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Giacinto Scelsi: Suite No​.​9 / Quattro illustrazioni / Un Adieu

by Shira Legmann

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Un Adieu 06:24


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Shira Legmann is an Israeli concert pianist, with a wide repertoire from Baroque to contemporary and experimental music. This album contains three piano works by Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi's: 'Suite No.9 "Ttai"' (1953), 'Quattro illustrazioni' (1953), and 'Un Adieu' (1978/1988).

'Suite No.9' and 'Quattro illustrazioni' were recorded live at two different concerts in 2014, while 'Un Adieu' was recently recorded in a studio in June 2020. This is Legmann's second CD on Elsewhere Music, following the 2019 album 'Barricades' in which she was the pianist for Michael Pisaro's composition for piano/electronics.

"Scelsi's music is something that 'grows' on us both as listeners and musicians. When I first discovered his music about ten years ago, I just dove into studying it, and the connection grew slowly while getting into more and more nuances in the playing. For a few years, I've been fascinated by these three pieces, and have performed them in Israel. It was not an immediate 'crush' but something that has gradually matured in me.

Scelsi was said to be a modest artist. He believed that as a composer, he is merely a mediator. For a substantial period, he composed his piano pieces by improvising: he conceptualized them and then improvised while recording. Later, with the help of friends and assistants, he notated from the recordings and that was his written composition. Since these compositions derive directly from improvisations, I felt the best representation of them would be as recordings of live performances, where there is also an element of risk, surprise, and spirit." (Shira Legmann)

"A whole chapter of recent musical history must be rewritten: the second half of this century is now unthinkable without Scelsi... He has inaugurated a completely new way of making music, hitherto unknown in the West." (Harry Halbreich)

Legmann's clean, supple yet solid piano sounds, which create a perfect balance of coolness and warmth, build a narrative flow with a stunning dynamic range, bringing these rarely performed piano works of Scelsi's back to life into the twenty-first century as timeless masterpieces.

The cover photograph was contributed by David Sylvian. The desolate image of abandoned old piano keys echoes the mysterious Zen silence and discreet yet profound beauty of Scelsi's piano works.


released November 12, 2020



1-9. Suite No.9 "Ttai" (1953)

"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'" (Giacinto Scelsi)

I. Calmo, senza espressione
II. Lentissimo
III. Uguale, senza espressione
IV. Non molto legato, ma sempre appoggiando profondamente
V. Uguale, scorrevole
VI. Lento
VII. Uguale, inespressivo
VIII. Lento
IX. Molto p eguale, non troppo legato

10-13. Quattro illustrazioni (1953)

“four illustrations of the metamorphoses of Vishnu”


14. Un Adieu (1978/1988)

compositions by Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988)

Shira Legmann - piano

Suite No.9 "Ttai" - live concert, recorded and mixed by Itzik Mizrahi at Clairmont Concert Hall, Tel Aviv - Jaffa, December 9, 2014

Quattro illustrazioni - live concert, recorded and mixed by Ronald Boersen at HaTeiva, Tel Aviv - Jaffa, February 27, 2014

Un Adieu - recorded by Rafi Eshel at the Buchmann-Mehta School of Music, Tel Aviv - Jaffa, June 19, 2020, mixed by Taku Unami

mastered by Taku Unami

photography by David Sylvian
design by Yuko Zama
produced by Yuko Zama

special thanks to: Fondazione Isabella Scelsi

p+c 2020 elsewhere music

** streaming of this album is only available on Bandcamp.


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elsewhere Jersey City, New Jersey

elsewhere music is a US-based record label founded in 2018 by Yuko Zama, focusing on new trends in contemporary classical music and beyond, specifically composed works.

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