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Magány, sometimes translated into English as Solitude[1] or Loneliness, is an early vocal composition by Hungarian composer György Ligeti. It was finished in 1946 and, as most of Ligeti's early compositions, has followed the musical style of Béla Bartók.[2]


Ligeti wrote this composition when he was still a student in the Franz Liszt Academy, in November 1946.[3] Due to its shortness, it has never received a formal premiere, but it was rather broadcast in the Hungarian Radio and was performed together with other vocal pieces. However, it has been published by both Editio Musica Budapest[4] and Schott Music[5] and has been recorded by some relevant choirs, such as the London Sinfonietta Voices.[6][7]


Magany takes approximately two and a half minutes to perform. It consists of only one movement, even though double bars and different tempos are used. The text, as many of Ligeti's early vocal compositions, is extracted from a work by Hungarian poet Sándor Weöres, but has also been officially translated into English by Desmond Clayton. This was also the first time Ligeti took a text from Weöres.[2]

This three-part composition is scored for mixed choir, which should consist of sopranos, altos and baritones. The score is marked Molto moderato, poco rubato at the beginning, and starts with a gloomy tune, which is followed by a joyful and fast second segment, which is marked Più mosso, non rubato and Subito: ancora più mosso, con slancio later on. The final segment, marked Subito: Quasi Tempo I comes back to the general mood of the first segment. All segment are separated by double bars.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Ligeti, György (1946). Mágany / Einsamkeit / Solitude. Mainz: Schott Music. Archived from the original on 2014-02-25. 
  2. ^ a b Toop, Richard (1999). György Ligeti (1. publ. ed.). London: Phaidon Press. ISBN 0-7148-3795-4. 
  3. ^ Steinitz, Richard (2003). György Ligeti: Music of the Imagination. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 0-571-17631-3. 
  4. ^ "Magány (Solitude) based on a text by Sándor Weöres for three voiced mixed choir a capella (Hung.; engl.: Desmond Clayton)". Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "Magány composer: György Ligeti author of original text: Sándor Weoeres English version: Desmond Clayton German edition: Hilger Schallehn". Schott Music. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  6. ^ "Various Artists Ligeti: String Quartets Nos. 1 & 2; Lux Aeterna; Ramifications". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  7. ^ "London Sinfonietta Voices Ligeti: A Cappella Choral Works". Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 

External links[edit]