Book Series Contemporary Composers, vol. 2

Giacinto Scelsi: Music across the Borders

Federico Celestini (ed)

  • Pages: 448 p.
  • Size:220 x 280 mm
  • Illustrations:3 b/w, 30 musical examples
  • Language(s):English, French, German
  • Publication Year:2019

  • ISBN: 978-2-503-58644-1
  • Hardback
  • Available

This volume proposes new approaches to Scelsi's musical works.


Federico Celestini is Professor for Musicology and Head of the Music Department at the University of Innsbruck. He is a corresponding member of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) and President of the Austrian Society of Musicology. His publications include books on Haydn’s Piano Sonatas, on Viennese Modernism and on Nietzsche’s music philosophy. Celestini is Co-Editor of Acta Musicologica


The work of the Italian composer Giacinto Scelsi (1905-1988) brings a special urgency to the main questions of musical thought. These questions concern subjectivity in composition and music making; the relationship between sound, structure, and form; the relationship between improvisation and composition; and the role of musical writing in terms of composition and performance. This is undoubtedly also the product of his complex working method, in which improvisation, composition, musical writing, and performance follow one another, each imposing their own, often divergent, mark on the end result. The opening of the Isabella Scelsi Foundation archive in Rome in 2009 highlighted the significance of the composer while facilitating new research perspectives on his work. Now is the right time for a larger publication to document and propagate recent results and new approaches.


Federico Celestini, Preface      
Federico Celestini, Introducing Giacinto Scelsi   

Genesis, Analysis and Performance
Sandro Marrocu, Il compositore fu una cooperativa. Riflessioni su un processo creativo
Christian Utz, Analyzing Scelsi       
Elisabetta Piras, Essere per interpretare, interpretare per essere: prospettive esecutive della musica di Giacinto Scelsi   

Andrea Di Giacomo, Molti pezzi su 88 tasti. Indagine su un catalogo pianistico costruito a posteriori
Ian Dickson, Small Ensemble and Solo Instrumental Works  
Francesca Placanica, Ritual and Embodiment in Giacinto Scelsi’s Solo Works for Voice: A Performance Studies Approach    
Alessandro Cecchi, Giacinto Scelsi compositore di quartetti per archi: un approccio discorsivo 
Friedrich Jaecker, Works for Orchestra and Chorus     

Alessandra Montali, La ricezione scelsiana in ambito musicologico, interpretativo e compositivo
Pierre Albert Castanet, Giacinto Scelsi et la France: Le champ des nébuleuses  
Markus Bandur, Vom «Innern des Tones» und «sakralen Sehnsüchten». Zur Rezeption von Giacinto Scelsis Musik in Deutschland  
Thomas Peattie, Giacinto Scelsi in the USA and in the UK    
Elfriede Reissig, Scelsi in Austria       

Alessandra Carlotta Pellegrini, «Do Not Diminish the Sense Which You Do Not Understand»: Giacinto Scelsi’s Archive, Library, Museum     
Friedrich Jaecker, Catalogue of the Works of Giacinto Scelsi    

Index of Names