One of the late 20th century’s most revelatory composers, Ligeti achieved huge popularity when Stanley Kubrick used his music to create a magical soundtrack for 2001 Space Odyssey.
Nothing is ever predictable in Ligeti’s scores. The Violin Concerto challenges its soloist to improvise most of its substantial cadenza. The Piano Concerto, overflowing with intriguing rhythmic effects, also features rare colours in orchestration including ocarina, harmonica and a slide whistle.
The Chamber Concerto, influenced by Ligeti’s compatriot Bartók, explores a succession of musical moods, its strange sonic world enhanced by both harpsichord and Hammond organ.
For the ‘Hamburg' Concerto for solo horn, meanwhile, the composer deploys four natural horns alongside the soloist to create a startling sonic landscape of overtones, dissonant harmonies, and complex rhythmic interplay.
A longstanding Ligeti aficionado, Patricia Kopatchinskaja won acclaim for her performances in Southbank Centre’s Deep8Minimalism and Changing Minds weekends.
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, who regularly shares his mastery of 20th-century repertoire with Southbank Centre audiences, is the composer’s chosen interpreter of his piano works. German horn player Marie-Luise Neunecker is the dedicatee of the Hamburg concerto.
RepertoireLigeti: Chamber Concerto; Piano Concerto
Saturday 5 May, 12 noon-4pm, St Paul's Roof Pavilion at Royal Festival Hall: What You Need To Know - Ligeti in depth. £25, students £7.50. (See separate event).