LARRY SITSKY (b.1934): Mysterium Cosmographicum - Concerto for Violin, Orchestra and Female Voices, Violin Concerto No. 2 "Gurdjieff", Violin Concerto No. 3 "I Ching: The Eight Kua (Trigrams)".
Catalogue Number: 02I084
Label: ABC Classics
Reference: 476 5252
Description: These concerti demonstrate the eclectic range of the composer's inspirations, and the degree to which he has melded them into a consistent personal voice. Having inherited from Busoni (via Petri) an interest in the confluence of music and mysticism, the concerti each explore a different aspect of this idea: Kepler's cosmography; Gurdjieff's occultism, and Chinese divination. Although the First borrows a few Busonian gestures it rarely sounds like Busoni, rather taking its cues from his ideas about the development of music. The orchestral resources are vast, but real tuttis are rare; in all three works, the emphasis is on the continuous singing line of the soloist, the orchestra frequently contributing chamber-music-like commentary or fragmentary interjections. The other concerti frequently suggest a sense of modality due to the composer's absorption of melodic devices of the ancient east into his vocabulary; a kind of middle-eastern ornamented solo playing is also evocatively employed in the second; the third intermittently evokes (but seldom imitates) traditional music of China. There is a strong underlying sense of tonal harmony in Sitsky's own vocabulary, the first concerto espousing a slightly more modern-sounding idiom than the other two, though at no point are any of these wide-ranging and ambitious works unapproachable. 2 CDs. Jan Sedivka (violin), Female Voices from the Tasmanian Opera Company Chorus, The Lyric Singers, Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra; Vanco Cavdarski, Omri Hadari, Christopher Lyndon Gee (conductors, respectively). Original 1989 and 1998 releases.