronologically: Continuum 1968, Three Pieces for Two Pianos 1976, Hungarian Rock and Passacaglia ungherese 1978, Horn Trio 1982. In this sequence a solo work (in one instance, two) appears before a larger cyclic work suggesting perhaps the old relationship between a prelude and the more developed piece a prelude introduces. However such observations are not particularly informative in establishing the unique features of each of the pieces or indicating the important characteristics they do have in common.

The brief duration and solo character of Continuum for harpsichord should not lead one to underestimate its significance, for this four minute perpetual motion study is one of Ligeti's key works. Together with the third movement of the Second String Quartet (which also dates from 1968), Continuum is a prime example of the structural devices Ligeti has since called dot-pattern music and grid-system music. These structures produce for the listener various trompe-ioreille effects (to paraphrase a bit of painting terminology). Here an apparent surface of sound is established that is actually made up of many small elements: the change of pitches within this quasi-surface produces a mirage-like design of melodic vocal lines, rhythmic structures are set up by the statistical recurrence of certain pitch repetitions. In both cases what is heard is not what appears in the notation of the piece, but something that emerges out of it as a kind of by-product that results when the tiny elements that make up the sound are shifted or redistributed. An analogy can be made to the pointillism technique of the French painter, Seurat, and to similar techniques whereby dots are activated in various ways to produce images on a television screen.

In Continuum these characteristics are only partly present. Though dot-pattern music and grid-system music are two aspects of the same idea, they do have different features: dot-pattern music consists of layers of motoric musical materials moving at a tempo which might be described as quick to breakneck; grid-system music involves layers of various polymetric devices using differing note values and tempos. The basic idea however in Continuum is that of a self-destroying precision machine in which excessive speed brings about the demolition, a gradual consumption or corrosion, a kind of rusting from the inside out. Here is another of Ligeti's special traits: the thinking through to the end of his ideas and material, pursuing all the consequences and aspects even to the point of absurdity. This feature determined as well his earlier confrontation with serial technique from which he developed the polyphonic and textural styles that have become his "trademark", the large musical surfaces composed of exact but obscured intervallic structures, the echo of which can be clearly heard in Continuum. The dialectic between the surface effects and the dot-pattern or grid-system structures behind them illustrates the merging of opposites that can be regularly observed in Ligeti's music - that intentional, cunning, often roguishly enigmatic blur of references and regions. Such moments are found in Continuum in the instrument's highest register where the combination of sound and rate of speed makes the instrumental music sound as if it were electronic. The whir and glitter of Continuum can be viewed as a thinking-through-to-the-end of the harpsichord's particular sonorities as well as a Kafkaesque and machine-like traumatic vision. The piece combines joy in a harmless, playful, antsy tangle of notes, an ironic evocation of a baroque toccata, and the anxiety of mechanical operations breaking down as the music spirals up into the ether.

Continuum has been presented so extensively because so much that is typical of Ligeti can be read, heard, and demonstrated in it. From it, a direct line extends to the second of the Three Pieces for Two Pianos, the Self-Portrait with Reich and Riley (with Chopin in the Background). One might describe this movement as a piece of dot-pattern music which here and there changes into grid-system music. In any case, effects emerge that sometimes suggest a polymetric layering which is not really present. Here also is the concept of the precision mechanism, which this time fails to function properly from the outset. Ligeti has composed a kind of "sand in the gears"; he does this using a technique of "blocked" keys. The left hand acts as a "block" by silently depressing a changing number of specific keys in shifting registers; the right hand plays rapid figures that extend into the area of keys "blocked" by the left hand; the "blocked" tones appear as empty spaces, rests, or as disturbances in the flow. Ligeti has created an ingenious, but bewildering interplay between precision and imprecision, whereby the figurations in the two pianos show a refined similarity to one another (rather like the near-sameness of objects displaced by a distortion in perspective). However the "blockings" in the two pianos are different, and both pianists are required to play as fast and evenly as possible though they are not bound to any exact rhythmic coordination at least in the movement's first large section. Out of all this arises the idea of a clockwork of different speeds and an impressive functional uselessness similar to the Theater Fountain by Tinguely in Basel. The association with Tinguely can be carried further. There, as here, the impression shifts between gentle anxiety and quiet humor, though the humor in Ligeti often seems to evolve into a breathless fear and menace. This atmosphere is strongest in the closing section of the piece where the music, as it accelerates - as fast as possible or even faster -with an "as if" quotation from the finale movement of Chopin's Bb minor Sonata, completely sinks into the bog (Ligeti) of the pianos black bass depths. All this suggests a development in the characteristics of Continuum which is made still clearer in the multi-layered treatment of rhythm and meter. Ligeti describes the ruling principle as being, the generation of a second order of musical shapes and formal operations; that is, shapes and processes which are not brought forward directly by the players, but emerge through the coming together at an illusory level of processes differing in configuration and speed Again we observe the trompe-l'oreille effects which translate into the music - with apparent rhythms and apparent agogic accents - effects we know from the stroboscope. Where does the title come from? The reference to Chopin has already been indicated. The allusion to Steve Reich and Terry Riley comes from the fact that at least in the middle 1970s some relation could be seen between Ligeti's dot-pattern procedures and the rhythmic/melodic "phase" techniques of the two leading American minimalists. Ligeti noted this himself which explains the title, Self-Portrait ... Of course it is an ironic autoritratto, and Ligeti admits, / was pulling my own /eg. Nothing is more characteristic and personal in Ligeti than this feeling for the "double-entendre". It determines not only his attitude to tradition, but also to his own work and discoveries. He views with humor - often taken to extremes of absurdity - even those aspects of his work that have required enormous intellectual effort and exertion of imagination to experiment with and devise. Monument and In a Gently Flowing Movement, the two outer wings of this triptych for two pianos, are of another nature. We know from Ligeti's remarks on the orchestra piece, Lonfano, the role spatial associations play in the formation of his ideas of sound. Monument is an example where he creates an aural illusion of space out of a six-tiered system of dynamic gradations. Only the pure dynamic levels are used: ff, f, mf, etc. Variable shadings through crescendo or diminuendo are not employed. For long stretches Ligeti assigns particular dynamic levels to unchanging pitches, and when he alters this arrangement he takes pains that the dynamic levels are separated into either the foreground, middle ground, or background. A sculptural creation arises as it were, a musical three-dimen-sionalism in spite of the single dimension of the piano sound; neither instrument is ever completely for long periods in the foreground or background. Again trompe-l'oreille and illusion appear. In addition there is an echo of his earlier application of serial techniques, noticeable especially in the assignment of specific dynamic levels to particular instrumental registers. The course of the movement represents a gradual filling up of the tonal space which expands higher and lower out of the middle register. The texture becomes fuller and the quality of movement more active. At the end, the piece evaporates with pitch repetitions in the instruments' highest registers as if the monument were lifted into the clouds, or its identity as an illusion unmasked. Could it be the tower of Babel? The terraced architecture and cloud regions suggest Breughel...

The third piece, In a Gently Flowing Movement is a contrast to Monument. The piece begins in a quasi-impressionistic manner with a refined shifting of delicate heterogeneous figures between the two instruments. It evokes Debussy's Cloches a trovers les feuilles as well as Schumann's Des Abends in the way separate pitches are linked into melodic voices through a subtle play of balance between the two pianos. After a relatively short time the density of activity and pitches grows first with the illusion and later the reality of an accelerando. At the same time the tonal space steadily expands into the higher and lower registers. With increasing speed sforzato tones stab through the bubbling of figurations which grow more and more frantic; an effect of graduated spatial depth is created, which confirms Ligeti's characterization of the third piece as a liquefied variant of the first. The course of intensification is clearer here than in the first movement because of the different type of motion. What was left floating at the end of the earlier movement here explodes; the tonal space appears to burst and fly apart like Dali's dome, and behind the fragments as they drift away there occurs a typical moment of contrast for Ligeti: a "window" appears. As the sound conglomerate collapses, a sharply contrasting structural event suddenly intrudes. In this case, it is a quasi-chorale shaped out of a mirror canon in which the voices are gradually folded together like a telescope. This is a chorale only through association; it offers no confirmation or consolation. It hangs frozen in the cool pianissimo distance. To paraphrase Schumann: The cycle ends, as it began, enigmatic, like a sphinx.

If I regard Continuum as a key work of Ligeti, I hesitate to apply such a designation to the two other harpsichord compositions presented here. Both are more in the nature of occasional pieces or compositional warm-up exercises. Both are based, according to Ligeti, on experiences and discussions in his composition class in Hamburg. Hungarian Rock represents a "marriage" of "classical" and "pop" elements, to use the current jargon, while Passacaglia ungherese poses the problem of "new tonality". In both cases, Ligeti has written pastiche pieces; their titles indicate their mixture of heterogeneous elements. Hungarian Rock is shaped like a chaconne. It is based on a 9/8 harmonic and rhythmic ostinato in the left hand with the quavers or eighth notes subdivided 2+2+3+2 as in Balkan or Caribbean rhythms. Because of the Caribbean influence, the ostinato also suggests rhythmic patterns that come from "commercial" jazz. In the right hand, despite the simple 9/8 meter, a display of fireworks is unleashed based on various subdivisions of nine and period displacements. It imitates with brilliance and irony the jazz practice of alternating solo and chorus and even includes the conventional "break" at the end.

The Passacaglia ungherese is different. Here Ligeti - with a twinkle in his eye -conjures up elements of early and late baroque performance practice. From the beginning he pushes historicism to the limit, jostling it with his predilection for special intervallic and harmonic possibilities. He instructs that the piece should be played (preferably) on a "mean-tone" instrument. (Mean-tone temperament is a system of tuning used before our modern equal temperament was adopted in the middle of the 18th century; in mean-tone tuning the octaves, major thirds, and minor sixths sound "pure"; that is, acoustically correct without interference beats). From these conditions Ligeti has extracted his harmonic consequences. He adds to the passacaglia ostinato, an ostinato second voice which, together with the first, plays exclusively major thirds and minor sixths. In addition, the two voices constantly switch their functions according to the principles of double or inver-tible counterpoint: the upper voice becomes the lower voice and vice versa. This structure twice descends an octave. The whole block can also be transposed seamlessly to a lower level which Ligeti also does twice moving from the C above the treble clef down to the lower C octave of the bass clef. From there the game is repeated from the beginning, in all six times. The trick is that this sequence of six repetitions - in itself a large ostinato - consists each time of six repetitions of the same series of notes - a smaller ostinato. Ligeti has therefore written, one might say, an ostinato-ostinato, which recalls his term, the anfi-anfi opera. The melodic lines "correctly" added to the ostinati follow the traditional practice of proportional acceleration (each repetition of the basic structure presents faster note values in the added parts). These melodic lines appear as paraphrases of Hungarian folkloric melodies as encountered in Bartok and Koddly, and emphasize the pastiche character of the piece.

Ligeti has described these two harpsichord pieces as preparatory studies for the Horn Trio. Of course for a composition of spiritual scope and musical substance like the Horn Trio (which may well have a key function in Ligeti's future development), the structure is more broadly based than is possible in two ironic pieces for solo harpsichord. What is impressive in this larger piece of chamber music is the treatment of significant thematic shapes and strongly outlined forms. One recognizes precedents for these aspects in the opera, Le Grand Macabre; the vivid pictorialism and drastic means of the opera clearly required correspondingly graphic conceptions in the music. There one also encounters the inherited forms of chaconne and passacaglia which are presented so didactically in the harpsichord pieces. A passacaglia does serve as the formal scaffolding for the Trio's concluding Lamento movement, though now in a position somewhere in between the obvious and the unrecognizable which is typical of Ligeti. The pastiche idea governs the second movement of the Trio. It is a dance inspired by various kinds offolkmusic from non-existent peoples; as if Hungary, Rumania, and all of the Balkan countries lay somewhere between Africa and the Caribbean (Ligeti). It may depend on your "angle of hearing" whether the ubiquitous rhythmic subdivision 3+3+2 seems Balkan or Afro-Caribbean in origin (one should note that the idea of pastiche has been given an exemplary realization in a famous orchestral interlude from the opera). The rhythmic basis of the Trio's second movement is obviously related to Hungarian Rock, while the vivid irony of the third movement is perhaps derived from the musical imagery of the opera. We observe here a grotesque march with a limping and shifting basic rhythm with which the violin and piano constantly fall out of step, while the horn adds to the confusion in the final section.

All this may create a mistaken impression that the Horn Trio is a mere echo or shadow of the opera, because only derivations from Ligeti's recent past have been mentioned. Actually the Horn Trio is a work with very much its own character shaped by a wealth of inner and outer references as is usual with Ligeti, but with a depth of expressivity that seems new in his music For details of technique, structure, and language I refer the interested reader to the analysis by Ulrich Dibelius in the periodical Melos (Schott-Verlag, Mainz) Vol. 1,1984, to which it would be difficult to add anything of significance.

In closing, there is one moment in the piece I would like to point out which may serve as a "guide" for the listener's approach to the music. This involves reference to the allusiveness of Ligeti. Though the Horn Trio is intended as a Homage to Brahms, it dispenses with literal Brahms quotations. Nonetheless it begins with a quote with a characteristic twist. We hear the traditional "horn firths" as we know them from Beethoven's Les Adieux sonata where they appear transcribed for piano. Ligeti seizes these fifths and makes them the "central theme" of the whole piece. However he shifts the perspective by altering the fifth (the characteristic interval of the three-note motiv) by substituting a tritone, and the diatonic melodic character by introducing a mixture of diatonic and chromatic elements. This shifts the motiv to a mysterious region and makes the woeful and nostalgic aspects all the more touching. This treatment appears not only in the first movement where it predominates, but also in those places where it functions as a "window" - as at the end of the second movement, or in the trio of the third movement where it becomes an "allusion to an allusion", and most effectively of all in the theme of the closing passacaglia where the "horn fifth" motiv is expanded in a succession of five chords. The expressive climax of the work appears in a great fortissimo outburst shortly before the end where the piano, with a long descending gesture, burrows its way into the chromatic lament, while the other two players are heard in a second chromatic deplorafion that proceeds in parallel tritones with a distance of two and a half octaves between the horn and violin. Never before has Gyorgy Ligeti so uninhibitedly conveyed grief, pain, and resignation.

Josef Hausler (English Translation by John Patrick Thomas)


  Соисполнители :

Antonio Ballista (Keyboards)
Bruno Canino (Keyboards)
Eckart Besch (Keyboards)
Elisabeth Chojnacka (Cymbals)
Hermann Baumann (Horn)
Saschko Gawriloff (Violin)


№ п/п

Наименование трека

Текст

Длительность

Комментарий
   1 I. Andantino Con Tenerezza         0:06:22 Trio Fur Violune, Horn Und Klavier (1982)
Saschko Gawriloff / Herman Baumann / Eckart Besch. Rec. 1984
   2 II. Vivacissimo Molto Ritmico         0:05:23 -"-
   3 III. Alla Marcia         0:03:07 -"-
   4 IV. Lamento. Adagio         0:07:13 -"-
   5 Passacaglia Ungherese Fur Cembalo         0:04:52 1978 - Elisabeth Chojnacka, Rec. 1979
   6 Hungarian Rock (Chaconne) Fur Cembalo         0:05:12 -"-
   7 Continuum Fur Cembalo         0:04:07 1968 - Elisabeth Chojnacka. Rec. 1979
   8 Monument         0:04:38 Monument, Selbstportrait, Bewegung, Drei Stucke Fur Zwei Klaviere (1976) - Antonio Ballista / Bruno Canino. Rec. 1976
   9 Selbstportrait Mit Reich Und Riley (und Chopin Ist Auch Dabei)         0:07:19 -"-
   10 In Zart Fliessender Bewegung         0:04:39 -"-

      Обозначения:

 T   'щелкнуть' - переход к тексту композиции.

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