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Giacinto Scelsi: Manto I-III

for viola solo


For several years Giacinto Scelsi wrote mainly solo works for individual instruments, to each of which he devoted himself all the more intensively. In »Manto«, composed in 1957, scordatura (i.e. the altered tuning of the strings) is used in addition to traditional viola playing, and in the third movement the voice of the violist.


Manto was one of the sybils from Delphi, the oracle of the temple dedicated to Appollon. In Greek mythology, she fell into a trance due to the sulfur vapors rising from the earth near the temple. Her oracular sayings return in Scelsi in enigmatic sounds sung by the »Manto« soloist to the viola.