Luciano Berio: Concerto

Luciano Berio Concerto

Luciano Berio: Concerto

Year of composition:
Scored for:
for 2 pianos and orchestra
Luciano Berio
3 3 4 4 - 2 3 3 1 - perc(3), pno,, alto sax, t.sax, str
Instrumentation details:
1st flute
2nd flute
1st oboe
2nd oboe
cor anglais
clarinet in Eb
1st clarinet in Bb
2nd clarinet in Bb
bass clarinet in Bb
alto saxophone in Eb
tenor saxophone in Bb
1st bassoon
2nd bassoon
3rd bassoon
1st horn in F
2nd horn in F
3rd horn in F
1st trumpet in C
2nd trumpet in C
3rd trumpet in C
1st trombone
2nd trombone
3rd trombone
bass tuba
1st percussion
2nd percussion
electric organ
violin A
violin B
violin C
a Janice e Norman Rosenthal
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The complete perusal score (PDF-preview)

Work introduction

I believe that writing a traditional concerto today has no meaning. There is no longer a way to establish a homogeneity of meaning between one or more soloists and a mass of musicians of different density or nature – such as existed in Baroque, Classical, and Romantic concertos, when the “individual” and the “mass” could practically say the same thing despite their completely different densities and acoustic characters. Today the relationship between soloist and orchestra is a problem that must ever be solved anew, and the word concerto can be taken only as a metaphor. The problem of soloists, however, has always interested me; I have confronted it on many occasions trying to solve it from different angles: with Tempi concertati (1958-1959), for instance, for flute, violin, piano and four orchestral groups, with Chemins I (1965) for harp and orchestra, with Chemins III (1968) for viola and orchestra.

This Concerto, for two pianos and orchestra could equally well have been called Concerti (concertos), since the soloists develops mobile, diversified, and very unstable relationships between themselves and with the soloists of the orchestra, often creating chamber ensembles (piano I and II, flute and piano I, violin and piano II, clarinet and piano I, piano II and strings, etc.); sometimes the orchestra interacts with the soloists, amplifying their parts in a kind of simultaneous transcription. The two soloists are also diversified in terms of different piano techniques and different degrees of identification with the orchestra however, behind all these differences lies a unifying harmonic process: it is revealed at the beginning of Concerto by the two pianos alone, almost like a map consulted before starting a journey.

Concerto was premiered in March 1973 by Bruno Canino and Antonio Ballista with the New York Philharmonic conducted by Pierre Boulez.

Luciano Berio

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Luciano Berio: Concerto

for 2 pianos and orchestra , 25’
Instr.: 3 3 4 4 - 2 3 3 1 - perc(3), pno,, alto sax, t.sax, str

World première

New York (US)
New York Philharmonic
Pierre Boulez
Main soloists:
Bruno Canino und Antonio Ballista

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