Author Topic: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)  (Read 37160 times)

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karlhenning

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #40 on: September 16, 2010, 03:07:18 AM »
That's gotta give any composer a warm, fuzzy feeling! ; )

Offline petrarch

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #41 on: September 16, 2010, 03:31:31 AM »
Scelsi (btw: pronunciation, please?...is it shell-see?)

SHELL-zee.
//p
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snyprrr

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #42 on: September 24, 2011, 08:45:07 AM »
SHELL-zee.

Wow! :o A whole year since a Scelsi Post?? :o

I just had a few days listening to what I have; Scelsi does seem to wear well,... his Art is still in evidence! The standout this time, for me, was the String Quartet No.2. This one has a rough, grating vision, as opposed to the more static No.3. Scelsi really wants you to hear the sounds of things touching,... the woodiness of it all,... the dry, the scratchy...

I was really surprised by No.2 this time. I guess I was coming to Scelsi with a little more wariness, and he surprised me! I certainly don't find him 'boring'. I can get right into those single tones and hear what he's doing, which, granted, really is a lot.

Anyone else particularly like SQ 2?



Robert

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #43 on: September 24, 2011, 09:03:52 AM »
Wow! :o A whole year since a Scelsi Post?? :o

I just had a few days listening to what I have; Scelsi does seem to wear well,... his Art is still in evidence! The standout this time, for me, was the String Quartet No.2. This one has a rough, grating vision, as opposed to the more static No.3. Scelsi really wants you to hear the sounds of things touching,... the woodiness of it all,... the dry, the scratchy...

I was really surprised by No.2 this time. I guess I was coming to Scelsi with a little more wariness, and he surprised me! I certainly don't find him 'boring'. I can get right into those single tones and hear what he's doing, which, granted, really is a lot.

Anyone else particularly like SQ 2?

I like the second.  There is a particular sound to that quartet that gets my attention. My favorite is the fourth I love the intensity of that one...I hear some Bartok in the distance.....I have the Arditti playing....

Robert

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #44 on: September 25, 2011, 04:43:52 AM »

This is a pretty good way of getting a feeling for Scelsi's development over about 20 years from dodecaphonic pieces to the beginnings of a new style, with what sounds like Messiaen's influence along the way. If you get tired of listening to all your recordings of Debussy's Préludes, this disc is a godsend, and it is a lovely recording.
I first got to hear Scelsi on that now old Wergo LP with the Canti del Capricorno (with Alvin Curran on the thai-gong in No.1!) - which excited me - and then I heard Anahit in concert played by the Ensemble Modern in the 80s, and I was entranced and in love.
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Offline lescamil

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #45 on: September 25, 2011, 08:24:28 PM »
SHELL-zee.

Actually, "SHELL-see" was correct. S's are only pronounced as a z-sound between vowels in Italian (coming from an Italian speaker).

Anyone care to share what their favorite orchestral works are by Scelsi? I've heard far too little from this part of his works list.
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Offline Muzition

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #46 on: September 26, 2011, 01:32:11 AM »
They played a lot of Scelsi's music at a new music festival here a couple of years ago.

My favourite Scelsi piece: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_h9alYDTbo

Offline petrarch

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #47 on: September 26, 2011, 02:10:46 AM »
Anyone care to share what their favorite orchestral works are by Scelsi? I've heard far too little from this part of his works list.

Can't go wrong with the 3-CD set on Accord. My favorite orchestral work is Uaxuctum; Quattro Pezzi is probably the most popular, but IMO it needs to be heard live for full effect.
//p
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Offline petrarch

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #48 on: September 26, 2011, 02:33:59 AM »
Actually, "SHELL-see" was correct. S's are only pronounced as a z-sound between vowels in Italian (coming from an Italian speaker).

It is actually half-way between a z and an s. Not a z like in paese but also not as heavy an s like in cassino or Petrassi. More like casa, così or casino.
//p
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snyprrr

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #49 on: September 26, 2011, 07:38:01 PM »
Can't go wrong with the 3-CD set on Accord. My favorite orchestral work is Uaxuctum; Quattro Pezzi is probably the most popular, but IMO it needs to be heard live for full effect.

I'm really feeling the need here. I still haven't listened to these pieces on YouTube. I think I listened to 5 seconds, knew I was going to like it, and turned it off, saving for,... when? ???

Offline lescamil

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #50 on: September 26, 2011, 08:50:03 PM »
I listened to a few of these pieces. I really liked them, but it was the sort of music that left me feeling "why do I like these works?" during the listening. Quite puzzling these pieces are sometimes, and this is coming from someone used to the most compromising of contemporary works. I'll be spending some time with these pieces.

By the way, a small factoid: In the recent movie Shutter Island, Scelsi's Quattro Pezzi and Uaxuctum were both used as part of a soundtrack that largely consisted of harder-edged contemporary classical music. I'll be seeing the movie just for that reason soon.
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Offline not edward

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #51 on: September 27, 2011, 02:59:41 AM »
Anyone care to share what their favorite orchestral works are by Scelsi? I've heard far too little from this part of his works list.
Uaxuctum or the quasi-violin concerto Anahit here. I'm also very partial to Aion, which wears its Brucknerian inheritance lightly, and Konx-Om-Pax, whose climactic octave leap may be the most orgiastic moment in all of Scelsi's oeuvre.
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snyprrr

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #52 on: December 16, 2011, 07:42:55 AM »
Can't go wrong with the 3-CD set on Accord. My favorite orchestral work is Uaxuctum; Quattro Pezzi is probably the most popular, but IMO it needs to be heard live for full effect.

Just ordered,... finally!! That took a while, haha.

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #53 on: December 16, 2011, 07:44:13 AM »
. . . Quattro Pezzi is probably the most popular, but IMO it needs to be heard live for full effect.

I could see that.
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Offline not edward

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #54 on: December 16, 2011, 08:17:51 AM »
Obviously it's true of all composers, but I've found that the spatial aspect of live performance is particularly useful in Scelsi in teasing apart the densely packed knots of near-identical pitches. Not to mention that the sheer physical immediacy of some of his work doesn't come over as strongly on disc (I've heard a few live Okanagons, for example, and--as with Xenakis or Ustvolskaya--there's a physicality to the performance and a sonic harshness that don't tend to reproduce well on recording).
"I don't at all mind actively disliking a piece of contemporary music, but in order to feel happy about it I must consciously understand why I dislike it. Otherwise it remains in my mind as unfinished business."
 -- Aaron Copland, The Pleasures of Music

snyprrr

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #55 on: December 21, 2011, 12:52:24 PM »
Scelsi: Works for Choir & Orchestra (Accord 3cd)


I am scarcely into the 4 Pezzi and Anahit when I feel like I could just cocoon away for the next two weeks with Scelsi. I have purposely stayed away from this music until I had this set, and now it's time. Just considering that the 4 Pezzi were actually an instant hit in 1959 makes one wonder WHO actually heard this, and was influenced. WHO?

I'm practically bursting with anticipation! I'm only going to listen to these two pieces until I can't stand it. 4 Pezzi reminds me partially of Punkte (though I haven't heard the 1952 version- is it on YT?), and I say so because I just heard that for the first time recently, so, of course you can trust my impartiality! ;) ;D 8)

Offline petrarch

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #56 on: December 21, 2011, 01:47:09 PM »
Scelsi: Works for Choir & Orchestra (Accord 3cd)

I am scarcely into the 4 Pezzi and Anahit when I feel like I could just cocoon away for the next two weeks with Scelsi. I have purposely stayed away from this music until I had this set, and now it's time. Just considering that the 4 Pezzi were actually an instant hit in 1959 makes one wonder WHO actually heard this, and was influenced. WHO?

I'm practically bursting with anticipation! I'm only going to listen to these two pieces until I can't stand it. 4 Pezzi reminds me partially of Punkte (though I haven't heard the 1952 version- is it on YT?), and I say so because I just heard that for the first time recently, so, of course you can trust my impartiality! ;) ;D 8)

In my experience, Quattro Pezzi only really works in the concert hall, where it works really really well. On that set, I find it to be the least interesting of the bunch. But on that same CD, the other two pieces (Anahit and Uaxuctum) are some of the strongest pieces of the whole set.

Punkte of 1952 was withdrawn and is much shorter and for smaller ensemble than the 1962 version.
//p
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snyprrr

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #57 on: December 21, 2011, 06:09:33 PM »
In my experience, Quattro Pezzi only really works in the concert hall, where it works really really well. On that set, I find it to be the least interesting of the bunch. But on that same CD, the other two pieces (Anahit and Uaxuctum) are some of the strongest pieces of the whole set.

Punkte of 1952 was withdrawn and is much shorter and for smaller ensemble than the 1962 version.

I just listened to Uaxuctum for the first time. Very niiice!! I sounds like what I had wished Penderecki would sound like (the closest for me is KP's Magnificat). It definitely has an otherwordly, ancient,... and spooky quality that are supreme! I could have used more, More, MORE,... but, as a start, Scelsi certainly gets the Varese Award for Best Mayan Apocalypse!! ;)

Still got two discs to go, woohoo! :D

ibanezmonster

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #58 on: December 21, 2011, 08:40:47 PM »
Oh, I feel it. I feel the cosmos. Taurus came charging back. Moooooooooooooo!!!!


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/HFt8zQGf4S8" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/HFt8zQGf4S8</a>
Scelsi: Anahit

snyprrr

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Re: Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)
« Reply #59 on: December 24, 2011, 12:15:41 AM »
Scelsi: Works for Choir & Orchestra (Accord 3cd)

I have been really overwhelmed by this set, and I'm only half way through. Frankly, the primal, other-wordly intensity (deceptively subdued on the face of it) can be exhausting, whew! ???

Aion & Hurqualia were vast vast halls of exhausting concentration. Both had individual touches in the instrumentation (Scelsi prefers a very 'inducing' lower orchestration, sans upper strings! (I-did-not-know-that!)), and both perfectly captured a primal conjuring that was truly awe inspiring. Frankly, I can't even remeber what Konx-Om-Pax sounds like now,... Scelsi's music is so all consuming that one gets lost without little touches (like the single harp flourish in Aion).

Coming so late in my avant education, this set is truly putting me on my ear. I really is what I was looking for. Honestly, this is really spare and severe music, and I hear a little early-mid Xenakis in the feral quality of the actual sounds, though I'm missing some Xenakian hallmarks like the glissandi and the rhythmic complexity (rhythmic complexity is something missing hearing, technically, but,... it's OK!,... it's quite ok,...). I have certainly never heard music of this static quality (MetaSTASIS not withstanding, haha). There really is a certain quality to this music that is beyond words.

Beyond words

(I still haven't heard Hymnos, Chukrum, & Pfhat)