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Scelsi: The Orchestral Works 2 / Kalitzke, et al

Album Summary

>Scelsi, Giacinto : Pezzi (4) for Orchestra
>Scelsi, Giacinto : Uaxuctum, for ondes martenot, chorus, 8 percussionists & 23 musicians
>Scelsi, Giacinto : La Nascita del Verbo, cantata for mixed choir & orchestra
Conductors Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"Giacinto Scelsi was out of his mind, but in a good way. He is best known for having a nervous breakdown and recovering, so to speak, by banging on single notes of a piano until he decided to continue writing music based on tiny permutations of individual tones. The result was the Quattro Pezzi (and subsequent pieces), a fascinating study in sonority in which each movement treats a single pitch, altering it timbrally and microtonally, and sometimes a bit more. This epochal work, along with Uaxuctum ("The legend of the Mayan City which they themselves destroyed for religious reasons"), for ondes Martenot, seven percussionists, timpanist, chorus, and 23 instruments, was very nicely recorded by Jürg Wittembach and the Cracow Radio and Television Orchestra for Accord. These newer versions are no less accomplished, if perhaps a touch less atmospherically engineered--but they will be much easier to find. La nascita del Verbo (The Birth of the Word) is the earliest piece here, dating from 1946-48, Scelsi's "pre-one-note" period. It has four substantial movements that together last slightly more than 30 minutes, and features the choir either vocalizing wordlessly or muttering "big concept" Latin words like "Deus", "Lux", and "Amor". Whether you find its mystical leanings cosmically atmospheric or merely pretentious will be a matter of personal taste, but there's something curiously compelling about Scelsi's music--tonal, atonal, one-note, and everything in between. It probably stems from his evocative feeling for sonority, combined with a basic sincerity and austerity that is the very opposite of decadence. In any case, this disc offers an ideal introduction to his art, and to his compositional range, making it an easy recommendation to modern music fans." -Classics Today



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Works Details

>Scelsi, Giacinto : Pezzi (4) for Orchestra
  • Conductor: Peter Rundel
  • Ensemble: Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 16 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1959
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Scelsi, Giacinto : Uaxuctum, for ondes martenot, chorus, 8 percussionists & 23 musicians
  • Conductor: Peter Rundel
  • Ensemble: Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 20 min. 31 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1966
  • Studio/Live: Live

>Scelsi, Giacinto : La Nascita del Verbo, cantata for mixed choir & orchestra
  • Conductor: Johannes Kalitzke
  • Ensemble: Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra
  • Running Time: 31 min. 16 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1947-1948
  • Studio/Live: Live