“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.
Christian 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
Luciano 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.”
View the full score of Passaggio:
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.
for orchestra | 11’
Luciano Berio: Requies
for chamber orchestra | 17’
Luciano Berio: Sinfonia
for 8 voices and orchestra | 35’
Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino; c. Dima Slobodeniouk
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 …”
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.”
“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.“
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.”
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.
While the Wien Modern festival is raging here in Vienna, here’s a quick look at some other performances around the world this week.
Julian Yu: Philopentatonia at the Kunitachi College of Music in Tokyo
You can see a full list of all forthcoming performances in our calendar.
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.
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).
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.