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Thread: Salvatore Sciarrino

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Default Salvatore Sciarrino

    I recently got into this guy's music. His 12 madrigals were featured in the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and I rated them highly as they were completly without pretence like such a lot of modern work.

    I then found some of his piano music and it bowled me over! He has redefined the virtuoso pianist in his sonatas which are mostly comprised of crazy runs and ornaments. He truly is one of the greatest and versatile avant-gardists of our time in my opinion.

    He also has a sense of humor, check out this cool piece which combines a well known popular melody with a Ravellian accompaniment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofDVMKMB8Oo
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Yeah, Sciarrino's a bit of all right, alright.

    I recently purchased several CDs of his music on the recommendation of James L. McHard in his book The Future of Modern Music.

    Luci mie traditrici, which is a two act chamber opera
    Lohengrin, which is an "Azione invisibile per solista, strumenti e voci
    and vol. 1 of works for flute, which are very tasty indeed.

    Two of those are on the Stradivarius times future series, which has unfortunately for my bank account been very consistently good so far. I've gotten twenty-two of those in just the past year. Good times!

  3. #3
    Andante
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Elgar View Post

    He also has a sense of humor, check out this cool piece which combines a well known popular melody with a Ravellian accompaniment.
    Yes, that’s why it is easy to listen to , is the rest of his stuff as good or does he loose his way?

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    You make your own mind up as to whether he looses his way or not, but I find all his works to be of the same high quality regardless of their stylistic content.

    Search on YouTube for more stuff of his. It won't be easy to listen to, but the effort it takes to think about what Sciarrino wanted to say and the meaning of the music will be rewarding.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Yes Andante, he loses his way, much like Beethoven lost his way, veering off from those charming Mozartian pieces and ending up eventually with those hideous monstrosities like the ninth symphony and the opus 111 and such....

  6. #6
    Andante
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    Beethoven never lost his way his hearing yes but he never took his eye off the ball, it is a pity some modern so called composers will not stay as focused, Regarding the P Son #1 of Salvatore Sciarrino I did enjoy all of the Tacets but Son #3 is rubbish

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    Ah. Impervious to sarcasm, I see.

    OK, then.

    (And you think "Andante doesn't enjoy it = It is rubbish"? Hmmm.)

    ((And yes, I did catch your joke, but as you'd already trampled all over it yourself, I didn't feel I needed to enjoy it!!))

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    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Elgar View Post
    .

    He also has a sense of humor, check out this cool piece which combines a well known popular melody with a Ravellian accompaniment.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofDVMKMB8Oo
    I have to say, I was not impressed by that. It reminded me of the improvisations (In the Style of ... ) Joseph Cooper used to do in Face the Music.

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    I merely posted a link to his most accessible work so you may find enough interest to listen to his other works that have more originality.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Andante
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    Quote Originally Posted by some guy View Post
    Ah. Impervious to sarcasm, I see.

    OK, then.

    (And you think "Andante doesn't enjoy it = It is rubbish"? Hmmm.)

    ((And yes, I did catch your joke, but as you'd already trampled all over it yourself, I didn't feel I needed to enjoy it!!))

    What Joke??

    If you think #3 is not worthy of me thinking of it as rubbish will you explain what is so good about it “musicaly” I will then listen to it again and pay particular attention to the parts of it that you bring to my attention, I am reminded of the Art world where paint is flicked onto a canvas from a 10 inch house painters brush and then everyone pontificates on what it means, these people want to appear as Art intellectuals the same attitude exists in the music world.

    Listening to a lot [not all I must add] of modern classical is like eating unwashed, raw road kill, basically it is food but who in their right mind would choose it over roast Beef, a tasty steak or grilled Salmon.

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Andante, give it another hundred years or so and today's contemporary music will be the roast beef, steak or salmon! Premier performances of loads of classical and romantic music that we love today were total disasters back then. It's a common theme in musical history where the new material is rejected by mainstream audiences and then loved centuries afterwards. Why not try to understand the music of today and get one generation ahead of the game?! We are living in the most exiting time in musical history and that notion for me is encouraging.
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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    Andante
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    Firstly, What are these loads of premier performances that were total disasters due to the composition of the music and not poor performance by the musicians ?? that future generation will find some of this music loved I find hard to accept I think they may say “what on earth were they thinking of” or it will simply fade into the mists of time as did a lot of the earlier composers, but this is pure speculation.
    As far as understanding music goes I suggest it is in the same category as the Art I mentioned in my earlier post so perhaps you could explain in your own words what you understand about Sciarrino’s 3rd Sonata.
    I enjoy music as do all people on this forum, what is there to understand ?? Perhaps the compositional method used by the composer or what he/she was trying to project is this what you mean?
    I think today’s musicians are technically far more advanced then their predecessors but not necessarily better at interpretation or emotional expressions, to days composers may be very good technically but do not appeal to the vast majority of music lovers something has been lost or is just too hard for them. In the end music is mostly an audible experience and of course subjective so what is the point of very clever music if to the majority it sounds awful ??

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    Andante, I have already seen it in my lifetime. I was about eighteen when I first heard the Berg Violin Concerto. At that time it was seen as a 'gritty' modern work, and most people would have described it in the terms you use for contemporary music. Now I am sixty-six, and the Berg has taken its place in the repertoire as one of the great concertos.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andante View Post
    I enjoy music as do all people on this forum, what is there to understand ??
    That the words "I enjoy music" do not suffice to make you an adequate judge of whether a piece is good or not in and of itself (or even if a piece can be said to be good in and of itself!). "I enjoy music" conceals in itself a judgment, too, does it not? "I enjoy music" really means "I enjoy only certain kinds of music, relegating what I don't like to the dustheap." You keep trying to get people to tell you what's musically convincing about Sciarrino's third piano sonata (or what they understand about it), but you've done nothing yourself but dismiss it as rubbish. How about you go first? How about explaining, in non-prejudicial language, what you find unmusical about it?

    The art analogy is maybe not the way to go, by the way, as modern art has proven to be capable of pleasing people just as much as older art. That's what you don't seem capable of understanding, or crediting. That music or art that you don't like can possibly be anything but rubbish or road-kill. You seem also to think that no one else really likes it, either, but that there are a few strange folks who claim to like it.


    Why is someone who admires a Jackson Pollock, for instance to be only characterized as someone trying to be an Art intellectual? Why can't it simply be that they like Pollock? (I think the answer to that might have already been given, that if you don't like it, you cannot believe that anyone else can, either.)
    Last edited by some guy; Jan-27-2009 at 21:41. Reason: fixed an ambiguous parallelism. (because i could.)

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    Senior Member Edward Elgar's Avatar
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    Come on Andante! The Rite of Spring, Brahms' 1st Piano Concerto, Schumann's Symphonies, Bizet's Carmen. The list is endless of pieces that were poorly recieved and are now established classics! Lang can even tell us of a work that gained popularity in his lifetime, less than 50 years!

    As for "poor performances by the musicians" of the time, who are you to decide this was the case! No, the reason those works didn't catch on was more likely because of closed-minded idiots who were scared of change from what they were used to.

    All the music we love, we love because of conditioned listening. If we were conditioned to like Sciarrino and nothing else we would dismiss the polite harmonies of Mozart.

    Sciarrino's 3rd piano sonata I find intriguing as it makes outrageous demands on the performer and gets many different and exiting sonorities from the piano. The dissonance or "awfulness" as you describe it as, I find delightful. I embrace his breaking free from tonal constraints as it allows more of the composer's imagination to shine through. Saying that, my favourite sonata is the 1st, an uncompromising piece that doesn't seem to me to have the right amount of notes in it!
    When all the paint has been dried, when all the stone has been carved, music shall remain, and we shall work with what remains.

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