The first recording of his 32-minute grand cantata La nascita del Verbo. Steeped in chromaticism, with hints of Scriabin and a sea of percussion, Nascita boasts a vast double fugue (one of the
most imposing in the history of music) and a forty-seven voice canon in twelve keys.
This work, »truly written in blood,« left Scelsi »in a deplorable state,« afterwards he stopped composing for several years.
One of Scelsi's infamous pieces is the Quattro Pezzi (su una nota sola). Each piece is limited to one pitch with micro-fluctuations of sound (vibratos, slurs, spectral changes, tremolos...). Because of the nearly total abandonment of harmonics, the listener concentrates on new sonorous subtleties, on the orchestra's timbre as a whole.
In 1966, he completed the ferocious, tormented, complex Uaxuctum. The myths and mysteries of this Mayan city is reflected in Scelsi's compositional process: new instrumental and vocal techniques (breathing noises, nasal sounds, muted or inhaled gutturals...), rhythmic incantations, a petrified flow of time. Few woodwinds, a string section consisting of six double basses, lots of brass, and, in addition to a timpanist, no less than seven percussionists!
Quattro Pezzi (su una nota sola) (1959), [for 25 musicians] – 16:54
1st Movement – 2:56
2nd Movement – 4:49
3rd Movement – 4:27
4th Movement – 4:41
Uaxuctum - The Legend of the Mayan City which they themselves destroyed for religious reasons (1966), [for ondes Martenot, seven percussionists, timpanist, chorus and 23
musicians] – 21:14
1st Movement – 6:13
2nd Movement – 3:59
3rd Movement – 3:43
4th Movement – 3:12
5th Movement – 4:07
La nascita del Verbo (1946-48), [for chorus and large orchestra] – 31:58
1st Movement – 6:34
2nd Movement – 6:00
3rd Movement – 8:09
4th Movement – 11:15