Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Berio: Sequenzas II & VII, Differences, Chamber Music

"Is an instrument bounded by the reality of the individual piece someone happens to be playing on it ... ? And is a musical work like an island, cut off from the rest of music history by a sea of difference so that the perimeter of one piece never impinges on the coast of another? ... [B]oth of those propositions are of course philosophical bunk, and one of the composers who proved that most clearly ... is ... the Italian composer Luciano Berio, who was born in 1926 and died in 2003. ... [T]he Sequenzas for solo instruments that Berio started writing in the mid-1950s ... run through the rest of his life in music, from the Sequenza I for Severino Gazzelloni's flute in 1958 to number XIV for cello, composed in 2002. Each sequenza (sequence) is a compositional love-letter from Berio to the repertoires and possibilities of each instrument. But while a piece like the eighth in the, er, sequence of Sequenzas for violin refracts the virtuoso traditions of the instrument through a colourful modernist prism, it also opens up a new kind of soundworld in its volatile extremes of density and dynamic. ... Others of my favourites [include] number III for voice, composed in 1965 for his ex-wife Cathy Berberian" (Tom Service, "A Guide to Luciano Berio's Music," The Guardian, 12/10/12).

View catalog record here!


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