Ligeti & Beethoven, Denk (CD)

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Discs: 1
Record Label: Nonesuch
Release Date: May 14, 2012

“Ligeti’s Piano Études are famously quixotic in pushing the player beyond their usual limits, but amongst the more extreme strategies are moments of great beauty . . . notable here for the way Jeremy Denk continues playing virtually beyond the point of audibility.” — The Independent

Acclaimed pianist Jeremy Denk presents György Ligeti’s Piano Études, Books 1 and 2 — memorably performed in a series of recitals in 2011 leaving “audience members grasping for superlatives at intermission.” (New York Times). These recordings bookend Beethoven’s Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111, which was performed to equally wonderful acclaim at the 2010 Mostly Mozart Festival.

On pairing these works, Denk explains: “One curious connection . . . is the way both Ligeti and Beethoven relate themselves to jazz (and to syncopation, rhythmic dislocation, generally). Many people get disturbed or confused by Beethoven’s anachronistic boogie-woogie, but I can’t help thinking that, however unlikely, this is an outgrowth, too, of ecstasies latent in the holy theme . . . But the most significant connection for me is between Beethoven’s vast timeless canvas and Ligeti’s bite-sized bits of infinity.”


Ligeti Piano Études, Book 1

Beethoven Piano Sonata No. 32 in C Minor, Op. 111

Ligeti Piano Études, Book 2