SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): Berceuse for Large Orchestra, Libro notturno delle voci for Flute and Orchestra, Cantare con silenzio for Flute, 6 Voices, Percussion and Live Electronics.
Catalogue Number: 11Q077
Reference: STR 33987
Description: This is an important release, not least for its inclusion of Berceuse, which is Sciarrino's earliest extant orchestral work, completed when the composer was 22. The work is scored for a huge orchestra, subdivided into four sections. The material given to instrumentalists within these sections interacts to produce textures of varying densities, creating a kind of fractal impression in which at any level of resolution similar aggregates of musical 'particles' may be observed. The main work here, though, is the remarkable Cantare con silenzio of 1999, also receiving its world premiere recording. Like the flute concerto from ten years later, this piece represents one of the most comprehensive displays of extravagantly extended instrumental techniques ever conceived for the flute. Everything from breathing sounds to explosive, percussive effects emanate from the flute; sometimes it's hard to tell where the latter end and the actual percussion takes up. The role of the electronics is to amplify and transform the resonance of the flute sounds that are set up in vibrating metal plates adjacent to the soloist, an eerie, original effect. The texts, urgently recited in repeating fragments, create a strange, ritualised effect, culminating in the fourth movement in a kind of vocal cadenza, featuring almost inarticulate presentations of text fragments, more animal than human. In the third movement, two stones struck together produce an ominous metronome-like ticking, measuring the passage of time in the music, whose text, adapted from Michel Serres, refers to Henri Bergson's work on temporal subjectivity in contradiction of the mathematical principle, the latter appearing in the final movement, accompanied by ferocious distortions of the metronome effect. The whole has the typical immersive theatrical effect of Sciarrino's best work, as provocative as it is exhilarating. Mario Caroli (flute), Neue Vocalsolisten, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra; Marco Angius.