Product Description & Reviews
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
Features & Highlights
|Item Weight:||0.26 pounds|
|Item Size:||5 x 0.43 x 0.43 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.65 pounds|
|Package Size:||4.9 x 1.4 x 1.4 inches|
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