Scelsi: Music for Cello Solo

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Composer: Giacinto Scelsi
Artists: Marco Simonacci (cello)

An aristocratic background, Eastern philosophies, private study with Modernist luminaries of the early 20th century and a determined pursuit of solitude: all in their ways contribute to the unique soundworld of Giacinto Scelsi’s music. Despite shunning personal publicity, however, the composer surrounded himself with friends and favourite performers, among them the American-born, Dutch cellist Frances-Marie Uitti who came to represent Scelsi on the world stage in his latter years. To her care he entrusted Trilogy, which forms the main work on this album of solo cello music.

Using a limited tonal range, Scelsi concentrated on continually varying timbre and density: the effect is an exquisite intensity of expression, often hanging by a thread between sound and silence, between pitch and noise, yet always, palpably heading towards a visionary destination. Comprising Triphon (1956),Dithome (1957) and the Sanskrit-inspired Ygghur (1965), the Trilogy is still to some extent dependent on the Expressionist language he had learnt from disciples of Schoenbergian serialism, yet already personal to him, and now a classic of 20th-century solo cello repertoire. The album is completed by the two fleeting movements of Voyages from 1974, which deploy disembodied harmonics and other techniques familiar from Scelsi’s music such as tantalisingly slow, microtonal glissandi.

00:00:00 Giacinto Scelsi: The 3 Stages of Man, I. Triphon: I. Giovinezza
00:06:59 Giacinto Scelsi: The 3 Stages of Man, I. Triphon: II. Energia
00:11:27 Giacinto Scelsi: The 3 Stages of Man, I. Triphon: III. Dramma
00:17:18 Giacinto Scelsi: The 3 Stages of Man, II. Dithome: I. Maturità – Energia – Pensiero
00:33:44 Giacinto Scelsi: The 3 Stages of Man, III. Ygghur: I. Vecchiaia
00:41:23 Giacinto Scelsi: The 3 Stages of Man, III. Ygghur: II. Ricordi
00:44:56 Giacinto Scelsi: The 3 Stages of Man, III. Ygghur: III. Catarsi, liberazione
00:49:31 Giacinto Scelsi: Voyages: I. Il allaint seul
00:55:35 Giacinto Scelsi: Voyages: II. Le fleuve magique

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