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New Sorabji Editions

Young Japanese pianist Shota Ezaki (born 1992) is working on a typeset edition of the Variations and Fugue on Dies Irae (KSS41, 1923-26) by English composer Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (1892-1988), and this edition should be complete towards the end of 2018. This is presumably quite a task, since there are 201 pages of manuscript, and the performance duration is approximately 220 minutes. The work, which has never been performed or recorded, is dedicated to Ferruccio Busoni, and its full title is Variazioni e fuga triplice sopra Dies iræ per pianoforte.

Ezaki has several works by Ronald Stevenson in his repertoire, including the monumental Passacaglia on DSCH.

He has also been performing the Vocalise-Reminiscenza by Alistair Hinton, Curator of the Sorabji Archive. There were two recent performances of this work in Belgium, and Ezaki plans to include it in his 5 August 2018 Tokyo recital.

Another Sorabji composition, Messa Alta Sinfonica (KSS84, 1955-61), a large-scale seven-movement work for orchestra, organ, eight soloists and chorus, is the composer's longest in terms of page count - 1,001 pages of manuscript, and has an approximate duration of 320 minutes. François Fabre began making a typeset edition of this piece in December 2004, completed it in the Summer of 2016, and this new edition has now been available since November 2017. The new edition apparently also has 1,001 pages, and this is significant since the Middle Eastern folk tales comprising One Thousand and One Nights are part of the composer's heritage.

Sorabji was born in Essex to a Zoroastrian Parsi father and an English mother. He spent most of his life in England, and was a friend of Peter Warlock. A small private income allowed him to devote his life to composition.


Posted: 1 April 2018

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