György Ligeti
Wergo WER 60045-50
Requiem / Aventures - Nouvelles Aventures

Booklet: Harald Kaufmann
Liliana Poli, soprano
Barbro Ericson, mezzo-soprano
Chor des Bayerischen Rundfunks
Wolfgang Schubert, chorus master
Sinfonie-Orchester des Hessischen Rundfunks
Michael Gielen, conductor

Gertie Charlent, soprano
Marie-Thérèse Cahn, alto
William Pearson, baritone
Internationales Kammerensemble Darmstadt
Bruno Maderna, conductor

  • Requiem for soprano and mezzo-soprano, two mixed choirs and orchestra
    Écrit en 1963-1965 pour commémorer l'Holocauste
    1. Introitus
    2. Kyrie
    3. De Die Judicii
    4. Lacrimosa
  • Aventures
  • Nouvelles Aventures
György Ligeti's "Requiem" for soprano, mezzo-soprano, two mixed five-voice choirs and orchestra is one of his most impressive compositions - especially, when directed by Michael Gielen - and at the same time "the" requiem of the 20th century: Sound which is chromatically layered moves gradually from the lower registers to the higher, thus changing from mourning sounds into the promise of the eternal light. In the Kyrie the polyphonic net which was previously static begins to move gently. 
It is a four-movement work in the same totally chromatic style as Atmosphères. It is a massive, twenty-part choral quasi-fugue where the counterpoint is rethought in terms of the material, consisting of melismatic masses interpenetrating and alternating with complex skipping parts. The penultimate movement, "de Die Judicii Sequentia" (Day of Judgement Sequence) is a montage of contrasts: fff loud versus ppp soft, masses of sound versus soloists, etc. In the final movement, "Lacrimosa" (weeping), the chorus is muted, and only a reduced orchestra accompanies the plangent singing of the soloists. Ligeti did confirm that his parents’ experience at Auschwitz is an influence in the piece.
It was a part of this composition that Stanley Kubrick used to accompany the discovery of the monolith in "2001: A Space Odyssey" (at Jupiter: Beyond the Infinite) segues to the opening of Atmosphères.