On May 28, 2023, on the occasion of the centenary of the birth of the famous Hungarian composer György Ligeti, The “Hamburgisches Konzert” by György Ligeti was released, the most exhaustive and complete analysis on this work, written by the composer Alessio Elia and published by the German publisher Edition Impronta.
Among the leading scholars of Ligetian music, Elia takes us inside this last work by integrating different analytical approaches, from structural to spectral analysis, from aural analysis to the meticulous study of the manuscript and the notes kept at the Sacher Foundation in Basel among which Elia found two unpublished movements of the Concerto, not included in the final score, and published for the first time in this book together with all the preparatory sketches.
A substantial chapter is dedicated to the numerous errors (over 300) present in the printed score, including the instrumental parts, and in the manuscript, which have irreparably compromised all the performances and recordings of the Concert to date.
The complete revision of the score done by Alessio Elia, present in the book together with the presentation of possible solutions to the problematic points of the manuscript, resolved through the understanding of the compositional logic that underlies it, will converge in the first revised performance of the Hamburg Concerto which will take place at the Budapest Music Center on the same date on May 28, 2023, with the Concerto Budapest Ligeti Ensemble conducted by the renowned conductor and composer Peter Eötvös.
Preface by Manfred Stahnke.
Ligeti’s drafts and sketches are published in the book with permission of Ligeti’s hiers and Sacher Foundation in Basel – Ligeti collection.
Among the most original and representative composers of his generation, Elia has attracted international interest thanks to his polysystemism, the integration of different tuning systems, towards a conception of music as a sensation.
This compositional technique was presented for the first time at La Cité de la Musique in Paris in 2014, and has been the subject of numerous articles including those published by l’Université de Strasbourg, the Hungarian Academy of Arts, von Bockel Verlag, the University of Prague and the Academy of Music of the Italian Switzerland in Lugano. Polysystemism has also been presented on some of the most important European radios and musical institutions, including RAI Radio 3, RAI Cultura, Bartók Radio, Radio Vaticana, Liszt Academy of Music, Filarmonica Romana, Norwegian Academy of Music, Liszt Academy, Magyar Televízió and Chigiana Academy.
Elia’s connections with the figure of Ligeti are many. A pupil of Sidney Corbett, one of the last composers to have been in Ligeti’s Hamburg class, Elia presented and introduced the first Norwegian performance of Ligeti’s Hamburg Concerto in Oslo in 2010 and his lecture «The roles of microtonality in the Hamburgisches Konzert by Ligeti» has concluded the Symposium “Ligeti und die Mikrotonalität” in Hamburg. The symposium was presented by Louise Duchesneau, secretary of Ligeti, with the extraordinary contribution of Paul Griffiths, first biographer of Ligeti.
In 2013 Elia won the 1st prize with the piece Rejtett dimenziók (Hidden Dimensions) in the orchestral category of UMZF 2013 (Forum for New Hungarian Music) Competition, in the year dedicated to Ligeti, with Péter Eötvös presiding over the jury.
Among his compositional activities Elia has received commissions from some of the most important musical institutions in Europe, including I Solisti del Teatro alla Scala in Milano, Radio Bartók, Alter Ego ensemble, UMZE, Stuttgart Kammerchor, Festival Nuova Consonanza in Rome. His music is published by UE – Universal Edition, Universal Music Publishing-Editio Musica Budapest and Edition Impronta, and released on CD by Warner Classics.
From the profound involvement in microtonality arises the interest in Ligeti’s Hamburg Concerto, in which the 12-tone Equal Temperament and Just Intonation coexist, and hence the book «The “Hamburgisches Konzert” by György Ligeti» for Edition Impronta.
Elia is based in Budapest and Rome.