Pitch and Texture Analysis of Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna. Jan Jarvlepp. Lux Aeterna ( ) by Gyorgy Ligeti is a single movement composition of about nine minutes. Drei Phantasien Nach Friedrich Hölderlin: II. Wenn Aus Der Ferne. Cappella Amsterdam & Daniel Reuss. 6. Drei Phantasien Nach Friedrich Hölderlin: III . ‘Rules as Strict as Palestrina’s’: The Regulation of Pitch and Rhythm in Ligeti’s Requiem and Lux aeterna – Volume 10 Issue 2 – BENJAMIN R. LEVY.
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The reason why this is coherent with the preceding material is that “Do” aetenra like the first syllable of “dona”, which was part of the text of blocks 3B and 3C. Basses 3 and 4, who have the low D, fade out simultaneously. The different divisions of the beat are frequently used for pitch changes making it impossible for the listener to pick a steady beat from aeternx music. This article includes a list of referencesrelated reading or external linksbut its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations.
Note the strength and exact location of pitch centers varies. The inner pitch drops a semitone in order to form the inverted chord.
This is similar to the situation found in block 3A at barswhere one’s attention is pulled between F and E flat, and the situation in block 5A, ligetj barswhere F and G compete for the listener’s attention. The notes are sung in falsetto providing a further timbral contrast. Unlike block 2, there is harmonic motion in block 4 see Example 8.
The entire text of the piece can be seen in Example 2. This line moves in very slow canonic fashion lead ing to a texture containing B, A and Fwhich sounds like a B 7th chord see Example The words “Requiem aeternam dona eis” mean “eternal rest give to them”. November Total duration: Ligeti divides the choir into sixteen parts, which enables him to form, literally, nebulous clusters of notes slowly shifting in subtle and ever-changing patterns.
These three important structural blocks are separated from each other by the two occurrences of homophony which make up blocks 2 and 4. There are only two short instances of homophony which appear at structurally important places in the piece.
The high B is also transferred to the upper two voices of block 50 who sing the same pitch two octaves lower. All 16 sections are singing and by bar 64 the polyphony has arrived at a totally neutralized cluster in which no pitch center can be found.
The first is intervallically identical of the chord in block 2 but appears two seterna and a major second lower. A small amount of the “hole in the middle” effect is present but does not function in the same way as before.
Ligeti: Lux Aeterna by Cappella Amsterdam, Daniel Reuss & Susanne Van Els on Apple Music
This type of staggered ending cannot be considered homophonic in spite of the preceding sustained material. Here, 5B has the function of highlighting that particular word from block 5A. Since lyx strict pitch and word canons are rhythmically set using flexible talea structures, it is hard to hear any canonic structure.
The words “lux aeterna luceat eis” mean “may eternal light shine on them. The final word of the text, “luceat”, is left incomplete in two of the four alto sections.
Leaving Ligefi inthe year of the Uprising, he settled in Vienna, establishing his reputation with a series of avant-garde compositions beginning with Apparitions Block 3B is linked to 3A and 3C by the common G. Don’t show me this message again. These words are sung on a high sustained A, which contrasts with the preceding melodically moving setting of the words “lux ligeyi.
Note the strength and exact location of pitch centers varies from performance to pertormance since different singers project important pitches with varying degrees of loudness. F and E flat are heard as a bi-polar pitch center causing some confusion as to which is the main pitch.
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This time the chord appears in the lowest bass register, which is a contrast to the falsetto setting of the xeterna word before.
This is the only block which cannot be individually perceived. Once block 5D has ended, the low F and G of the altos are the only pitches left in the piece. Textures appear in blocks, either alone or in layers.
This block begins with a simultaneous attack ligeit A by the four ljx sections, which then continue the melodic line in canonic fashion. No rhythmic pulse can be detected, because eternity has no sense of time, but the shape and structure of Lux aeterna is lucid and even strict. However, the bass sec aeeterna quickly become staggered again and continue to imitatively follow the melodic line established by the tenors.
One can see and hear that the harmonic mass is moving away eaterna F. These gentle entries help create a smooth texture. The other is a simultaneous ending which occurs after all the singers in that block have reached the last note of their melodic line.
Block 2 bars 37 – 41 is a sudden contrast to block 1. In this piece, each of the sixteen voices is given a characteristic subdivision of the quarter-note beat:. For this reason, I cannot pinpoint the emergence of a new pitch center to a specific bar in this case.
There is confusion as to which pitch is the more important of the two. Whether we should think of the eternal light as coming from distant galaxies or from God, there is no doubt that Lux ateerna is a masterpiece, taking choral music—and the listener—into a new and eerie sound-world of the imagination.