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Luciano Berio: Glosse

  • for string quartet
  • Duration: 6’
  • Instrumentation details:
    1st violin
    2nd violin
  • Composer: Luciano Berio
  • Dedication: a Leonardo Pinzauti, con sincero affetto e profonda stima, nel suo settantesimo compleanno
  • Commission: Commissione de I TEATRI di Reggio Emilia per il IV Concorso Internazionale per Quartetto d'Archi "Premio Paolo Borciani"

Work introduction

The birth of a musical work is a complex and mysterious matter - although often unintentionally so. It is perhaps for this reason that the composer is often reticent to describe the genesis of his works.

I had already been working sporadically for some time on a new string quartet (the fourth), when I was asked to contribute an obligatory finalists' piece to the Borciani Competition. Glad to render homage to the memory of Borciana and the Italian Quartet, I took the sketches, which I had been collecting and modifying here and there, and gathered them together in such a way as to avoid the impression of a homogeneous development or of continuous variation. I thus gave up the idea of a "fourth quartet" and in its place Glosse was born, made up of short commentaries on a virtual quartet or, more precisely, on a quartet which does not exist - a rather complex and mysterious matter...

Luciano Berio


World première

Teatro Municipale Valli, Reggio Emilia (IT)
Quartett Lotus

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