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ClassicsOnline Home » Cello Recital: Wieder-Atherton, Sonia - MONTEVERDI, C. / SCELSI, G. (Vita)
Wonderful Monteverdi transcriptions, but uneasy music from Scelsi
The first piece is Monteverdi’s "avoce sola’ se I languidi miei sguardi", and this cello transcription could have well been written for the instrument. It is slow and sorrowful, and difficult to listen to at first, it hits home so deeply. The next track is "ardo" and the mood continues. But then we get into the Scelsi work "triphon i" and the mood and texture shift, as Scelsi’s music is more discordant and less fluid than Monteverdi’s. It is attention getting, but so all-encompassing was the Monteverdi that I found the Scelsi unpleasant. We then return to the Monteverdi for two more transcriptions, and all is well again. Then Scelsi returns with the second part of his trilogy "triphon ii", and again the dissonances don’t quite seem to fit. The rest of the recording alternates between Monteverdi and Scelsi, and each time I prefer Monteverdi’s music over Scelsi’s.
In the liner notes, Ms. Wieder-Atherton explains that most of the transcriptions on this recording come from Monteverdi’s eighth book (the book of loves and wars), and that she felt that Giacinto Scelsi (born in 1905) was also exploring the forces of human nature in his own way. It is also explained that for Scelsi’s "ygghur" the four strings of the cello were tuned differently, giving birth to weird sounds. That is certainly true – but it didn’t work for me. However, her cello playing is expressive and her tone is gorgeous throughout.
So I’m on the fence about this recording. I really like the Monteverdi, but am tempted to burn a copy of the disc without the Scelsi tracks. However, if the combination of the old and the new is your kind of thing, then this recording might just fit the bill.more....
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