Magazine article Gramophone

Battistelli: Experimentum Mundi-An Experimental Opera

Magazine article Gramophone

Battistelli: Experimentum Mundi-An Experimental Opera

Article excerpt

Battistelli [DVD][BR]

Experimentum mundi--An Experimental Opera

A film by Giancarlo Matcovich

Peppe Servilio reciter Nicola Raffone perc

Giorgio Battistelli cond

EuroArts (F) [DVD] 205 9948; (F) [BR] 205 9944

(58' + 50' * NTSC * 16:9 * 1080I * DTS-HD MA5.1, DTS5.1 & PCM stereo * 0)

Recorded live at the Auditorio Parco della Musica, Rome, May 3-4,2013. Extras: Behind the Scenes; Experimentum mundi Remixed

We all know that modern opera can be hard work; but Italian composer Giorgio Battistelli's Experimentum mundi-An Experimental Opera (1981) spins that truism around its own conceptual axis. The subject of Battistelli's piece is work. His hour-long composition is intimately concerned with the sounds created by craftsmen, and by those whose work is usually considered menial, who normally take no role in the discourse that surrounds modern composition.

His fellow countryman Luigi Nono famously tried to bridge that gap by mounting concerts of modern music in factories--dodecaphony for the workers--and Battistelli steps that logic up to the next level by bringing noises associated with factories and industry inside the concert hall. Out go professional singers; instead stonecutters, carpenters, shoemakers, stonemasons and chefs become the 'cast' of his opera. And Battistelli transforms their everyday noises into art by placing a frame around them and trusting that we, his listeners, will take his concept at face value. …

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