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Scelsi: Natura Renovatur

Münchener Kammerorchester Audio CD

Price: £13.83 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Ohoi "I principi creativi"Münchener Kammerorchester & Christoph Poppen 8:39Album Only
Listen  2. Three Latin Prayers: Ave MariaFrances-Marie Uitti 3:49£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Anâgâmin "Colui che scelse di ritornare o no"Münchener Kammerorchester & Christoph Poppen 7:12Album Only
Listen  4. Trilogy - The Three Ages of Man: Ygghur IFrances-Marie Uitti 6:57£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Trilogy - The Three Ages of Man: Ygghur IIFrances-Marie Uitti 3:46£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Trilogy - The Three Ages of Man: Ygghur IIIFrances-Marie Uitti 5:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Natura renovaturMünchener Kammerorchester & Christoph Poppen12:35Album Only
Listen  8. Three Latin Prayers: AllelujaFrances-Marie Uitti 4:05£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

'Natura Renovatur' (Nature Renewed) is the first ECM disc to focus exclusively on this most mysterious of composers. Scelsi's exploration of sound was obsessive and almost microscopic in its attention to detail. He invites the listener, aided here by Manfred Eicher's crystal-clear production, deep into the grain and texture of the music. Seeming both ancient and modern, simple and complex, Eastern and Western, his music can be allied to Indian music, Tibetan Chant or Byzantine Orthodox ritual, medieval music, Pärt's tintinabulation or the simplicity of Gurdjieff.

Deeply interested in matters of the spirit, Scelsi studied Gurdjieff's philosophy and, like Gurdjieff, he travelled deep into Asia on musical-spiritual study trips. Born into the Italian aristocracy (full name: Count Giacinto Scelsi D'Ayala Valva), his English wife was a cousin of the Queen, and his wedding reception held in Buckingham Palace! His art world friends included Salvador Dali and Henri Michaux. After World War II he retreated almost completely from public life, working for decades on his music in isolation in Rome. His rediscovery in the late 1970s was in part brought about by Frances-Marie Uitti, who collaborated closely with him for 13 years.

Recorded 2005

Personnel: Frances-Marie Uitti - violoncello, Munich Chamber Orchestra conducted by Christoph Poppen.

About the Artist

'Natura Renovatur' is the sixth ECM CD to feature the Munich Chamber Orchestra, following Hartmann, Gubaidulina, Bach/Webern, Mansurian, and Barry Guy (Folio). Their highly persuasive live performances of Scelsi under Christoph Poppen paved the way for this CD. Frances-Marie Uitti, born in Chicago to Finnish parents, and now a Dutch citizen, met Scelsi in Rome in 1975. She subsequently helped him to realize many of his important later works, including the massive Trilogy dedicated to her. Uitti is a revolutionary cellist who has worked with many great composers such as Cage, Xenakis, Kurtág, Nono and Elliott Carter. Her first ECM disc was 'There Is Still Time', a collaboration with writer Paul Griffiths.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Nature Renewed -- superb Scelsi set featuring cello 19 July 2006
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This new ECM disc, NATURA RENOVATUR, is an all-strings set of Scelsi's music, featuring the Dutch cellist Frances-Marie Uitti, who collaborated with the mystic and "composer" for many years. After Scelsi's death in 1988, Uitti was commissioned by Scelsi's sister to catalog over 300 tapes and 700 hours of Scelsi's improvisations dating back to the 1950s, we learn in the liner notes by Uitti and Herbert Henck. She says "[s]ound became the grammatical focus of his later work, superceding pitch, rhythm, and harmony. And his quest was to reveal the third dimension through the use of one tonal center was central in his late work."

Included here are three astounding and luminous works for string ensembles from the mid-1960s -- "Ohoi" for 16 strings (8'33" - 1966), "Anagamin" for 11 strings (7'07" - 1965), and "Natura renavatur" for 11 strings (12'30" - 1967), with solos for cello interspersed. "Ave Maria" and "Alleluja," taken from "Three Latin Prayers" (1970) are lovely, lyrical, melodic pieces that stand in contrast to the dense microtonality of the ensemble works.

The central solo work is "Ygghur, I, II & III" (16' - 1961), taken from "Trilogy -- The three ages of Man" (1956 - 65), which was dedicated to Frances-Marie Uitti. As is typical in late Scelsi, the music is slow and stately, seemingly probing the inner depths of perception. The ensemble works are performed by the Munchener Kammerorchester (Munich Chamber Orchestra), directed by Christoph Poppen.

This new ECM disc overlaps with the 2001 Kairos disc, also called NATURA RENOVATUR, performed by the Klangforum Wien, Hans Zender conducting (see my review). The Kairos disc also includes both "Anagamin" and "Natura renovatur." It also includes Scelsi's "String Quartet No. 4" (1964), which was expanded for a larger ensemble to form "Natura renovatur," along with "Elohim," another string ensemble work from 1965/67, the "Duo for Violin and Cello" of 1965, and "Maknongan" for solo bass from 1976.

Both sets of Scelsi's music for strings are incredible -- be sure to hear at least one. The solo cello works add a subdued poignancy to this ECM set, and the ensemble works are transparent and clear, while the Kairos disc is more intense, and the strings in the ensemble works form a less distinguishable sound mass, which is not bad, just different.

Based on what I've heard by Scelsi so far, I find that his music for strings best expresses his mystical goal, expressing the transcendence of the illusion of separateness through one sound. In spirit, if not in method (Scelsi had long years of Western musical training), this music has more in common with the ragas of Ali Akbar Khan and Ravi Shankar than with the European avant-garde.
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Transcendental and Hypnotic 3 Jan 2007
By Wolfsegg - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It's hard to get ahold of recordings of Scelsi's music, and even harder to get ahold of recordings that are of any quality. This is certainly a fine recording of one of Scelsi's most important works. It is dizzying, vertiginous, and hallucinagenic. It is brilliant and a pleasure to listen to. As Giacinto Scelsi's music becomes more well known, I hope more recordings of his work (such as this one) become available within the mainstream classical community.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Strangely Beautiful Sound 8 July 2009
By Karl W. Nehring - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
One of the amazing things about music is its continual ability to surprise. This disc of compositions by the obscure Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)--whom, like you, I had never heard of in my life--arrived in an envelope containing several advance release discs and a really informative press release that I was just too exhausted to read. I threw the discs in my bag so that I could listen to them the next day at work.

When I put this disc into my computer, I was busy, so I just stuck it in and went on with my work. After a few minutes, though, I had to stop what I was doing so that I could really hear what was coming through my speakers. What was this strange, engrossing music?! The intensity was palpable, even through the little computer system speakers. Who the heck is this Scelsi guy, anyway, and why have I never heard of him before?!

Needless to say, that night the Scelsi CD went into my big system at home, and I frantically scrounged around the pile of papers and envelopes on my kitchen table until I found the press release. Upon reading it, I found out that Scelsi's life story was as mysterious and intense as his music.

By now, I am sure that most of you have already made up your minds. Some of you have already decided that this music must be just too weird to endure, and you will go back to your Vivaldi and Boccelli recordings. But a few of you--you guys know who you are--will be willing to give another Italian a chance; believe me, your adventurous spirits will be rewarded as you discover this intense, exhausting, but incredibly tender and moving music. As you hear cellist Frances-Marie Uittti close this CD with her moving rendition of Alleluja, for solo cello, you will immediately want to listen again, to step back into this strange world of mournful yet hopeful music, so beautifully played and recorded by these superb artists and engineers. You will be surprised, challenged, and rewarded by the intensity of their effort, and amazed at both the strangely beautiful sound of Scelsi's music and the beautifully strange tale of Scelsi's life as recounted in the liner notes.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Transcendent Sound-Space! 29 May 2013
By Peter Gueckel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
These compositions, from 1956-70, engross the listener in a transcendent sound-space. The mournful, faraway melodies and eerie, haunting drones are deliciously peaceful and meditative. This is an essential recording of works from Scelsi's middle period.
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning 10 May 2013
By J. Gabrielson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Cathedral - like sound that opens the mind and transports the listener to another world. There is an audible architecture to this work that produces the mental state described in the first sentence.
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