Musica viva, Vol. 22: Ligeti, Murail & Benjamin

Musica viva, Vol. 22: Ligeti, Murail & Benjamin

“Rule-breaking” was how one critic described this stunning album, which brings together music by three of Europe’s most individual modernist masters—György Ligeti, Tristan Murail, and George Benjamin—in performances conducted by Benjamin himself in 2012. In fact, it’s a wonderfully intuitive and often intensely beautiful listen, with the shimmering, supremely refined timbres of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra (by any reckoning, one of Europe’s most virtuosic orchestras) bringing out all the iridescent wonder of three pieces that are all about sonic color. Ligeti’s Lontano and Benjamin’s Palimpsest are already modern classics. But this is the first ever recording of Tristan Murail’s piano concerto, Le désenchantement du monde, and with the great Pierre-Laurent Aimard as soloist it’s pretty much definitive.

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