Universal Edition


Ligeti: Atmosphères

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  • Composer: György Ligeti
  • Format: Full Score
  • Instrumentation: Orchestra
  • Work: Atmosphères
  • ISMN: 9790008023804
  • Size: 11.7 x 16.5 inches


"Atmosphères" famously overturns all traditional categories of Western classical music. There is absolutely no discernible melody, harmony is reduced to the drifting of saturated chromatic clusters, and pulse - or any sense of normal rhythmical articulation - is entirely absent. All habitual structural sign-posts are also missing as is any relationship to standard forms, despite the ghost of a recapitulation towards the work's end. Instead the listener is confronted with a slow-motion succession of textures, one oozing into the other, where the instrumental sonority seems to have more in common with the dissolves and hums of electronic music than that of a normal symphony orchestra. Tiny traces of influence can just be discerned - perhaps Debussy, a little Richard Strauss, certainly Bartok - though Ligeti's vision is of startling, indeed radical, originality. (George Benjamin)