Composition database

This is the Composition Database of BMC, which includes information about works by composers that are either Hungarian or Hungarian by origin or live in Hungary.

Title of the work

Mysteries of the Macabre - für Koloratursopran und Orchester


Original / Hungarian title
Mysteries of the Macabre - für Koloratursopran und Orchester
Foreign language / English title
Mysteries of the Macabre - für Koloratursopran und Orchester
Drei Arien aus der Oper "Le Grand Macabre"
Elgar Howarth und Håkan Hardenberger gewidmet
Year of composition

Solo voice(s) with orchestra
S. color. solo - picc., fl., 3 ob. (III anche, 2 cl. (II anche cl.b.), 2 fg. (II anche cfg.) - 4 cor., 2 tr., trb.cb., tuba cb. - perc. (2 esec. - trg., crot., 2 ptti. a 2, ptto.sosp., tam-tam, tom-tom, conga, tamb., tmb.mlt., tmb.picc., gr.c., maracas, 4 bongo, cas., raganella, guiro, wood bl., temple bl., police whistle, signal whistle, slide whistle, campli., xil., sandpaper, large sheet of paper) - cel. (anche cemb.), pf. (anche el. org.) - arpa, mand. - strings: 3 vl., 2 vla., 6 vlc., 4 cb.
9 min

MESCHKE, Michael - LIGETI, György
Premiere information
20 January 1994, Radio France Festival Présences, Paris; Sonja Pascale (S.), Orchestre National de France, Oswald Sallaberger (cond.)
Publisher / Source
Schott Music, ED 8205 (study score), performance material on hire
Available here!
1 min. sample
1 Mysteries of the Macabre
Remarks, other info
Three arias from the opera "Le Grand Macabre"

Composed: 1974 - 1977, revised: 1991

German text by Michael Meschke and György Ligeti freely adapted from Michel de Ghelderode´s "La Ballade du Grand Macabre"

"I composed my opera Le Grand Macabre from 1974 to 1977. The Mysteries of the Macabre are arrangements of three coloratura arias of the chief of the "Secret Political Police" which have been arranged (beautifully!) for chamber ensemble by Elgar Howarth. My friend Howarth had conducted the world premiere of the opera in Stockholm in 1978 and some of the further productions. The half-nonsense text is an immediate – however more accurate – continuation of the idea of my works Aventures and Nouvelles Aventures, but there is no chromatics in the music any more."