Mechanical Music

(Sony Germany) Used CD $10.00

All of Ligeti’s music either written for mechanical reproduction or arranged for mechanical instruments. Dating from his brief flirtation with the Fluxus movement, “Poéme Symphonique,” scored for 100 metronomes, produced one of the great scandals of Ligeti’s career. As the metronomes wind down, what sounds like a waning rainstorm evolves into overlaying rhythmic patterns and finally a single metronome coming to a halt. From the other end of his career come the Nancarrow-inspired etudes arranged for player piano. The barrel organ works, for the most part arrangements of the composer’s earliest keyboard music, sound like a calliope gone mad.