Work

Movements

  • 1. With Great Tenderness • Avec une grande tendresse (dolcissimo)
  • 2. The Spirit Calls: Dualism, Ambivalence, Conflict • L’appel de l’esprit: dualisme, ambivalence, conflit (drammatico)
  • 3. The Soul Awakens… • L’âme se réveille… (con transparenza)
  • 4. … and Falls Once More Into Pathos, But Now With a Sense of Imminent Release • … et tombe de nouveau dans le pathos mais maintenant avec un pressentiment de la libération (con tristezza)
  • 5. Liberation, Catharsis • Libération, catharsis

Performances

Program Notes

The third string quartet is the only piece for which Scelsi gives us a “programme” — that is, a story for us to follow, in which we can understand the music. The drama of the piece is the journey between mental states, symbolized first by the pitch B-flat (with it’s associate E-flat) eventually, by the end of the piece, reaching to an F.

This motion is so simple that as listeners we are lead into the sound, our attention is on the details, the resonance and energy of each moment. Through this “inward” listening, we are taken into the five states of being represented by the five movements.

Cassandra Miller