Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Ligeti Le Grand Macabre ENO Hieronymus Bosch

Tomorrow Ligeti's Le Grand Macabre opens at the ENO in London. What a wonderful Bang to start the season. Some sneer at new music on auto pilot but Le Grand Macabre confounds all expectations. It's completely off the wall, humour, satire and pain thrown together. This production premiered recently in Brussels, where several who saw it were delighted. "Not as scary as I thought" said one, who ended up having fun. Here's what Hugh Canning (usually conservative) said in the Sunday Times. So fear not, go and enter into its mad spirit.

There are several recordings, easily the classiest of which is Esa Pekka Salonen with the Philharmonia, the London Sinfonietta etc. But there is nothing like being there to get the full impact. Needs to be experienced first hand !

To whet your appetite or not here is the painting by Hieronymus Bosch which Ligeti used as inspiration. Click on both images to enlarge - the detail is amazing.

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