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Ligeti: The Ligeti Project 4

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Product details

  • Audio CD (14 April 2003)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CLASSICAL
  • ASIN: B00008UVCE
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 33,764 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Hamburg Concerto : I PraeludiumLigeti Project 2:45£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Hamburg Concerto : II Signale, Tanz, ChoralLigeti Project 1:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Hamburg Concerto : III Aria, Aksak, HoketusLigeti Project 1:05£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Hamburg Concerto : IV Solo, Intermezzo, Mixtur, KanonLigeti Project 4:24£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Hamburg Concerto : V SpectraLigeti Project 2:32£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Hamburg Concerto : VI CapriccioLigeti Project 1:10£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Hamburg Concerto : VII HymnusLigeti Project 1:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Double Concerto : I Calmo, con tenerezzaLigeti Project 8:31£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Double Concerto : II Allegro correnteLigeti Project 7:48£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen10. RamificationsLigeti Project 8:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Requiem : I IntroitusLigeti Project 5:39£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Requiem : II KyrieLigeti Project 6:35£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen13. Requiem : III De die judicii sequentiaLigeti Project 8:34£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen14. Requiem : IV LacrimosaLigeti Project 5:32£0.79  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

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Teldec's invaluable Ligeti series continues with The Ligeti Project IV, featuring the 2002 revision of the Hamburg Concerto for horn and chamber orchestra with four obbligato natural horns. Its seven short movements explore different facets of Ligeti's unique sound world. Harmonically adventurous, this is an accessible work, witty, dramatic and full of startling sonorities. There is brilliant playing here by all, especially virtuoso horn soloist Marie Luise Neunecker. The disc's earliest piece is the Requiem (Ligeti set only four movements of the traditional Mass). Completed in 1965, the Requiem centres on the large chorus, whose thickly written "Kyrie" fugue (best known from its use on the soundtrack of 2001: A Space Odyssey) and over-the-top wild "Dies Irae" place enormous demands on the singers that are brilliantly met here. In between the larger works come the 1972 Double Concerto for Flute and Oboe and Ramifications, a quarter-tone piece for 12 strings from 1969. For all their advanced tonal and rhythmic gestures, they make for fascinating listening, like everything else on this disc. --Dan Davis, Amazon.com

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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By "finsburyd" on 11 May 2003
Format: Audio CD
A fascinating journey through Ligeti's output, these works are placed in reverse chronological order, ie, the newest first. This makes sense, given that the oldest piece, the shattering Requiem, is an impossible act to follow.
I was immediately impressed with the recent Hamburg Concerto in a way that I wasn't quite with the concerto works for violin and piano. The horn sonorities are unexpectedly weird, even for Ligeti, and the brevity of the starkly contrasted movements make this piece easy to grasp.
The Double Concerto for oboe and flute, in which the flautist plays a range of flutes, features some utterly beautiful low flute (bass flute?) playing that manages to upstage the legendary oboe player (and composer), Holliger.
A fine performance of Ramifications still can't convince me that this a A-grade Ligeti.
Finally, the Requiem. This is only the second recording of this seminal work. Other large-scale choral works from that period have fared better. Penderecki's St Luke Passion has been recorded at least four times, Messiaen's Transfiguration, at least five.
The orchestra and soloists are beautifully caught in this recording. My one problem with this CD is that the chorus sometimes seems a bit distant. I've heard the Requiem in concert (in the flesh twice and a few times over the radio) and I've got Gielen's CD and the 2001: A Space Odyssey soundtrack with the Bavarian Radio performance of the Kyrie. In every other performance, the extraordinary passage for the tenors (two minutes into the Kyrie just before the first climax, in which the tenors whirl out of the choral mass, almost yelping and wailing) has been one of the most terrifying and unearthly sounds I've EVER heard. And I've heard a lot of Penderecki and Stockhausen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mw Puleston on 28 Jan. 2011
Format: Audio CD
My comments are not a detailed critique of Ligeti,but to merely say I am on a journey of exploration of the mans music.If music creates an emotion then its meaningful-such is the effect of Ligetis compositions.Reqium for me is a masterpiece, the stirring of emotions can be overwhelming,no matter how often it is heard,and yes like many others I was introduced by the vision of Kubrik within 2001.If you are new to modern classical music then just keep listening, would recommend Atmospheres and Lux Auterna by Ligetti and to check out Penderecki, Xenakis,Birtwistle and of course Stockhausen.Just keep an open mind and be moved.
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Chester on 20 Jan. 2005
Format: Audio CD
This has to be the best classical album i've heard in recen years. Although Ligeti is not immediately accesible, as the background music for 2001 it arguably created the mystique the final portion of the film. Listening to the Kyrie from the Requiem again, you are again amazed by the sheer scariness of it. There may be no tune, and it may just sound like the wind howling, but it creates an amazing atmosphere. The Dies Irae which follows, which is at the same time insanely violent and comic, is also one of the most awe-inspiring pieces of classical composition. The rest of the disc is typical 20th century modern music, atonal and dischordant, but for the Requiem alone it is wirth it. And, before people dismiss this as some 'muso' talking, i only heard this from studying Ligeti at A-Level, and usually listen to U2, Yes, Eric Clapton etc. So it is accesible for anyone!!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
A superb meeting of Ligeti's recent and classic works 7 Jan. 2004
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The fourth disc of Warner Classics' fresh and exciting Ligeti Project contains the composer's recent "Hamburg Concerto" as well as two other works performed by the Asko/Schoenberg Ensemble. If you're new to Ligeti, this is worth getting because it contains his "Requiem", one of his most famous and also most accessible works, in a new performance by the Berliner Philharmonik.
In the "Hamburg Concerto" (1998) Ligeti presents a work which seems superficially simple and common, but which teems with inventiveness underneath. Primarily for horns, it also contains an lovely harp interruption, and the drumming seems inspired by the African music which the composer explored in the 90's. Though he is quite old now and has a 60-year career behind him, Ligeti continues to write interesting music and remains as strong as ever.
The "Double Concerto" (1972) is an exploration of the differences between flute and oboe. It begans as a quite soothing piece, but in its first movement grows to mournfulness through solitary sustained high notes. The second movement is more lively with a great deal of orchestral involvement. "Ramifications" (1968-69) is a minor work in which half of its twelve solo strings are tunes a quarter-tone lower than the other half. Ligeti then explores the surreal interaction among the strings. The performance here seems solid, but I find its recording too "dark", and prefer the Ensemble Intercontemporain/Pierre Boulez performance, recently reissued by Deutsche Grammaphon, which is considerably clearer.
For all that comes before it, "Requiem" (1963-65) is clearly the highest point of the disc. The complexity and power of the piece makes it a real chef d'oeuvre. Beginning with a slow "Introitus", the work moves into a stunning "Kyrie", in which the threatening murmurs of over 100 singers create a complex web of sound occasionally broken by ingenious orchestral interruptions. The following "De die judicii" is dedicated mainly to the idiosyncratic vocal experimentations of solo soprano and mezzo-soprano. The piece ends with ever diminished strength, as if symbolising the one being laid to rest. Though this piece acheived popularity through its use in the final portion of Kubrick's "2001", I find this live version from 2002 to be much better than the first performance of the 60's.
My only complaints about the CD concern the liner notes. The English translation of Ligeti's (German language) comments is not so faithful to the original. There are also a couple of ads in the booklet.
This is a must-have disc for fans of Ligeti, and an ideal starting-place for The Ligeti Project. The glorious new "Requiem" brings me back frequently.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Mind-Bending Microtones 31 May 2003
By Daniel Johnson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Each one of the pieces of music on this disc is something close to a masterpiece. The Requiem is justly famous for its eerie sonorities and moments of modernist shock and drama. 'Ramifications,' an often ghostly work for 12 solo strings, is somewhat in the same vein, as is the Double Concerto for flute and oboe; both pieces shimmer with weird, microtonal harmonies.
But The Ligeti Project, as always, offers us the opportunity to compare the classic Ligeti works of the 60's and 70's with the sort of pieces he is composing today, and my favorite piece on this recording is the brand new Hamburg Concerto for solo French horn and orchestra--including four "natural" horns tuned to various different keys. The elaborate and (again) microtonal interactions of the horns within a highly lucid, conservative harmonic language creates something utterly arresting, novel, and unsettlingly beautiful.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
A new concerto plus three new recordings 12 Jun. 2003
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
The pace of Teldec's Ligeti Project series is speeding up -- LP1 was released in 2001, LP2 in 2002, and now LP3 and LP4 in 2003. This is another excellent production, with recordings from September through November of 2002. The disc opens with the premiere recording of the "Hamburg Concerto," just composed in 1998-9. Featured is the Horn of Marie Luise Neunecker, the dedicatee. The performance is marvelous, but I do not find the composition to be as compelling as other "late Ligeti" pieces such as the Piano and Violin Concertos.

The new recording of the "Double Concerto" (composed in 1972) features Heinz Holliger on oboe, generally acknowledged to be the most accomplished player of his instrument today, along with Jacques Zoon on flute. "Ramifications" was presented in two versions on a Wergo disc, for 12 solo strings, and with orchestra -- LP4 presents only the 12 strings version.

Finally, my personal favorite for this recording, a new version of "Requiem" (composed in 1963-5), part of which was used for the soundtrack of Kubrick's "2001." The complete recording was previously available on Wergo, but I had not heard it before -- it resembles "Lux Aeterna," but includes wisps of orchestra in addition to the solo and choral voices.

Jonathan Nott conducts the Berlin Philharmonic here, superb again as on the LP2 disc, which presents all orchestral works. LP4 is not the place to start if you're investigating Ligeti, I'd say (I recommend LP2 or perhaps LP1), but it is a fine album, and indispensable for Ligeti collectors.
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Best performances for every piece. 8 Jun. 2006
By Paco Yáñez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Ligeti Edition in Teldec is offering to us a reference in every piece performed, like the case of this CD, The Ligeti Project IV.

The main work in this CD is the Requiem (1963-65), a piece I knew in Gielen's hands on Wergo, and from which I knew another performance with the Bayerischen Rundfunks we can hear in Kubrick's 2001, even it's not available nowadays. This new one is what we was waiting for, a wonderful performance conducted by a talent conductor joining a marvellous orchestra and a superb choir. Of course, I don't think this is last word on Ligeti's Requiem, but I really think this version is a reference for a long time. From the orchestral point of view, the Berliner Philharmoniker playing is breathtaking, as the superb orchestra they are. They manage all the the complex sound textures Ligeti creates in his complex score. Brasses are really a new dimension in this recording, something really outstanding I didn't hear before. Woodwinds and strings are clearly better than Wergo performance too, but brasses' playing... that's too much. The choir singing in this version is something I was discussing a lot with other people, because I know some other music-lovers who think this performance is not too much emphatic on the sense of a requiem; some of them even prefer Wergo's style on the choir, or the one heard in 2001, which they think is `darker' and much more dramatic. This one by the London Voices is quite crystal clear, you can hear all the lines, the micro-polyphony so marvellous described in this piece, like Ligeti did in some other works before, like Lontano. Having a choir like this guarantee this level of excellence, as they are really specialist on this repertoire. Despite the critics, they are really fantastic, no so dramatic like others, but quite perfect from the technical point of view. Soloists are really very, very good too, and they give them best in a marvellous performance of a crucial work in choral musical literature in the XXth Century.

Double Concerto (1972) is another piece I really love. I knew Wergo's performance, that is quite good and Abbado's one for DG, which was the one I preferred before having this one, that's the performance I find much more modern in style and much more perfect form a technical point of view, trying to explain all the complex systems under the score surface. Soloists are wonderful and the ensemble playing is amazing, like de Leeuw conducting, continuing the high excellence they are showing in every CD on this series. With no doubt, the best performance available for this very good piece, one of the most `easy' to listen in this CD.

Ramification (1968-69) is a little more difficult to listen, as it's really an explorative work for 12 strings, in micro-tone style, a really complex work from the technical point of view and from its structure design. Talking about the performances available, I knew Wergo's one, which I didn't like, and Boulez's one conducting the EIC, a remarkable version. I prefer this new one much more than any other, it's the more clear and the one that works much more in details with the limits of the tonality described on the score, that micro-tones that are not really easy to play if the ensemble is not specialist in this repertoire. Wonderful work too and another reference for the piece.

Hamburg Concerto (1998) represents Ligeti's final period, a time in which he seems to be deeply interested on rhythm and quite a turning back to the style he developed in his Hungarian days. Influenced strongly by the discovering of Nancarrow's studies for piano, the colour is again a central motive in these works, as the melodies, transformed but present in the structures. Like the Violin Concert or the Piano Concert, are pieces I don't like so much like those works from the late `50s, the `60s or the `70s too. Recently I read some words by Helmut Lachenmann about the last works by György Ligeti, in which he was very critic with them; I have to say I agree Lachenmann, and I don't like the last works by a composer I think is between the best in the last century.

Great and clear recordings for every work, perfect to notice every sound and the work's structures, so important in this contemporary music. Very good booklet and nice edition.

A must have for contemporary music lovers.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Among postmodernism's greatest works 10 Dec. 2009
By Michael Schell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album contains some of Ligeti's most important works from his second, "sound surface" stylistic period that extended from roughly 1956 to 1977. By extension, then, this music is among the greatest written in the 20th Century.

The centerpiece of the CD is Ligeti's Requiem from 1965. This is arguably the most important work of its genre written in the 20th Century. Its influence and historical significance greatly exceeds that of Britten's admittedly more popular and more frequently performed War Requiem. And I think it slightly exceeds even that of Stravinsky's late, great Requiem Canticles (which was actually premiered one year after Ligeti's work). Like Stravinsky, Ligeti only sets portions of the traditional Requiem text: the famous introit whose opening line gives the genre its name, then the Kyrie, and finally the Dies Irae sequence with the Lacrimosa section segregated into a separate fourth movement. Not only is this a giant among Requiem settings, it is also perhaps the best of Ligeti's cluster and density works for the variety of textures and for the innovations in both instrumental and vocal timbre.

Confusingly, the traditional communion Lux Aeterna is omitted in Ligeti's setting, but Ligeti later wrote a standalone setting of that text for unaccompanied voices (no orchestra). Both were used by Kubrick in 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the Lux Aeterna setting closely resembles the music of the first two movements of the Requiem. But they are separate pieces. Lux Aeterna is recorded on LE2 among other places.

The performance is immaculately recorded, and full of interesting details. Dig how in the first movement (the Requiem introit), after the words "et lux perpetua luceat eis" in the chorus, Ligeti brings in a bright tone cluster in the violins and flutes that sounds like a beam of white light suddenly illuminating the afterlife. I was especially struck by the two female soloists (soprano Caroline Stein and mezzo soprano Margriet van Reisen) and their diction during the wild Dies Irae, where the lines are extremely disjointed representing the chaos of the Final Judgment. The music in this section is closer to the sound world of Aventures, and contrasts with the other three movements, which more closely resemble the sound world of Apparitions and Atmosphères.

The accompanying booklet includes a score excerpt from the Kyrie. It shows the division of the chorus into five sections (rather than the customary four). Each section comprises a fugal voice that is in turn made up of a kind of four-part canon in augmentation in which tone clusters fan out from a single unison starting pitch that's doubled by orchestral instruments.

I was especially struck by the two female soloists (soprano Caroline Stein and mezzo soprano Margriet van Reisen) and their diction during the wild Dies Irae, where the lines are extremely disjointed representing the chaos of the Final Judgment. The music in this section is closer to the sound world of Aventures, and contrasts with the other three movements, which more closely resemble the sound world of Apparitions and Atmosphères. I'm very excited to have this amazing music available in such a high quality recording.

Ramifications is another great sound surface work from this period, exploring stringed instrument timbres and quarter tone inflections. Here it's presented only in its version for twelve solo strings, which is a shame, since it would have made an interesting contrast with the version for full string orchestra. For that I recommend the Wergo CD from 1970, which has both versions back to back. Nevertheless, there's nothing to be regretted about this performance by the Schöenburg Ensemble from the Netherlands which combines precision and a passion for this important work from 1969.

The double concerto is a lesser known work from the same period. You would be hard pressed to tell from listening that it is a concerto, as the solo oboe and flute rather infrequently emerge prominently from the orchestral texture. The first movement emphasizes sustained notes and quarter tone inflections, and Ligeti often specifies exact fingerings in the solo and ensemble flute parts. The soloist is directed to play a "flauto contralto", but I'm not sure if this is what North Americans call a bass flute (pitched one octave below a conventional concert flute) or one of the much larger instruments that often have an end pin to rest on the floor like a bass clarinet. The second movement begins with the orchestra playing minor third tremolos in different note values, a lick that also appears in the final movement of the Second String Quartet (LE1), and in the eighth of the Ten Pieces for Wind Quintet (LE7).

Rounding out the CD is the Hamburg Concerto, a late work featuring natural horns and exploiting the intonation differences between natural harmonics (just intonation) and the 12-tone equal temperament of the other instruments.

This CD is a great choice both for Ligeti fans, and for those starting to explore his music. Approach with open mind and ears, a good set of stereo headphones, and maybe a joint, and you won't be disappointed.
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