20th-century Hungarian music has two undeniable names: Béla Bartók and György Ligeti. The first of these derived his inspiration from the never-ending source of local folklore, which he not only catalogued and studied but also used as a starting point to transform the structures of the Austro-Hungarian classical tradition and develop his own innovative musical language that is key to understanding last century. Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, which was composed in accordance with the golden ratio pattern, is one of the author’s most widely recognised works.
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Bartók’s manipulation of intervals to create his own scales and modes – far from the classical tonality – is a trait he shares with György Ligeti. Ligeti, a composer from a subsequent generation to Bartók who witnessed the barbarities of the mid-20th century, unconventionally absorbed all the post-1945 “isms” and processed them in a unique and unmistakable way. Ramifications is a work written in the tone of oscillating sound blocks produced by making alterations to equal temperament.
The programme is completed by the absolute premiere of Sofía Martínez’s Homenaje a Ligeti and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, a very mature and greatly lyrical work whose central Adagio has become a high point of classical music.