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The Ligeti Project, Vol.2

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The Ligeti Project, Vol.2 + Ligeti: Works For Piano: Etudes, Musica Ricercata (Pierre-Laurent
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Product details

  • Conductor: Gyorgy Ligeti
  • Audio CD (20 May 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: CLASSICAL
  • ASIN: B00005Y34N
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 107,793 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. LontanoLigeti Project11:37£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. AtmosphèresLigeti Project 8:58£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Apparitions : I LentoLigeti Project 6:07£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Apparitions : II AgitatoLigeti Project 2:33£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. San Francisco PolyphonyLigeti Project12:54£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Romanian Concerto : I AndantinoLigeti Project 3:01£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Romanian Concerto : II Allegro vivaceLigeti Project 1:18£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Romanian Concerto : III Adagio, ma non troppoLigeti Project 3:00£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Romanian Concerto : IV Molto vivaceLigeti Project 4:58£0.79  Buy MP3 

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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful By "symphonicdances" on 18 May 2002
Format: Audio CD
I cannot recommend this CD highly enough. Not only is the music beyond criticism, but performances any better than these could not be wished for.
The first two pieces on the CD, Lontano and Atmospheres, are both examples of Ligeti's "micropolyphony". In both these works every single orchestral player has their own individual part - and that includes 40-odd parts for each string player, all weaving in and out of each other in incredible detail. You can't hear all of the detail of course, but that's the whole point: and the Berlin Philharmonic, as we might perhaps expect, works like a perfectly oiled machine, of which each player is an equally perfect part. Ligeti is notorious for his demands he places on his players, not just in a solo context but in orchestral terms as well, but the orchestra rises to every challenge here and surmounts it effortlessly. Take the very opening of Atmospheres, where virtually the whole orchestra enters at once, but has to play as quietly as possible; it's a breathtaking effect. And I have never heard anything as magical as the 'harmonic cloud' section at the end of the work.
Apparitions is a slightly earlier work, and one with which I was not previously familiar, though I did know of its celebrated (or perhaps, not-so-celebrated) 'smashing a large sack filled with glass bottles with a big hammer' moment (which really has to be heard and not described!) The second of its two movements is another example of micropolyphony and all the above praise applies to this too. But there is far more violence in this work, and the excitement and suddenness of the extreme accents which pepper the score is admirably done. Another total success.
The Romanian Concerto is an earlier work still, and at times almost tonal (!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Scriabinmahler TOP 500 REVIEWER on 11 Dec 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
These are gripping performances of Ligeti's major orchestral works, captured in chilling atmosphere and intensity. Is't hard to find more compelling recordings of the works. Beautifully recorded.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donald C. Wall on 4 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
Looked everywhere for this CD--and after much searching, here it was! Thanks--and for the prompt service, too.
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9 of 21 people found the following review helpful By R. Hallett on 24 Aug 2002
Format: Audio CD
I was expecting this recording to be run of the mill and poor - especially as it was coming from the Berlin Philharmonic. How wrong I was - it is a Committed Performance and is also a Excellent Recording. I find the music both stimulating and invigorating, if like me you also find 20th Century music interesting or Ligeti is to you taste....then don't hesitate to buy this disc. Munt1
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 14 reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
One of the best CDs of contemporary music. 7 Jun 2006
By Paco Yáñez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
There're not many CDs like this available on the stores. It's the clear example of perfect CD in its repertoire. A wonderful composer, perfect performances and excellent recordings, together with a very good booklet and presentation.

Some of the works are among the best of Ligeti, in my opinion. The Concert Romanesc (1951), is in clear debt with Bartók language. We have to remember Ligeti is from Transylvania, from a region where Eötvös, Kurtág and the own Bartók were from. The folk music is very important there, as the Bartók transcriptions show, and Ligeti was concerned about it in his early years, like we listen too in other works, specially the Musica Ricarcata in the multiple transcriptions that music allows. Concert Romanesc is really a good piece in its style, that of popular music based on Romanian tunes, that really were Hungarian in pre-war times, before that zone where transferred to Romania. Some of the concerto themes are present too in early pieces for violins and strings, those we can listen on the Sony Edition Nº1, played by the Arditti Quartet. These kind of pieces, like String Quartet Nº1, are the first Ligeti period; next step will come with some of the pieces you can hear in the rest of the CD.

Apparitions (1958-59), was an scandal in its premiere, and it marks a turning point on Ligeti's aesthetics and way of composing. From a quite weberian style, the piece is brief and extremely concise in the way the instruments play. No more tunes, no more melodies, no more folk motives in this music; just really apparitions of sound in different ways and combinations, from different places in the orchestra. A very calm first movement, full of contrasts between silence and sound irruptions, and a second one much more vivid and fast. Teldec affirms this is the world premiere recording, in fact I don't know any other one, so I have to trust them. It's incredible this decisive piece was not recorded, as a turning point on Ligeti's work and as some of the most extreme and fantastic pieces form the `50s, a really breathtaking composition you will enjoy much more with the successive auditions.

Atmospheres (1961), one of the most important pieces in the orchestral repertoire in the XXth Century, has an enormous performance on this CD, a jewel never heard before in this way on CD. Ligeti has written about Atmospheres that is a piece unique, in the sense its composed in a way that its mathematical combinations reach only to this work. Wonderful use of micro-polyphony and micro-tonality, composed through nets of sound really complex in which every instruments play different parts that construct an outstanding group. Strings, woodwinds, metals play on them limits, going from the highest tones to the deepest, like in the change from woodwinds to the massive entrance of deep strings. Lot of people know this piece from Kubrick's 2001; you should try this one, that is really much more better performance.

Lontano (1968) is very careful about colours and polyphony, in fact we can here a quite medieval canon in the final sections of this piece, because of great interest of Ligeti on that medieval polyphony. The piece really seems to create new states of conscience, as the lines of music seems to go to no-known dimensions. Wonderful work too, taken by Kubrick again for his amazing film The Shinning, in which it's used perfectly, like all the music used in that film (Penderecki, Bartók, etc).

I don't like San Francisco Polyphony (1973-74) so much like the two previous pieces, even the style is very close, but I really prefer some other works from that time. In the late `70s and in the `80s Ligeti will go into a new step I have to confess I don't like so much like the one which has Atmospheres, Lontano, String Quartet Nº2, Requiem, Doppelkonzert, Cello Concert...

The performances are outstanding and simply perfect; they bring new life on these scores and the playing of, probably, the best orchestra in the world, conducted by one of the best young conductors in the world, Jonathan Nott, very trained on contemporary music.

The recording is very, very good, with some pieces live-recorded, like Atmospheres and Lontano and some of them studio recordings, like Apparitions. It's incredible how the Berliners play so perfectly in a live-recording.

Interesting texts by Ligeti on this jewel; one of the best CDs of contemporary music that I know.
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Watershed Works 18 July 2002
By Christopher Forbes - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Thanks to Teldec for continuing Sony's excellent series of the music of Ligeti. It is nice to see this kind of retrospective for one of the world's most important composers before he dies.
These works are watershed pieces of the European avant-garde. Atmospheres is familiar from the soundtrack to Kubrick's 2001, but the work is wonderful on it's own. Ligeti's early mature orchestral style consists of masses of cloudy harmonies created by using "micropolyphony," dense clusters of subtley shifting chromatic motives that morph into ever changing clouds of color. Atmospheres, Lontano and Apparitions are great examples of this style. They are all relatively static pieces. Lontano is more consonant than the others, but this has little meaning in music that is more about color and texture than traditional melody or harmony.
San Francisco Polyphony is a work from the 70's and gives an example of Ligeti's later style. Though still involved in micropolyphony, the textures are more transparent, there is a stronger sense of melodic motive, and Ligeti explores the subtle use of microtonal intervals.
Especially interesting on the CD is the inclusion of one of Ligeti's early Romanian works. These show the influence of Bartok and folk music on the young composer, but the voice is still his own.
Highly recommended to lovers of the 60s avant-garde.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Ligeti's works for orchestra, magnificently recorded 15 Jun 2002
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Here, in the second volume of Teldec's Ligeti Project, are 5 great orchestral works, newly recorded by the Berlin Philharmonic, with Jonathan Nott conducting (Nott, who led Boulez's Ensemble Intercontemporain for several years), superb versions that surpass the older Wergo recordings:

Apparitions (1958-9 -- 8'35)

Atmospheres (1961 -- 8'51)

Lontano (1967 -- 11'35)

San Francisco Polyphony (1973-4 -- 12'56)

and the delightful Bartokian "Concert romanesc" (1951 -- 12'10).

Both "Atmospheres" and "Lontano" are well-known from Stanley Kubrick soundtracks (2001 and The Shining, respectively), and have been available on the Wergo label, as has "SF Polyphony." Unbelievably, this is the premier recording of "Apparitions," which was the piece that led to Ligeti's first fame and notoriety when it was performed in Cologne in 1960. As on the LIGETI EDITION, VOLUME 1 recording of string quartets (see my review), the early folk-influenced, "Concert romanesc" goes last, closing the album on a light note with another premier recording. While I seriously doubt that it will take conventional concert halls by storm, "San Francisco Polyphony" is the most outgoing, exuberant, fast-moving and fascinating work here -- it presages his "late period," which includes such superb works as the Violin and Piano Concertos.

This disc, with liner notes by Ligeti and gorgeous Teldec packaging, certainly accomplishes the goal of the Edition/Project, to present definitive versions of the music of Gyorgy Ligeti, one of the 20th century's finest composers!

See my LIGETI: A LISTENER'S GUIDE list for more recordings and reviews.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Some major orchestral "micropolyphonic" works and a fun early piece 20 Jun 2006
By Christopher Culver - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Teldec's THE LIGETI PROJECT II continues the collection, started by Sony's "Gyorgy Ligeti Edition", of Ligeti's complete works in performances overseen by the composer himself. This second disc contains four orchestral works, three of which were written in his "micropolyphony" style of the 1960s and 1970s, and the fourth a recently-rediscovered gem written as a student in 1951. These are performed by the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by the young talent Jonathan Nott, and can be considered definitive.

The earliest piece here is "Concerto Romanesc" (1951), a bit of juvenalia inspired by folk melodies the composer heard during musicological expeditions in Romania. Dating from before his use of micropolyphony and overtly modernistic techniques, these pieces may sound like they came from a different composer entirely. Indeed, there is a frank tonalism here, broken only by the occurance of a single F# in the context of F minor, which, as Ligeti painfully recalls in the notes, was reason enough for the Communist government of Hungary to ban it. The opening "Andantino" is among the most emotionally moving of Ligeti's works, and might be compared to his early "Sonata for solo cello." This and the second movement "Allegro vivace" may sound familiar, as portions appeared arranged for two violins as "Balada si joc" on "Gyorgy Ligeti Edition 1: String Quartets and Duets".

A bit before before leaving Hungary in the aftermath of the suppressed 1956 revolt, Ligeti had already begin experimenting with total chromaticism, which due to political restrictions made for pieces consigned to the desk drawer. Once free in the West, his first orchestral piece was "Apparitions" (1958-59), which in its first movement displays a use of all twelve-tones, and then in the second introduces the new technique of "micropolyphony", interwoven textures of such complexity that one can hardly make out the individual strands. While entertaining, it is clearly an immature work in this new style, and I rarely come back to it. Maybe that is because the next piece here is one of Ligeti's sure masterpieces. "Atmospheres" (1961) is the piece which really brought Ligeti to international recognition, not only through the sensation of its premiere under Hans Rosbaud, but also because of Stanley Kubrick's unauthorized use of it in the film 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. Eschewing traditional rhythm and melody for a series of shifting tone colours, one might think "Atmospheres" doesn't even qualify as music, but what music it is! Packed with thousands of individual little cells, the piece offers something new on every listen, for one can, if one wants, go behind the great whoosh of orchestral sound and concentrate on individual lines.

"Lontano" (1967) is closely related to Ligeti's a capella work "Lux Aeterna", and indeed the same melody appears "hidden" in each. The composer skillfully gives the impression of a great object approaching from far-off, seeming to move slowly but ultimately zooming past the listener. The orchestral texture is very dense and generally even, Ligeti reportedly wrote the piece while addicted to painkillers, which explains a lot. One very interesting thing about "Lontano" in Ligeti's overall output is that he abandons total chromaticism here, and however avant-garde his technique of micropolyphony might be, the piece is nonetheless diatonic. "San Francisco Polyphony" (1973-74) was written during Ligeti's stint teaching at Stanford. It's a little-known work in comparison to others in the micropolyphonic style, and I think that's a real shame because Ligeti introduces a major innovation here. Instead of seeming static on the surface like "Atmospheres" et al., there is great activity and rhythmic experimentation, and there are countless overt melodies like in the composer's 1971 piece "Melodien".

This disc makes one of the single best introductions to the music of this great and sorely missed composer, although THE LIGETI PROJECT IV with its performance of the "Requiem" and larger view of the composer's career serves well, too.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Thank you, Teldec! 23 Jun 2002
By Dave Langton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
A superb release! The premiere recordings of Atmospheres, Lontano and SF Polyphony from the 1960s on Wergo are essential listening for any Ligeti fan, and Claudio Abbado's Vienna Philharmonic DG recordings (Atmospheres and Lontano) are impressive. But with gorgeous orchestral playing and sumptuous recording quality, Teldec has done Ligeti proud. Apparitions, receiving its first recording, remains a fascinating, frustrating piece. I heard this piece years ago on the radio, and at a concert, so I can't say that unfamiliarity is the problem. It seems the least loved of Ligeti's early works.
But it's great to have it on CD at last to try to unravel its mysteries.
Teldec, thank you! Sony's decision to scrap Salonen's splendid Ligeti cycle halfway through was a bitter disappointment. Teldec's decision to take over deserves a HUGE round of applause. And lots of CD sales.
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