To describe Giacinto Scelsi's music is to describe the man himself:
"Searching for happiness, but in the folds of his searches, finding despair often laced with death."
Giacinto Scelsi is an orchestral composer, using many brass instruments, few woodwinds, and (among other things) his memorable and soul-piercing use of human voices.
Listening to his music is like watching from beside a lake as hundreds of shipwrecked bodies (all rotted) crawl out of the deep, longing for rest, and fly up to heaven against the starry, turquoise night.
His music is soft, beautiful, graceful, intense, and disturbing. One can hear "death" in his music.
The discordant drone of the chorus and the terrifying soprano parts give the effect that the dead themselves are calling out, envious at the living for not appreciating the time they have on Earth.
This isn't the kind of music you would want to listen to while you're by yourself late at night with all the lights turned off.
Tracks 1 - 4 encompass the first work on the disc, which is quite good, providing a haunting exploration of the powers of just using a single note with minimally varying pitch.
Tracks 5 - 9 are the highlight of the disc, and is the example of the spine-chilling, yet soothing "call of the dead" as I described above. To tell the truth, this work has become my favorite work of any kind of music, be it orchestral, or rap, or grunge, or grindcore, or techno, or soft female pop, etc.
Tracks 10 - 13 are not as appealing as the other two works on the disc. They come from an earlier period of Scelsi's career before he could break out of his mold and write the music he would come to write. This follows a more traditional formula of symphonic work, and in my mind, makes it a little stale. There are things to appreciate about it, but to me, his best stuff comes when he is composing based on his natural, human impulses, such as the other two works are.
In the end, I do recommend this music, not to any particular group of people, though. It's just one of those things you have to hear to know if you like it. His music is not perfect, and there are ways he could have improved it too, he was on the right track. But that's just it, he was on the right track when he decided to make his vocalists "speak Cemetari". He treaded on this ground and did a fine job of it.
What I'm trying to say is, he had this amazing vision, I just wish he had taken it farther, done more with it, REALLY fleshed it out.
Aside from the decent, yet underwhelming work that encompasses tracks 10 - 13, this is an amazing record.
Considering the first two works on here, and not letting the third impede the score simply by association, I award this product with a 4.7 out of 5.
Listening to this record brings me joy; there really isn't that much like it is.
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