LES METANUITS w/ Roberto Negro & Emile Parisien

100 Years of Ligeti > Duo Improvisations Inspired by György Ligeti's String Quartet No. 1 "Métamorphoses Nocturnes". With that exception, and perhaps unsurprisingly, Ligeti’s challenging, and complex music has seldom reached appeal among the broader public. Among musicians, however, his standing and the influence of his music are immense. Ligeti’s lifelong search for new paths, from sound-surface music to micropolyphony and microtonality has left its defining, long term mark on jazz musicians too. "This string quartet is a rich source of inspiration for our improvisations," Parisien explains. "As one of his early works from the 1950s, it is still strongly influenced by Béla Bartók. Hence it has a strong, constantly moving principal theme which runs through the whole piece." Parisien and Negro have always been particularly enthusiastic about the rhythmic aspects of the piece, with its echoes of Stravinsky. And it is these which have given structure to their adaptation, which they have divided into eleven parts, each with a different tempo marking. "The original motifs, moods and colours shine forth again and again. Harmonically, we expanded them with our ideas," explains Negro. "Métanuits" is a fascinating endeavour > a wonderful piece of craftsmanship in which everything seems to interlock. There is high-wire virtuosic playing, exploration of all the tonal possibilities of the instruments by both players. Tempi tend to be on the fast side (with the indications on the sections ‘allegro’, ‘presto’ or ‘prestissimo’ setting the pace), but with a 'largo' to catch breath at the end. There is also a surprising lyrical warmth, as the pair follow each other through constantly changing re-framings of the theme, which as is re-heard takes on an irresistible expressiveness. "The overlaps between classical music and jazz are particularly close to my heart. The boundaries between these genres no longer must exist" is Roberto Negro’s view. In their homage to Ligeti, they don't even bother with the historicising conventions and barriers of an old, abstract, or arcane avantgarde. Instead, they let this beguilingly contemporary music resound - and reveal its astonishing communicative strengths.


Jolanda Vujasinovic

Booking Agent

Wenna Liu

Production Manager

The ACT Agency

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