Sunday, 5 April 2009

More about Giacinto Scelsi

Definitely an odd bird, was Giacinto Scelsi. He was odd enough that he spent years in institutions. He was born an aristocrat, and was received at Buckingham Palace. He died only 20 years ago, a recluse, and there are only three known photos of him, taken in his youth. His music is unusual, but conceptually fascinating as it's way ahead of its time. Including ours, too, in some ways.

Scelsi has influenced many – even Tristan Murail, whose own music is much more accessible, visited him in Rome. Last week there was a concert in London by Ensemble Liquid Architecture, whose name alone is interesting. I didn't go, which is a pity, as Scelsi fests don't happen every day.

Scelsi's piano music is a good way into him as the piano is like a lone voice. and Scelsi was definitely a lone voice. Perhaps it's a flavour of the man ? Nothing is too difficult to get into if you try, and this is early work for him. Here is a very useful article and review of Scelsi's piano music. Since there is so little available about him, this is an important resource! The major article was in fact written in 1986 when Scelsi was still alive - definitely prescient.

Also look at the labels on the right for more, including PGW's obituary of Scelsi written for the Independent in 1988. This blog is becoming a link to many Scelsi resources on the net.

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