Sheet Music – £ – Ligeti, György – San Francisco Polyphony – orchestra ( study score). The arrow-driven harmonic certainties of Jonathan Nott and the Berlin Philharmonic (in Teldec’s Ligeti Project, 8/02 – nla) get straight to the heart of the matter. View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the Vinyl release of Doppelkonzert / San Francisco Polyphony / 2 Etüden Für Orgel / Glissandi on Discogs.
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Written for a normal symphony orchestra complement with an expanded triple woodwind section francisxo piccolos, alto flute, oboe d’amore, English horn, E flat clarinet, bass clarinet, and double-bassoonthis work was commissioned by San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.
The piece opens with a dense texture made up of many individual melodic lines.
San Francisco Polyphony
In contrast to the composer’s early pieces, which used the shimmering moving clusters of what Ligeti calls “micropolyphony,” this composition uses much wider spacing and aims for “drier, sharper, and more graphic At the beginning, certain melodies stand out from a group becuase they are played by several instruments in unison. The number of voices is very gradually reduced, producing an unusual wan illusion which leaves only the higher woodwinds playing. The winds continue to float, cycling in the air until interrupted frnacisco a wide-ranging, very quiet dissonant string chord.
Out of that sustained mass, melodies again begin to emerge, slowly at first and then in an onrushing cacophony of strings here the winds hold a sustained tone.
San Francisco Polyphony
The rushing tempo is gradually slowed down to a cycling pattern, which is taken up by the winds polyphoby the strings return to a sustained chord. Heroic and passionate melodic gestures arise first in the unison horns and then in the strings, as the other instruments re-create the dense atmospheric bed heard at the beginning. All the players then begin different fixed cycling patterns. Once again the number of instruments playing is very gradually reduced, this time creating an illusion of depth change.
A very mysterious timbre is left with very high strings, very low strings, and a high brittle piano trill. A shockingly loud bass drum shot occurs as the strings continue to hold. The percussion blast initates a high woodwind cluster reminding one of Ligeti ‘s early orchestral work, Atmospheres.
San Francisco Polyphony, for orchestra
A second percussive shock comes from a gong which increases the intensity of the massed winds. Underscored by low string drones, the winds begin trills like the calls of extraterrestial birds. These trills are gradually modified into quickly running patterns for a solo violin, which are spread to the piano and xylophone, then to winds and back to the string section — a wonderful instance of the very subtle shifting of timbres which characterizes much of this work.
A slowly unfolding horn melody appears within these patterns, ployphony melody being transferred to various winds and brass.
This whirlwind continues unabated as if all the melodies in the world have become one giant wave patternchanging its orchestration, ebbing slightly at points, and then after approximately three minutes intensifying toward a loud and sudden conclusion.
Ligeti San Francisco Polyphony, Schott – Hal Leonard Online
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Requiem; Apparitions; San Francisco Polyphony. The Ligeti Project, Vol.