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It was Stanley Kubrick who popularised Ligeti when he used the Kyrie and Lux aeterna from his Requiem(as well as Atmosphères later in the film) at key moments in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It’s hard to hear them now detached from Kubrick’s metaphysical pretensions, but both remain powerful and surprisingly earth(l)y works, sung with contained force by the Stuttgart choir. It might have been possible to close the disc there, but 37 minutes is considered short change, so four arrangements of Ravel, Debussy (two) and Mahler made by Clytus Gottwald (conductor of the recordings Kubrick used) bring the disc up to nearly the hour mark. Oddly, the effect is to make things like Ravel’s Soupir and Debussy’s Les angélus sound like film cues. They’re exactly the kind of thing Kubrick liked to dabble with, and none the worse for that.

BRIAN MORTON Read the full review on Agora Classica

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