Press release
For immediate distribution

Homage to Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)

Saturday, November 5, 2005 and Saturday, November 12, 2005, pianist Louise Bessette will present a memorial recital for Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi (1905 - 1988), in honour of the 100th anniversary of his birth. The November 5th concert, at 8:00 p.m., will be presented within the framework of the series Les Samedis à la carte du Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, at Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur. The November 12th concert, a co-production with New Music Concerts and the Music Gallery, will be at 8:00 p.m. at Saint George the Martyr Church, Toronto.

The program will include Sonata no. 4 (1941), Suite no. 9 Ttai (1953), Un adieu (1978) last work for piano by Scelsi , works by two Canadian composers with Italian roots, Silvio Palmieri (Prélude VIII : Il giorno della mia morte [1998]) and Serge Arcuri (Fragments[1997]), in addition to Cosmographie (1996), by Canadian Sean Pepperall. The title of this last piece reminds us that sound was, for Scelsi, cosmic energy and three-dimensional: register, duration and depth.

The score of Suite no. 9 Ttai includes commentaries by Sclesi that reveals immediately the atmosphere of the work: A succession of episodes which alternatively express Time or more precisely, Time in motion, and Man as symbolized by cathedrals or monasteries, with the sound of the sacred Om. This suite should be listened to and played with the greatest interior calm. Restless people should keep away!

Born in La Spezia on January 8, 1905, Scelsi studied composition with Giacinto Sallustio in Rome. He worked in Geneva with Egon Koehler, a disciple of Scriabine, and in Vienna in 1935-36 with Walter Klein, a student of Schoenberg. In 1936, he wrote his first dodecaphonic works. He travelled in the Orient, India, China and Africa, and sojourned in France and Switzerland as well. After an important personal and spiritual crisis in the 1940s, he settled down in Rome in the 1950s and lived a solitary life where sound occupied a central part of his thoughts. He considered himself a sort of medium of a transcendental reality and refused the title of composer.

For those who are passionate about Scelsi or those who wish to discover his music, Louise Bessette has recorded his Sonatas no.2 and 4, as well as Suite no. 9 Ttai (Giacinto SCELSI: The piano works 1, Mode 92, 2000).

Saturday, November 5, 2005, 8pm
Samedis à la carte du Conservatoire de musique de Montréal
Chapelle historique du Bon-Pasteur - 100, Sherbrooke East, Montreal, Qc
Info: (514) 873-4031, ext. 221
Free Admission

Saturday, November 12, 2005, 8pm
New Music Concerts / Music Gallery
St. George the Martyr Church - 197 John Street, Toronto, On / (416) 204-1080 ext. 1
Regular $25. / Senior $15. / Students $5.

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