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Vox Humana

Ligeti's "volumina"

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Ligeti's Volumina used to be talked about quite a bit back in the 60s and 70s, but I never got around to hearing it. I suppose it must get played occasionally, but I don't think I've heard of a performance in the UK since 1971 when Xavier Darasse fused the RFH organ with the first chord. Only this week I was wondering whether anyone still plays it when, lo and behold, it crops up on Radio 3. I don't normally have much time for this type of music, but Ligeti is (usually) an exception and this piece didn't disappoint. Wow! Even Messiaen never got sounds like this out of an organ. The announcer at the end took the exact word right out of my mouth: apocalyptic.

 

It can be heard (for the time being) on Radio 3's "Listen Again" facility: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/listen. Scroll down to "Classical", click the first link, choose the "Hear and Now" programme and the piece is at 41:06.

 

If you've never heard it before, treat yourself. Turn up your speakers, sit back and prepare to have your mind blown.

 

Incidentally, I take it this piece is one of those that is only playable by superhumans?

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Ligeti's Volumina used to be talked about quite a bit back in the 60s and 70s, but I never got around to hearing it. I suppose it must get played occasionally, but I don't think I've heard of a performance in the UK since 1971 when Xavier Darasse fused the RFH organ with the first chord. Only this week I was wondering whether anyone still plays it when, lo and behold, it crops up on Radio 3. I don't normally have much time for this type of music, but Ligeti is (usually) an exception and this piece didn't disappoint. Wow! Even Messiaen never got sounds like this out of an organ. The announcer at the end took the exact word right out of my mouth: apocalyptic.

 

It can be heard (for the time being) on Radio 3's "Listen Again" facility: http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio3/listen. Scroll down to "Classical", click the first link, choose the "Hear and Now" programme and the piece is at 41:06.

 

If you've never heard it before, treat yourself. Turn up your speakers, sit back and prepare to have your mind blown.

 

Incidentally, I take it this piece is one of those that is only playable by superhumans?

 

 

Imteresting but 'sounds a bit like the sound track from something pretty compelling (at least in our house anyway) that went out on BBC1 on Saturday at 7.00. The only thing missing was the periodic cry of 'Exterminate'!

 

AJJ

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Close, Alistair - it's nearer to the sound track of "2001: A Space Odyssey"! (Which figures, since Kubrick used extracts from his Lux aeterna, Atmosphères and Requiem for the soundtrack.)

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Close, Alistair - it's nearer to the sound track of "2001: A Space Odyssey"! (Which figures, since Kubrick used extracts from his Lux aeterna, Atmosphères and Requiem for the soundtrack.)

 

I remember it well!

 

AJJ

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