The Ligeti pieces are gems, a glorious mixture of Bartok and Africa, as the juxtaposition with the Aka pygmies’ pieces makes plain. They are also more melodic and immediate than several of the earlier Etudes, and yet the similarities with ‘Autumn in Warsaw’ are still there. The genuine African pieces are a polyrythmic revelation ; hypnotic, driving music. The programming of the album is very astute indeed ; it’s like listening to a wonderfully eclectic radio station ; you will no doubt quickly weary of the Reich pieces, although, oddly, the Clapping piece gains by being alongside the Ligeti and Aka music. Aimard’s musicianship and technique are ideally suited to Ligeti’s music. Why not five stars ? Because the Reich pieces seem like insubstantial curios alongside the Ligeti and Aka.
5. Banga Banga