Writing about a living composer is a little like writing an obituary for someone
before he is dead. For this reason it is difficult, if not impossible to anticipate
new directions and developments in their style or technique, particularly if radical
changes have already been noticed. However, this was not the reason why I chose to
concentrate on the works of this period, those written after his emigration to Western
Europe from Hungary in 1956, which he considered to be his first major compositions.
In addition to taking advantage of seeing these works in perspective as far as later
developments'are concerned, one may see that his early styles of composition lay the
foundations, if not the scaffolding for the 'mature'' compositions of the late 1960's.
This basis is fundamental to the understanding of Ligeti's musical processes, as indeed are the political circumstances which led to his emigration into an environment
which cultured his artistic development.