Giacinto Scelsi: Elohim
Giovanni Sollima: “Terra con variazioni” for cello and orchestra
Giacinto Scelsi: Natura renovatur
Niccolò Castiglioni: Inverno In-ver (eleven musical poems for small orchestra)
To read the detailed program booklet, please click here.
Italy in the 20th and 21st centuries: levitation and shiver in the concert hall, where Giovanni Sollima will take the stage as both composer and soloist.
Giacinto Scelsi composed these two pieces during the same creative period, which he spent experimenting with the possibilities inherent in a single musical note. Scelsi, playing with patches of notes and using quarter-tone inflections, creates a feeling of levitation while modifying all possible components of the tone: he is the “master of the yet smaller transition”. In his Elohim, the performers – including a string quartet, a violin duo and a group comprising two violins and two cellos – are seated in various places around the stage; an amplifier is now and then used to boost the violin-cello ensemble. Natura renovatur (Nature is Renewed), on the other hand, relies on the entire string section, bringing the peculiar sounds of the piece closer in line with traditional instrumentation.
The “post-minimalist” Giovanni Sollima also brings along his idiosyncratic sound: he is not afraid to mix elements of jazz or even rock with orchestral music. He composed his Terra con variazoni for the 2015 World Expo in Milan. Each variation relies on the one preceding it, taking the listener further and further away from the point of departure until the music breaks absolutely free from its original boundaries.
It is difficult to translate the play on words in the title “Inverno In-ver”: Niccolò Castiglioni’s modern yet often harmonic and fairytale-like music, played mostly in the higher registers, presents the various – real and inverted – faces of winter (inverno), from frost flowers to silence and death. The title of the last movement is a saying attributed to Saint Francis de Sales: “What is good makes no noise, noise does no good.”
This evening’s concert will be conducted by a true ambassador of modern music, a “conductor of great sensitivity”: Ilan Volkov of Israel.