Monday, 31 October 2016

György Ligeti - Requiem / Aventures / Nouvelles Aventures (1985 compi, rec '66/'68)

Could probably have come up with a much more apt halloween post if I put my mind to it, but this'll do the job.  Nicely chosen Bosch detail as the CD cover for starters; a good fit for one of the eeriest requiems ever conceived, as if sung from beyond the grave.  When I first bought this, I got all the expected flashbacks to 2001: Space Odyssey, but once immersed in the full work I soon discovered what a devastatingly effective 'mass for the dead' it really was.

Ligeti completed his Requiem for two choirs, orchestra and soprano soloists in 1965, and its dense, shimmering clustered chromaticism shot into the public consciousness a few years later thanks to Kubrick.  I'd forgotten until writing this that there's also a little of Ligeti's Aventures (1962) at the end of 2001, making it a good companion piece on this CD, as is Nouvelles Aventures (1965), both fascinating pieces of avant-garde vocalisation.

Excuse me, gentlemen, if you'd all line up on this side of the walkway we'd like to take a few photographs. Dr. Floyd, would you stand in the middle...

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