In Italian, Lontano means, “within the distance.”
That is the title of a haunting orchestral dreamscape, written by the avant-garde Hungarian-Austrian composer, György Ligeti, in 1967. The piece unfolds in huge sonic waves. Tone clusters type and dissipate in a steadily shifting kaleidoscope of coloration. Terrifying dream photographs emerge and dissolve.
Ligeti drew parallels between Lontano and components of Bruckner’s majestically unfolding Eighth Symphony. In his program notes, he provided a technical description of the work’s intricate micropolyphony:
The “harmonic crystallisation” inside the space of sonority results in an intervallic-harmonic thought course of which is thereby radically completely different from conventional and likewise atonal concord. Technically talking, that is achieved with the help of polyphonic strategies: fictive harmonies emerge from a fancy vocal woven texture, gradual opacity and new crystallisation are the results of discrete alterations within the particular person components. The polyphony in itself is nearly imperceptible however its harmonic impact represents the intrinsic musical motion: what’s on the web page is polyphony, however what’s heard is concord.
Talking in additional poetic phrases, the composer likened this music to the “opening and shutting of a window on lengthy submerged dream worlds of childhood.” Appropriately, Stanley Kubrick used Lontano to accompany scenes within the 1980 psychological horror movie, The Shining. Later, it was used as a part of the soundtrack of Martin Scorsese’s 2010 movie, Shutter Island.
Right here is Claudio Abbado’s 1990 recording with the Vienna Philharmonic:
- Ligeti: Lontano, Claudio Abbado, Vienna Philharmonic Amazon
Featured Picture: “Molto Lontano” (1982), Antonio Corpora