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Gyorgy Ligeti - Clear or Cloudy: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon (Box Set 4CD) (2006)

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Artist: Gyorgy Ligeti
Title: Clear or Cloudy: Complete Recordings on Deutsche Grammophon
Year Of Release: 2006
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Genre: Classical/Avantgarde
Quality: APE (image+.cue,log)
Total Time: 05:09:11
Total Size: 1.04 GB

Deutsche Grammophon's budget-priced, four-CD collection of all the works by György Ligeti in its catalog has many things to commend it, beginning with the title. Clear or Cloudy is a profoundly astute description of the composer's career, encompassing both the great sound clouds of his micropolyphonic work of the 1960s, such as Atmosphères, Volumina, Lux aeterna, and Lontano, and the crystalline clarity of his early years, demonstrated in Six Bagatelles for wind quintet and his first String Quartet, as well as in his Etudes pour piano and Piano Concerto from his final period.
The performances here are extraordinary, and some are legendary. In Volumina, Gerd Zacher wrings an incredible variety of sonic possibilities from the organ and shapes them into a chilling aural experience. Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures, with singers Jane Manning, Mary Thomas, and William Pearson and the Ensemble InterContemporain, led by Pierre Boulez, are especially assured, and lead the listener on a frightening, comic, cryptic emotional roller coaster ride. The radiant performances of Atmosphères and Lontano by Claudio Abbado and the Vienna Philharmonic make the most of the scores' glistening mysteries.
If this were intended as a survey of Ligeti's career, one could quibble over the omissions -- the Requiem; the Trio for horn, violin, and piano; and the fact that there are only two of the piano etudes -- but given the fact that it is a reissue of everything Deutsche Grammophon happened to have in its archive, it is a remarkably comprehensive and representative collection that offers a broad and detailed view of the composer's output. It's an ideal introduction to Ligeti for anyone coming to his remarkable work for the first time, and it is also expansive and diverse enough to interest those who are already fans. The set contains over five hours of music, and the program booklet includes an insightful essay by Paul Griffiths. Surprisingly, for a collection coming from so many recorded sources, the sound is consistently excellent, with the appropriate ambience and presence for the various works.

CD1 (1:14'52")
Sonata for Solo Cello
01. I. Dialogo. Adagio, rubato, cantabile
02. II. Capriccio. Presto con slancio
Matt Haimovitz, cello
6 Bagatelles for Wind Quintet
03. I. Allegro con spirito
04. II. Rubato. Lamentoso
05. III. Allegro grazioso - attacca subito:
06. IV. Presto ruvido
07. V. Adagio. Mesto [Bela Bartok in memoriam]
08. VI. Molto vivace. Capriccioso
Jacques Zoon, flute
Douglas Boyd, oboe
Richard Hosford, clarinet
James Sommerville, horn
Matthew Wilkie, bassoon
String Quartet No.1 ''Metamorposes noctures''
09. Allegro grazioso
10. Vivace, caprissioso
11. A tempo
12. Adagio, mesto
13. Presto
14. [...] molto sostenuto - Andante tranquillo
15. Piu mosso
16. Tempo di Valse, moderato, con eleganza, un poco capriccioso
17. Subito prestissimo
18. Subito: motto sostenuto
19. Allegretto, un poco gioviale
20. Allarg. Poco piu mosso
21. Subito allegro con moto, string. poco a poco sin al prestissimo
22. Prestissimo
23. Allegro comodo, gioviale
24. sostenuto, accelerando
25. Lento
Hagen Quartet
10 Pieces for Wind Quintet
26. I. Molto sostenuto e calmo
27. II. Prestissimo minaccioso e burlesco
28. III. Lento
29. IV. Prestissimo leggiero e virtuoso
30. V. Presto staccatissimo e leggiero
31. VI. Lo stesso tempo. Presto staccatissimi e leggiero
32. VII. Vivo, energico
33. VIII. Allegro con delicatezza
34. IX. Sostenuto, stridente
35. X. Presto bizzarro e rubato, so schnell wie moglich
Wiener Blasersolisten
String Quartet No.2
36. Allegro nervoso
37. Sostenuto, molto calmo
38. Come un meccanismo di precisione
39. Presto furioso, brutale, tumultuoso
40. Allegro con delicatezza - stets sehr mild
LaSalle Quartet
CD2 (1:18'12")
1. Atmospheres for large orchestra
Wiener Philharmoniker
Claudio Abbado
2. Volumina for organ
Gerd Zacher, organ
3. Lux aeterna for 16-voice a cappella mixed chorus
Chor des Norddeutschen Rundfunks
Helmut Franz
4. Organ Study No.1 ''Harmonies''
Gerd Zacher, organ
5. Lontano for large orchestra
Wiener Philharmoniker
Claudio Abbado
6. Ramifications for string orchestra or 12 solo strings
Ensemble InterContemporain
Pierre Bulez
7. Melodien for orchestra
London Sinfonietta
David Atherton
CD3 (1:20'29")
01. Aventures for 3 singers and 7 instrumentalists
Jane Manning, soprano
Mary Thomas, mezzo-soprano
William Pearson, bass
Ensemble InterContemporain
Pierre Bulez
Nouvelles Aventures for 3 singers and 7 instrumentalists
02. I. Sostenuto
03. II. Agitato molto
Jane Manning, soprano
Mary Thomas, mezzo-soprano
William Pearson, bass
Ensemble InterContemporain
Pierre Bulez
Concerto for Violoncello and Orchestra
04. I. J=40 - attaca:
05. II. (Lo stesso tempo) J=40
Jean-Guihen Queyras, violoncello
Ensemble InterContemporain
Pierre Bulez
Chamber Concerto for 13 instrumentalists
06. I. Corrente [5:06]
07. II. Calmo, sostenuto
08. III. Movimento preciso e meccanico
09. IV. Presto
Ensemble InterContemporain
Pierre Bulez
10. Mysteries of the Macabre (arr. Elgar Horvath)
Hakan Hardenberger, trumpet
Roland Pontinen, piano
Double Concerto for Flute and Oboe
11. I. Calmo, con tenerezza
12. II. Allegro corrente
Jacques Zoon, flute
Douglas Boyd, oboe
Chamber Orchestra of Europe
Claudio Abbado
CD4 (1:16'06")
01. The Big Turtle Fanfare from The South China Sea for trumpet
Hakan Hardenberger, trumpet
3 Pieces for 2 Pianos
02. Monument
03. Selbsportrait mit Reich und Riley (und Chopin ist auch dabei)
04. Bewegung
Alfons Kontarsky, piano
Aloys Kontarsky, piano
Etudes pour piano, Livre I
05. Etude 2: Cordes а vide. Andantino con moto, molto tenero
06. Etude 4: Fanfares. Vivacissimo molto ritmico. °=63, con allegria e slancio
Gianluca Cascioli, piano
Concerto for Piano and Orchestra
07. I. Vivace molto ritmico e preciso - attacca subito:
08. II. Lento e deserto
09. III. Vivace cantabile [4:23]
10. IV. Allegro risoluito, molto ritmico - attacca subito:
11. V. Presto luminuso: fluido, costante, sempre molto ritmico
Pierre-Laurent Aimard, piano
Ensemble InterContemporain
Pierre Bulez
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra dedicated to Saschko Gawriloff
12. I. Praeludium: Vivacissimo luminoso - attacca:
13. II. Aria, Hoquetus, Choral: Andante con moto - attacca:
14. III. Intermezzo: Presto fluido
15. IV. Passacaglia: Lento intenso
16. V. Appassionato: Agitato molto
Saschko Gawriloff, violin
Ensemble InterContemporain
Pierre Bulez


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