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György Ligeti1923 - 2006

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Le Grand Macabre

Opera in four scenes

Libretto by Michael Meschke and György Ligeti based loosely on the play La Balade du Grand Macabre by Michel de Ghelderode

Created1974-1977/1996
World premiere
  • premiere: 12 April 1978, Stockholm · Elgar Howarth, conductor · Michael Meschke, director
  • premiere of the revised version: 28 July 1997, Salzburg · Esa-Pekka Salonen, conductor · Peter Sellars, director
Duration02 00'00''
Instrumentationchoirs: four part choir at the rear of the stage ("The echo of the Venus" [female choir], "Ghosts' chorale", "Whispering of the walls" and The peope of Breughelland I) - four part choir in the auditorium (The people of Breughelland II)
orchestra: 3 (2nd and 3rd also pic.) · 3 (2nd also obda., 3rd also ca.) · 3 (2nd also bcl. in Eb and asx. in Eb, 3rd also bcl. in Bb) · 3 (3rd also cbn.) - 4 · 4 trp in C (1st and 2nd ad lib. also small trp in D) · 1 trp in C · 3 tbn. (tenor, tenor-bass, contrabass) · cbtba. - perc. (xyl. · vibr. · glock. · mba. · 12 mech. auto horns · 4 music boxes · 6 electric door-bells · 2 tamb. · field drum · 2 s.dr. · 3 bong. · cga. · stir dr. · marching s.dr. · 4 tom. · 2 b.dr. · 2 trgl. · 3 paires of crot. · 3 susp.cymb. · 1 pair of small cymbals · 2 pairs of cymbals · gong · 2 t.-t. · tbells. · 2 Japanese temple bells. [rin] · mar. · 2 guiros · 2 slapst. · 1 pair of claves · 1 pair of cast. · ratch. · 3 w.bl. · wooden drum. · 5 temple bells · large wooden mallet · wooden slats · slide whistle · police whistle · cuckoo whistle · whistle · mouth siren · steamboat whistle · 2 sirens · 2 flex. · duck call · 2 rummelpots · large alarm clock · large pyramid metronome · sheet of paper, tissue paper or newspaper · 1 pair of sandblocks · wind machine · paper bag · tray with dishes · saucepan · pistol) (4 performers) - 3 chromatic harmonicas (performed by the wind or percussionists) · cel. (also hpd.) · concert grand (also epf.) · electr. org. (keyboard only) (also regal) · man. · hp. - str. (3 · 0 · 2 · 6 · 4)
music on stage: instrumentalists of the orchestra
CastChief of the Gepopo (Secret Political Police): coloratura soprano · Venus: high soprano · Amanda: soprano · Amando: mezzo soprano · Prince Go-Go: boy soprano , soprano or countertenor · Mescalina: dramatic mezzo soprano · Piet vom Faß: high tenor buffo · Nekrotzar: Verdi baritone · Astradamors: bass · Ruffiack: baritone · Schobiack: baritone · Schabernack: baritone · White Minister: tenor · Black Minister: baritone · secret policemen and hangmen (assistents of the Gepopo), master of ceremonies of Prince Go-Go (preferably a dwarf), pages and servants at the court of Prince Go-Go, Nekrotzar's infernal entourage entering the court of Prince Go-Go: mute characters
PublisherSchott

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