Monday, 30 September 2013

György Ligeti

Why is it so difficult to create a memorable theme, tune, motive or melody? Give Franz Schubert a few notes and a few manuscript bars and he could create highly memorable themes at the drop of a hat (think of the simplicity of the opening theme of the Notturno in E flat for piano, violin & cello D 897). Or think of the opening theme of Beethoven's Eroica symphony; simple, but effective. Why do so many contemporary composers find themes such a difficult concept? Ever the determined explorer, I gave György Ligeti a second chance, and started to re-listen to his violin concerto. My two thoughts after around five minutes? The first was: “codswallop”. The second was from the old days of television, when the picture would temporarily go haywire and a message would appear on your screen: “Do not adjust your set. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible”. Mr Ligeti is now filed on the furthest filing shelf I can find. Life is far too short, and attractive music far too plentiful, to persevere with this kind of stuff.

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