Joseph DELAPLACE, Ostinato forms in György Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre: Analysis of the materials and role of repetion

Starting from analytical approaches of Collage and the Passacaille of Ligeti's opera Le Grand Macabre, this article stresses the way in which the composer conceives the musical processes underlying these parts. The unveiling of two repetitive layers evidences several conceptions that renew the traditional principles of ostinato. Under the essentially heterogeneous appearance of Collage emerges a coherence linked to the making of the materials and to the activation of repetition at different levels; in the final Passacaille, the stress is put on the homogeneity created around an ostinato that fully merges in the sound texture. After briefly retracing the evolution of repetition in Ligeti, these analyses tend to stress the composition techniques that emerge in the ostinato forms of Le Grand Macabre and which Ligeti develops in a number of later works.