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Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji


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Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji (14th August 1892-15th October 1988) was a pianist, music journalist, and composer of mixed Parsi and Spanish-Italian/Sicilian descent, who was born and lived in Epping, Essex, England. Although born Leon Dudley, he strongly identified with his Parsi heritage, rather than with his British birth.

His works were influenced by Charles-Valentin Alkan, Ferruccio Busoni (to whom his second piano sonata is dedicated), Leopold Godowsky, Max Reger, Karol Szymanowski, Alexander Scriabin, and Frederick Delius. He was a friend of Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock) and became a music journalist in part because of their friendship.

Describing the music of Sorabji is not an easy task because of its uniqueness. One could describe it as neo-romanticism with a pantonal vocabulary. His work Opus Clavicembalisticum (1930) for solo piano takes about four and a half hours to play, and consists of three sections each divided into several movements. It was once listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest piano piece ever written. However Sorabji’s Symphonic Variations, which occupies 500 pages of manuscript, takes even longer — about six hours

Characteristic of his work is the use, inspired by Busoni, of baroque forms — chorale prelude, passacaglia, and fugue — with harmonies, melodies, and approaches that are not neoclassical as usually understood.

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  • RedArmada

    Some of his pieces approach a sort of madness, as if a master pianist is going insane in the course of performing

    20 Jan 9:27am Reply
  • VaeVictus3

    Does anyone know where I can download Symphonia Brevis?

    21 May 2013 Reply
  • Pelecan

    His music sounds like the rain in my ears, especially Fantasie Espagnole

    14 May 2013 Reply
  • progtrance7

    probably the deepest shit ever

    1 Jun 2012 Reply
  • insomniacme


    3 Dec 2011 Reply
  • Hoopla1

    Could anyone post a free link to Sorabji's Piano Concerto no. 5? I've been searching for that recording for ages. Thanks!

    5 Jul 2010 Reply
  • KZ


    17 May 2010 Reply
  • pornogothic

    if one searches [spam] for 'Opus Clavicembalisticum', he might find there two different performances of the entire work. The links are still working.

    24 Mar 2010 Reply
  • Kohpnyn

    i'm waiting on opus clavicembalisticum from a private tracker (few seeders. at 80%). i'll upload to mediafire after.

    24 Mar 2010 Reply
  • blackless

    Very impressive

    13 Mar 2010 Reply
  • emaskye

    fuck yes kirby super star you are the best contemporary composer ever

    6 Sep 2009 Reply
  • AudiophiliaX

    Absolute Genius, respect.

    28 Feb 2009 Reply
  • emergingsynergy

    Try fabulous and powerful performances by Michael Habermann.

    19 Jan 2009 Reply
  • anticreature

    oh! I was amazed with Sorbjji's music, but I don't know where I could find some of his pieces (especially I'm looking for his Opus Clavicembalisticum). could anybody write a link to his piece(s) in my PM? I really mad about him! anyone! ;-)

    27 Sep 2008 Reply
  • KraeheK

    :D Teamwork!

    13 Jul 2008 Reply
  • theonlycossar

    yay! 1,001!

    28 Jun 2008 Reply
  • KraeheK

    Gonna have to get these plays over 1k.

    29 May 2008 Reply
  • theonlycossar

    Just started listening to his stuff and it's intense

    12 Apr 2008 Reply
  • Pogotrucci

    128 playz this week and I'm still not in the top listeners? Will it ever update itself. RedGlow has been the only listner for years now

    30 Jul 2007 Reply
  • Pogotrucci

    Glad to see some Sorabjiners here ;D

    5 Jul 2007 Reply
  • All 23 shouts

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