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Luciano Berio: El mar la mar

  • for soprano, mezzo-soprano and 7 instruments
  • fl, cl(2), hp, chromatic acc, vc, cb
  • Duration: 12’
  • Soloists:
  • Instrumentation details:
    flute (+picc)
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb (+bass cl(Bb))
    chromatic accordion
  • Composer: Luciano Berio
  • Text author: Rafael Alberti
  • Dedication: à Jacques et Marilu Mehler

Work introduction

El mar al mar is an early setting of a poem by the Spaniard Rafael Alberti; Berio reworked it 17 years later for flute, two clarinets, chromatic accordion, harp, cello and contrabass. Although the piece consists of three verse-settings, two parts can be characteristically differentiated: a lyrical movement of beguiling beauty, in which the soloists’ sustained notes seem to anticipate Birtwistle’s vocal style, and a fast, frolicsome movement featuring a prominent part for the accordion.

Translation © 2012 by Grant Chorley


World première

Milano (IT)

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