Critic’s Choice

Thu Mar 15, 2018 at 8:50 am
Gyorgy Ligeti

György Ligeti

First the avant-garde dug it. Then film directors borrowed it, and millions of movie fans got their thrills to it. Then, gradually but inexorably, the music of György Ligeti won more and more admirers in mainstream classical settings for its rhythmic vitality and rich tone colors.

Tracing its roots back 20 years to the Eastman School, Alarm Will Sound has followed a similar “space odyssey” (without the movie part) to public recognition as a leading exponent of new chamber-orchestra scores.

Ligeti is roots music for this large ensemble , which will present an entire program of the Hungarian-Austrian master’s works Friday night at Carnegie’s Zankel Hall. The rhythm-based, proto-minimalist Continuum of 1968 opens for the wildly eclectic Violin Concerto of 1993 and the layered, process-oriented Chamber Concerto of 1970. Top local new-music artists will join the band as soloists. While Ligeti’s musical universe is far too wide to traverse in a single evening, here’s a chance at least to spend a couple of hours gazing up in awe at it.

Alarm Will Sound will perform works of György Ligeti with violist Nadia Sirota, pianist John Orfe, and harpsichordist Steven Beck 7:30 p.m. Friday at Zankel Hall.; 212-247-7800.

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