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This is a wonderful set of recordings made by the Teldec label and now released by Warner, providing a good overview of Ligeti's work. Ligeti is probably best known from the inclusion of Atmospheres and part of the Requiem in the soundtrack of "2001 - A Space Odyssey", those pieces are included in this set but if that is all you want then the movie soundtrack is probably a better buy. This set has five discs, the quality of the performances is uniformly high and the accompanying booklet notes were written by Ligeti himself and an essential bit of reading. The artists performing the works include some of the greatest champions of Ligeti's work, including the great Pierre-Laurent Aimard who made Ligeti's piano works his own (although in recent years Yuja Wang has really impressed with her performances of Ligeti piano works). I'll admit I am not a universal enthusiast of Ligeti. Some of his works I find strikingly beautiful and a beguiling mix of seeming simplicity with multi-layered complexity as you grow familiar with the music, but I have to admit some of it leaves me cold. At his best he was a wonderful composer who deserves to be included in the pantheon of great composers and his music was never less than interesting. Many people will deride his music as discordant or just recoil from the concept of modern music (can music written over 50 years ago still be considered "modern"?!!), it's true this is not the sort of tune laden easy listening of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik but neither is it impenetrable and as you listen there are some genuinely arresting and beautiful pieces in this set. My own favourites are the piano concerto, cello concerto and Hamburg concerto, all of which are really wonderful. And of course there is the Requiem and Atmospheres. I would recommend anyone with an open mind and willingness to listen to something different to buy this set, it is nicely presented and an absolute bargain. The recording quality is excellent throughout. This is a splendid accompaniment to the Sony Ligeti Masterworks box set. Conventional wisdom seems to rate this Teldec/Warner set above the Sony set but I really don't agree and rate both sets as equally impressive. A wonderful set, 5*.
I must admit to not having paid much attention to Ligeti until this year, the 50th anniversary of 2001: A Space Odyssey, which features Ligeti's music in many effective scenes. I remember seeing the movie, and listening to the sound track LP, and being mesmerized by the build-up of the vocal tones created by Ligeti. Following that, I dug around in my local record shop to find more of his music, coming up with nothing. Over the intervening decades, I've heard the odd piece from Ligeti but never managed to find a decent collection of his music, having to settle for one CD found a decade ago (and now out of print).
So, when this five CD collection came up in a search, triggered by the anniversary of Kubrick's movie, it was an easy purchase, especially at the price. This set of CDs is quite impressive, with a broad stroke of Ligeti's works over the years, all performed well. The recording quality is good, although I have to wonder what a contemporary set of classical engineers could do with the works. Still, these were engineered by Teldec, which has a superb reputation for quality.
There's all the content from 2001 here, in its full glory, and listening to it always gives me flashbacks to the movie. It's some of the other music that surprised me more, as I knew very little about Ligeti. None of these works are rally "background music"; it you actually focus and listen, you'll find layer upon layer of complexity, or, even more often, simplicity. It's an interesting exercise working through some of these pieces. Some of which are truly brilliant!
After going through the five CDs, I am much better educated as to his style and music, and while most of these pieces won't be on constant play during listening sessions, they are interesting. For anyone curious about Ligeti, this is the best source of music in today's catalogs.
Un monumento della musica contemporanea della seconda metà del '900. A questo prezzo non ci sono scuse. Ascoltare ed imparare ad ascoltare. ***** Spedizione Amazon così rapida e accurata da lasciare sbigottiti.
It is a great set of recordings. I have been familiar with the quartets and heard some chamber music of his in concerts. The latest I heard was the fantastic sonata for viola solo. The genius of Ligeti is absolutely apparent from this set. The variety of his music writing is mind-boggling. I discovered that for some pieces you do need to see what's going on. "Aventures" is in fact a 10-minute opera; fortunately there is a youtube recording of it.