Cello Concerto (Ligeti)
Originally, Ligeti had planned to compose a single movement work. As progress on composition developed he decided to expand the initial material of the concerto into a movement in its own right and placed the remainder of the material into a second movement. In performance, however, the second movement follows on immediately from the first, without a break.
Structure and style
The concerto is written for solo cello with a small orchestra of flute (doubling piccolo), oboe (doubling cor anglais), 2 clarinets (second doubling bass clarinet), bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, harp and strings.
The movements are as follows:
A performance typically lasts approximately 16 minutes.
The work has been described as an "anti-concerto" due to the nature of the relationship between the soloist and the orchestra. The solo cello begins extremely quietly (the initial entry has the dynamic marking pppppppp (8 ps)) and continues in a role which is almost disassociated from the orchestra and avoids the usual virtuosic writing associated with a concerto soloist, in favour of creating mood and atmosphere.
In popular culture
Along with other pieces by Ligeti, the cello concerto has been popular with film makers and has featured in
- BIS - Christian Poltéra, cello; Baldur Brönnimann, conductor; BIT20 Ensemble
- Deutsche Grammophon - Jean-Guihen Queyras, cello; Pierre Boulez, conductor; Ensemble InterContemporain
- Neos - Nicolas Altstaedt, cello; Fabián Panisello, conductor; Plural Ensemble
- Teldec - Siegfried Palm, cello; Reinbert de Leeuw, conductor; Asko-Schönberg Ensemble
- "György Ligeti, Concerto for violoncello and orchestra, Composer's comments on the work". karstenwitt.
- "György Ligeti, Concerto (1966) pour violoncelle et orchestre". brahms.ircam.fr.
- Cirigliano II, Michael (2 June 2016). "Ligeti Forward: Setting the Modern Psyche to Music". metmuseum.
- "György Ligeti, Filmography, Soundtrack". IMDb.