The musicologist Marina Lobanova was in personal contact with György Ligeti (1923–2006). As Ligeti's associative scientist she cooperated with him in Hamburg from 1993 to 1995
The author shows the evolution of Ligeti's work at the most of his compositions, from the first Hungarian till the latest period; every period of this evolution is represented by main ideas and concepts (such as micropolyphony, problems of temperature, new rhythmic system, etc.). In a review of the first edition is notes (“Musikforschung”): "Lobanova is able to make the structures of Ligeti's music transparent to an often surprisingly high degree". (Wolfgang Marx)
Ligeti's creativity is discussed in the wide context of musical avant-garde of the 20th century as well as in that of modern culture as a whole. A long scientific cooperation with the composer took a chance to discuss some of problems with him personally; several interviews with Ligeti are collected in an additional part of the book.
An other review mentions: “An immediate benefit is the vividness of fifty pages of interviews, conducted at that unrepeatable period of Post-Cold-War liberation, which are as frank about inflated egos and hard-hitting about card-carrying politicans and cultural apparatchiks of all kinds as they are witty, poignant, and revealing about Ligeti’s self-evaluation.“ (Geoffrey Poole, 2004) This review ends with the remark (2 years before Ligeti's death): “The book undoubtly merits an important place in any library representing serious thinking about contemporary music and, arguably, its greatest living exponent.“
The first edition of Lobanova’s book was published in 2002 by Ernst-Kuhn-Verlag, Berlin, which ceased operations around 2014 after the publisher's death. The book has been out of print for a long time. It is now available in a second, unrevised edition.
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