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Ligeti: Complete Piano Music / Fredrik Ullén


Release Date: 09/26/2006 
Label:  Bis   Catalog #: 1683   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 2 Hours 10 Mins. 

CD not available: This title is currently only available as an MP3 download.  

Notes and Editorial Reviews


BIS's complete edition of the late Gyorgy Ligeti's piano music restores both of Fredrik Ullén's single-disc Ligeti releases, respectively issued in 1996 and 1998. Ullén has supplemented these with the two Etudes Ligeti completed after the original discs came out (À bout de soufflé and Canon), plus two first recordings: L'Arrache-Coeur (a 1994 work originally intended as Etude No. 11) and Four Early Piano Pieces (Basso Ostinato) from 1941. For the two-piano and one-piano-four-hands works, Ullén overdubs himself. As the cliché goes, Ullén may have equals in Ligeti's innovative Etudes, but few serious rivals.

Granted, some collectors might
Read more prefer the warmer, more naturally balanced sonics of Sony's Ligeti Edition, together with certain Etude performances that tilt the scales (pun intended) in pianist Pierre-Laurent Aimard's favor. For example, Aimard treats Cordes à vide's polytextural, lyrical lines in a sexier, more pliable fashion than Ullén's stricter, bleaker reading suggests. And Aimard's slightly slower tempo for Der Zauberlehrling allows the asymmetrically phrased repeated notes to emerge with greater clarity and dynamic differentiation, whereas they verge on blurring at Ullén's rapid clip.

On the other hand, Ullén's incisive traversals of the early Capriccios and Invention surpass Sony's relatively sober and straight-laced Irina Kataeva. The wonderful three pieces for two pianos rarely have sounded so playful, transparent, and well synchronized. Will Ullén's multitracking aplomb put conventional piano duettists out of business? On balance, BIS's completeness factor, the label's roomy yet detailed engineering, superb notes, reduced price tag, plus Ullén's effortless, multi-leveled virtuosity deserve nothing less than our highest recommendation.

--Jed Distler, ClassicsToday.com
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Works on This Recording

1.
Etudes (6) for Piano, Book 1 by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1985; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 01/1996 
Venue:  Studio 2, Swedish Broadcasting Corp. 
Length: 18 Minutes 27 Secs. 
2.
Allegro for Piano 4 hands by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Danderyd Grammar School, Denmark 
Length: 0 Minutes 39 Secs. 
3.
Polyphonic étude for Piano 4 hands by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Danderyd Grammar School, Denmark 
Length: 1 Minutes 40 Secs. 
4.
Capriccio for Piano no 1 by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 01/1996 
Venue:  Studio 2, Swedish Broadcasting Corp. 
Length: 2 Minutes 18 Secs. 
5.
Capriccio for Piano no 2 by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 01/1996 
Venue:  Studio 2, Swedish Broadcasting Corp. 
Length: 2 Minutes 1 Secs. 
6.
Invention for Piano by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 01/1996 
Venue:  Studio 2, Swedish Broadcasting Corp. 
Length: 1 Minutes 8 Secs. 
7.
Sonatina for Piano 4 hands by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Danderyd Grammar School, Denmark 
Length: 4 Minutes 23 Secs. 
8.
Etudes (8) for Piano, Book 2 by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1988-1993 
Date of Recording: 01/1996 
Venue:  Studio 2, Swedish Broadcasting Corp. 
Length: 21 Minutes 42 Secs. 
9.
L'arrache-coeur by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1994 
Length: 4 Minutes 29 Secs. 
10.
Early Pieces (4) for Piano "Basso ostinato" by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Length: 2 Minutes 17 Secs. 
11.
March for Piano 4 hands by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1942 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Danderyd Grammar School, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 6 Secs. 
12.
Wedding Dances (3) for Piano 4 hands by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Danderyd Grammar School, Denmark 
Length: 2 Minutes 56 Secs. 
13.
Musica ricercata (11) for Piano by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1951-1953; Hungary 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Danderyd Grammar School, Denmark 
Length: 27 Minutes 22 Secs. 
14.
Chromatische Phantasie by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1956 
Date of Recording: 01/1996 
Venue:  Studio 2, Swedish Broadcasting Corp. 
Length: 5 Minutes 32 Secs. 
15.
Bagatelles (3) for Piano by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1961; Vienna, Austria 
Date of Recording: 01/1996 
Venue:  Studio 2, Swedish Broadcasting Corp. 
Length: 1 Minutes 23 Secs. 
16.
Pieces (3) for 2 Pianos: no 1, Monument by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Danderyd Grammar School, Denmark 
Length: 5 Minutes 13 Secs. 
17.
Pieces (3) for 2 Pianos: no 2, Selbstporträt mit Reich und Riley (und Chopin ist auch dabei) by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Danderyd Grammar School, Denmark 
Length: 8 Minutes 27 Secs. 
18.
Pieces (3) for 2 Pianos: no 3, In zart fliessender Bewegung by György Ligeti
Performer:  Fredrik Ullén (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1976; Berlin, Germany 
Date of Recording: 07/1998 
Venue:  Danderyd Grammar School, Denmark 
Length: 4 Minutes 27 Secs. 

Sound Samples

Etudes, Book 1: No. 1. Desordre
Etudes, Book 1: No. 2. Cordes a vide
Etudes, Book 1: No. 3. Touches bloquees
Etudes, Book 1: No. 4. Fanfares
Etudes, Book 1: No. 5. Arc-en-ciel
Etudes, Book 1: No. 6. Automne a Varsovie
Etudes, Book 2: No. 7. Galamb borong
Etudes, Book 2: No. 8. Fem
Etudes, Book 2: No. 9. Vertige
Etudes, Book 2: No. 10. Der Zauberlehrling
Etudes, Book 2: No. 11. En suspens
Etudes, Book 2: No. 12. Entrelacs
Etudes, Book 2: No. 13. L'escalier du diable
Etudes, Book 2: No. 14. Coloana infinita
Etudes, Book 3: No. 15. White on White
Etudes, Book 3: No. 16. Pour Irina
Etudes, Book 3: No. 17. A bout de souffle
Etudes, Book 3: No. 18. Canon
4 Early Piano Pieces (Basso Ostinato): No. 1. Allegro
4 Early Piano Pieces (Basso Ostinato): No. 2. Allegretto
4 Early Piano Pieces (Basso Ostinato): No. 3. Trefas moderato
4 Early Piano Pieces (Basso Ostinato): No. 4. Allegro vivace
Indulo (March) for 2 pianos
Polifon etud (Polyphonic Etude) for 2 pianos: Polifon etud (Polyphonic Etude)
Allegro for piano 4 hands
2 Capricci: No. 1. Allegretto capriccioso
2 Capricci: No. 2. Allegro robusto
Invention
Sonatina for 2 pianos: I. Allegro
Sonatina for 2 pianos: II. Andante
Sonatina for 2 pianos: III. Vivace
3 Lakodalmi tanc (3 Wedding Dances) for 2 pianos: No. 1. A kapuban a szeker
3 Lakodalmi tanc (3 Wedding Dances) for 2 pianos: No. 2. Hopp ide tisztan
3 Lakodalmi tanc (3 Wedding Dances) for 2 pianos: No. 3. Csango forgos
Musica ricercata: I. Sostenuto - Misurato - Prestissimo
Musica ricercata: II. Mesto, rigido e cerimoniale
Musica ricercata: III. Allegro con spirito
Musica ricercata: IV. Tempo di valse (poco vivace - 'a l'orgue de Barbarie')
Musica ricercata: V. Rubato, Lamentoso
3 Bagatelles for David Tudor: No. 1. -
3 Bagatelles for David Tudor: No. 2. -
3 Pieces for 2 Pianos: No. 1. Monument
3 Pieces for 2 Pianos: No. 2. Selbstportrait mit Reich und Riley (und Chopin ist auch dabei)
3 Pieces for 2 Pianos: No. 3. In zart fliessender Bewegung

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