The first recording of his 32-minute grand cantata La nascita del Verbo. Steeped in chromaticism, with hints of Scriabin and a sea of percussion, Nascita boasts a vast double fugue (one of the most imposing in the history of music) and a forty-seven voice canon in twelve keys. This work, "truly written in blood," left Scelsi "in a deplorable state," afterwards he stopped composing for several years.
One of Scelsi's infamous pieces is the Quattro Pezzi (su una nota sola). Each piece is limited to one pitch with micro-fluctuations of sound (vibratos, slurs, spectral changes, tremolos...). Because of the nearly total abandonment of harmonics, the listener concentrates on new sonorous subtleties, on the orchestra's timbre as a whole.
In 1966, he completed the ferocious, tormented, complex Uaxuctum. The myths and mysteries of this Mayan city is reflected in Scelsi's compositional process: new instrumental and vocal techniques (breathing noises, nasal sounds, muted or inhaled gutturals...), rhythmic incantations, a petrified flow of time. Few woodwinds, a string section consisting of six double basses, lots of brass, and, in addition to a timpanist, no less than seven percussionists!
Reviews"The orchestral disc is the most varied of the three, and offers perhaps the best introduction to Scelsi's strange, quasi-mystical world. The Four Pieces on a Single Note, from 1959, is arguably his best known work; Uaxuctum, his 1966 evocation of a Mayan civilisation, includes a chorus and an ondes martenot in the aural mix.