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Luciano Berio - Concertos

Berio Concertos
The musical possibilities inherent in the concerto form or at least a rather unusual version of it have been particularly important in Berio's music. His earliest experiments in the genre can be found in the Chemins cycle, a group of pieces based on the Sequenza cycle, in which each original Sequenza becomes the solo part in a kind of miniature "concerto" as in Chemins II and Chemins IV and Corale (based on the Sequenzas for oboe, viola and violin respectively), in which the original solo piece is embedded within a fresh layer of musical commentary.

A further sequence of concerto-like pieces has extended the idea of creating entire works out of the kernel of a virtuoso solo line, as in the ruminative Ritorno degli snovidenia (1977), in which the solo cellist's contemplative endless melody is sustained, extended and embroidered by the surrounding orchestral instruments, or the dazzling "Points on the curve to find. . ." (1974), for piano and chamber orchestra, a breathtaking study in musical perpetual motion.

In typical Berio fashion, this latter work has itself since become the basis for a further concerto for piano and orchestra, Concerto II (Echoing Curves) (1989).

CD Recommendations

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Chemins II & IV; Corale; "Points on the curve to find. . ."; Ritorno degli snovidenia: Ensemble Intercontemporain; Boulez (Sony SK 45862).

A miraculously lucid performance by Pierre-Laurent Aimard of the stunningly virtuosic "Points on the curve to find. . ." is the highlight of this fascinating disc, whilst violinist Maryvonne Le Dizs and violist Jean Sulem offer incandescent accounts of the feisty Corale and Chemins II.
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SheetMusic by Berio