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)
Italy in the 20th and 21st centuries: float 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 in a single musical note. Scelsi, playing with images of notes and using quarter-note inflections, creates a feeling of floating while working with all of the note’s possible components: he is the “master of the smallest possible transition”. In his piece Elohim, the musicians – including a string quartet, a violin duo and a group comprised of two violins and two cellos – are seated in various places around the stage; an amplifier is sometimes used to boost the violin-cello ensemble. Natura renovatur (Nature Renewed), on the other hand, relies on the entire string section, bringing the unique sounds of the piece closer in line with more traditional arrangements.
The “post-minimalist” Giovanni Sollima will also bring his unique sound: he is not afraid to mix elements of jazz or even rock with orchestral music. He composed the earth-themes of his Terra con variazoni for the 2015 world expo in Milan. Each in this string of variations relies on the one preceding it, taking the listener further and further from the point of departure until finally the music breaks free entirely of its original boundaries.
It is difficult to translate the play on words in the title “Inverno In-ver”: Niccolò Castiglioni’s modern yet harmonic and story-like music, played mostly in the higher registers, brings to life 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 an ambassador of modern music, a “conductor of great sensitivity”: Ilan Volkov of Israel.