GYÖRGY LIGETI: Études pour piano
“……..After a period of less involvement with keyboard instruments since the 1950s, the first book of Études pour piano confirmed the composer's return to writing for the piano. Before turning to the piano, however, he first devoted himself to the harpsichord (Continuum, Hungarian Rock, Passacaglia Ungherese). The Trois pièces pour deux pianos composed in 1976 stand as a central work in the composer's oeuvre and compositional development. The importance of rhythm is omnipresent and the interest in this parameter would increase in the early 1980s with the discovery of the polyrhythms of the Aka Pygmies and the vast complexity of Conlon Nancarrow's Studies for Player Piano, as revealed by his Études.
György Ligeti composed his eighteen Études pour piano over a period of more than seventeen years. His first book of six Études was published in 1985. From the outset, the composer planned to compose a second volume, also comprising six Études. The reference to the piano tradition and the collections of six and twelve études by Chopin, Liszt or Debussy is obvious. The second book, composed between 1988 and 1994, finally contained eight études. His third and last book includes four more Études composed between 1995 and 2001………”
(Excerpt of the booklet liner notes written by the artist)
Elected ECHO Rising-Star for the 2015/2016 season, Luxembourg pianist Cathy Krier has enjoyed
great success in the most prestigious concert halls in Europe. Her programmes, combining classical
and modern periods and featuring works by Rameau, Schubert, Ravel and Berg, as well as a piece
specially written for her by the German composer Wolfgang Rihm, were highly praised.
Cathy‘s passion for music always drives her to go beyond conventions. She loves to work on special projects and pushes her boundaries to go beyond herself and arouse her curiosity and that of her audience. This includes well-thought solo programmes as well as collaborations with choreographers such as Elisabeth Schilling (Hear Eyes Move with Études pour piano by György Ligeti), musical journeys for younger audiences (Clara! – A compositional journey with music by Clara Schumann and Catherine Kontz, directed by Tobias Ribitzki), music theatre (Funeral Blues – the missing cabaret, directed by Olivier Fredj), projects with her chamber music partners Laurence Koch (violin) and Nils Kohler (clarinet) and an annual cycle for Yoga at the Phil at the Philharmonie Luxembourg.
Cathy Krier has given successful concerts at the Bozar in Brussels, the Barbican Centre in London, the Philharmonie 2 in Paris, the Sage Gateshead, the Philharmonie Luxembourg, the Laeiszhalle in Hamburg, the Konzerthaus Dortmund, the Palau de la musica in Barcelona, at the Calouste Gulbenkian Fondation in Lisbon, at the Palace of Arts (Müpa) in Budapest, Konserthus Stockholm, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Cologne Philharmonie, Casa da musica in Porto, Musikverein Vienna, Town Hall in Birmingham, Festspielhaus Baden-Baden as well as at the Festspiele Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
Radio and television appearances – as seen on Daniel Hope‘s musical journey EUROPE@HOME on
arte – frame Cathy‘s busy artistic schedule.
Born in Luxembourg, Cathy Krier began her piano studies at the Luxembourg Conservatory at the age of five. At the age of 14, she was admitted to Pavel Gililov‘s virtuosity class at the Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln. She received further musical impulses from Dominique Merlet, Robert Levin, Homero Francesch and Andrea Lucchesini, with whom she continued her studies at the Scuola di Musica di Fiesole.
Since 2018, Cathy Krier holds a professorship in piano at the Conservatory of the City of Luxembourg, where she also lives with her family.
György Ligeti is considered as one of the most important representatives of the postwar avant garde, next to Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciana Berio and Iannis Xenakis. While the science fiction classic 2001: A Space Oddyssey created publicity for Strauss Also Sprach Zarathustra in particular, most of the impressive music comes from Ligeti's Atmosphères and his Requiem. Ligeti's somber sounds could also be applied to happier things: in his obscene and death-defying opera Le Grand Macabre he would mock the horroreffects of experimental music in a hilarious manner.
Ligeti's maniac experiments often exceeded the human measure (think of his virtuoso Etudes for piano). Perhaps his most consequent work is the purely mechanic Poème Symphonique for 100 ticking metronomes. Legend goes that its première was recorded only to be archived with the note: never to be broadcasted again!