GMG Classical Music Forum

The Music Room => Composer Discussion => Topic started by: Brewski on January 30, 2008, 01:18:50 PM

Title: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on January 30, 2008, 01:18:50 PM
Tomorrow night I'm hearing Berio's Sinfonia, with Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, with Synergy Vocals from London (who have performed with Steve Reich and others).  I'm excited, since I've only heard the piece live once before, many years ago.  It's hard to believe it isn't performed more often.

I credit the original recording of Sinfonia (below) with jump-starting my interest in contemporary music.  From the first hearing (around age 14 or so) I was fascinated with the piece, and PS, heard it many years before I heard Mahler's Second Symphony (the basis for Berio's middle movement).  At the moment, my favorite recording is Chailly's, but I haven't yet heard the more recent Eötvös version.

Other Berio fans, favorite works?

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: gomro on January 30, 2008, 05:11:05 PM
Tomorrow night I'm hearing Berio's Sinfonia, with Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, with Synergy Vocals from London (who have performed with Steve Reich and others).  I'm excited, since I've only heard the piece live once before, many years ago.  It's hard to believe it isn't performed more often.

I credit the original recording of Sinfonia (below) with jump-starting my interest in contemporary music.  From the first hearing (around age 14 or so) I was fascinated with the piece, and PS, heard it many years before I heard Mahler's Second Symphony (the basis for Berio's middle movement).  At the moment, my favorite recording is Chailly's, but I haven't yet heard the more recent Eötvös version.

Other Berio fans, favorite works?

--Bruce

First thing of any substance I ever heard from Berio was his Concerto for two pianos, on a RCA record that has never been released on CD. It remains a favorite, regardless. Sinfonia is very fine, likewise Coro. I haven't heard enough of the Chemins or Sequenza series to make an overall call, but what I have heard was of high quality. A piece called Points On the Curve To Find, a sort of mini-piano-concerto, seems to bring a Reich-ian element into Berio's style, and it works, too!
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: paulb on January 30, 2008, 05:25:21 PM
Heard a   you tube clip.
No
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 31, 2008, 07:13:18 AM
Other Berio fans, favorite works?
--Bruce

I'm not sure I'd call myself a fan. Some works I really love; others leave me cold. I've been listening to Berio for about 30 years. I don't know which grabbed me first, the Folk Songs or the Sinfonia. I do know this was one of my first Berio purchases, circa 1978:

(http://photos.imageevent.com/sgtrock/gm2/Berio.jpg)

It's a two LP box. I may not be a confirmed Berio fan but I'm definitely a confirmed Berberian fan. Being a Mahlerite my favorite Berio work is, of course, Sinfonia. I own Boulez and Chailly's recordings.

A bit of trivia from a Deadhead. Phil Lesh, the Gateful Dead's amazing bass player, was a student of Berio's at Mills College in the mid-60s. Berio was so impressed with Lesh's skill as a composer, he invited him to be his apprentice in Italy. Lesh met Jerry Garcia shortly thereafter and he chose a different musical course...to the profound gratitude of Dead fans all over the world  ;D  We'll never know what the classical world lost but perhaps we hear a taste of what might have been during the Lesh-inspired second set Space segments during Dead shows.

Sarge
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MN Dave on January 31, 2008, 07:15:11 AM
A bit of trivia from a Deadhead. Phil Lesh, the Dead's amazing bass player, was a student of Berio at Mills College in the mid-60s. Berio was so impressed with Lesh's skill as a composer, he invited him to be his apprentice in Italy. Lesh met Jerry Garcia shortly thereafter and he chose a different musical course...to the profound gratitude of Dead fans all over the world  ;D  We'll never know what the classical world lost but perhaps we hear what could have been during the Lesh inspired second set Space segments during Dead shows.

Well, a lot more people are hearing his music anyway.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 31, 2008, 07:16:32 AM
Well, a lot more people are hearing his music anyway.

 ;D :D ;D  very true, Dave.

Sarge
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on January 31, 2008, 07:31:33 AM
A bit of trivia from a Deadhead. Phil Lesh, the Dead's amazing bass player, was a student of Berio at Mills College in the mid-60s. Berio was so impressed with Lesh's skill as a composer, he invited him to be his apprentice in Italy. Lesh met Jerry Garcia shortly thereafter and he chose a different musical course...to the profound gratitude of Dead fans all over the world  ;D  We'll never know what the classical world lost but perhaps we hear what could have been during the Lesh-inspired second set Space segments during Dead shows.

Sarge

Wow, thanks for that awesome scan of the Berberian LP, which brought back some very nice memories.  I haven't seen that in probably 20 years or more!   :o 

And love the Phil Lesh story, which I hadn't heard before.  I'm not the hugest Dead fan  ;D but now it makes me want to hear them again.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Sergeant Rock on January 31, 2008, 07:47:53 AM
Wow, thanks for that awesome scan of the Berberian LP, which brought back some very nice memories.  I haven't seen that in probably 20 years or more!   :o 

Glad you liked, and appreciate, the scan, Bruce. Scanning LPs can be a pain in the butt because they are larger than the scanner bed. It requires two, sometimes three scans which then have to be joined, color-matched, etc, in Photoshop. But I love these old LPs; it's a labor of love really.

Sarge
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on January 31, 2008, 07:51:06 AM
Glad you liked, and appreciate, the scan, Bruce. Scanning LPs can be a pain in the butt because they are larger than the scanner bed. It requires two, sometimes three scans which then have to be joined, color-matched, etc, in Photoshop. But I love these old LPs; it's a labor of love really.

Sarge

Well, a huge "bravo" for that one, which is crystal clear.  (You might have a small home business waiting in the wings.)  Very professionally done.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MDL on January 31, 2008, 09:52:52 AM
Tomorrow night I'm hearing Berio's Sinfonia, with Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, with Synergy Vocals from London (who have performed with Steve Reich and others).  I'm excited, since I've only heard the piece live once before, many years ago.  It's hard to believe it isn't performed more often.

I credit the original recording of Sinfonia (below) with jump-starting my interest in contemporary music.  From the first hearing (around age 14 or so) I was fascinated with the piece, and PS, heard it many years before I heard Mahler's Second Symphony (the basis for Berio's middle movement).  At the moment, my favorite recording is Chailly's, but I haven't yet heard the more recent Eötvös version.

Other Berio fans, favorite works?

--Bruce

The Eötvös version of Sinfonia is very good, and very well recorded. I've got all the other recordings (the Berio on a crappy old cassette, Boulez and Chailly on CD) apart from the Bychkov, which received mediocre reviews when it was released, so I didn't bother with it, although now I regret not getting it while I could. Has anyone heard the Bychkov? I have to admit that I've never really taken to the fifth movement. Perhaps it's because I got to know the work via Berio's four-movement recording. The fifth seems like a redundant attempt at tying up loose ends that are better left untied.

I am desperate for RCA to release on CD their recordings of Nones and, above all, the jaw-droppingly beautiful Alleluja II. I've heard Laborintus II twice in the flesh and although I've got a recentish recording, no performance comes close to matching the original recording conducted by Berio himself. I really should get around to buying Berio's recording of Coro (another one I have on crappy old tape), because I don't think the two CD recordings I have are as good.

I occasionally dig out Maazel's recording of Un Re In Ascolto, but it's never really grabbed me. I don't know why. The muddy recording doesn't help.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MDL on January 31, 2008, 10:06:51 AM
Forgot to mention my recordings of Passagio, Visage, Epifanie and the DG Sequenzas. My other half is out tonight, so I'll have to give Passagio another whirl. I haven't played that for years.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on January 31, 2008, 10:14:58 AM
Forgot to mention my recordings of Passagio, Visage, Epifanie and the DG Sequenzas. My other half is out tonight, so I'll have to give Passagio another whirl. I haven't played that for years.

I don't think I've heard Passagio (nor the Alleluja II) and would be eager to hear your impressions of both.  I'd also be interested to know more about your live experiences with Laborintus II.  (I think I have that one with Berio on LP, but haven't listened to it in a very long time.)  Quite a Berio listening history, there!

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: some guy on January 31, 2008, 12:36:36 PM
I cut my teeth on Thema (Omaggio a Joyce). Visage was too hard.

Now I can just barely recapture what it was about Visage that was so disturbing. Thema and Visage both still seem very fine to me.

Berio (and Lutoslawski and Ligeti) all used to visit L.A. back in the day. A lot.

I don't think I missed any of those concerts. There were some very interesting symphony concerts in the seventies and eighties there.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MDL on February 01, 2008, 03:13:37 AM
I don't think I've heard Passagio (nor the Alleluja II) and would be eager to hear your impressions of both.  I'd also be interested to know more about your live experiences with Laborintus II.  (I think I have that one with Berio on LP, but haven't listened to it in a very long time.)  Quite a Berio listening history, there!

--Bruce

Alleluja II is a fantastic piece for five orchestral groups spread around the audience, a bit like Stockhausen's Gruppen, but nowhere near as dense or aggressive. Indeed, much of the piece is lyrical, with lots of flute solos and delicate chamber writing, although there are a few spectacular swirling climaxes with ricocheting trumpets and crashing percussion. But even in its densest passages, there's a real feeling of light, space and colour. It's extraordinarily beautiful, and it's such a shame that it's hardly ever performed these days. This piece is in desperate need of a CD release.

Laborintus II is great live. It's exciting to see the vocalists get stuck into it when Berio lets rip. The only problem, one that applies to both live performances I've attended, is that the electronic interlude is never loud enough and lacks impact.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on February 01, 2008, 07:17:38 AM
Alleluja II is a fantastic piece for five orchestral groups spread around the audience, a bit like Stockhausen's Gruppen, but nowhere near as dense or aggressive. Indeed, much of the piece is lyrical, with lots of flute solos and delicate chamber writing, although there are a few spectacular swirling climaxes with ricocheting trumpets and crashing percussion. But even in its densest passages, there's a real feeling of light, space and colour. It's extraordinarily beautiful, and it's such a shame that it's hardly ever performed these days. This piece is in desperate need of a CD release.

Laborintus II is great live. It's exciting to see the vocalists get stuck into it when Berio lets rip. The only problem, one that applies to both live performances I've attended, is that the electronic interlude is never loud enough and lacks impact.

Thanks much for these comments!  Sounds like I need to keep a lookout for a performance of both of these.  Just did a search of the New York Times archive to see if perhaps a performance of either had occurred here.  There was just one citation for Alleluja II, done by Peter Eötvös in 1996 at the Holland Festival, and Laborintus II actually appeared at Avery Fisher Hall in 1986, as part of the New York Philharmonic's Horizons 86 Festival.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on February 01, 2008, 09:11:27 AM
Tomorrow night I'm hearing Berio's Sinfonia, with Maazel and the New York Philharmonic, with Synergy Vocals from London (who have performed with Steve Reich and others).  I'm excited, since I've only heard the piece live once before, many years ago.  It's hard to believe it isn't performed more often.

So the Berio Sinfonia was excellent.  If I weren't booked tomorrow night I'd go again.  Maazel seems to thrive on music that is not that familiar to him, and in this case (he used a score) it seemed to keep him on his toes, with very little taken for granted.

The vocal group, Synergy Vocals, was superb.  Before the piece began, composer Steven Stucky did a short demo with them, in which they sang some of the vocal parts without the orchestral fabric.  Their very first chord (from the first movement) was pretty impressive, not to mention just flat-out gorgeous. 

More in a "proper" review later, but it was a great experience.  PS, the work hadn't been done here since 1988, when Boulez did it, also with the Philharmonic.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MDL on February 01, 2008, 10:29:05 AM
PS, the work hadn't been done here since 1988, when Boulez did it, also with the Philharmonic.

--Bruce

That's terrible! I've caught it at least twice in London over the past decade or so, and I missed last year's Prom performance because the main work after the interval was some Rossini bore.  ::) Apologies to Rossini fans for the gratuitous insult. I wasn't aware that New York was so ill-served when it came to modern music. You'll have to emigrate!
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on February 01, 2008, 11:05:12 AM
That's terrible! I've caught it at least twice in London over the past decade or so, and I missed last year's Prom performance because the main work after the interval was some Rossini bore.  ::) Apologies to Rossini fans for the gratuitous insult. I wasn't aware that New York was so ill-served when it came to modern music. You'll have to emigrate!

 ;D  (Sorry, I got a laugh, too, from "Rossini bore"--and offer my apologies as well.)

Well, NYC is generally over-served for modern music.  But you'd think that since Sinfonia was written for the Philharmonic, they'd do it more often.  PS, I checked The New York Times, and Sinfonia has been done by others, more than I recalled: in 1994 by Semyon Bychkov and the Orchestre de Paris, 1998 by Robert Spano and the Brooklyn Philharmonic, and 1999 with Leon Botstein and the American Symphony Orchestra.

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MishaK on February 01, 2008, 01:11:48 PM
I will be hearing Quatre dédicaces with CSO/Boulez tomorrow. Will report.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on February 01, 2008, 01:30:46 PM
I will be hearing Quatre dédicaces with CSO/Boulez tomorrow. Will report.

Cool, he's bringing that to Carnegie in a few weeks, so I'll be hearing it, too.  You probably saw Marc Geelhoed's write-up:

http://deceptivelysimple.typepad.com/simple/2008/02/roadtrip-by-pla.html

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MishaK on February 01, 2008, 01:44:54 PM
Great! BTW, your signature quote cracks me up.  ;D
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on February 01, 2008, 01:46:27 PM
Great! BTW, your signature quote cracks me up.  ;D

Thanks!  Yeah, I pretty much burst out laughing when I saw it... ;D

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MishaK on February 01, 2008, 01:50:44 PM
BTW, you may have seen Michael Hovnanian's post on rehearsing with Boulez: http://csobassblog.blogspot.com/2008/01/week-20.html
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on February 01, 2008, 02:02:41 PM
Wow, no, I didn't.  How have I missed this blog?  He's quite good!  And all the references to "unnamed orchestra" etc. are hilarious.  (As if somehow we can't figure it out.)

Thanks, I've now bookmarked it, and might have to add it to my blogroll. 

--Bruce
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MishaK on February 03, 2008, 07:16:17 PM
Wow, no, I didn't.  How have I missed this blog?  He's quite good!  And all the references to "unnamed orchestra" etc. are hilarious.  (As if somehow we can't figure it out.)

Actually, originally it was named and the title of the blog was CSO Bass Blog. But then someone mentioned that he shouldn't be using the orchetra's name when it isn't the orchestra's official view.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: uffeviking on March 15, 2008, 06:24:21 PM
Wow! There is his Sinfonia in the background, for about the 5th time - at least three times concentrated listening - and I thought I had discovered something new and special. Searched GMG before I opened my big trap and find two pages of great posts.  8)

I had never listened to Berio but in my Donaueschingen collection is a performance of the Sinfonia and I perked up: "That's Der Rosenkavalier!" and sent my monumental discovery to a conductor friend on another forum. He replied with a list of all the composers and their compositions and recommended the Riccardo Chailly. I ordered it, received it today and of course I am now hooked on Luciano! - No, not the fat guy, Silly! -  ;D
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MDL on July 07, 2010, 03:15:02 AM
It's over two years since anybody's shown any love to Berio on this thread. Shame!

Last night, while trawling gormlessly through YouTube, watching trampolining dogs and sock puppet productions of King Lear, I found that some rather wonderful person had posted the RCA recordings of Berio's Nones and Allelujah II. I love both pieces, particularly Allelujah II (which I misspelt Alleluja II in a previous posting), scored for five ensembles spread around the audience. OK, the earlier sections of Allelujah II have a faint whiff of cat-walking-up-and-down-a-piano serialism, but stick with it; the piece blossoms and develops in a beautiful and spectacular fashion.

Neither recording has been issued on CD. Why on earth not, RCA?

A big thank you to YouTube poster Wellesz; is he/she a GMGer?

Nones:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGnY6Y42dK4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGnY6Y42dK4)


Allelujah II:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO75hFLDc84 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO75hFLDc84)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4gGuPn_l9c&feature=PlayList&p=25CBEC8974301702&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=7 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4gGuPn_l9c&feature=PlayList&p=25CBEC8974301702&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=7)

Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: snyprrr on July 07, 2010, 04:58:15 AM
It's over two years since anybody's shown any love to Berio on this thread. Shame!

Last night, while trawling gormlessly through YouTube, watching trampolining dogs and sock puppet productions of King Lear, I found that some rather wonderful person had posted the RCA recordings of Berio's Nones and Allelujah II. I love both pieces, particularly Allelujah II (which I misspelt Alleluja II in a previous posting), scored for five ensembles spread around the audience. OK, the earlier sections of Allelujah II have a faint whiff of cat-walking-up-and-down-a-piano serialism, but stick with it; the piece blossoms and develops in a beautiful and spectacular fashion.

Neither recording has been issued on CD. Why on earth not, RCA?

A big thank you to YouTube poster Wellesz; is he/she a GMGer?

Nones:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGnY6Y42dK4 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGnY6Y42dK4)


Allelujah II:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO75hFLDc84 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uO75hFLDc84)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4gGuPn_l9c&feature=PlayList&p=25CBEC8974301702&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=7 (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p4gGuPn_l9c&feature=PlayList&p=25CBEC8974301702&playnext_from=PL&playnext=1&index=7)

Wellesz seems to be the YouTube poster of note, eh?

I have the Sony disc with Chorale and Points on the Curve, etc., (Boulez), which, how can anyone not like that?

The Arditti disc of SQs is uniformly excellent. I think I like his last piece, Glossa, the best.

Then I have the 3min brass quintet, Call. The 5min O King. The violin Sequenza.

There might be another piece or two. I find his output slightly befuddling. It appears that he had quite a burst of creativity in later years, and I haven't been able to keep up. I still don't think I've listened to Sinfonia.

Of course, I'd like to get a set of Sequenzas, the set I suppose he is best known for (next to Sinfonia and Coro). I really need a version of the piano one.

As with the Bernd Zimmermann thread, I am curious about Berio being one of the first to do collages. Is Sinfonia Post-Modern?

I'm going to have to check his Works List.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: snyprrr on July 07, 2010, 10:07:37 AM
Wellesz seems to be the YouTube poster of note, eh?

I have the Sony disc with Chorale and Points on the Curve, etc., (Boulez), which, how can anyone not like that?

The Arditti disc of SQs is uniformly excellent. I think I like his last piece, Glossa, the best.

Then I have the 3min brass quintet, Call. The 5min O King. The violin Sequenza.

There might be another piece or two (solo cello). I find his output slightly befuddling. It appears that he had quite a burst of creativity in later years, and I haven't been able to keep up. I still don't think I've listened to Sinfonia.

Of course, I'd like to get a set of Sequenzas, the set I suppose he is best known for (next to Sinfonia and Coro). I really need a version of the piano one.

As with the Bernd Zimmermann thread, I am curious about Berio being one of the first to do collages. Is Sinfonia Post-Modern?

I'm going to have to check his Works List.

I just checked his Work List, and wow!, he's lots of stuff that doesn't seem to have been recorded. He seems to have been really popular in the LP era, but a lot of that is the Berberian stuff.

I am curious about the '70s orchestral works, Bewengung, Ephkrasis(sic), Eindrucke. What might I enjoy?

His Amazon discography seems to divid into groups: the Schubert/Rendering type stuff, a few piano discs, vocal cds, various cds with one or two Sequenzas & Chamber Music & O King. We have three sets of Sequenzas.

After going through about 300 listings, I was struck by my "eh-ness". Why doesn't non-vocal Berio really really excite me? It seems that most of the reviewers, too, have a slight lack of total enthusiasm for the non-vocal Berio. Is he just a very professional, 20th century composer, who does everything with a certain amount of creativity, but often falls short of true memorability? Obviously, the vocal works don't count here.

His Work List is huge, and I didn't know he had so many "early works". I'm more bewildered than when before I checked.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MDL on July 07, 2010, 01:53:03 PM
and I haven't been able to keep up. I still don't think I've listened to Sinfonia.

I think you'd know if you'd listened to Sinfonia. It's one of the most distinctive and unforgettable works of the avant-garde.


As with the Bernd Zimmermann thread, I am curious about Berio being one of the first to do collages. Is Sinfonia Post-Modern?


What do you mean? Post avant-garde, the way Penderecki turned his back on modernism and tried to become the new Bruckner in the mid '70s? No, it's a pretty wild out-there extravanganza of sound.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: CRCulver on July 23, 2010, 06:29:18 AM
The classic recording of Coro, where Berio himself conducted the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir, was reissued by DG in its "Echo 20/21" series a few years back. However, DG has allowed all of the "20/21" and "Echo 20/21" discs to fall out of print.

Luckily, Brilliant Classics bought the rights to this recording, at least in Europe (can't find it on Amazon.com, must not be available in North American). I just bought the Brilliant reissue today for 6€. No sung text, but there is a 2009 essay by John Fallas.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: BMW on July 23, 2010, 09:18:09 AM
Any thoughts on Berio's orchestrations of early Mahler songs?
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: canninator on December 10, 2010, 06:45:36 AM
...guitarist Eliot Fisk...

I've never heard Fisk play the Sequenza. If it's like his other recordings it's probably the musical equivalent of a drunk beating his wife. Having not heard it though I'd appreciate your thoughts?

Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: MDL on December 10, 2010, 09:08:02 AM
I bought this as soon as it came out, mainly for the Concerto for Two Pianos:

(http://pixhost.info/avaxhome/d5/e0/0017e0d5_medium.jpeg)


It's an excellent, fascinating release ruined by the sleeve notes. Any info about the music to guide the listener? You must be joking. What do we get instead? Meaningless, completely unintelligible "poetic" musings. Whoever decided to fill the pages with that useless crap should be shot. Or at least sacked.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: springrite on December 10, 2010, 09:12:44 AM
I bought this as soon as it came out, mainly for the Concerto for Two Pianos:

(http://pixhost.info/avaxhome/d5/e0/0017e0d5_medium.jpeg)


It's an excellent, fascinating release ruined by the sleeve notes. Any info about the music to guide the listener? You must be joking. What do we get instead? Meaningless, completely unintelligible "poetic" musings. Whoever decided to fill the pages with that useless crap should be shot. Or at least sacked.

I just listened to this last week and was thinking the same thing. Great music, but what is all the writing about? Not that the music needed that much explaining. But the random-musing almost caused me to want to read something intelligible.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: snyprrr on October 25, 2011, 07:43:01 AM
I just heard the Sequenza XIV for cello, played by Matt Haimovitz on this intriguing new cd '300 Years of Italian Cello' (with Gabrieli, Sciarrino, Dallapiccola...). I must say that this cello solo is one of the best I've ever heard, starting off with bongo sounds, and going through the whole riggamarole by the end. There are lots of interesting sounds along the way, making this the least cello sounding cello piece I've heard. Haimovitz plays it like a jaguar... sleek and long... this is a very polished, modern piece that is just a head-nodder.

I hadn't expected such a joyful surprise of a piece. Bravo!
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: edward on October 25, 2011, 01:02:07 PM
That looks like a great disc--and there was a cheap copy on amazon.ca -- thanks for the heads-up!
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: snyprrr on October 25, 2011, 08:06:52 PM
That looks like a great disc--and there was a cheap copy on amazon.ca -- thanks for the heads-up!

Yes, it's quite a good step for Mr. Haimovitz. The album is 'concept', so, there is a lot of talk about his awesome cello, which does indeed make a uniquely rich and tangy sound. Beware, though: my copy came in the most laughably flimsy packaging,... as if the see-through tray were missing,... if you get it, you'll see. You'll want to do some packaging modification. tsk tsk on the company for such a mind blower. The music, however, makes a great recital! Cheers!!
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Pessoa on November 13, 2013, 10:46:49 AM
Keep going!
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: snyprrr on November 14, 2013, 08:24:31 AM
Keep going!

Wow, 2 whole years for a Berio Post! So let's get to it then? Does it seem as though the fires for Berio have cooled somewhat? I'd love to know where James places Berio.

All the Berio I've ever really 'needed' has come on that old Boulez/Sony disc of 'concertos', though, the String Quartets by the Arditti are a true prize.

I just find his output so... spare? But, let's put it context. Did he get the Ligeti Treatment? No. Lutoslawski Treatment? No. As far as recordings go, he sort of falls into the Xenakis category, though, I do believe there is a more Complete Berio Recordings, though I don't know the actual percentage.

There are two pieces I'm curious about (anyone?): Eindrucke(?), and Epkrapis(?!!). Is there also a Begunengung(?)?
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: k a rl h e nn i ng on November 14, 2013, 08:28:01 AM
Epkrapis sounds like a planet from a Star Trek episode . . . .
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: edward on November 14, 2013, 06:03:28 PM
Pace synprr, it's actually Ekphrasis (Continuo II).

I don't think it's a particularly distinctive piece: to my mind there are too many late Berio works which are retreading--in a less focused manner--ground already well covered in Formazione, and this is one of them. Which isn't to deny that it's thoroughly pleasant listening--it just feels minor to me in comparison to, say, Stanze, a late work that emphatically does have fire in its belly.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Pessoa on November 15, 2013, 01:50:09 AM
Formazioni is brilliant.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: jochanaan on November 15, 2013, 05:58:00 PM
I confess I haven't heard a lot of Berio's music, and his Sequenza VII for oboe is one of the few pieces for oboe that actually scared me away--as a college student--because of its technical difficulties! :o Now I'd like another look at it...
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: amw on November 15, 2013, 06:13:33 PM
I confess I haven't heard a lot of Berio's music, and his Sequenza VII for oboe is one of the few pieces for oboe that actually scared me away--as a college student--because of its technical difficulties! :o Now I'd like another look at it...

I have a score of Sequenza VII (in scanned form) floating around somewhere, PM me if you want....
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: snyprrr on April 30, 2014, 08:19:51 AM
Berio's another one I'm none too happy about! All that vocal writing... brrr. Every now and then he wrote just a perfect AvantGarde work, so anonymously...

Was Berio just a SellOut compared to the more ascetic Italians? Livin' the good life?

This very morning- how do you feel about Berio today? He seems very "Hollywood" to me today, and I don't mean that in any particular way, just somewhat slick and smooth and professional (nothing wrong with that). I want to put him next to Lutoslawski on the CD rack...
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: CRCulver on September 26, 2014, 12:15:20 PM
Are there any stories about Berio's time at IRCAM? He was director of the electroacoustic department for a whole 6 years, but he sole piece for live electronics was withdrawn right after its premiere, and IRCAM in general was unable to produce anything substantial for its first several years. Berio was presumably drawing a handsome salary from the French state, and he must have been doing something all that time, even if it was just paper-pushing.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: snyprrr on September 29, 2014, 06:17:44 AM
Are there any stories about Berio's time at IRCAM? He was director of the electroacoustic department for a whole 6 years, but he sole piece for live electronics was withdrawn right after its premiere, and IRCAM in general was unable to produce anything substantial for its first several years. Berio was presumably drawing a handsome salary from the French state, and he must have been doing something all that time, even if it was just paper-pushing.

schmoozing
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: EigenUser on September 30, 2014, 04:24:04 PM
Berio's another one I'm none too happy about! All that vocal writing... brrr. Every now and then he wrote just a perfect AvantGarde work, so anonymously...

Was Berio just a SellOut compared to the more ascetic Italians? Livin' the good life?

This very morning- how do you feel about Berio today? He seems very "Hollywood" to me today, and I don't mean that in any particular way, just somewhat slick and smooth and professional (nothing wrong with that). I want to put him next to Lutoslawski on the CD rack...
I've only heard the Sinfonia, which I like quite a bit. Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: ritter on January 25, 2015, 10:55:44 AM
Sad news for fans of Berio and, tangentially, of Mahler as well...

Ward Swingle, founder of the Swingle Singers (and succeeding groups), passed away on January 19, aged 87. For many of us, the sound of The Swingle Singers in Berio's Sinfonia is almost inextricably related to the scherzo of Mahler's Second Symphony...

Obituary from The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/music/2015/jan/21/ward-swingle

Here they are in the classic Boulez recording of the Berio piece:

https://www.youtube.com/v/NW30g2tPmDA

Swingle's scatty jazz takes on Bach are soooo "swinging sixties", but actually quite charming:

https://www.youtube.com/v/EM6yMDB9wgE

RIP
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003) EH? EH? EH? EH? EEHH??
Post by: snyprrr on September 06, 2016, 05:49:12 AM
I had no idea Berio had so many compositions, that reach back to the '30s. A lot of his '50s titles seem to mimic Maderna, too. Is it all bloop/bleep, or does he do "normal" post-WWII music... I know, silly question...

Anyhow, never really been much into Berio, I have the SQs, 'O King', 'SOLO', a few of the 'Sequenza'... maybe a few trifles here or there... not really into 'Sinfonia', 'Coro', or the other big vocal pieces...

eh?
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003) EH? EH? EH? EH? EEHH??
Post by: nathanb on September 06, 2016, 02:28:11 PM
I had no idea Berio had so many compositions, that reach back to the '30s. A lot of his '50s titles seem to mimic Maderna, too. Is it all bloop/bleep, or does he do "normal" post-WWII music... I know, silly question...

Anyhow, never really been much into Berio, I have the SQs, 'O King', 'SOLO', a few of the 'Sequenza'... maybe a few trifles here or there... not really into 'Sinfonia', 'Coro', or the other big vocal pieces...

eh?

Berio is certainly one of the more diverse guys from his era. Sinfonia, Coro, and Sequenzas seem to be the sort of holy trinity of Berio (well, Folk Songs too, but those are only relatively popular because of sheer accessibility). Did you not like the SOLO though? I love that thing! And all the Chemins? Visage? Laborintus II? Voci? Surely you love Points On A Curve To Find... at the very least.

Don't make me question our friendship, snyprrr!
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003) EH? EH? EH? EH? EEHH??
Post by: snyprrr on September 06, 2016, 07:30:03 PM
Berio is certainly one of the more diverse guys from his era. Sinfonia, Coro, and Sequenzas seem to be the sort of holy trinity of Berio (well, Folk Songs too, but those are only relatively popular because of sheer accessibility). Did you not like the SOLO though? I love that thing! I just pulled it out as i was doing the Xenakis thing, and was reminded I have Berio scattered about. I will play it in the car tomorrow. It caused me to Wiki him, and I just got lost in the sheer amount of Opii :laugh: Berio had. By the time I got to SOLO, and the end of the list, I was in research mode. I always try to find a year to start listening, but with Berio, it appears most of what I have is Late Late. SOLO is almost his last work, I will listen in the car tomorrow


And all the Chemins? Visage? Laborintus II? Voci? Surely you love Points On A Curve To Find... at the very least. I'll tell ya... I remembered that old SONY/Boulez disc with the 'Points...' and the 'Corale'(?), the two 'Chemins', and the cello concerto... I remember thinking back then that Berio was an all around "Modern Composer" with that disc, maybe a Concerto Composer? So, anyhow, I took that disc for granted, and, when I purchased it about a decade ago, I HAVE NEVER OPENED IT!! LOL- people on this Forum have ROOMS of unopened CDs and such, I appear to be down to one. Looks like I'll have to crack it open (hey, at least it will make me feel like I bought something,- oh the agony of this disease!!!!!)). I know I'm going to be less caring about the oboe and viola pieces. I do believe I really liked the 'Corale'. Can't wait to remember 'Points...'.

Visage don't recall... Laborintus, was that on the HarmoniaMundi thing?... Voci/ECM haven't heard...

Don't make me question our friendship, snyprrr!

there there :laugh:

Like I said, the sheer number of works was a shock to me. However, I do basically know the Berio that I like, and that can be encapsulated by the Arditti disc of 4 String Quartets. No.1 has that rough serial sound, like Early Maderna and Feldman- I don't know what else I'd like from this era. He and Maderna seem to both have the same titles for their pieces????

No.2, 'Sincronie', from 1964, is more like Xenakisy... KHS type of Pure High Modernism... this is the kind of stuff I could snort all day... and then come down with Feldman? LOL... I don't know what other works here I'd like. Most of the 'Sequenza' seem inconsequential to me- I seem to have most of them on "various" discs scattered all over the house, but I never listen to the Berio when I grab the disc.

The 'Sequenza' for cello is my exception. That thing is a grande monster of a piece, love it. Have Matt Haimovitz.

SQ No.3, 'Notturno' hits the wary berio era for me. Here he seems to write a lot of overlong pieces (just like Rihm has been doing lately??). I DO like 'Notturno', but it doesn't make me want to seek out all his concertos from the era. Someone liked 'Stanze' from this era?

SQ No.4, 'Glossa', also Late Late, is great in my estimation, but, again, it hasn't made me trust other LateLate Berio.



CathyB. I can only handle in very small doses,... I'm not sure I've heard any vocal Berio that I "personally like".

REMEMBER HOW WE DISCUSSED 'APARTMENT HOUSE 1776'? That's how I wish Berio sounded.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: snyprrr on September 06, 2016, 07:38:24 PM
Epkrapis sounds like a planet from a Star Trek episode . . . .

LOL,... excuse me, sir. i meant to be ill!



Can we pinpoint perhaps three works that serves as catalysts for stylistic changes? Early '50s? Early '60s? '70s, '80s? I believe in you Karl,... thank you! ;) ;D
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003) 'Differences'
Post by: snyprrr on September 06, 2016, 08:01:20 PM
Differences (1945) ensemble and tape 15'

Made it to ten minutes (it's late). Well, OK, I just wish Xenakis had wrote this... I'd call this Hard Core '50s Serialism. It's not particularly seductive. Could be Nono or Maderna?? What do I know?

eh,... meh

I just couldn't get it up for this tonight, baby... maybe we can try again in the morning...



This is my problem with Berio, and probably '50s Nono and Maderna as well. Their sooo Hard Core, maaan, I just don't get any pleasure out of them... like I do from Xenakis. All three of them have a ton of works in this era,... too much for me to want to wade through, I already got spooked by the '50s Maderna. I fear Nono,lol!! Post war commie Italians moaning and groaning, bleeping and blooping...brrrrrrrr


nathnb, I'd rather you just spoon feed me the Masterpieces, lol!!
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: snyprrr on September 07, 2016, 02:57:43 PM
Spent the day with Berio, to obviously mixed results.

LIKED:

Laborintus 2: groovy 60s, I seem to do well with recitation...

Bewegung: nice and mysterious

Epipanie (1960): pretty HardCoreSerialist with soprano/orchestra... like 'Erwartung'???

Voci: though it's pretty long

SOLO: trombone concerto, classy, modern... I'd have to call Berio the "dean of AMERICAN Composers". That's what he
            seems like to me, an International SuperStar Composer... he got the closest to being a Rock Star?

[color=red]WASSERKLAVIER: WOOOOOOW- the most beautiful music in the world. This was my highlight
[/color]

DISLIKED:

Most of the Sequenzas just left me chewing my cud.

Epkrapsis: meh... kind of loud and typical anonymous
Eindrucke: again, didn't do anything for me

Serenata: typical 50s Serialist HardCore... meh

5 Variations for Piano: sounding more like Schonberg than Webern

The other small piano pieces

Allelujah 2: quite loudish... I like Xenakis better

Guitar Sequenza: especially can't STAND this piece, though it made Berio famous amongst guitarists
Bassoon Sequenza: soooo long, but good
Oboe Sequenza: eh, it's never done anything for me

Visage: LOL, that's pretty wacky! Not in the mood though.... will come back.... Berio seemed to have a good relationship w RCA
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: GioCar on October 29, 2017, 09:56:16 AM

Visage: LOL, that's pretty wacky! Not in the mood though.... will come back.... Berio seemed to have a good relationship w RCA

Quoting Seth Brodsky from Allmusic

The sublime coda to Visage is one of twentieth century music's holy moments

I cannot agree more.

Visage is a masterpiece which frightens at first, but deserves multiple listening. One of the very few electroacoustic pieces of the 50s-60s that really stands the test of time.


Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: ritter on October 29, 2017, 11:23:34 AM
Quoting Seth Brodsky from Allmusic

The sublime coda to Visage is one of twentieth century music's holy moments

I cannot agree more.

Visage is a masterpiece which frightens at first, but deserves multiple listening. One of the very few electroacoustic pieces of the 50s-60s that really stands the test of time.
Visage is a work I still do not know...After readng this, Gio, it shoots to the top of my wishlist.  :)

But first, I think I'll get this CD that has just been released. Apart from the Maderna transcriptions of antichi maestri, which I find intriguing, it includes (AFAIK--I do not see any other listed on lucianoberio.org) the world premiere recording of Chemins V for guitar and chamber orchestra (an expansion of Sequenza XI).

(https://d27t0qkxhe4r68.cloudfront.net/t_300/ecm4815034.jpg?1507198334)
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: GioCar on October 29, 2017, 09:37:36 PM

But first, I think I'll get this CD that has just been released. Apart from the Maderna ]transcriptions of antichi maestri, wccih I find intriguing, it includes (AFAIK--I do not see any other listed on lucianoberio.org) the world premiere recording of Chemins V for guitar and chamber orchestra (an expansion of Sequenza XI).

(https://d27t0qkxhe4r68.cloudfront.net/t_300/ecm4815034.jpg?1507198334)

Maybe I saw that new release in the NR thread but I didn't pay attention to the Berio.... Thank you Rafael, although I already have the Maderna's Trascrizioni (a CD issued by Amadeus, the Italian magazine) it goes right in my wishlist as well  :)

If you want to get Visage, I believe that the only affordable way today is to get this double CD

(https://www.col-legno.com/pics_db/zhdk_cover_1.jpg)

which is anyway a treasure trove of various electroacoustic pieces from the second half of last century:
Edgard Varèse - Poème électronique (1958)
György Ligeti - Glissandi (1957)
György Ligeti - Artikulation (1958)
Bruno Maderna - Musica su due dimensioni (1958)
Luciano Berio - Différences (1958–59)   
Luciano Berio - Visage (1961)
Helmut Lachenmann - Szenario (1965)
Jonathan Harvey - Mortuos Plango, Vivos Voco (1980)
Pierre Boulez - Dialogue de l’ombre double (1985)
Brian Ferneyhough - Mnemosyne (1986)

The Harvey is pretty good as well. The Boulez...you know it ad nauseam, don't you?  ;D


PS I've just seen you bought Visage in a different edition I wasn't aware of...well, what about a double?  :laugh:
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: ritter on October 30, 2017, 09:44:21 AM
...although I already have the Maderna's Trascrizioni (a CD issued by Amadeus, the Italian magazine) ...
Oh yes, I've seen that CD listed in many places...

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/4115%2BE%2Bs9SL.jpg)

...but also, the tag "attualmente non disponibile" in as many languages as one can imagine.

I do have the Amadeus Berio CD, recorded live in Madrid  (in a concert I could not get tickets for  :( ):

(https://img.discogs.com/4t0cl7c8pW5sGc3IC15bVCuO6ws=/fit-in/600x610/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-6580283-1422440924-4609.jpeg.jpg)

There are some jewels in the Amadeus magazine's back catalog (most of them almost impossible to locate AFAIK). I also have a great CD issued by them of two piano music with the great Bruno Canino and Antonio Ballista...
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: GioCar on October 30, 2017, 10:19:11 AM

I do have the Amadeus Berio CD, recorded live in Madrid  (in a concert I could not get tickets for  :( ):

(https://img.discogs.com/4t0cl7c8pW5sGc3IC15bVCuO6ws=/fit-in/600x610/filters:strip_icc():format(jpeg):mode_rgb():quality(90)/discogs-images/R-6580283-1422440924-4609.jpeg.jpg)

I've been a subscriber to that magazine for a certain period of time but I missed that CD... :(
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 24, 2019, 03:07:11 PM
Bump for a great composer. He has written some great pieces; I really like Points on the Curve to Find..., the Sequenzas (I've only heard a few of em), and Différences, a wild electroacoustic chamber piece. Still haven't heard all of the famous Sinfonia, and I assume that is the next step. Is the original recording with the Swingle Singers still a safe bet? That is the one I'm most interested in.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71%2BQHGkxt6L._SL1000_.jpg)
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: ritter on August 24, 2019, 11:08:15 PM
Bump for a great composer. He has written some great pieces; I really like Points on the Curve to Find..., the Sequenzas (I've only heard a few of em), and Différences, a wild electroacoustic chamber piece. Still haven't heard all of the famous Sinfonia, and I assume that is the next step. Is the original recording with the Swingle Singers still a safe bet? That is the one I'm most interested in.

(https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/71%2BQHGkxt6L._SL1000_.jpg)

That recording of the wonderful Sinfonia is of course of great historical importance, and certainly a “safe bet”, but....there’s a caveat, and a big one at that: the recording was made immediately after the world premiere in 1968, and the piece wasn’t quite complete at the time. Berio only added the 5th movement later, in 1969, and thus it does not appear in this version. So, I’d say your better off with later recordings (e.g. the Boulez, the Eötvös—perhaps my favourite—, the Chailly...)

There’s another live recording of the (complete) Sinfonia under the composer, live with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Swingle Singers (from 1997), but AFAIK it’s only available in one of that orchestra’s “Anyhology” sets (No. 6, 14 CDs), and it costs a small fortune these days (I was lucky enough to buy it dirt cheap as a cut-out some years ago in Brussels):

Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: vers la flamme on August 25, 2019, 02:16:16 AM
Chailly it is then... I'll look out for it.

I believe it's also included in the big Boulez Erato box, which I may get my hands on eventually... so maybe I'll hold out for that one. I have a little bit of Berio already to work through until then.
Title: Re: Luciano Berio (1925-2003)
Post by: Brewski on August 25, 2019, 10:13:43 AM
That recording of the wonderful Sinfonia is of course of great historical importance, and certainly a “safe bet”, but....there’s a caveat, and a big one at that: the recording was made immediately after the world premiere in 1968, and the piece wasn’t quite complete at the time. Berio only added the 5th movement later, in 1969, and thus it does not appear in this version. So, I’d say your better off with later recordings (e.g. the Boulez, the Eötvös—perhaps my favourite—, the Chailly...)

There’s another live recording of the (complete) Sinfonia under the composer, live with the Concertgebouw Orchestra and the Swingle Singers (from 1997), but AFAIK it’s only available in one of that orchestra’s “Anyhology” sets (No. 6, 14 CDs), and it costs a small fortune these days (I was lucky enough to buy it dirt cheap as a cut-out some years ago in Brussels):



Just echoing these comments. I am also a big fan of the Chailly studio recording, with the vocal group, Electric Phoenix.

--Bruce