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Ligeti: Le Grand Macabre [Import]

G. Ligeti Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: CDN$ 65.99
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Product Details


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'
See all 14 tracks on this disc
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!'
See all 15 tracks on this disc

Product Description

Amazon.ca

Créé en 1978, cet opéra adapté de La Balade du Grand Macabre de Michel de Ghelderode constitue l'un des sommets de l'oeuvre de Gyorgy Ligeti. Le compositeur y déploie en effet les multiples facettes de son écriture orchestrale et vocale pour exprimer la vision à la fois funèbre, burlesque et dérisoire d'un monde en proie à la folie, au mensonge et à l'illusion. Le titre renvoie directement à une peinture de Breughel dont Ligeti actualise, par-delà les siècles, la verve et l'ironie grinçante. -- Michel Marmin

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A great opera of our time July 25 2001
Format:Audio CD
Ligeti's opera "Le Grand Macabre" based on the ballade of Michel de Ghelderode is a great musical achievement of our time. This version by Salonen, sung in English, is a reference. Salonen is a young enthusiastic conductor who loves the score (he told once something about composing and opera, after conducting Ligeti's Grand Macabre) and it is an authentic gift hearing Philharmonia Orchestra under his rules. In the casting, this version counts with a shining and lovely Amanda (Laura Claycomb),a funny Mescalina (Jard van Ness) and a really dark (literally) Nekrotzar (Willard White). Only Gepopo (Sybille Ehlert) is not fully convincent. But it is delightful hearing her, in any case, singing "Stern measures".
I am not agree with the stern reviews of some colleagues in this page. This Opera by Ligeti is magical, funny and delicious, as "The magic flute" of Mozart, for example. The music is powerful (the entrance of Nekrotzar, Astradamors' torture...) and filled with beauty (Gepopo's "misteries").
I love this opera and those of Penderecki, and I consider them the best works in their genre of the last 50 years.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.8 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the few contemporary masterworks in opera Feb. 6 2005
By drabauer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
I will not bother defending Le Grande Macabre for those dismayed at how it differs from earlier Ligeti; having studied the works from 1943 on, I hear a continuity that others may miss. Know only that the opera was influenced by the visual arts of Bosch, Brueghel and Saul Steinberg, the operas of Monteverdi and Verdi, the absurdist theater of Alfred Jarry, and the films of Charlie Chaplin. In other words, be forewarned!

Having not seen the recent San Francisco production I can only imagine the wild visuals, but the performers in this spanking new edition are spot on. Ligeti has considerably abridged and tightened the opera (first written in 1974-77), and has greatly refined his original vision (the composer has even gone on record preferring the English libretto to the original German.) The Wergo original is of interest primarily to completists.

Let me just add that history is everywhere present in LGM; this is the closest Ligeti's come to a "collage" work, which seems completely appropriate given the darkly surreal subject matter. He would never produce something quite like this again, but let us hope against hope that he finishes the long running operaplanned on the Alice books. For more about Ligeti, I recommend the Richard Steinitz work and life (although the earlier bios by Griffiths, Toop and Burde are great as well).
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great opera of our time July 25 2001
By Vladimir - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Ligeti's opera "Le Grand Macabre" based on the ballade of Michel de Ghelderode is a great musical achievement of our time. This version by Salonen, sung in English, is a reference. Salonen is a young enthusiastic conductor who loves the score (he told once something about composing and opera, after conducting Ligeti's Grand Macabre) and it is an authentic gift hearing Philharmonia Orchestra under his rules. In the casting, this version counts with a shining and lovely Amanda (Laura Claycomb),a funny Mescalina (Jard van Ness) and a really dark (literally) Nekrotzar (Willard White). Only Gepopo (Sybille Ehlert) is not fully convincent. But it is delightful hearing her, in any case, singing "Stern measures".
I am not agree with the stern reviews of some colleagues in this page. This Opera by Ligeti is magical, funny and delicious, as "The magic flute" of Mozart, for example. The music is powerful (the entrance of Nekrotzar, Astradamors' torture...) and filled with beauty (Gepopo's "misteries").
I love this opera and those of Penderecki, and I consider them the best works in their genre of the last 50 years.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun, if utterly bizarre Sept. 29 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I love Ligeti's music and I never fully understood why. I don't care for most contemporary composers, but I feel that he always has something very interesting to say and it goes way beyond the cacophony normally associated with contemporary music. To be frank there's enough dissonance in this work to make most people cringe, but, again, there's something to the way he approaches music and sound that elevates his works way above the banal or ugly and irritating, like Cage and Carter. Like Penderecki, Ligeti has his own musical vocabulary and he's not afraid to either use it or add to it when necessary. The result in "Le Grand Macabre" is a surrealistic soundscape that compliments the equally surrealistic tale of an imaginary kingdom and it's odd inhabitants. Truly bizarre and, definitely, not for everyone. Nevertheless, a truly great work. As original and wonderfully bizarre as one could only hope for. The performance is wonderful and most cohesive. Not an easy thing to accomplish with a work of this magnitude and complexity.
21 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not the only jewel in the crown. Dec 10 1999
By Andrew Hansen - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Amazon can't seem to recommend this one enough. I wish that made me happy. As it is, I find it frustrating. Opera seems to take precedence in critical and intellectual circles as an inherently superior medium of musical expression. I find this tragic, since Opera is as much or more about theater (actors, costumes, lights, pyrotechnics, etc.) than it is about music.
Le Grande Macabre is certainly one of Ligeti's monumental works and this is very much a recording worthy of owning if contemporary opera is of interest to you. I don't feel it appropriate to comment on the performances since experience has taught me that every listener has their own agenda and each grades a performance according to those criteria. He who has ears, let him listen...
My principle reason for posting this review is to encourage passers by to examine Ligeti's instrumental works, particularly the Chamber Concerto, the fabulous Wergo release containing Lontano and other orchestral works, and the piano etudes. Le Grande Macabre is, more or less, a composite of the ideas Ligeti has explored throughout his career. But as Ligeti is obedient to the requirements of storytelling, in the opera these ideas are decoration. In his other works, they are the substance.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good opera, probably not destined for classic status Feb. 13 2006
By Casey R. Law - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Though I haven't heard the German-language recording (the original libretto is in German), I have to believe that, in a language in which the listener lacks fluency, the immediacy of the text's impact would be lost. That's a serious loss when one is dealing (as here) with music that exists largely to amplify a text: rather like the acting in a silent movie (or--perhaps a more appropriate comparison here--the action in a Punch-and-Judy show). This English-language recording I therefore found very welcome.

No recording of course can give one a feel for the bizarre stage sets that (I have to think) must be essential to the impact of this opera in a live performance.

Relatively new though this opera is, to me it already seems somewhat dated, heavily redolent of the early 1970s. It also reminds one of Thornton Wilder's THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH, in that, after showing our Cosmic Problems, it facilely solves them by telling us (sort of) that Love Conquers All.

It IS refreshing to find such a broadly-targeted satire not unloading principally on the United States. Instead, there's a good deal of comic (and pretty funny) business about the follies of parliamentary government.
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