Signum Classics |  2023

The Lobster Quadrille from Ligeti's Nonsense Madrigals (animated by Coralie Muce) 

Wonderland is full of magic and myth. Containing exclusively works commissioned by The King’s Singers across their 55 years, the album celebrates their trademark musical storytelling, with no shortage of comedy. György Ligeti’s six Nonsense Madrigals (each setting playful children’s poetry or extracts from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland) provide a musical spine to the album, to commemorate 100 years since the composer’s birth in 1923.

Written just over 50 years ago, the fairytale The Musicians of Bremen (1972) – set to music by the Australian composer and Master of the Queen’s Music Malcolm Williamson sits alongside Time Piece (1972) by Paul Patterson, which tells an eccentric alternative creation story. These myth-based works from our library feature alongside recent commissions such as Judith Bingham’s extended work Tricksters (2019), which unearths what could happen if miscreants from different world mythologies could come together for the first time, and Ola Gjeilo’s A Dream within a Dream which questions the very nature of perception and reality. The album also features the legendary Japanese film and game composer Joe Hisaishi’s first ever choral work, I was there (2022), focussing on the cultural memory of major world events of the last 25 years. Themes of hope and positivity, centred on the natural world, emerge in Makiko Kinoshita’s Ashita no uta (Song for tomorrow) (2020) and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers’ Alive (2022).

To help bring the complex music of Ligeti into a new light for new audiences, parents and children, our Global Foundation has commissioned beautiful new illustrations to accompany each movement of the Nonsense Madrigals.

View Coralie Muce's 30+ Ligeti-inspired artworks
Animated illustration music videos


1. Ashita no uta (Song for Tomorrow) Makiko Kinoshita
2. Two Dreams and Little Bat (from Nonsense Madrigals) György Ligeti
3. A Dream within a Dream Ola Gjeilo
4. Cuckoo in the Pear Tree (from Nonsense Madrigals) György Ligeti
5. Alive Francesca Amewudah-Rivers
6. The Alphabet (from Nonsense Madrigals) György Ligeti
7. I was there Joe Hisaishi
8. Flying Robert (from Nonsense Madrigals) György Ligeti
9. Tricksters Judith Bingham
10. The Lobster Quadrille (from Nonsense Madrigals) György Ligeti
11. The Musicians of Bremen Malcolm Williamson
12. A Long, Sad Tale (from Nonsense Madrigals) György Ligeti
13. Time Piece Paul Patterson

Additional Albums