Luciano Berio: O King

Luciano Berio O King
O King

Luciano Berio: O King

Year of composition:
1968
Scored for:
for mezzo-soprano and 5 players
Composer:
Luciano Berio
Soloists:
mezzo-soprano
Instrumentation:
fl, cl, vln, vc, pno
Instrumentation details:
flute
clarinet in Bb
violin
violoncello
piano
Table of contents:
O King for voice and five players
Commission:
commissioned by aeolian players
Duration:
5’
Dedication:
to Martin Moore
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Audiosamples

O King
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Work introduction

Martin Luther King, the American pastor and civil-rights activist, was murdered in 1968. His death moved Berio that selfsame year to write a short piece in memorium, its text consisting of King's name only. (That same year, O King became a movement of [Berio’s] Sinfonia).

The voice is treated as part of the ensemble (flute, B-flat clarinet, violin, cello, piano) until the very end. It floats above the sound which is only as it were “punctured” by piano sforzati until, at the close, the mezzo-soprano emerges from the ensemble with a brief lament.

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World première

Location:
Bowdoin College, Maine (US)
Date:
04.05.1968
Orchestra:
Aeolian Chamber Players

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