In just over an hour, the ensemble covered a really wide field of S. Sciarrino’s work, where two different languages of his music collide. One of them involves the use of already existing works and styles by playing with form and constructing elaborate mosaics – “something heard” does not manage to take full form and already becomes another “something heard”.
For this purpose, the “heard-of” composer uses quotes from the work of various periods and composers – from the Renaissance to the 20th century. musicals. These quotations are contrasted in the program with original compositions, where all attention is focused on the sound, its acoustic specificity, each time you stop and listen.
This was also the case with the first piece of the concert – “Esplorazione del bianco II”, scrupulously exploring the limits of fragility through strings and brass.
Another composition with a similar focus was “Omaggio a Burri”, which combined the dripping (and perhaps ticking) of the brass – flute and saxophone – with the eloquent gaps between the sounds. In this piece, one of the qualities that is also admirable in the composer’s other works was particularly beautifully revealed – long and listened to pauses, a porous texture that leaves lightness, an avalanche of sounds that does not burden the listener, but leaves a lot of space for the motive – and in this case, the sound – to spread without stopping the dramaturgical development.
A completely different side of the composer was revealed during the works “Adagio di Mozart” and “Anamorfosi”. The first is like the music of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart with two spoonfuls of sugar, written and performed with an extremely light and sweet touch.
The second is the transformation of the motive of Nazi Herb Brown’s song “Singing in the Rain” into brilliant piano passages.
But what happens when these two superpowers of the composer – the love of the past and pre-existing music and the modern musical language that explores sound and silence – collide? This was revealed during the last two pieces of the concert.
“Gesualdo senza parole”, based on the music of the baroque composer Carlo Gesualdo, is a baroque mirage with faded borders that perfectly blends into the baroque spaces of St. Catherine’s Church. At the end of the concert – the premiere of “Paesaggi con macerie”. This mosaic of fragments of Frédéric Chopin’s mazurkas, stitched together with equal pauses, created a somewhat melancholic atmosphere with vague references to war.
The real star of the evening was the Icarus ensemble. S. Sciarrino’s music flowed very freely and organically for the professional and charismatic team. It turns out that it is possible (without pointing fingers at some Lithuanian collectives) to perform both contemporary music focused on sound and acoustics, as well as baroque, classicism or even jazz inclusions in it, without losing their uniqueness.
In addition, St. Catherine’s Church turned out to be an excellent space, capturing even the smallest nuances of the instruments.