Quarter notes: Le Grand

Gyorgy Ligeti supposedly spent the last years of his life worried that when he died no one would remember him or his music. His worries weren’t entirely unjustified. The work of many, many composers has slipped into obscurity. For Ligeti, an artist on the fringes of the musical mainstream, the possibility of anonymity is even more pronounced.

Thank goodness for the NY Philharmonic then, which is preparing a concert performance of Ligeti’s opera Le Grand Macabre May 27-29. When the opera hits the concert stage later this month it will be the NY premiere of this 20th Century masterpiece. To prep listeners, the orchestras have released three new videos in their FlipCam series.

Doug Fitch, Le Grand’s director, takes the Phil’s FlipCam camera man (or woman) on a tour of his studio and reveals some of the designs that will be used.

The NY Phil has a number of other videos — non FlipCam — worth investigating too. In this video, Douglas Fitch and Edourad Getaz give an overview of the opera and the project.

In another video (a non FlipCam video) Alan Gilbert shares his own thoughts on Le Grand.

The adventurous can always download (or buy a CD version) of Sony’s EP Salonen led performance of the piece.

Closer to home, don’t forget Seattle Opera’s Amelia which will be unveiled to the concert going public for the first time tonight. Amelia, unlike the photo of Ligeti at the top of this post, is guaranteed not to frighten (that’s my own personal guarantee not Hagen’s or SO’s.) There is lots of good information about the opera (especially J. Dean’s listening guide) over at . If you don’t like to read, here is the final video is SO’s series.


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