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Luciano Berio: Chemins III

  • (su Chemins II) (1968/1973)
  • for viola and orchestra
  • 4 0 4 3 - 4 4 3 1 - perc(4), hp(2), cel,, str
  • Duration: 15’
  • Soloists:
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    3rd flute
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    3rd clarinet in Bb
    bass clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    3rd horn in F
    4th horn in F
    1st trumpet in C
    2nd trumpet in C
    3rd trumpet in C
    4th trumpet in C
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    3rd trombone
    1st percussion
    2nd percussion
    3rd percussion
    4th percussion
    1st harp
    2nd harp
    electric organ
    violin I
    violin II
  • Composer: Luciano Berio

Work introduction

“Rien de ce que l’on fait n’est jamais fini,” wrote Berio for the premiere performance of this work: “Nothing one does is ever finished.” Sequenza VI is a good example; initially, Berio discovered the possibilities of a work for viola and ensemble (Chemins II), further developing it later on into an orchestral work (Chemins IIb). In Chemins IIc it became a concerto for bass clarinet and orchestra and ultimately, in Chemins III, a viola concerto.

Like all the other versions, this work is a tour de force for the soloist, as the instrument tries to prevail over hostile forces – the orchestra – in the course of the concerto. At the end, the viola stands alone, victorious but exhausted; it has strength enough for one short tremolo, otherwise wearily playing isolated notes until the music abates entirely.


The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

World première

Paris (FR)
Ensemble Musique Vivante
Luciano Berio
Main soloists:
und Orchestre Philharmonique de l'ORTF; Walter Trampler

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