in memoriam G. Ligeti
for 7 instruments

Track Record

Program Notes

As is the case with many of Ligeti's pieces, Mancoras, anagram of San Marco, is based on the fractal with the same name (see figure below). Since fractals don't loose detail when you zoom in, they are most suitable for creating coherence between several independent layers, each evoluating in its own time/tempo. In this piece, micro, meso and macro level are fully controlled by the same principle: z = z^2 - 1. What specially attracted me in this fractal, is its symmetry, which reminded me of the ancient Renaissance practice of Cori Spezzati, hence the symmetrical disposition of the instruments (cf. infra).

However, instead of creating a typical Baroque concertato effect, the use of micro polyphony à la Ligeti allowed me a much more fluent evolution of the sound, centred around the ostinato clock of the Mandolino. Around this 'cantus firmus' the other instruments weave clouds of sounds, whose harmonic contents are continuously coloured by a spectral morphing, controlled itself by, indeed, the San Marco fractal. The resulting piece is a humble In Memoriam for undoubtedly one of the greatest composers of his generation, György Ligeti.

Peter Swinnen

Brussels, 22-04-2007


Duration:ca 8 min. 30
Instruments:Flauto Alto (ossia Flauto)
Sax Alto (ossia Sax Tenor/Clarinetto/Clarinetto Basso)
Tuba (ossia Corno/Trombone)
Mandolino (ossia Chitarra/Arpa)
Violino (ossia Viola)
Viola (ossia Violoncello)

Performance materials

pdf Download the score