Specialist in modern and contemporary music, The Ligeti Quartet has been performing since 2010, and currently holds the enviable position of Ensemble in Residence at both Sheffield and Cambridge universities.
For this one-off concert at the Leadmill – part of Music in the Round’s autumn series of concerts around Sheffield – the quartet tackles two classics of the last century: Steve Reich’s Grammy Award-winning Different Trains and George Crumb’s iconic Black Angels.
Reich’s work is a defining moment of the American minimalist composer’s career. The 1988-penned piece was inspired by his train journeys between New York and Los Angeles during World War II. Its original recording, by the Kronos Quartet, scooping the 1989 Grammy Award for Best Classical Contemporary Composition.
Black Angels, meanwhile, was composed by Reich’s compatriot George Crumb over the course of a year, completed on Friday 13 1970. The piece, which references Schubert’s Death and the Maiden, is structured around the numbers 13 and 7, and features unusual instrumentation such as crystal glasses and tam-tam gongs, alongside electric string quartet.
The concert’s programme also features John Adams’ Fellow Traveller, John Zorn’s Cat O’Nine Tails and Tanya Tagaq’s Sivunittinni – showcasing between them a diverse range of references and influences, from punk to Inuit throat singing.