Author Topic: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!  (Read 1260 times)

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Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« on: August 09, 2016, 04:47:35 PM »
I've been listening to this on heavy rotation lately, I love it. It's becoming a favorite opera really quickly.
There are many moments that connect to me as a fan of Xenakis, Zappa, Kagel and The Residents.
The humor is through the roof, the composition techniques and uses of contrasting pastiche's is superb.
Anyone else a fan of this masterpiece?  8)
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Offline nathanb

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #1 on: August 09, 2016, 07:09:01 PM »
I'm not a very adequate opera fan. I mean, I love the stuff, but people always tell you that listening to opera doesn't make you an opera fan unless you're also sipping a glass of wine with the libretto in hand, etc.

Well, this was one of the few operas that I happened to have an English libretto around for my very first listen, and yeah. Nothing like it. Nowhere else can you find sublime classical music and quotes like "I'm in deep shit!" in the same place.

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #2 on: August 09, 2016, 07:13:49 PM »
I'm addicted to it lately, I brought the score (mail order, still waiting). Not a big opera fan either (apart from select works from Bartok, Stockhausen, Wagner etc)
I'll be listening to it probably three more times today, already listened to the whole thing once today!  :D
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Offline jessop

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #3 on: August 09, 2016, 07:19:46 PM »
I really love it. Admittedly I am more familiar with the original version. I do want to get that DVD of it, but it is so expensive!

Offline Brewski

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2016, 07:21:12 PM »
One of conductor Alan Gilbert's great triumphs with the New York Philharmonic was the 2010 semi-staged performance, directed by Doug Fitch, with some outstanding singers including Barbara Hannigan as Gepopo, and Anthony Roth Costanzo as Prince Go-Go. Wish they had released it on DVD, though some kind soul has uploaded the audio on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJXTkIC4Gl0 (Act I)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVLxFHqzCqs (Act II)

Here's a video excerpt. Again, a pity they didn't release the entire thing, which was imaginative almost beyond belief, considering the budget they obviously had to work with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXn3B0vpcZ8

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Offline jessop

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2016, 07:23:04 PM »
I remember that! It was around then that I was just getting into Ligeti. I really wish to have seen it in full, but I am on the other side of the world. :(

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2016, 07:29:54 PM »
I really love it. Admittedly I am more familiar with the original version. I do want to get that DVD of it, but it is so expensive!

That is my intention soon too, just like Stockhausen's Ring Cycle. YouTube will not suffice for the full immersion, only partially. Though I'm enjoying it as audio-only for now....  ;D
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Offline jessop

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2016, 07:34:22 PM »
That is my intention soon too, just like Stockhausen's Ring Cycle. YouTube will not suffice for the full immersion, only partially. Though I'm enjoying it as audio-only for now....  ;D

Is it even possible to get DVDs of Licht? Licht takes a long time to get through.........Stockhausen is a wonderful composer but spending a week with Licht could be a bit much for me! Plus very expensive.

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2016, 07:46:29 PM »
Is it even possible to get DVDs of Licht? Licht takes a long time to get through.........Stockhausen is a wonderful composer but spending a week with Licht could be a bit much for me! Plus very expensive.

I have no idea, I'd like DVD's of it though. I've only been fortunate enough to purchase Donnerstag aus Licht (on CD) a few years ago, I love that one. (I've heard bits and pieces of the rest of them, which are all amazing works)
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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2016, 05:20:48 PM »
I listened to it again last night and I can't stop loving it more and more. The quotes are hilarious and I think if you wrote up the details of the plot on that other forum, you'd probably get an infraction  ???

And that scene with Mescalina that also featured in "Mysteries Of The Macabre", I can't help love the sexual absurdity of it, sort of oddly beautiful?   :-[

Still haven't actually watched it yet, so everything apart from the music is just in my head but it's a brilliant work of music at that!!!!   :D
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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2016, 01:05:56 PM »
One of conductor Alan Gilbert's great triumphs with the New York Philharmonic was the 2010 semi-staged performance, directed by Doug Fitch, with some outstanding singers including Barbara Hannigan as Gepopo, and Anthony Roth Costanzo as Prince Go-Go. Wish they had released it on DVD, though some kind soul has uploaded the audio on YouTube:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJXTkIC4Gl0 (Act I)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nVLxFHqzCqs (Act II)

Here's a video excerpt. Again, a pity they didn't release the entire thing, which was imaginative almost beyond belief, considering the budget they obviously had to work with.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXn3B0vpcZ8

--Bruce

I agree thoroughly with my old buddy Brewski. That performance was probably the single high point of Alan Gilbert's tenure with the NYP, and it is a shame no complete video was made. Whatever the musical merits of the opera, I think it pales unless seen; and though I can't speak to the budget, what the production group (called Giants are Small) accomplished was utterly miraculous.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2016, 01:08:12 PM »
Stockhausen's Ring Cycle.

Stockhausen wrote one of those too?
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2016, 03:03:06 PM »
Stockhausen wrote one of those too?

I tend to see the Ring and The Licht as very similar things (in conception) but yet very different.
You know Wagner's Licht Cycle?

But this thread is not about Wagner or Stockhausen
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Offline (poco) Sforzando

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2016, 03:26:41 PM »
I tend to see the Ring and The Licht as very similar things (in conception) but yet very different.
You know Wagner's Licht Cycle?

But this thread is not about Wagner or Stockhausen

Threads are about whatever they want to be.
http://www.good-music-guide.com/community/index.php/topic,25952.msg982621.html#msg982621

Wagner did stipulate Licht-Alberich as an alternative name for Wotan.
"I don't know what sforzando means, though it clearly means something."

Offline Otis B. Driftwood

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2016, 01:18:03 AM »
A version in youtube, from Barcelona's Liceu:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W72pJ7Cn_WI

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2017, 06:26:51 PM »
Ligeti goes bump in the night  :laugh:
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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2017, 06:31:05 PM »
I'm gonna watch the (ripped) Macabre dvd sometime today before the Twin Peaks finale airs.


Anyhow, haven't listened to this opera in quite a few months now but it's still a top favorite. I can stall recall parts of it in my head, the story is absurd as it is revelatory. Ligeti really created an amazing take on both the opera genre itself (in many ways in a parody-like manner) and an answer to the existential questions of life.

and so on...
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Offline Guido

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #17 on: September 08, 2017, 02:55:13 AM »
I love Ligeti but this opera I find very uningratiating - Having seen it live twice, I also don't think it works as a piece of drama.
Geologist.

The large print giveth, and the small print taketh away

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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #18 on: September 08, 2017, 05:28:16 AM »
I love Ligeti but this opera I find very uningratiating - Having seen it live twice, I also don't think it works as a piece of drama.

Well ain't that quite the complete opposite of how I feel about it; being potentially my favorite opera but for sure, my favorite Ligeti work of all  :D
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Re: Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre!
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2017, 09:17:06 PM »
Im with Guido, but will say there are some individual moments here and there that are pretty neat, but, overall, Im not enthralled by the work.
When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something. - Dmitri Shostakovich

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