Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Luciano Berio Essay Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 1250 words

Luciano Berio - Essay Example Together, they form the image of the young, mid-century composer, who is far cry from being introverted, "ivory-towered artist" stereotype. Berio was born in Oneglia, a small town in Northern Italy, where both his father and grandfather were church organists and composers. After preliminary study with them he entered Milan Conservatory specializing in piano, conducting and composition. In 1951scholarship took him to Berkshire Center at Tanglewood Massachusetts where he studiedwith Luigi Dallapicolla, who taught there that summer. In 1953, he attended the Darmstadt Summer School and met Stockhausen and Boulez, and learned about their musical interests. His totally-controlled Nines (1955) already described, reflects this trend. In 1960s Berio wroteseries of solopieces for flute, harp, solo voice, piano and trombone called Sequenza. In each discovers and exploits new sounds from the instruments. The Sequenza for trombone is particularly interesting in its absolutely new sounds; somecombination of the trombonist's singing or humming while he plays, as a result of blowing through the instrument without embouchure, others by tapping the side of the instrument. The Sequenza for voice also calls for sounds emanating from the throat. These pieces show Berio's interest in enriching timbral resources. They call for a new kind of virtuosity that goes far beyond conventional standards. The most ambiti The most ambitious and successful of Berio's works to date is Sinfonia (1968), written for eight voices (The Single Sisters) and orchestra, combined in that close connection -voices sounding like instruments and instruments sounding like voices- already found in Circles. In no sense a conventional symphony, the word Sinfonia is used in its original; meaning of "sounding together". Sinfonia is in four movements. The first is dominated by voices, speaking and humming, occasionally punctuated by crashing orchestral sonorities. The texts, spoken in stuttering manner, are from Le Cru et le Cuit, a study of Brazilian folklore by Claude Levi-Strauss, the French anthropologist. It is slow moving and carefully articulated between the vocal and instrumental sections. It is obviously planned and purposeful and is therefore unlike Stockhausen's Hymnen where there is little if any causal relationship between parts. The second movement is a tribute to the memory of Martin Luther King; the vocal parts consist of nothing more than the chanting of his name. The movement is elegiac and bell-like timbre and melodic outline. Instruments and voices are so interwoven in long, sustained unisons that it is difficult to distinguish between them. The third movement is the longest and most original. It is based on the third movement of Mahler's Second Symphony which is played as a more or less constant "background" but there are also references to Bach, Schoenberg, and Debussy, Strauss, Ravel, Brahms, Boulez, Stockhausen and others. In the foreground one hears snatches of a Beckett play and student slogans from recent confrontations. It is an amazing dreamlike jumbling together of sound images from the past and the present, reminding free associations of James Joyce's Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake, where different languages and dictions are brought together in a time-destroying present. Berio speaks of the movement as a documentary of an objet trouve (the Mahler movement), recorded in the mind of the listener. As a structural point of reference, Mahler is the

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