Anybody who plays György Ligeti’s piano works discovers a colourful musical cosmos but is confronted at the same time with various challenges. While parts of the Musica ricercata collection can be mastered by young players, some of the highly virtuosic piano études present even experienced pianists with seemingly insurmountable tasks.
On the following pages, Pierre-Laurent Aimard talks about his close collaboration with György Ligeti and introduces selected piano works based on a preoccupation with the composer’s music that spans three decades. In introductory videos, Aimard provides insights into the composer’s own ideas and wishes as well as discussing musical and technical problems and general performance issues.
Over the course of 2015, the “Performing Ligeti” section will be supplemented by material on the following works: Études Nos. 4, 8 und 12 and Musica ricercata Nos. 3, 5 and 7.
Ligeti & Aimard
Pierre-Laurent Aimard’s collaboration with György Ligeti began in the mid-1980s. In an interview, he talks about the various stages of that collaboration and provides background information on the composer’s performing suggestions, which he noted down at the time.
Étude 13: L’escalier du diable
György Ligeti once explained in an interview that he could have named his Étude 13 Sisyphus. In performing this emotionally charged piece, the “futile effort to reach the top” becomes a physical challenge for the pianist.
The opening piece of Musica ricercata is an invention on the note A, where the pianist is faced with the challenge of building an arc of suspense over several minutes.
The seventh piece of Musica ricercata is a study on the independence of both hands: the cantabile melody in the style of a folk song in the right hand and the racing ostinato accompaniment figure in the left each have their own tempo and divergent dynamics.
Ligeti & Aimard
Musica ricercata No. 1
Musica ricercata No. 7
L’escalier du diable
Inside the score
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