Milanese jazz pianist Giorgio Gaslini, born 1929, led a successful career in jazz, film soundtrack and contemporary music. In the 1960s, his contemporary music compositions were published by Milan-based label Durium (Composizioni Cameristiche, 1966, Grido, 1968, Segnali, 1968). In 1960, he famously composed the unforgettable music to Michelangelo Antonioni’s film La Notte, a deep, melancholic paean to night life. Gaslini went on to collaborate with film makers Carlo Lizzani and Dario Argento – he wrote half of the soundtrack for Profondo Rosso with Goblin in 1975, for instance. See Gaslini’s official website for more info.
♫ Published in 1968, this disc gathers three of Giorgio Gaslini’s contemporary music compositions of the 1960s. A masterful aural perambulation led by an unnamed rhapsode, Segnali, written in 1966 for solo oboe, is a succession of mysterious, semaphoric notes forming a captivating network of poetic pointillism. The instrument may sound hieratic and ancient, yet its sharp notes unmissably resonate in the present time like a warning. Canto dalla città Inquieta (or Song of the Worried City) is the fifth movement of Totale I, a large composition in 5 parts for orchestra and tape written 1965-66. Canto… artfully fuses pre-recorded sounds with orchestral interjections to create a disturbing soundscape inspired by a cityscape, according to the title. The tape parts include various noises, street sounds, film dialogues, children’s choir, and are used as a constant background, like in Luigi Nono’s Intolleranza 1960 (1961) or A floresta é jovem e cheja de vida (1966) – minus the dialectics, that is. Composed in 1968, Una specialità delle Cantine Verità is a miniature opera with a cast of 4 performers, a soprano singer and 3 instrumentists. The scene takes place in 1942 in a cabaret where five Italians, all played by the singer, “mauled and exhausted by war, express their pain, their nostalgia, their fears and helplessness” about war (from liner notes). Lyrics come from various texts by Bertold Brecht, Marko Angelow and Giorgio Gaslini himself. The 3 instrumentists double as protagonists as well, and harp, oboe and acoustic guitar seem to reply and dialogue with the singer in a performance that is thus very close to musical theatre.
01 Segnali (16:20)
Alberto Caroldi, oboe
02 Canto dalla città Inquieta – for orchestra and tape (11:24)
International Chamber Ensemble
Giorgio Gaslini, conductor
03 Una specialità delle Cantine Verità – pocket opera (12:43)
Françoise Rousseau, soprano
Lidia Borri Motola, harp
Alfio Gerbi, oboe
Alan O’Casy, guitar
Giorgio Gaslini, conductor
Total time 40:27
LP released by Durium, ref. ms AI 77190, Milan, Italy, 1968