Luciano Berio


mode 48

The Great Works for Voice


mode 48 Luciano BERIO, Vol.1: The Great Works for Voice–Folk Songs; Circles; Chamber Music; O King; Sequenza III – Christine Shadeberg with Musicians’ Accord.

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The Great Works for Voice


Christine Schadeberg, soprano, with Musicians Accord

Folk Songs (1964)
for flute, clarinet, harp, viola, cello & 2 percussionists
    Black is the color   (3:00)
    I wonder as I wander   (1:59)
    Loosin yelav   (2:56)
    Rossignolet du bois   (1:32)
    A la femminisca   (1:33)
    La donna ideale   (1:18)
    Ballo   (1:35)
    Motettu du tristura   (2:17)
    Malurous qu.o uno fenno   (0:58)
    Lo fiolairé   (2:33)
    Azerbaijan love song   (2:31)

Sequenza III (1966)   (9:32)
for female voice
Text by Markus Kutter

Quattro Canzoni Popolari (1946-47)
for voice and piano
    Dolce cominciamento (1946, rev. 1973) (a Elena Hift)   (2:27)
    La donna ideale (a Lele d.Amico)   (1:14)
    Avendo gran disio (a Cathy)   (5:30)
    Ballo (a Andrew Rosner)   (1:33)
    first recording

Chamber Music (1953)
for clarinet, cello & harp
Texts by James Joyce
    Strings in the Earth and Air   (3:53)
    Monotone   (2:20)
    Winds of May   (1:35)

O King (1968)   (4:38)
for flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano

Circles (1960)
for voice, harp & 2 percussionists
Text by e.e. cummings
    I. stinging   (3:37)
    II. riverly is a flower   (4:18)
    III. n(o)w   (8:33)
    IV. riverly is a flower   (3:11)
    V. stinging   (2:16)

Luciano Berio was one of the greatest and most innovative composers forthe voice of the post-war generation – moving it into previously unknownterritories, yet with an innately literate sense of song.

  • First released to honor Berio’s 70th birthday in 1995, this CD metgreat critical acclaim and was among Mode’s top selling releases.
  • His association with the legendary mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian ledto the creation of all but one of the works recorded on this CD – aselection of his greatest vocal compositions collected on one disc forthe first time.
  • Added to this reissue is the first recording of Quattro CanzoniPopolari, four arrangements of Italian folk songs which hark back tolate medieval Sicilian and Genovese texts and tunes. Three of the songsdate from his early twenties as a student. Two songs were laterrearranged for his Folk Songs. And in 1973, another song, Avendo grandisìo, was added to this set.
  • The recital begins with Berio’s magical, wry Folk Songs. One of hismost popular works based on tunes from America, France, Italy, Sicilyand Azerbaijan, their folk veneer covers many musical surprises,including hints of minimalism.
  • Sequenza III for solo voice is a tour-de-force for a singing actress,covering all ranges of human emotion in a virtuoso vocal display.
  • James Joyce wrote his Chamber Music poems with the intention that theybe sung. Set by Berio in his early 20s, their sophistication belie thecomposer’s age.
  • O King was written in memoriam to Dr. Martin Luther King – anextremely moving work based on the syllables of Dr. King’s name. Beriolater reorchestrated this into a movement fot his Sinfonia.
  • Circles was one of the landmark works of the 1960s. Ingeniously scoredfor singer with harp and two percussionists (playing an enormous batteryof over 80 instruments). Circles‘ unique sound is unlike anything heardbefore or since – providing the perfect foil to the text by e.e. cummings.
  • Expanded liner notes by Mark Swed and Sabine Feisst.
  • 24-bit remastered sound.

<!– The works are superbly performed by soprano Christine Schadeberg backed by Musicians’ Accord, one of New York’s premier New Music ensembles. They can also be heard performing works by Silver, Kaminsky and Kassel on mode 23. –>


Luciano Berio: The Complete Sequenzas and Works for Solo Instruments
      (mode 161-163)

Musicians’ Accord on Mode:
Henry Cowell: Mosaic (mode 72/73, 2 CDs)

Musicians’ Accord Web Site