Vertigo: The Unsupportable Pleasure

Date of composition
3 Minutes
String quartet

Part of the Nouvelles Études, 14 new pieces inspired by György Ligeti's Études for piano, as part of the 2023 celebrations for the 100th anniversary of his birth.

Generously supported by Britten Pears Arts, BBC Radio 3, Bourgie Hall, the Vaughan Williams Foundation, and private donations.

First performed in 2023 at the Aldeburgh Festival.

It is pure joy to write a festive work for my beloved master György and the Ligeti Quartet. Gestural, vocal, spatial? scenic joy flight to the first days...? children's outdoor games of give me five and sudden running mixed with eternal, simultaneous rows and columns that Ligeti remembered from his early childhood.

Vertigo: macro-vocally fragmented phonemes, improvised micro-cadenzas, tap-flamencos-gypsy basic steps, gasping-out-of-breath inhalations - exhalations and, above all, the saving laughter.

All the vibrating existences he gave me I keep them in a treasure. It resides magnificently in a precious sounding bubble ever more ready to explode before disappearing.

Events for this work