Music of Edgar Varèse Vol. 2
"Arcana" - Requires an orchestra of 120 musicians: 70 strings, 8 percussionists playing some 40 percussion instruments, 8 horns, 5 each of the standard woodwinds, 5 trumpets, 3 trombones, 2 tubas, 2 sarrusophones, heckelphone, contrabass clarinet, contrabass trombone. First performed April 8, 1927 by The Philadelphia Orchestra, Leopold Stokowski conducting. "Déserts" - 2 flutes (sometimes piccolos), 2 clarinets (sometimes small clarinet and bass clarinet), 2 horns, 3 trumpets, 3 trombones, bass tuba, contrabass tuba, piano, percussion, 2 magnetic tapes of electronically organized sounds transmitted on two channels by means of a stereophonic system. First performed in Paris in 1954 by the Orchestre National, Hermann Scherchen conducting. "Déserts" was conceived for two different media: instrumental sounds and sounds electronically produced. After planning the work as a whole, Edgar Varèse wrote the instrumental score, always keeping in mind its relation to the organized sound sequence on tape to be interpolated at three different points in the score. The title "Déserts" should not lead the listener to expect descriptive music. "Déserts" has said that there is no program, no literal reference. For him but not, he insists, necessarily for anyone else, the word, desert, suggests not only "all physical deserts (of sand, sea, snow, of outer space, of empty city streets) but also the deserts in the mind of man; not only those stripped aspects of nature that suggest bareness, aloofness, timelessness,-but also that remote inner space no telescope can reach, where man is alone, a world of mystery and essential loneliness." "Offrandes" - Soprano voice, piccolo, flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, horn, trumpet, trombone, harp, solo strings, percussion. First performed in New York in 1922 by the International Composers Guild conducted by Carlos Salzedo with Nina Koshetz, soprano.