Le Grand Macabre

Originally composed between 1975 and 1977, Ligeti revised his opera in 1997 for the Salzburg Festival.  A big his in its brilliant Peter Sellars staging, protested by the composer to the press only a few days before the premiere after weeks of approving the rehearsals, this cd was recorded during live shows at the reprise at Paris’ Théâtre du Châtelet the following year with the same cast.  A part of Esa-Pekka Salonen’s erstwhile project with Sony to record all the music of Ligeti, this opera stands as a testament to Salonen’s commitment to that aim and his brilliance in the face of fiendishly difficult music.

Ligeti prepared his revision in modern English for the 1997 Salzburg Festival: his wildly imaginative orchestrations and the lucid program notes in this set make for enjoyment of one of Ligeti’s masterpieces in its full glory.