November 11, 2020


Documents Similar To Le Grand Macabre – Ligeti. Christophe Uploaded by. butaotokodesu. Ligeti – Nouvelles Aventures. Uploaded by. ligetirocksu. Libretto by György Ligeti and Michael Meschke freely adapted from Michel de Ghelderode’s play “La Balade du Grand Macabre”. Welcome to Ligeti’s ‘anti-anti-opera’, Le Grande Macabre, writes Tom With his co-librettist, Michael Meschke, who also directed the first.

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The original libretto was written in German as Der grosse Makaber but for the first production was translated into Swedish by Meschke under its current title Griffiths and Searby Only a few notes need be changed to perform the opera in any of these languages. Le Grand Macabre was premiered in Stockholm on 12 April Griffiths and Searby and has received more than 30 productions Everett In preparation for a production at the Salzburg FestivalLigeti made substantial revisions to the opera intightening the structure by means of cuts in scenes 2 and 4, setting some of the originally spoken passages to music and removing others altogether Griffiths and Searby The revised version was premiered in Salzburg on 28 Julyin a production directed by Peter Sellars Steinitz The composer was annoyed by Sellars’s production, which opposed Ligeti’s desire for ambiguity by explicitly depicting an apocalypse set in the framework of the Chernobyl disaster Everett Three arias from the opera were prepared in for concert performances under the title Mysteries of the Macabre.

Versions exist for soprano or for trumpet, accompanied by orchestra, reduced instrumental ensemble, or piano Anon. Le Grand Macabre falls at a point when Ligeti’s style was undergoing a significant change—apparently effecting a complete break with his approach in the s.

From here onward, Ligeti adopts a more eclectic manner, re-examining tonality and modality in his own words, “non- atonal ” music. In the opera, however, he does not forge a new musical language. The music instead is driven by quotation and pasticheplundering past styles through allusions to Claudio MonteverdiGioachino Rossiniand Giuseppe Verdi Searby9 and The vast percussion section uses a large variety of domestic items, as well as standard orchestral instruments:.

Ligeti’s riot through history

This opens with a choir of 12 jarring car hornsplayed with pitches and rhythms specified in the score. These suggest, very abstractly, a barren modern landscape and a traffic jam of sorts. As the overture ends, Piet the Pot, “by trade wine taster,” in the country of Breughelland named after the artist that loosely inspired itappears to deliver a drunken lament, complete with hiccups. He is accompanied by bassoonswhich become the representative instrument for his character.

The focus switches to two lovers, Amanda and Amando, who are played by two women even though they represent an opposite-sex couple. Nekrotzar, prince of Hellhears the lovers from deep inside his tomb and subtly joins their duet. The lovers, confused, discover Piet and become enraged, believing he is spying on them.

Piet protests that he “spoke no word, so who spoke? Nekrotzar emerges, singing a motifexclaiming “away, you swagpot!

Lick the floor, you dog! Squeek out your dying macbre, you pig! Piet must become Death’s slave and retrieve all of his “instruments” from the tomb. As Nekrotzar’s threats grow deadlier, Piet accepts them with only amused servility, until he is told his throat is to be “wracked with thirst. A lone metronomewhose regular tempo ignores that of the rest of the orchestra, joins in. Nekrotzar, making frenzied proclamations, dons his gruesome gear, accompanied by ever more chaotic orchestra, women’s choir, and a bass trombone hidden on a balcony, his characteristic instrument.


He insists that Piet must be his horse, and Piet’s only protest is to give his final cry, “cock-a-doodle-doo! This begins with a second car horn prelude, which announces a scene change to the household of the court astronomerAstradamors, and his sadistic wife, Mescalina. Astramadors, dressed in dragunenthusiastically begs for more.

She forces him to lift his skirt, and strikes him with a spit. Convinced she has killed him, she begins to mourn, then wonders if he’s really dead. She summons a spiderapparently her pet, accompanied by a duo for harpsichord and organ — Regal stops. Astradamors rises, protesting that gfand always give [him] nausea.

Le Grand Macabre – Wikipedia

Mescalina orders her husband to his telescope. What do you see up there? By the way, can you see the planets? Are they all still there, in the right order? As she falls asleep, Astradamors quietly claims he would “plunge the whole universe into damnation, if only to be rid of her! Venus informs Mescalina that she has sent “two men,” and Nekrotzar steps forward, claiming to be the “well-hung” man Mescalina requested. They perform a stylized lovemaking, as Venus screeches her approval and Piet and Astradamors add their lbiretto.

Nekrotzar suddenly bites Mescalina’s neck, killing her, and insists that Piet and macqbre new servant “move this thing [her corpse] out of the way.

Before doing so, Astradamors destroys everything in his home, proclaiming “at last, I am master in my own house. This opens with doorbells and alarm clockswritten into the score like the car horns earlier. These seem to represent the rousing of Breughelland as Death approaches. The curtain opens to the throne roomwhere two politicians dance a lopsided waltz and exchange insults in alphabetical order.

They do so, but force Go-go to mount a giant rocking horse for his “riding lesson. Their manic laughter is accompanied by burping noises from the low brass.

They move on to “posture exercises: Each time the prince objects, they harmoniously threaten “I shall resign,” a possibility of which Go-go seems to be terrified. The prince grows hungry, so the politicians tempt him with a gluttonous feast to which the fat but boyish monarch sings an impassioned ode. With food in mind, Go-go finally asserts himself and says “we will accept your resignations” after dinner.

Gepopo, chief of espionagesung by the same soprano who performed Venus, shows up with an army of spies and hangmen. Her high, wailing aria consists of “code language”: Go-go comprehends the message: The politicians go out on the balcony to try to calm the people with speeches, one after the other, but Go-go laughs at them as they are pelted by shoestomatoesand other objects.

He appears on the balcony and the people are enthusiastic, shouting “Our great leader! Go Go Go Go! Their slow chant is gradually accelerated and rhythmically and intervallically transformed, drowning out the Prince’s remarks only his gestures are visible. However, Gepopo receives a dispatch a comic process in which every spy inspects and authenticates it by pantomime and warns Go-go with more code language that a comet is drawing closer and a true Macabre is approaching.

The politicians try to play it off as alarmismbut promptly flee the stage when a solitary figure approaches from the direction of the city gate. Go-go proclaims that he is “master in [his] own house” and calls on “legendary might, hallmark of Go-gos” for the tough times ahead.


Gepopo warns the prince to call a guard in her usual “code” stylebut it is only Astradamors, who rushes to greet the prince.

The two dance and sing “Huzzah! For all is now in order! A siren wails and a bass trumpet announces danger. Go-go macabrw ordered to go “under the bed, quick! He presents death prophecies such as “the bodies of men will be singed, and all will be turned into charr’d corpses, and shrink like shriveled heads! The people, several of whom have been disguised the whole time as audience members in opera clothes, beg for mercy.

Piet and Astradamors, who have been looking for an excuse to drink, ask the prince of death to eat Go-go’s feast with them, a “right royal-looking restaurant.

He does so, intoning “may these, the pressed out juices of my victims, serve to strengthen and sustain me before my necessary deed. Nekrotzar says only “Up! Finished drinking and utterly incapacitated, he rants and raves about his achievements.

Midnight draws near, but Nekrotzar can’t stand up. Go-go emerges from hiding, is introduced to “Tsar Nekro” as “Tsar Go-go,” and the four perform stripped-down comedy sketches accompanied by stripped-down music. Nekrotzar tries to mount the rocking horse, commanding “in the name of the Almighty, I smite the world to pieces.

The comet glows brightly and Saturn falls out of its ring in the stage’s brightly lit sky. Calming chords and low string harmonics are accompanied by prominent harmonicasetting the scene for the post-cataclysmic landscape. Piet and Astradamors, believing they are ghosts, float away into the sky. Go-go emerges and believes he is the only person left alive, but “three soldiers, risen from the grave to plunder, loot, and pillage all the good God gave” emerge.

They order the “civilian” to halt, and refuse to believe Go-go’s claim that he is the prince and he will give them “high decorations, silver and goldand relieve [them] of official duties. Rough tone clusters in woodwinds and percussion set libretro their slapstick chase scene, which is joined by Go-go, the soldiers, and the politicians, dragged in by one of the soldiers on a rope.

They gramd their innocence, but Mescalina accuses them of all kinds of atrocities, and they sling mud back at her. Astradamors and Piet float by, and Go-go invites them for a drink of wine. Nekrotzar is defeated; they have all survived.

In a very curious “mirror canon” for strings, he shrinks until he is infinitesimally small and disappears. The Finale features all tonal chords arranged in an unpredictable order. The lovers emerge from the tomb, boasting about what good they did.

The entire cast encourages the audience: No-one knows when his hour will fall. Farewell in cheerfulness, farewell! Car Horn Prelude 2. Can do no more! Give me trand requisites, slave 7. Melting snow is thy breast 8.

Second Car Horn Prelude. Shapely and attractive figure Maacbre, for heaven’s sake!