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Luciano Berio: Air

  • from "Opera" (1969)
  • for soprano and orchestra
  • 2 1 2 2 - 3 0 0 0 - perc(3), pno(2), e.org, alto sax, t.sax, str(without vln)
  • Duration: 7’
  • Soloists:
    soprano
  • Instrumentation details:
    2 fl, ob, 2 cl(Bb), alto sax(Eb), tenor sax(Bb), bs, cbsn - 3 hr - perc(3) (also vib, mar, tam-tam), e-org, 2 pno, str. without violins
  • Composer: Luciano Berio
  • Text author: Alessandro Striggio
  • Dedication: to Cristina with love

Work introduction

Air, for voice, violin, viola, cello and piano, was written in 1970 for I Solisti di Torino. The text is an English translation of a few fragments from Act I of Monteverdi’s Orfeo. Voice, string trio and piano are treated as separate entities, each developing independently its own discourse. Now and then the three discourses converge, revealing their common character.

Air, dedicated to my daughter Cristina, may also be listened to simply as a love song.

Now as the tunes change
Now gay now sad behold the trav’ller
From whom only a short time ago
Sighs were food and tears were drink
Rose of the sky life of the world
When did you see a more joyful lover.
Do you remember…

Luciano Berio

The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Location:
Rovereto (IT)
Date:
30.11.1970
Main soloists:
Alide Maria Salvetta

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