Scelsi: Natura Renovatur

Scelsi: Natura Renovatur

by Frances-Marie Uitti


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Scelsi: Natura Renovatur

Cellist Frances-Marie Uitti formed both professional and personal ties with composer and mystic Giacinto Scelsi, and as a student of his in yoga and metaphysics, she became a spiritual disciple as well. It is natural, then, that she would champion his rarefied and esoteric music, especially his work for solo cello, "Trilogy -- The Three Ages of Man" (1956-1965), which he dedicated to her. On this 2006 ECM New Series CD, Uitti serves up compelling performances of the microtonal "Ygghur" (1961) -- the third section from the "Trilogy" -- and the modal "Ave Maria" and "Alleluja" (both 1970) from "Three Latin Prayers," arranged from the version for solo voice. These are interleaved with three works adapted for string orchestra, played with shimmering sonorities by the Münchener Kammerorchester, conducted by Christoph Poppen. "Ohoi" (1966), "Anâgâmin" (1965), and "Natura renovatur" (1967) feature tone clusters, glissandi, harmonics, and unusual bowing techniques; apart from their transcendental meanings, they may be regarded as concentrated technical studies with incidental atmospheric qualities. Uitti's cello performances, however, are essential to this CD's import, and the placid stillness she communicates in "Ave Maria" and "Alleluja" is quite similar to the timeless effect of Gregorian chant; this was perhaps Scelsi's intention, though one has to wonder how else these pieces could be interpreted. Yet "Ygghur" occupies the central position on this fairly symmetrical program, and while it seems to be Uitti's most raptly meditative performance, it is also the most directly communicative in emotional depth and physical presence. ECM's engineering is exceptional, finely balanced between clear details in the foreground and full background resonance.

Product Details

Release Date: 06/27/2006
Label: Ecm Records
UPC: 0028947631064
catalogNumber: 000668602


  1. Ohoi "The Creative Principles", for 16 strings
  2. Latin Prayers (3), for voice (or chorus): Ave Maria
  3. Anagamin, for 12 strings
  4. Trilogia (Die drei Lebensalter des Menschen), for solo cello: Ygghur. First movement
  5. Trilogia (Die drei Lebensalter des Menschen), for solo cello: Ygghur. Second movement
  6. Trilogia (Die drei Lebensalter des Menschen), for solo cello: Ygghur. Third movement
  7. Natura renovatur, for 11 string instruments (derived from String Quartet No.4)
  8. Latin Prayers (3), for voice (or chorus): Alleluja

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