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.