14 April 2016 - EMPAC
The Music of Salvatore Sciarrino

 Click on the image to be taken to the event page.

Click on the image to be taken to the event page.

Existing at the edge of what can be heard, the music of Italian composer Salvatore Sciarrino (b. 1947) is identified by whispers of sound that punctuate a canvas of silence. Often touching upon Italian medieval and Renaissance culture as an inspiration, Sciarrino distills the sounds he uses in his compositions down to their essence to create music that exists outside of the noise of daily modern life. For his new approach to old ideas, he has become one of the best known and respected European composers working today, with more than 100 recordings of his work. His fragile music requires exceptional focus from its performers, stretching their technique and control to extremes.

One of Sciarrino’s best known works for chamber ensemble, Infinito Nero, frames the vocal outbursts of 16th century mystic St. Mary Magdalene de' Pazzi with gentle and metronomic raindrops of sound. Lo Spazio Inverso for five players creates islands of sound in a sea of silence, paradoxically creating motion out of stasis. The program concludes with L’Altro Giardino for eight players and voice, an expansion and elaboration of his previous work, 2008’s Il giardino di Sara.

This performance is conducted by Rensselaer Arts Department faculty Nicholas DeMaison and features vocalist Amanda DeBoer Bartlett.


  • Infinito Nero (1998) — flute, oboe, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, cello, voice
  • Lo Spazio Inverso (1985) — flute, clarinet, celesta, violin, cello
  • L’Altro Giardino (2009) — flute, English horn, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, viola, cello, voice