Universal Edition - Blog

Berio’s Naturale the ‘star’ of the What’s Next? Ensemble’s show

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 August 2013

Luciano Berio, Naturale (c) Universal Edition

Mark Swed of the Los Angeles Times on the performance of Berio’s Naturale on 24 August at the Monk Space in Los Angeles:

“Luciano Berio's score for viola, percussion and recorded voice investigates the intersections of world cultures in the folk traditions of Sicily, with a late 20th-century viola twist. Naturale also happens to be one the greatest solo works of any time or place for the instrument. And this collective of young performers and composers includes, in John Stulz, a virtuoso able to capture the full rapture of Berio's daring viola writing.”

Find the full article on the Los Angeles Times.

Centro Studi Luciano Berio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 June 2013

Centro Studi Luciano Berio NL

The Centro Studi Luciano Berio’s latest Newsletter is online, you can find it here. Also, do not miss out on their new page Per Luciano and their list of upcoming concerts, which has more than 20 entries for the next 4 months.

Per Luciano

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 27 May 2013

Centro Studi Luciano BerioToday, on the tenth anniversary of the death of Luciano Berio, the Centro Studi Luciano Berio devoted a “room” on their website to him. Here, friends, family and colleagues speak with him and about him, expressing their touching memories:

Per Luciano

Berio's SOLO at the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 10 May 2013

Luciano Berio (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch, 2000Christian Lindberg and the Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino perform Luciano Berio’s SOLO on 11 May in Florence during the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. Zubin Mehta conducts. Berio wrote the ‘concerto’ for trombone and orchestra in 1999 for Lindberg:

“It’s not a concerto in the real sense of the word, even if the solo part is extremely, almost absurdly difficult. The orchestral element is partially generated from the trombone voice, but the development and substance of the discourses differ enormously. The trombone and orchestra occasionally share the same key note, but they do not communicate with each other. SOLO is thus less of a concerto and more of an encounter between two solitudes.” (Luciano Berio)

Luciano Berio: SOLO
for trombone and orchestra | 22’
5 1 5 1 - 4 4 3 1 - alto sax, t.sax, str(12 0 8 8 6)
11/5/2013, Florence; Christian Lindberg, tbn; Orchestra e Coro del Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, cond. Zubin Mehta


Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 May 2013

Regarding yesterday’s post about the world première of Passaggio 50 years ago: as we rummaged through our archives, we found some interesting photos. In November 2000, Luciano Berio visited us at UE where he found – and corrected – a slip of the pen.

Luciano Berio (c) Eric Marinitsch, Universal Edition

50 years of Passaggio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 06 May 2013

Luciano Berio, Stockhausen, Berberian, Nono, 1956 (c) Otto TomekLuciano Berio’s Passaggio (for soprano, two choirs and instruments) was performed for the first time fifty years ago, on 6 May 1963 at the Piccola Scala in Mailand. The concert caused a scandal when it premièred: “I knew the audience would lose their heads so I briefed the choir accordingly. I told the choir that they should join in as soon as the audience starts shouting, echo the last word and improvise on it. And that’s exactly what happened. Some people shouted ‘Buffoni’. The choir echoed the word immediately, sped it up, whispered it, lengthened the ‘o’ and turned the improvisation into part of the performance. The audience became completely hysterical because they had lost their chance to protest.”

(Luciano Berio)

View the full score of Passaggio:

Luciano Berio

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 30 January 2013

Luciano Berio (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

On 1 February 2013, Dima Slobodeniouk conducts a memorial concert at the Auditorium Toscanini in Torino to honour the distinguished composer who passed away ten years ago († 27 May 2003). The Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino is performing three of Berio’s key works.

Luciano Berio: Eindrücke
for orchestra | 11’
Luciano Berio: Requies
for chamber orchestra | 17’
Luciano Berio: Sinfonia
for 8 voices and orchestra | 35’
Neue Vocalsolisten
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino; c. Dima Slobodeniouk

A guide to Luciano Berio’s music

Posted on 11 December 2012

Luciano Berio (Photo Eric Marinitsch)

In the latest instalment of his Guide to Contemporary Classical Music in The Guardian, Tom Service presents the music of Luciano Berio.

“Wherever you start with Berio, you won't want to end, only keep listening, listening on …”

Luciano Berio’s Ofanim in Paris

Posted on 08 June 2012

Luciano Berio (photo: Eric Marinitsch)

Ensemble intercontemporain gives the French première of Luciano Berio’s Ofanim tomorrow. Susanna Mälkki conducts.

Pierre-Yves Macé introduces the work in the ensemble’s Accents online series, (in French).

The Ninth of March, by Berio and Birtwistle

Posted on 09 March 2012

Harrison Birtwistle (photo: Eric Marinitsch)

Harrison Birtwistle’s Silbury Air for chamber ensemble was given its world première on 9 March 1977 by the London Sinfonietta.

“Silbury Air is named after Silbury Hill, a prehistoric mound in Wiltshire, the biggest artificial mound in Europe, being 125 feet high and covering more than five acres. Its use and purpose, after centuries of speculation, still remain a mystery.”

(Harrison Birtwistle)

“A vigorous and eventful fifteen minute piece, full of sharp motoric rhythms that (until the very end) tend to accelerate.

The result is dramatic and immediately exciting, contradicting in its vitality the idea of static blocks of sound on which Birtwistle has usually relied, but equally showing the firmest possible architectural sense, with each section relating naturally and satisfyingly to the rest. With so much argument crammed into so relatively short a span, it is a work that cries out for early repetition.”

(Edward Greenfield, The Guardian 10.03.1977)

Luciano Berio’s La vera storia (Azione musicale in 2 parti) was given its world première on 9 March 1982 at the Scala in Milan.

“To say what happens in La Vera Storia is not easy, and I don’t know that it’s all that useful, granted that this is a work which tells its own story … If I weren’t afraid of being misunderstood or appearing rude, I wouldn’t even have written these lines.“

(Luciano Berio)

Wolfgang Schreiber said of the première: “Berio’s theme is tension, and the violent conflict between individual and state or society, of people and power, of freedom and authority.”

Berio Stage Works Symposium in Paris

Posted on 17 November 2011

CdmcLuciano Berio’s Stage Works:
Opera and La Vera Storia

The Centre de documentation de la musique contemporaine in Paris is hosting a two-day symposium on Luciano Berio and his stage works.

Read more on the Cdmc website.

Visit also the Centro Studi Luciano Berio.

Performances around the world

Posted on 08 November 2011

Luciano for everWhile the Wien Modern festival is raging here in Vienna, here’s a quick look at some other performances around the world this week.

Cornelius Cardew: Autumn 60 at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester

Luciano Berio: Linea for 2 pianos, vibraphone and marimba, performed by musikFabrik in Cologne.

Morton Feldman: Rothko Chapel at the esplanade in Singapore

Alexander Zemlinsky: Der Zwerg continues at the Bavarian State Opera in Munich, together with Ravel’s L’enfant et les sortilèges (see videos)

Julian Yu: Philopentatonia at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo

You can see a full list of all forthcoming performances in our calendar.

New Berio documents online

Posted on 30 May 2011 (comments: 1)

Berio E si fussi pisciEight years after Luciano Berio’s death, the Centro Studi Luciano Berio has published new photographs and four unpublished manuscripts related to his favourite Sicilian folksong, E si fussi pisci.

You can even listening to a unique recording of Berio singing the song.

Buy the choral version of E si fussi pisci in our online shop.

The Centro also pays tribute to Edoardo Sanguineti, who died last year, with previously unpublished photographs and manuscripts.

Pierre-Yve Macé on Berio’s Sinfonia

Posted on 14 April 2011

Luciano BerioSomething for our French-speaking readers:

As part of their autour d’une œuvre series, the ensemble intercontemporain has published Pierre-Yve Macé’s essay on Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia.

See also his article on Berio’s Recital for Cathy (with video).

Ensemble intercontemporain next performs UE works at its Scène ouverte concert on 28 April, including Kagel’s Ludwig van, Stockhausen’s Klavierstücke and Boulez’ Domaines.

Berio’s Recital for Cathy with Measha Brueggergosman

Posted on 10 March 2011

Measha BrueggergosmanMeasha Brueggergosman and Ensemble Intercontemporain revive their 2008 production of Luciano Berio’s Recital for Cathy this March. Peter Eötvös conducts.

Performances start today in Barcelona, followed by Cologne, Lisbon, Antwerp and Amsterdam. See the Ensemble Intercontemporain website for details, as well as a video excerpt of the 2008 performance. 

In a break from rehearsals in Paris, Measha Brueggergosman gave us her impression of Berio’s work.

(View on Vimeo)