Like the suite Mysteries of the Macabre, which also developed from the opera, Elgar Howarth arranged the collage, which was premiered 25 years ago but was immediately withdrawn by the composer. The work was only recently re-released with an ending adapted to the opera version of the last hand. It was heard once before at the Elbphilharmonie in winter 2021 - now the suite Macabre Collage from the opera Le Grand Macabre was performed at the Philharmonie Berlin and previously at the Barbican Centre London and the Auditorium RAI in Turin.
With Le Grand Macabre, Ligeti created a grotesque parable of war; the work, first performed in 1978 and completely revised by the composer in 1996, is characterised by alienation, comic-like exaggeration, and mannerist excess. Musically, the opera ignites fireworks of ironically broken and at the same time extremely virtuosically exaggerated references to opera tradition and to the musical formal language of various centuries, including pop culture.
The concert with the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin under Robin Ticciati took place within the framework of the Biennale of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, which focused on the music of the great composer on the occasion of the 100th birthday of György Ligeti. In London, François-Xavier Roth conducted the London Symphony Orchestra, and in Turin Marco Angius was on the podium of the Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI.