A sound like a laser beam cutting through a piece of steel. Actually, it is a cello. A microscopic pulsation – vibrato. A post-modern trip into the world of nano-science? No, of course not. This is a music blog, surreal at times, no doubt, but today’s post is about György Ligeti’s Cello Concerto. No rocket science involved, just an amazing piece, performed and recorded by the BIT20 Ensemble and Baldur Brönnimann.
50 years ago revolution was in the air. French students were demonstrating against a government they perceived as autocratic, German students against the Vietnam war and the overwhelming power of the United States in world affairs. Young people stood up against discrimination of all sorts, an antiquated sexual morality, they wanted to be seen on the “right” side of history. In Germany the growing awareness of the complicity of many ordinary Germans in the Nazi atrocities and the fact that many Nazi officials had remained on their post after 1945 added to the cultural clash between young and old.
This is about as far away from the traditional string quartet as you can possibly conceive: One continuous movement of 17 sections. Each has a different tempo, a different mood and yes, each has a different drama to tell. Each has its specific charm, and you need to lose yourself in this strange, but fascinating world of sound. Let go of everything, any prejudices or preconceived ideas. At the beginning there was a blank – and the music will fill this blank with reflections of your soul.
More and more I start to appreciate very simple joys like a beautiful flower in our garden, a special pattern of the clouds in the sky, the play of light and shadows in the wood… Over the years, our sword flags have become a favourite object of contemplation of mine. Delicacy and fiery passion intertwined, the sweetness and the heat of the summer mirrored in a single plant. They are truly the queens of the garden at the moment of their blossoming.