23 April 2007

More Scelsi

More comments on Scelsi.

Four Pieces (for horn in F) (1956): There doesn't appear to be a recording of this - at least not one I can get my hands on, though I've seen the score. Uses stopped sounds in the first movement, muting techniques (up to the player) in the second. Exploring perhaps the different sound qualities. I can see how these very very bold for their time.

Ixor (1956): For Clarinet or other instrument like it, the recording I heard if for the English Horn. In one movement and demonstrating the technique that Scelsi was developing of expanding intervals - we begin on Db and we eventually open up before returning to Db. On the return, however, the Db sounds different, not like a tonic, more like a Neopolitan, but C doesn't sound like a tonic either move like a seventh. Subtle.

Divertimento No. 5 (for violin) (1956): No recording or score available.

Three Pieces (for trombone) (1957): More focused in pitch content than, I think, any of the other of these solo studies. The trombone has great qualities for this sort of sound which are exploited in the first movement much more than the other two. Consider the first movement, ABA effectively, with the A sections basically around a single pitch - is it Ab (I'd have to look again at the score) - that becomes extended through the use of glissandi in the B. The glissandi seem forced, somehow. The other two movements extend this pitch-centrism somewhat.

Rucke di guck (1957): Duet for piccolo and clarinet. Essesntially ogranizes the expanding interval concept on two instruments. This allows us to hear the fundamental pitch much more strongly and to allow for the other pitches to open up around them, we have a single line through two instruments and in two pitches - a complex pitch if you will. Otherwise forgetable.

I presagi (1958): In three movements for an ensemble of brass with percussion it is said to represent, like Yamaon before (and Ecuatorial by Varese before before) and Uaxuctum after the destruction of a Mayan city. The last movement provides that destruction with powerful explosion of percussion. The movements prior have some nice focus on single pitches and the complex monophony that I mention in regard to Rucke di guck. I'm intrigued by the use of the wind machine which leads me to believe this is, I shudder to use the wor, programmatic.

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