(1977) Luciano Berio: BERIO CONDUCTS BERIO
Artist-Title-Year(1977) Luciano Berio: BERIO CONDUCTS BERIO
Label Release No.RCA Red Seal ARL1-2291 [LP]; Tower Records (Japan) TWCL 1024 [CD]
Notes / Trivia
An earlier (1976 world premiere) performance of ‘Points on a Curve to Find’ with Orchestra Della Svizzera Italiana appears on a 1995 Berio release, “Points on a Curve to Find” issued by Ermitage (ERM 164-2) and Aura Classics (171)
London Sinfonietta, orchestra Luciano Berio, composer; Luciano Berio, conductor; Roger Auger, engineer, Charles Gerhardt, producer.
All of these pieces are of recent vintage except for the 1951 Concertino. Quite simply, this is a splendid recording and a credit to all concerned. I am tempted to proclaim Points on the Curve to Find as the strongest instrumental piece Berio has ever given us. Points is one of Berio's ''acean-of-tremulo'' (to use Boulez's term) works—one less hysterical and assaulting, and more varied, than Chemins II and III (with viola and ensemble), more unified and organic than the Double Piano Concerto. To those listeners familiar only with the Sinfonia, (a dazzling tour de force in which Berio had a '-little help from his friends“—Mahler, Stravinsky, Bach, Beethoven, Debussy, Beckett, etc.) here is an exciting new kind of piano concerto, where Berio goes it alone. The piece is a ript of color, with a fast running piano line passing through a harmonically rich series of orchestral events springing up surprisingly in all directions. While the music is almost as accessible as Penderecki, there is plenty of stimulation for the mind as well as for the ears. The Concertino for clarinet, violin and ensemble (an early work), shows the influence of Bartók, Nielsen, Frank Martin and, surprisingly, Bernstein. For all that, the piece still sounds like Berio, and the haunting opening theme looks forward to the eerie madrigal motif in Laborintus II. The remaining two pieces on this album bring us back to the '70s. Chemins IV is a free orchestral expansion of the earlier Sequenza for unaccompanied oboe. Although the original piece may have been a bit specialized in appeal, the new Chemins IV surrounds the resourceful oboe part with some fascinating orchestral detail. Linea, despite some vehement outbursts and dazzling piano roulades, is basically a lyrical piece, using the two pianos, vibraphones, and marimba in a sonically mellow fashion. In a gentle way, the rhythms and continuity of this composition are highly innovative. All in all, this disc can hold its own in the company of such vocal extravaganzas as Berio's Sinfonia and Laborintus. Let us hope that RCA will not delete this record too soon, as they most upsettingly did with The Many Voices of Luciano Berio. Performances and sound are uniformly superb - Robert J. Aaron This article originally appeared in Issue 01:2 (Nov/Dec 1977) of Fanfare Magazine.
1. Points On The Curve To Find; 2. Concertino; 3. Chemins IV; 4. Linea