Academic journal article Notes

Salvatore Sciarrino

Academic journal article Notes

Salvatore Sciarrino

Article excerpt

Salvatore Sciarrino. Luci mie traditrici. DVD. Marco Angius / Ensemble Algoritmo. With Nina Tarandek, Christian Miedl, Roland Schneider, Simon Bode. Leipzig: EuroArts, 2010, 2012. 2059038. $24.99.

Salvatore Sciarrino is considered one of the top names in contemporary European music, although his work does not appear to have garnered much of a following in North America. Born in 1947, he is a selftaught modernist who came under the influence of Luigi Nono, and went on to further study at Rome's Accademia di Santa Cecilia. Sciarrino's musical language is unapologetically avant-garde, and is described in Wikipedia as containing "isolated sonorities, extended playing techniques, frequent silences, and ironic or confrontational quotation of previous music." This is an accurate description of what is on hand here. His extensive catalogue leans heavily towards chamber music, but he has written 15 stage works, of which Luci mie traditrici is the eighth.

Luci mie traditrici had its first performance at the Schwetzingen Festival in 1998. Subsequent productions appeared in 2003, in 2008 at the Salzburg Festival, and in 2010 at the Berlin Festival of Contem - porary Music. The production presented here on DVD was recorded during the 2010 Festival of Contemporary Art in Monte - pulciano, a festival established by Hans Werner Henze in which all artists donate their services.

The libretto by the composer, adapted from a seventeenth century Italian play, was inspired by composer Carlo Gesualdo's murder of his wife and her lover. Rather than draw on Gesualdo's music, Sciarrino has taken a madrigal by Claude Le Jeune as his musical inspiration. The Le Jeune piece is used as the basis for three intermezzi which divide the scenes of this 70 minute piece, first in a fairly straightforward transcription, then deconstructed for its later appearances. …

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