Abbado: Wien Modern - Music by Ligeti, Nono, Boulez, Rihm (APE)
Abbado: Wien Modern – Music by Ligeti, Nono, Boulez, Rihm (APE)

Composer: György Ligeti, Luigi Nono, Pierre Boulez, Wolfgang Rihm
Orchestra: Wiener Philharmoniker
Conductor: Claudio Abbado
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: APE (image+cue)
Label: Deutsche Grammophon
Size: 173 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: no

01. Wolfgang Rihm – Départ
02. Györgi Ligeti – Armpsphères
03. Györgi Ligeti – Lontano
04. Luigi Nono – Liebeslied
05. Pierre Boulez – Notation I: Modéré – Fantasque
06. Pierre Boulez – Notation IV: Rythmique
07. Pierre Boulez – Notation III: Très modéré
08. Pierre Boulez – Notation II: Très vif. Strident

The most familiar works on this terrific recording are probably the two Ligeti pieces, “Atmospheres” and “Lontano.” With remarkable sensitivity and subtlety, Claudio Abbado creates sheer magic out of these other-worldly scores. As but one example, listen to the end of “Atmospheres” as the piece gently fades out with the Vienna Philharmonic creating waves of gorgeous, ethereal harmonics.

This is one of the best versions of Boulez’s “Notations” — on par with the composer’s own recording. The orchestra mines all the color Boulez asks for in a really exciting performance. The unusual Rihm and Nono works are also quite marvelous, and all the more valuable for being preserved in readings of such high quality — and the Vienna Youth Choir sounds splendid.

Throughout the recording, the musicians of the Vienna Philharmonic sound completely comfortable — as if they play these pieces every week, with a technical assurance that will grab your ears immediately. The sound quality is excellent, especially given that the program was culled from live performances. This is an unusual recording for Abbado, and can’t be recommended highly enough for those curious about the repertoire.

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