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As with a number of his other compositions (e.g. Passaggio, Aronne, Calmo), Berio was inspired by a poem by Edoardo Sanguineti (1930-2010). Berio was fascinated by what he saw as its “echo-chamber of memory, where aspects of the mundane, the universal, the banal and the speculative, the personal and the poetic all meld in a strict and sometimes unsparing construction.”
The result is a unique piece of music, a strange, highly original world shaped by Berio’s imagination and enriched with recollections of ancient Italian literary and musical genres, including Monteverdi’s.