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Ligeti: Le Grand Macabre Import

3.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, March 23, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

It seems oddly fitting that 1999--a year marked by Y2K paranoia and doom-and-gloom trainspotters--is the year in which Sony chose to release this brilliantly charged version of György Ligeti's Le Grande Macabre, the Hungarian master's comic tale of apocalypse and "what me worry?" Originally composed between 1975 and 1977, Macabre follows the various bumbling citizens of "Breughelland" during "anytime." Problem is, their time is about to end, thanks to grim reaper Nekrotzar (played with deadpan grotesquerie by bass-baritone Willard White), who, aided by his bumbling servant Piet the Pot, has decided to lay waste to the world. Of course, nothing ever goes quite right. A pair of indistinguishable lovers (including the radiant mezzo of Charlotte Hellekant) sleeps right through the Armageddon, and the Great Macabre is reduced to asking himself, "Have I not just laid to waste the entire goddamned world?" in the hilarious final scene. Esa-Pekka Salonen's live recording zeroes in on the score's sardonic humor as well as its postmodern raidings. Compared to the first Macabre on disc--sung in German and not as compact as the revised, English version that Ligeti prepared for the 1997 Salzburg Festival revival--this one is the keeper, with better sound staging, wildly imaginative orchestrations, lucid program notes, and an enjoyably perky English rendition of the original text. Hearing all this perfect craziness--the townspeople mimicking a skipping record as they sing "Our Great Leader" in the third scene, the car horn prelude that leads off the production, the absurdist arguments of the Black and White Ministers--is a comic delight. Here is one of Ligeti's masterpieces--a must for fans of modern opera--in its full glory. --Jason Verlinde

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Car Horn Prelude / Autohupen-Vorspiel Prélude aux klaxons
  2. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 1: 'Dies irae'
  3. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 1: 'Away, you swagpot!'
  4. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 1: 'Shut up!'
  5. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 1: 'Oh ...!' - 'Amanda! Can do no more!'
  6. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 1: 'Ha-ha-ha-ha! Hey! Give me my requisites'
  7. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 1: 'Melting snow is thy breast'
  8. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Second Car Hor Prelude / Zweites Autohupen-Vorspiel / DeuxiÃ..me prélude aux klaxons
  9. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 2: 'One! Two! Three! Five!'
  10. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 2: 'Shapley and attractive figure'
  11. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 2: 'Venus! Venus!'
  12. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 2: 'Stop!' -'Sh! ... Quiet, for heaven's sake!'
  13. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 2: 'Who's there? A man?' - 'A man!'
  14. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Finale: 'Fire and death I bring'

Disc: 2

  1. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: Doorbell Prelude
  2. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'Arse- licker, arse- kisser!'
  3. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'Posture exercises!'
  4. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'Tsk...' - 'Psssst!'
  5. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'Ahh! ... Secret cypher!'
  6. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'Hurray, hurray! My wife is dead'
  7. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: Nekrotzar's Entrance
  8. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'Woe! Ooh!' - 'For the day of wrath'
  9. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'There's no need to fear'
  10. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'Up!'- 'Drink!' - 'Up!'
  11. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'Hmm! it's delicious!'
  12. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: 'Where am I? What time is it?'
  13. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 3.: Interlude
  14. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 4.: 'Ghost Astradamors, are you dead?'
  15. Le Grand Macabre, opera: Scene 4. Finale.: 'Ah, it was good'


Product details

  • Performer: Derek Lee Ragin, London Sinfonietta Voices, Charlotte Hellekant, Jard Van Nes, Sibylle Ehlert, et al.
  • Orchestra: Philharmonia Orchestra and Chorus
  • Conductor: Esa-Pekka Salonen
  • Composer: Gyorgy Ligeti
  • Audio CD (March 23, 1999)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B00000ICMU
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #189,357 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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