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Giacinto Scelsi Collection Vol 2 - Chukrum, Rotativa, Etc


Release Date: 03/11/2008 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 3802   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Giacinto Scelsi
Performer:  Carlo TeodoroOrchestra Di Roma E Del LazioMusicateatroensembleArs Ludi Ensemble,   ... 
Conductor:  Marco AngiusLuca Pfaff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Di Roma E Del LazioMusicateatroensembleArs Ludi Ensemble,   ... 
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



SCELSI Pranam II. 1 To the master. 2 Wo Ma. 3 Rotativa. 4 Trio. 5 Preghiera per un’ombra. 6 Chukrum 7 Marco Angius, cond; 4 Luca Pfaff, cond; Read more class="SUPER12">7 Livia Mazzanti (org); 1 Carlo Teodoro (vc); 2 Aldo Orvieto (pn); 2 Christina Biagini (pn); 4 Marco Marzocchi (pn); 4 Nicolas Isherwood (bs); 3 Véronique Fèvre (cl); 6 Ens 2e2m; 1 Ars Ludi Ens; 4 Musicateatroens; 5 Rome & Lazio O 7 STRADIVARIUS 3802 (75:54)


What a remarkable disc this is. To enter into the world of Giacinto Scelsi (1905–1988) is to enter into a parallel reality, one where time is frequently suspended, one in which slivers of sounds slip past the listener like seductive objects.


The mechanics of Pranam II for nine instruments of 1973 are intimately related to the process of breathing. Scelsi even extends this to the systolic/diastolic opposition of wind/brass. An organ is included in the texture (stipulated as electronic, but here the reed organ of the Conservatorio di Santa Cecilia). It is remarkable that, while only seven minutes long, the piece appears as vast. This is disturbing music, to be sure.


To the master , written only a year later, uses improvisation to create this timelessness. Carlo Teodoro is a stunning cellist, his high-lying lines profoundly expressive. Moments of near-Orientalism (there are distinct hints of chinoiserie around the three-minute mark) serve to raise the eyebrows until one remembers that the music of the East was a key influence on the music of the composer’s so-called second period (beginning around 1952). This is a mesmeric performance, captured in close sound.


One can only listen in wonder at the virtuosity of the bass Nicholas Isherwood, who is the solo vocalist in Wo Ma (1960). Here the text (such as it is) is merely isolated letters from the Italian and German phonetic alphabets. Scelsi indicates a multitude of things for the performer to take in, including the amount to which the mouth is to be opened and different positions of the tongue. Vocal harmonics are stunningly well rendered by the recording, as is the fullness of Isherwood’s lower register.


The early work Rotativa (1930), for two pianos and percussion ensemble, sits at the diametrically opposed end of the expressive spectrum. Outgoing, highly rhythmic, and even Bartókian, its obsessive repetitions seem both manic and motoric. This is a fabulous performance, every bit as unbuttoned as the music would seem to demand.


In contrast to the extroversion of Rotativa , Trio (around 1950) for vibraphone, marimba, and percussion is far more interior. Scelsi hinges the various sections around certain pivotal pitches. As in Wo Ma , Scelsi is very explicit about what he wants in terms of sound production. The performance is of masterly confidence.


Véronique Fèvre is the expert solo clarinettist for Preghiera per un’ombre . As the work moves hypnotically onwards, the momentum ever so slowly increases. Fèvre plays with melting tone and with the type of virtuosity that can be compared to that used by Isherwood in Wo Ma . Quite simply one of the finest solo clarinet performances I have ever heard.


Chukrum (1963), for string orchestra, was never performed during the composer’s lifetime. It has ties with Scelsi’s Third and Fourth Quartets, and at 18:20 is the longest work on the disc. Climaxes vibrate with the intensity of Xenakis (all credit to the strings of the Orchestra di Roma e del Lazio); there is a heaviness to this piece absent in others on the disc.


Notes, by Guido Barbieri, are extensive and informative. But he should be introduced to the concept of the paragraph. Nevertheless, it is the music that matters, and to have that music in performances like these is surely an event. Definite Want List material.

FANFARE: Colin Clarke


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Works on This Recording

1. To the Master by Giacinto Scelsi
Performer:  Carlo Teodoro (Cello), Carlo Teodoro (), Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio (),
Musicateatroensemble (), Ars Ludi Ensemble (), Ensemble 2e2m (),
Cristina Biagini (), Véronique Fevre (), Nicholas Isherwood (),
Marco Marzocchi (), Marco Angius (), Livia Mazzanti (),
Aldo Orvieto (), Aldo Orvieto (Piano), Luca Pfaff ()
Conductor:  Marco Angius,  Luca Pfaff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio,  Musicateatroensemble,  Ars Ludi Ensemble  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1974 
Length: 14 Minutes 12 Secs. 
2. Prânam 2 by Giacinto Scelsi
Performer:  Livia Mazzanti (Organ)
Conductor:  Marco Angius,  Luca Pfaff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio,  Musicateatroensemble,  Ars Ludi Ensemble  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: Italy 
Length: 7 Minutes 7 Secs. 
3. Wo-Ma by Giacinto Scelsi
Performer:  Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio (), Musicateatroensemble (), Ensemble 2e2m (),
Marco Angius (), Aldo Orvieto (), Luca Pfaff (),
Carlo Teodoro (), Cristina Biagini (), Nicholas Isherwood (),
Nicholas Isherwood (Bass), Ars Ludi Ensemble (), Marco Marzocchi (),
Livia Mazzanti (), Véronique Fevre ()
Conductor:  Marco Angius,  Luca Pfaff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio,  Musicateatroensemble,  Ars Ludi Ensemble  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960 
Length: 14 Minutes 10 Secs. 
4. Trio for 3 Percussions by Giacinto Scelsi
Performer:  Musicateatroensemble (), Ars Ludi Ensemble (), Ensemble 2e2m (),
Luca Pfaff (), Véronique Fevre (), Cristina Biagini (Piano),
Cristina Biagini (), Marco Angius (), Nicholas Isherwood (),
Marco Marzocchi (), Marco Marzocchi (Piano), Livia Mazzanti (),
Aldo Orvieto (), Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio (), Carlo Teodoro ()
Conductor:  Marco Angius,  Luca Pfaff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio,  Musicateatroensemble,  Ars Ludi Ensemble  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; Italy 
Length: 6 Minutes 33 Secs. 
5. Rotativa by Giacinto Scelsi
Performer:  Aldo Orvieto (), Carlo Teodoro (), Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio (),
Ars Ludi Ensemble (), Musicateatroensemble (), Marco Angius (),
Ensemble 2e2m (), Cristina Biagini (), Véronique Fevre (),
Nicholas Isherwood (), Marco Marzocchi (), Livia Mazzanti (),
Luca Pfaff ()
Conductor:  Marco Angius,  Luca Pfaff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio,  Musicateatroensemble,  Ars Ludi Ensemble  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1930 
Length: 5 Minutes 45 Secs. 
6. Preghiera per un' ombra by Giacinto Scelsi
Performer:  Carlo Teodoro (), Luca Pfaff (), Aldo Orvieto (),
Livia Mazzanti (), Marco Marzocchi (), Nicholas Isherwood (),
Véronique Fevre (Clarinet), Véronique Fevre (), Cristina Biagini (),
Marco Angius (), Ensemble 2e2m (), Ars Ludi Ensemble (),
Musicateatroensemble (), Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio ()
Conductor:  Marco Angius,  Luca Pfaff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio,  Musicateatroensemble,  Ars Ludi Ensemble  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1954; Italy 
Length: 9 Minutes 42 Secs. 
7. Chukrum for Strings by Giacinto Scelsi
Performer:  Ensemble 2e2m (), Cristina Biagini (), Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio (),
Véronique Fevre (), Nicholas Isherwood (), Marco Marzocchi (),
Livia Mazzanti (), Aldo Orvieto (), Luca Pfaff (),
Carlo Teodoro (), Musicateatroensemble (), Ars Ludi Ensemble (),
Marco Angius ()
Conductor:  Marco Angius,  Luca Pfaff
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Orchestra Di Roma E Del Lazio,  Musicateatroensemble,  Ars Ludi Ensemble  ... 
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1963; Italy 
Length: 18 Minutes 20 Secs. 

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