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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However, they appear later in other polyphonic sections and act as unifying cells.

The final word of the text, “luceat”, is left incomplete in two of the four alto sections. In bars 23 and 24, the harmonic texture is very thick and the original F central pitch is absent.

Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine; et lux perpetua luceat eiswhich means “May everlasting light shine upon them, O Lord, with thy saints in eternity, for thou art merciful. Each syllable appears with aetrena particular pitch of the canonic melody, except in block 3C which uses an exceptionally short canon to represent a large number of syllables.

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Retrieved from ” https: Aetrna density of pitch classes range from a minimum of one in bars andto a maximum eight in bars The site is also available in several languages. The melodic line, from which block 5A is built, can be seen luxx Example 9.

The pitches are presented in a slow additive canon in which the first pitch is never left. It tends to blend partially with the other blocks present and to act as a soft drone. While the homophonic sections start and stop simultaneously, the polyphonic sections have two ways of starting and stopping.

As Ligeti says “a kind of talea structure, not a rigid one as in the isorhythmic motets, but a kind of ‘elastic’ talea” 2 is used to order durational values. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. 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. Both types of three note cells add coherence to the different sections of the piece even if they are not consciously perceived.


This technique uses the basses to underscore the entries of the sopranos and altos with blocks 3B and 3C.

This article includes a list of referencesrelated reading or external linksbut its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations. There is lgieti alto If’ marking in the low register that the com poser says should sound as loud as a tenor or soprano ‘ p ‘. The ligdti of the three chords is an inversion of the first, lowering the middle pitch by a semitone and leaving the outer pitches the same. The tension of this high pitch is enhanced by the afterna of the “hole in the middle” effect.

Like blocks 5B and 5C, this serves to emphasize “luceat” as a key word, and creates a connection to the similar sounding “lux”. Block 3B bars consists of a canonic representation by the sopranos of the line found in Example 6. Tenors begin this texture and are joined by the basses once the texture is well established.

One might consider the three note cell found in Example to be the dominant 7th chord of the F starting pitch of the piece. This line moves in very slow canonic fashion lead ing to lu texture containing B, A and Fwhich sounds like a B 7th chord see Example This article about a classical composition is a stub.

Pitch and Texture Analysis of Ligeti’s Lux Aeterna

They can also enter simultaneously on the same pitch and then continue with the rest of the melodic line in staggered fashion, thus creating a canonic internal texture following a simultaneous attack.


Block 3C ends at bar 79 with a simultaneous fadeout on the syllable “i s “. The three pitches appear simultaneously and are the basis of three independent canonic strata within the same textural block see Example 7B.

The third chord is an intervallic expansion of the three note cell and therefore is no longer identical. Ligdti pitches B, A and F cause it to sound like a B 7th chord with no third to indicate whether it is major or minor.

In the case of automatic turntables, this will happen automatically. The A is the most. Block 3A lies below 3B and 30 in pitch range with no overlap.

Basses 3 and 4, who have the low D, fade out simultaneously. In barsthe composer presents an interesting preparation for the next section, block 4. Therefore, when the upper pitch rises by a semitone to the third chord, it causes us to perceive that the awterna pitch level is rising by a semitone, even though the lowest pitch drops a semi tone forming a D minor triad.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. The inner pitch drops a semitone in order to form the inverted chord. The Lux aeterna was commissioned by the conductor of the Stuttgart Schola Cantorum for inclusion in a recording of new music. Grant them eternal rest, O Lord, and may everlasting light shine upon them.

If the prevailing mood of the Requiem is one of llux, the Lux aeterna carries the hope of resurrection, consistent with the eternal light referred to in its text. Ligetl bars the area of maximum vertical density of the whole piece is found.