Giacinto Scelsi


mode 159

Giacinto Scelsi: The Piano Works 3


mode 159 Giacinto SCELSI: The Piano Works 3 – Aki Takahashi, piano. Suite No. 10 “Ka”, Quattro Illustrazioni, Sonate No.3, Cinque Incantesimi.  DVD  

Giacinto Scelsi: The Piano Works 3 - DVD

Aki Takahashi, piano

1-7. Suite No. 10 “Ka”  (1954)
Quattro Illustrazioni  (1953)
8. I. Shesha-Shayi-Vishnù  (3:46)
9. II. Varaha-Avatara  (3:46)
10. III. Rama-Avatara (con eleganza e seduzione)  (2:36)
11. IV. Krishna-Avatara (calmo, radioso)  (4:06)
Sonate No.3  (1939)
12. I. Lento, rubato  (8:41)
13. II. Con dolcezza  (5:11)
14. III.  (6:06)
Cinque Incantesimi  (1953)
15. I. Deciso imperioso  (2:23)
16. II. Presto (wild and strident)  (1:37)
17. III. Agitato  (1:40)
18. IV. Lento (Misterioso, soprannaturale)  (3:33)
19. V.  (wild and strident)  (2:10)
20. Un Adieu  (1978/88?)  (6:58)

Aitsi for amplified piano  (1974)

Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988) wrote one of the largest sets of piano music in the 20th century. Scelsi was a virtuoso pianist, and even his most experimental compositions in this genre show a marked pianistic conception. Largely ignored during much of his life, Scelsi was basically only “discovered” in the 1980s.

Though a recluse in his later years, there were some artists who worked with Scelsi and gained special insight into the spirit of his compositions. Renowned contemporary music pianist Aki Takahashi was one of these musicians. The program Ms. Takahashi has selected for this recital is largely made up of works which she prepared with the composer.

It includes one of Scelsi’s greatest piano pieces, the Quattro Illustrazioni – a tour-de-force of exotic, erotic illustrations depicting the different incarnations of Vishnu.

From the mid-1950s, Scelsi’s interest in microtonality led him to abandon writing for the piano. The only exception is recorded here. Scelsi’s last composition, Un Adieu, is an extraordinarily beautiful, melancholic piece that truly conveys the feeling of ‘farewell’ in its title.

High resolution 96khz/24-bit recording.

Available on CD or surround-sound DVD.


Giacinto Scelsi
The Piano Works 3

Aki Takahashi (piano)
Mode 159

The third installment of Mode’s cycle of Scelsi’s piano music surveys his early works for the instrument. The pianist Aki Takahashi was one of Scelsi’s pianists of choice, and she approaches the pieces with discernible sympathy. Sonate No. 3 (1939) uncovers Scelsi’s Romantic roots, but the obsessive musings over not much material in Ka (1954) mark a turning point towards his mature style. The primitivism and quick costume changes of material in Cinque Incantesimi (1953) remain effective, and the disc ends with Un Adieu, a meditative mid-70s composition.
— Philip Clark, The Wire, July, 2006


Giacinto Scelsi on Mode:
The Piano Works 1 – Louise Bessette (mode 92)
The Orchestral Works 1 (mode 95)
The Orchestral Works 2 (mode 176)
Music For High Winds – Carol Robinson & others (mode 102)
The Piano Works 2 – Stephen Clarke (mode 143)
The Works for Double Bass (mode 188)
Cinque Incantessimi for piano – Haydée Schvartz, piano & works
of Berio, Cage, Gandhini, Kagel, Pärt and R. Schumann. (mode 31)

Giacinto Scelsi profile

Aki Takahashi on Mode:
Morton FELDMAN: Piano Works (mode 54)
Peter GARLAND: Another Sunrise – with Essential Music (mode 110)
Iannis XENAKIS: Complete Works for Piano Solo (mode 80)

Aki Takahashi profile

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