György Ligeti, 1923-2006

György Ligeti has passed away. Truly, one of the greatest composers in the 2nd half of the 20th century has left us. It is not expected–Ligeti was ill for several years–but it is a great loss to the world of music.

The Associated Press Obituary quotes Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schuessel:

Many people would recognize his music from Kubrik’s 2001:A Space Odyssey and Eyes Wide Shut. The music was not written for these films, but rather appropriated (without permission) by Kubrik. Ligeti has a supreme position as one of the most innovative and imaginative composers of contemporary art music; his music is gorgeous and challenging and always rewarding to those who spend time listening.

I met Ligeti about 10 years ago, and it was a most memorable occastion, for the musical passion that seemed to form an aura about him, for his kindness to students, and for his musical intellect which was always cranking. I mourn Ligeti’s passing, and that we shall hear no new music from his superb musical imagination.

:frowning: Rip

puts on Atmosphères

The greatest Austrian of modern music is a Hungarian Jew. Ironic, isn’t it?

M-G-M did pay for the music rights; they didn’t steal it. The U.S. has been a signatory to the Universal Copyright Convention since 1952.

There’s not many of the 20th-century giants left, now. Sad.

As I said, however, they used the music without Ligeti’s permission; and as far as I know this is entirely correct. I don’t have any truly authoritative citations for this at the moment, but it is fairly common knowledge.

I did find some more about the story, this is quoted from here , which is a cached version of an article that appeared in the 70mm Newsletter.

The above jives with what I remember reading from other sources.

Composers are not usually asked permission for their works to be recorded or for their works to be used in a motion picture. Composers have the right to determine who will be the first performers to record their works, but after that, if the composition is published, the composer normally has no say in who else records the work, or uses it in a motion picture.

P.S. I think you mean “jibes”.

Can we keep this thread a celebration of Ligeti’s life work, and the mourning of his passing, and not let it get sidetracked into a debate on copyright law? Thanks.

This is appallingly sad news! Ligeti was a true master…