Luciano Berio: Cries of London

Luciano Berio Cries of London
Cries of London

Luciano Berio: Cries of London

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for 8 voices
Luciano Berio
Text author:
Luciano Berio
2S, 2A, 2T, 2B
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Cries of London

Work introduction

Originally written for the six members of the King’s Singers, Berio reworked Cries of London for eight voices (SATB, two voices to each part), adding three sections. The words are compiled from phrases used by street vendors in old London, but the music is in no way a stylisation of folk-tunes. It is more like an echo of the street vendors’ voices, as the composer absorbed them as they rebounded from the walls of the old houses.

The piece calls for voices singing “instrumentally,” without vibrato, to perform their highly virtuosic music, which is by turns abstractly polyphonic, richly melodic and humorous.

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World première

La Rochelle (FR)

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