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I have been studying Atmospheres by Ligeti lately, and I have a number of observations and questions.  Maybe you all can help me.

 

1.  How much of the micropolyphony does Ligeti expect to be heard.  After rehearsal C, The flute is below G4 and is barely audible.  Even though all the other instruments are ppp, the clarinet is in the meat of its register and will bury the flute.  Even considering the "coloring" the flute will lend to the sound of the orchestration, he has everyone playing one to a part.  I just do not see the purpose.  

 

My other questions are all based on my surface understanding of the piece and not as philosophical.  I do not wish to embarrass myself here by voicing questions that I will answer through more study....

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Comment by Ansgar Kreutz on July 17, 2011 at 9:18am
In my opinion Atmospheres a very important, it´s the first piece I know that is a "Klangfarbenkomposition", it´s only the sound of the whole, what should be to hear and I think his way is to make the mikropolyphony that is is impossible to listen to single voices, the piece is an up and down in dynamic but each time in other colours. The purpose of this composition is to give an example that is possible to write such a piece what sounds very well (it´s quiet "popular" not alone of Kubrick´s usage as film music) and it´s the demonstration that you cab write music only with the aspects colour and dynamic without meldoy and rhythm which is exciting to listen to about ca 9 min. Can that be an answer to your questions?

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