Aldo Clementi


mode 182

Works With Guitar


mode 182 Aldo CLEMENTI: Works with Guitar – Serenata for guitar & 4 instruments; Dodici Variazioni for guitar; Albumblatt for guitar; Fantasia su frammenti di Michelangelo Galilei version for guitar; Otto Variazioni for guitar; C.A.G. for flute, violin, vibraphone & guitar; The Plaint for female voice & 13 instruments. ELISION Ensemble, Geoffrey Morris, guitar, and Carl Rosman, conductor.

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Works With Guitar
Includes program notes. Includes texts with French and German translations, and program notes in English, French, and German on insert. Streaming audio. Text for the 7th work from The fairy queen by Henry Purcell. The 1st work for guitar, flute, clarinet, violin, and viola; the 2nd and 5th works for guitar; the 3rd work for female voice, flute, violin, and guitar; the 4th work originally for lute, arr. for guitar ; the 6th work for flute, violin, vibraphone, and guitar; the 7th work for female voice and 13 instruments. Title from image of compact disc cover on Web page (viewed Nov. 21, 2008) Geoffrey Morris, guitar ; ELISION Ensemble ; Carl Rosman, conductor (1st, 3rd, 6th, and 7th works) Recorded at Iwaki Auditorium, Melbourne, 2002-2005, except for the 5th work, recorded at Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Art, Brisbane. Also available as compact disc; previously issued as Mode Records mode 182.

Serenata (1988)   (13:49)
for guitar & 4 instruments

Dodici Variazioni (1980)   (6:06)
for guitar

Albumblatt (1995)   (3:52)
for female voice, flute, violin & guitar

Fantasia su frammenti di Michelangelo Galilei (1978)   (10:30)
version for guitar

Otto Variazioni (2002)   (4:56)
for guitar

C.A.G. (1993)   (5:11)
for flute, violin, vibraphone & guitar

The Plaint (1992)   (16:23)
for female voice & 13 instruments
Written for  ELISION ensemble

Geoffrey Morris, guitar
ELISION Ensemble
Carl Rosman, conductor (1,3,6,7)

Like his near contemporary Franco Donatoni, Aldo Clementi (b.1925) is an Italian composer who has had a very fruitful association with that most Italian of instruments, the guitar.

Both Clementi and Donatoni shared similar paths in their compositional development: the early influences of major early 20th-century composers through the adoption and later rejection of serialism and the Darmstadt courses they both attended, culminating in their very individual mature styles.

Clementi’s recent pieces are influenced by visual artists, particularly the intricately recursive figures in the lithographs of M. C. Escher and the richly repetitive surfaces of the paintings of the contemporary Italians Dorazio and Vasarely. Clementi saturates the aural surface of his works with repetitive moving lines whose motion becomes subsumed into an aural stasis – mechanisms that appear to go nowhere and inevitably fold back upon themselves, seemingly collapsing into negativity and decay that nonetheless project a compelling sonic sensuality.

This is the first complete CD devoted to Clementi’s compositions involving the guitar.

Geoffrey Morris has created a unique path as a classical guitarist in Australia primarily through his pioneering work in contemporary music. To date he has played in over 150 premiere performances of works for solo guitar, chamber works and works employing electronics.

Since its formation in 1986, ELISION, has established a virtuosic profile for Australian new music performance. ELISION is heavily engaged in experimenting with different modes of performance. The practice of the ensemble ranges from concerts to cross-disciplinary projects with a range of new media and visual artists, installation-performance works, and the use of improvisational experiences as a creative tool.

Language : The 3rd work a vocalise; the 7th work sung in English.


Aldo Clementi
Works with Guitar

Musicisti: Geoffrey Morris (chitarra); Elision Ensemble diretto da Carl Rosman.
Valutazione: 3.5 stelle
Mode 182

Works with Guitar si segnala tra le più recenti pubblicazioni dell’etichetta americana Mode per presentare un repertorio quasi del tutto inedito di pezzi con chitarra del compositore catanese Aldo Clementi e per i suoi eccellenti interpreti, d’origine australiana, il chitarrista Geoffrey Morris e l’Elision Ensemble. Frutto di collaborazioni avvenute su molteplici fronti, questo CD è uno dei non più rari casi di “globalitarismo” riuscito nella musica contemporanea.

I pezzi di Works with Guitar, che vanno dal 1978 al 2002, appartengono al cosidetto periodo “diatonico” di Clementi, così piacevolmente lontano da quella prima fase in cui prevaleva lo strutturalismo nel modo di selezionare e comporre, elaborando materiali modali e diatonici ispirati alla Tradizione europea del passato, tanto quello del Novecento che quello molto più antico.

In Works with Guitar si alternano pezzi per sola chitarra (“Dodici Variazioni”, “Fantasia su frammenti di Michelangelo Galilei”, “Otto Variazioni”) a pezzi per ensemble e chitarra (“Serenata”, “Albumblatt”, “C.A.G”, “The Plaint”).

Il lavorio sulla tecnica è decisamente pregevole, acuto, sensibile. Le dinamiche, sui forti e sui piani, sono fortemente enfatizzate. Spiccano maggiormente i pezzi dove la chitarra è accompagnata: si delineano varchi dove, in modo sempre controllato, Clementi si apre ad una certa emozionalità. L’impressione generale è che la chitarra sia comunque un timbro, con una sua dinamicità, che si perde tuttavia nella tessitura generale del pezzo. Non domina, nè sovrasta. Osserva, come fosse l’occhio severo di Clementi.
— Francesca Odilia Bellino, All About Jazz Italia, 7 October 2008

Aldo Clementi
Works with Guitar

Geoffrey Morris, guitar/ELISION ensemble/Carl Rosmann, conductor
Mode 182

Maybe if you are born with a name like Clementi you find yourself retracing old, old steps. Certainly Aldo of that ilk writes music that has a shadowy existence, music that sounds like a shred of something long lost. The dislocated canon is his preferred form. Unlike most canons, which rather depend on the voices paying attention to one another, Clementi’s have their lines adrift. Parts come and go, perhaps at their own speeds, generally slow, and make harmonic sense only within themselves, the general harmony being a haze. Not much of his music has been recorded, which would make a whole cd devoted to him (Mode 182) specially interesting even without the participation of ELISION, whose presence is a recommendation all itself.

Where these players are normally white hot (as on a recent Richard Barrett disc) here they have to be wan cold, and they do it very well. The repertory centres on the guitar, whose tones – fragile, gentle, evanescent – suit the nature of Clementi’s music, and the guitarist – Geoffrey Morris – is one who understands that, with this composer, soft stumbles are the way to go, and yet that they have to be finely measured and executed. Fantasia su frammenti di Michelangelo Galilei is almost unbearable in how phrases are deflected from their destinations as one of them unthinkingly interrupts another. Everything here comes from an early seventeenth-century lute book, whose pages are flipped to convey a very Clementian sense of dull uselessness. The same sense, and the same unhurried pace, may be found in Otto variazioni (2002), which is the most recent piece on the album and is dedicated to Morris. In a nice production moment, the last note of this solo composition is repeated as the first of C.A.G., where the guitar is joined by vibraphone, flute and violin. Contrary to what one might guess, this has nothing to do with Cage, or with cages (easily evoked by the traps in which Clementi’s music blithely finds itself); rather, the letters are those of the notes to be found in the name of Clementi’s colleague (and another composer whose music should be more available) Camillo Togni. The letters, transposed and inverted, waft in the air. They do not know where to go. They wait for silence.
— Paul Griffiths, Words and Music (online), July 2007


Aldo CLEMENTI: Works with Flutes (mode 224)

Also by ELISION on Mode Records:

Chaya CZERNOWIN: Six miniatures and a simultaneous song (mode 117)

Aldo CLEMENTI profile

ELISION Ensemble profile

Geoffrey MORRIS profile

Carl ROSMAN profile