SALVATORE SCIARRINO (b.1947): V Sonata (w/both Salzburg and definitive finales), 2 Notturni, Notturni Nos. 3 & 4, 2 Notturni Crudeli, Polveri Laterali.
Catalogue Number: 10J110
Reference: MET CD 1077
Description: Those familiar with Sciarrino's theatrical, vocal and ensemble works, with their shadowy, ambiguous sonorities and frequent excursions to the edge of silence will likely find this disc something of a revelation; for the remarkable aptitude with which Sciarrino's highly idiomatic vocabulary is translated to the medium of the piano; and the effectiveness of the pieces a piano works in their own right. That the composer incorporates little subtle tappings and 'unplayed' (or very nearly) sounds, is of course entirely to be expected, as are the sustained sounds which after a while one forgets are emanating from a piano. The piano music itself is frequently fragmentary and shadowy; little clusters or single notes, or repeated notes with the subtlest dynamic gradations; fleeting gestures of immaculate precision - in the case of the 4th nocturne, rather unexpectedly, these pile one on the other in a tumultuous (though still predominantly sotto voce) continuous stream of activity which might give certain 'complexicists' a run for their money, while the Two Cruel Nocturnes have an insistent brutality which relates them directly to Stockhausen's Klavierstücke,a type of writing also present in sections of the 5th Sonata, which is presented here in two versions with different endings (from the possible 5 provided by the composer). Sciarrino as a major piano composer of the avant garde? Apparently so. Nicolas Hodges (piano).