Sabine Liebner

Giacinto Scelsi: Suite 9 & 10 per pianoforte

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AllMusic Review by Blair Sanderson

Giacinto Scelsi was mysterious about his compositional methods, and much of his music appears to have been created improvisationally and tape recorded for later transcription by other hands. The piano suites Ttai (1953) and Ka (1954) were conceived through this process, and it yielded pieces of repetitious patterns, restricted harmonies, and blurred sonorities, which invite introspection from the performer and listener alike. Pianist Sabine Liebner is a noted champion of avant-garde music, particularly of the works of John Cage, and her sympathy for Scelsi's music has inspired evocative and moody performances that make it more convincing than any verbal description can. If one of the essential qualities of Scelsi's meditative compositions is a sense of timelessness, Liebner achieves that effect through her controlled dynamics and even touch, which maintain the music's feeling of stasis, even when harmonic and gestural changes are plainly evident. Even so, Scelsi's narrow range of ideas and subjective mysticism aren't for everybody, and listeners may find that these suites are fairly limited in substance and atmosphere.

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