Luciano Berio (1925-2003)

Episodes

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201801The Boy From Oneglia20180702Donald Macleod looks at the life and music of Italian composer Luciano Berio (1925-2003) in the company of Gillian Moore. In today's episode, Donald follows Berio's early life in the Ligurian port of Oneglia, the son and grandson of composers. After the War, Berio enrolled in the Milan Conservatoire, studying piano and composition, and it was during the 1950s that he would meet his first love, the singer Cathy Berberian, and would start to experiment with electronic music.

Prelude from Petite Suite
David Arden, pianist

Cinque variazioni per pianoforte (1952-3) 1
Vanessa Wagner, piano

Quartetto per archi
Arditti String Quartet

Thema - Omaggio a Joyce
Cathy Berberian, voice

Epifanie (1959-61/rev 65)
Cathy Berberian, Mezzo Soprano
ORF-Symphonienorchester
Leif Segerstam, conductor.

Donald Macleod discusses with Gillian Moore the life and music of Luciano Berio.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201802Berio Discovers The Voice20180703The vocal prowess of Berio's wife Cathy Berberian was to prove a revelation to him, and a stimulus to some of his most intriguing works. Donald Macleod discusses the life and music of Luciano Berio (1925-2003) with Gillian Moore, focusing today on Berio's rich period of creativity during the 1960s. It's a time when Berio's marriage to Cathy was under increasing strain, and Luciano spent time teaching in the USA, where he met the woman who would become his second wife.

Circles
Text by e.e.cummings
Vinko Globokar / Aurèle Nicolet, percussion
Cathy Berberian, mezzo-soprano

Folk Songs
Cathy Berberian, mezzo-soprano

Wasserklavier
David Arden, piano

Labyrintus II, Part II
Ensemble Musique Vivante
Chorale Experimentale
Luciano Berio, director.

Donald Macleod discusses with Gillian Moore the life and music of Luciano Berio.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201803Berio The Joker20180704Donald Macleod discusses the life and music of Luciano Berio (1925-2003) with Gillian Moore. In today's episode Donald recounts some of Berio's childhood love of practical jokes, and relates this to Berio's irreverence towards certain aspects of the classical tradition. By the late 1960s he was sought out even by The Beatles as a leading light in the classical world. In 1968 he spent a vacation in Sicily (complete with his present and former wife and families) to compose his masterpiece. This is the bold and thrilling Sinfonia, with its O King response to the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King, and its famous adaptation of Mahler, complete with the addition of amplified voices.

Sequenza 1
Sophie Cherrier, flute

Sequenza III
Cathy Berberian, mezzo-soprano

Sinfonia
Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
Riccardo Chailly.

Donald Macleod discusses with Gillian Moore the life and music of Luciano Berio.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201804The Intercontinental Composer20180705By the early 1970s Luciano Berio (1925-2003) was in demand in many parts of the world, and regularly travelling between Europe and the USA, and even Israel, where he would meet his third wife. Donald Macleod discusses this phase of his life with Gillian Moore - a period which sees Berio composing such a strange and yet captivating work as A-Ronne, and the vast canvas of Coro, using texts in various languages. It's a period which also finds the restless Berio settling down to purchase a private estate at Radicondoli, in Tuscany.

Erdenklavier
David Arden, pianist

Points on the Curve to Find' (1974)
Ensemble InterContemperain
Pierre Boulez, conductor

A Ronne (excerpt)
Swingle II

Cries of London
Swingle II

Coro (1975/6) (excerpt)
ORF-Symphonienorchester
Leif Segerstam, conductor.

Donald Macleod discusses some of Luciano Berio's works from the 1970s with Gillian Moore.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.

201805 LASTWhat My Spirit Tells Me20180706Luciano Berio (1925-2003) felt compelled to compose right until the very end of his life, declaring to one of his grandchildren that he simply had to, because it was 'what my spirit tells me'. He completed his very last commission only shortly before he died. Donald Macleod and Gillian Moore look at Berio's life and music at this period (a time when Gillian came to know the composer personally), and among other things consider the extraordinary paradox of an avowed communist or partito communista supporter who owned a private estate complete with vineyard! As well as writing extraordinary works for the theatre, Berio maintained a lifelong interest in folksong, and added to his series of Sequenzas for virtuoso instrumentalists.

Un re in ascolto (excerpt)
Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
Lorin Maazel, conductor

Naturale
Kim Kashkashian, viola
Robyn Schulkowsky, percussion

Sequenza XIII
Teodoro Anzellotti, Accordion

Stanze
Tenebrae (Paul Celan)
Die Schlacht (Dan Pagis)
Dietrich Henschel, Baritone
Orchestre de Paris
Christoph Escenbach, Conductor.

Donald Macleod discusses with Gillian Moore some of the late works of Luciano Berio.

Donald Macleod offers a weekly guide to composers and their music.