György Ligeti — Lontano (1967)
♠ A 1967 orchestral work by composer György Ligeti that has been used on the soundtracks of Kubrick’s The Shining (1980) and Scorsese’s Shutter Island (2010).
♠ An obvious influence. I like an orchestra when it sounds smudgy. The latter half of the album, I wanted it to feel like the orchestra was a fire upstairs that was threatening to burn the house down — and eventually, it does just that.
Birth name: György Sándor Ligeti
Born: 28 May 1923
Died: 12 June 2006
World premiere: 22. Oktober 1967 Donaueschingen, Stadthalle (D) Donaueschinger Musiktage 1967 · Dirigent: Ernest Bour · Sinfonie~Orchester des Südwestfunks
Record Label: WERGO
Série: Studio Reihe Neuer Musik
Format: Vinyl, LP
A. Requiem 26:45
♠ Choir — Chœurs Du Bayerischer Rundfunk, Munich
♠ Conductor [Choir] — Wolfgang Schubert
♠ Conductor [Orchestra] — Michael Gielen
♠ Mezzo~soprano Vocals — Barbra Ericson
♠ Orchestra — Orchestre Symphonique Du Hessischer Rundfunk, Francfort
♠ Soprano Vocals — Liliana Poli
B1. Lontano 10:30
♠ Conductor — Ernest Bour
♠ Orchestra — Orchestre Du Sudwestfunk, Baden~Baden
B2. Continuum 3:45
♠ Harpsichord — Antoinette Vischer
♠ Composed By — György Ligeti
♠ Liner Notes — Harry Halbreich
♠ Requiem was recorded on 14 March 1965
♠ Lontano was recorded on 22 October 1967
♠ Continuum was recorded in 1968
♠ Distribution exclusive CBS Disques
♠ Made in France Description:
♦ℜ♥ During the four and a half decades since its composition, Lontano has become a standard repertoire piece. György Ligeti comments on its compositional technique: ‘The “harmonic crystallisation” within the area of sonority leads to an intervallic~harmonic thought process which is thereby radically different from traditional and also atonal harmony. [...] Technically speaking, this is achieved with the aid of polyphonic methods: the fictive harmonies emerge from the complex vocal woven texture and the gradual opacity and new crystallisation are the result of discrete alterations in the individual parts. The polyphony in itself is almost imperceptible but its harmonic effect represents the intrinsic musical action: what is on the page is polyphony, but what is heard is harmony.’
♦ℜ♥ Lontano has not only established itself in the concert repertoire, but has also found its way as film music into Hollywood blockbusters. This is no surprise as the work is ideal for the generation of an almost unbearable tension as Stanley Kubrik realised during the production of ‘The Shining’ in 1980. Now Martin Scorsese is also exploiting Ligeti’s ‘harmonic crystallisation’: in his new film ‘Shutter Island’ (2010), Leonardo DiCaprio stalks through Block C of the psychiatric hospital to the strains of Lontano.
♦ℜ♥ Marking the tenth anniversary of György Ligeti’s death on 12 June, Bamberg Symphony Orchestra will perform Lontano for orchestra conducted by Jonathan Nott in the Konzerthalle Bamberg on 8 and 9 June, and on 11 June in the Vienna Konzerthaus.
Ligeti’s compositional techniques
♦ℜ♥ The Italian performance instruction ‘lontano’ translating as ‘far away’ or ‘distant’, describes the style in which this work is performed. Ligeti’s music has a distinctive character with an often eerie atmosphere created by layering very quiet sounds that build and eventually merge together. He creates gripping tension that is favoured by film directors: Lontano has been used in films such as The Shining by Stanley Kubrick and Shutter Island by Martin Scorsese.
♦ℜ♥ As an alternative to the serial music of his contemporaries, Ligeti created a stylistic device that he described as ‘Micropolyphony’. This compositional technique involves overlapping many musical lines, which move in different tempos and rhythms to form tone clusters. For Ligeti, bar lines are only used to help the orientation of the musicians, they do not mark any metric focal points.
♦ℜ♥ The “harmonic crystallisation” within the area of sonority leads to an intervallic~harmonic thought process which is thereby radically different from traditional and also atonal harmony. Technically speaking, this is achieved with the aid of polyphonic methods: fictive harmonies emerge from a complex vocal woven texture, gradual opacity and new crystallisation are the result of discrete alterations in the individual parts. The polyphony in itself is almost imperceptible but its harmonic effect represents the intrinsic musical action: what is on the page is polyphony, but what is heard is harmony. — György Ligeti
♦ℜ♥ Bamberg Symphony Orchestra will also perform Ligeti’s San Francisco Polyphony on 8, 9 and 11 June. Other upcoming performances of Ligeti’s works include Mysteries of the Macabre, an arrangement of three coloratura arias from the opera Le Gran Macabre, performed in Zürich 10 and 11 June. Melodien for orchestra will be performed by Sinfonia Iuventus on 18 June in Warsaw and Städtisches Orchester Bremerhaven will perform Concert Românesc conducted by Marc Niemann on 20 and 21 June in the Stadttheater Bremerhaven.
György Ligeti — Lontano (1967)