'Songs without lachrymose, sentimental lyricisms, being instead "phonetic gestures", cries, screams, exhalations; pantings, whisperings, cascades of syllables, a carpet of ornaments in sound; lines curling round each other and repeating each other in circles, similar to each other, but not the same; that is why this music is nature-like, why it moves us and moves itself'. Shortly after the death of Giacinto Scelsi in 1988, Jürg Wyttenbach recorded these impressions--impressions that he had received at a performance of Taiagarù and other works by the singer Michiko Hirayama in 1976 (see dissonanz / dissonance No. 18, November 1988, p. 12). Wyttenbach's description includes a word that is astonishing, for Scelsi's hagiographers would like best of all to see it banned from discussion of his work: 'Lieder' ('Songs'). The West German discovery of Scelsi in the 1980s was an event of Messianic character that was welcomed in a choice of vocabulary that was correspondingly devoid of inhibitions. He was celebrated as a manifestation that was far removed from the framework of Eurocentric descriptions of music history, in order to be used as a figure of identification by the adherents of a numinous poetics. The ennoblement of Scelsi's technique as 'incommensurable composing' (Heinz-Klaus Metzger) remains the measuring rod used by many today. His music is still regarded as 'impossible to analyse' (see, for example, the article on him in the dictionary Komponisten der Gegenwart -- Contemporary Composers), which opinion has received dubious confirmation in a furore of ever-growing numbers of musicological investigations of his work--not least as a defence against campaigns waged by certain of his transcribers in an effort to trivialize him.
Reviews"Marianne Schuppe's lustrous voice imbues the material with a hallowed aura, albeit one without obvious religious hues. Having studied with Scelsi colleague Michiko Hirayama, one can confer a degree of authenticity onto Schuppe's performances, though it should be noted that Scelsi granted substantial interpretative leeway to the performers of his music. Consequently, the line between Scelsi's intentions and Schuppe's conceptions is shrouded. Captivatingly so." - Point of Departure