SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): Macbeth - 3 atti senza nome.
Catalogue Number: 12O083
Label: col legno
Reference: WWE 2CD 20404
Description: Sciarrino's version of Shakespeare's play (to the composer's own libretto) presents the tragedy of the murderous quest for power not in the grand operatic tradition, but as a continuous stream of tense exchanges between the principal characters, the drama stripped down to examine the essential motivations of the protagonists, with key scenes preserved but much material extraneous to the central theme removed altogether. Musically, the score is very much what one would expect of Sciarrino, with the vocal lines declaimed passionately against a rippling, rustling backdrop of instrumental sounds, consisting of a greater proportion of extended techniques than conventional playing. Sciarrino's customary whispering, fluttering breath sounds and animal moans conjured from the ensemble lend a shadowy, sinister quality to the texture, while sudden explosive outbursts underline the violence of the story. Several extended references to Verdi and Mozart appear like surreally distorted phantoms, apparently as a means of escaping their influence, or something, according to an odd interview with the composer printed in the booklet (which may have lost something in translation). Vocally, the piece is comparatively conventional, the text clearly comprehensible and delivered with comparative freedom from extended vocal techniques. Ultimately the piece seems to be more about archetypes of certain despicable traits in human nature than a rendering of Shakespeare in musical form, but admirers of Sciarrino's unique sound world and powerful dramatic idiom will find the work immensely satisfying. 2 CDs. Italian libretto. Otto Katzameier (bass-baritone), Anna Radziejewska (mezzo), Vokalensemble NOVA, Klangforum Wien; Evan Christ.