Horatio Radulescu
At the heart of sound

This is the first world monography dedicated to one of the most important composers of the second half of the 20th century. Since the Seventies, and up to his death, Radulescu  was a protagonist of European music; he was commissioned works which premiered at the most important festivals in France and Germany and then were performed all over Europe. This is a very clever book, which includes top level articles. The Book was born from a close contact relationship between Brizzi and Radulescu; all that is written by Brizzi was discussed with and approved by the Maestro, therefore acquiring an official character.
No doubt, the Father of the liberation of sound from the limitations imposed by structuralism was John Cage. We must “Look behind the veils imposed by music”, as Debussy said emphasizing the need to free the concept of music from cultural superstructure, in order to attain a pure sound. But together with this need for sound purity, for a return to a primeval sound, in France, from Couperin to Boulez, composers had always been worried by the clarté and the cogito which represented the pain and pleasure of French musical thought, together with the so called spectral music.
Aldo Brizzi’s work is haunted by Giacinto Scelsi’s ghost. Scelsi’s appreciation of Radulescu’s work is clearly shown by a letter, here included, which acquires an enormous value if we think how little Scelsi wrote and said about his own life.
Scelsi was a true shaman, he considered himself the connection between the cosmic world of sounds and the too human world of egotistical beings. Scelsi realized, more than anyone else, the ethos of listening. He succeded in becoming a sort of sound echo. His way of listening into the depth was a kind of prayer.
Harmonic sounds are like shadows of the real sound and this symbolism brings us to Jung’s idea of memory of distant worlds, either dreamt or foreshadowed; to the myth of the forest; but above all the shadow is the other dwelling inside us and belonging to us.
Radulescu is able to charm the audience because he himself is charmed by sound, it is an ecstasy which makes him participate in what surrounds him, and become one with sound, clouds, mountains, water (as in Nono’s later work, when he talked about the silence, and the light sound vibration produced by the sea in Venice).
In those who experience music in the way Radulescu did, something strange happens, something capable of turning activity into passivity; the more the musician concentrates on sound the more it becomes vast and misterious. This sound entity and Radulescu join in a vortex, everything happens in sudden revelations.
Music must regain its dignity, beyond hegemonic thought and the supremacy of technique, but also beyond sentimentalism; we must dare to start from the beginning, as Radulescu did, whose work, after the time of structuralism and neo-romantic emptiness,  becomes exemplary.

(Abstract by Chiara Calabrese)

Renzo Cresti - sito ufficiale