Cry for help: Recordings of Ligeti Requiem

I’m in the middle of writing draft 0.1 for the Ligeti Requiem chapter of my thesis, and I’ve hit a minor snag; if anyone reading can help with information I’ll be hugely grateful. I’m trying to track down the recording of Ligeti’s Requiem that Stanley Kubrick uses in 2001. According to every source I can find (including the film credits and the soundtrack LP itself) this is from a recording by the Bavarian Radio Orchestra (and Chorus, although bizarrely they don’t always get the credit) conducted by Francis Travis. Now, I’m well aware of the Wergo recording (the first recording) with the Bavarian Radio Chorus, the Hessisches Radio SO and Michael Gielen conducting (I’ve got this one); but I can’t find any reference to the Travis recording from which Kubrick took his soundtrack. (As well as the Requiem, Atmospheres comes from the same recording.)

Does anyone know anything about this recording? Google, Discogs and Gemm are all throwing up nothing, as are the discographies at the back of Steinitz and Griffiths’ books on Ligeti, and I’m a bit stuck. I’d really like to get a copy of this recording, or just find out a bit more about it, but I can’t find a reference to it anywhere, which is a little odd.

Thanks in advance.

Update [10 May 2006]: For those that are interested, Francis Travis tells me that the recordings Kubrick used were from a live performance of the Requiem given on 15 December 1967 in Munich and broadcast on German radio (presumably WDR?). They were never commercially released.


7 thoughts on “Cry for help: Recordings of Ligeti Requiem

  1. Back in the early 90s, I was buying every Ligeti CD I could find but I’m not aware of the Travis recording. I also checked old Schwann and other CD catalogues from the time but they only list the Gielen on Wergo.

  2. Thanks for looking, Robert. It’s weird: I almost suspect that the original credit to Travis is an error that’s never been corrected, except that Travis himself lists the Requiem in his repertoire.

  3. Thanks Philipp – the thing is, none of the music on that CD (or any of the other issues of the soundtrack) was recorded specially for the film. It all came from already existing LPs. What I’m after is the LP Kubrick used for the Requiem stuff – and I can’t find any mention of it other than on the soundtrack album.

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