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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Monday 12 June 2006

Gyorgy Ligeti RIP

Sad news: the composer Gyorgy Ligeti is dead. Born in 1923, to Hungarian Jewish parents, in the predominantly ethnic Hungarian part of Romania's Transylvania region, his father and brother both died in concentration camps in World War II. Ligeti fled to Austria in 1956 after the Hungarian uprising and, in 1967, became an Austrian citizen. Along with Karlheinz Stockhausen, Iannis Xenakis and Pierre Boulez, Ligeti helped revolutionise postwar music. An excerpt from his 1966 work Lux Aeterna was used on the bestselling soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick's Space Odyssey. Kubrick returned to Ligeti in 1999 using the composer's Musica Ricercata II as the theme for Eyes Wide Shut.

Posted by Mark Thwaite

Reader Comments

Tuesday 13 June 2006

Paul Griffiths says...

This is a heavy moment indeed. Ligeti wrote some of the most powerful
music of the last fifty years, as well as nearly all the funniest.
The '2001' soundtrack includes parts of his Requiem and his orchestral
piece 'Atmospheres', as well as 'Lux aeterna', all slow-moving music,
eerie and beautiful.

Newcomers to his music might well start with 'Atmospheres' as conducted by Jonathan Nott or 'Melodies' with Reinbert de Leeuw conducting, both on Teldec.

For a bit more information see my obit in the N.Y. Times, which at
least has the facts right. Adieu to a great man.

Tuesday 13 June 2006

Mark Thwaite says...

Paul's obituary is at:

Wednesday 14 June 2006

Eric Hoffman says...

By coincidence, I picked out my CD of the re-release of the 2001 soundtrack on June 12th to accompany me on a trip. Ligeti produced some of the most profound and haunting music of the past 100 years.

Thursday 15 June 2006

Paul Griffiths says...

I should have known I was tempting providence with that boast about 'the facts'. The Horn Trio comes from 1982, not 1980 as I stated in my obit.

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Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
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Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
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