Sunday, March 27, 2011

Luciano Berio - Orchestral Transcriptions - Chailly, Giuseppe Verdi Orchestra







Luciano Berio made an art of transcritption, attracted as he was to traditional music, both folk and classical, while being wedded to a modernist idiom. He picks up where Schoenberg left off in his famous transcription of the Brahms first pinao quartet, which in Schoenberg's hands was expanded into the "Brahms Fifth."

Luciano Berio Like his predecessor, Berio is fascinated by the unlimited potential of orchestration, and his addition of a multi-color palette to Purcell and Bach is affectionate; a Boccherini slow march gets turned into a full street procession with a brass band. Papageno's second aria gets deconstructed a la Webern, veyr wittily, almost completely disguising the original melody.

The two main works here are, first, "Rendering," Berio's completion of Schubert's sketches for a Tenth Symphony, which are so fragmentary that he has plenty of room for modernist intervention, as he did with the Mahelr Second in Sinfonia. Berio's dreamy interludes are highly effecitve;; this is like a dozing visitation by Schubert's distrubed ghost. It's by far the most we will ever get out of the bits and pieces, in themselves not inspiring, that the composer left behind.

The other major item here is an orchestral transcription of a late Brahms sonata for either viola or clarinet, transformed by Berio into a surprisingly moving clarinet concerto. The solo line remains faithful to the original, while the orchestral part is emotionally amplified, in the mode of Schoenberg's treatment of the piano quartet, very lush and highly colored.

In all, this is exemplary creative use of previous musical materials, a tribute to each composer rather than a hijacking. Chailly and his new Italian orchestra perform everything very well and Decca's sound is impeccable. If only the cover weren't so extremely drab. It misrepresents the high spirits of what's inside.


flac, scans


  1. The files appear to have CRC erros

  2. There is a 5% recovery included. Please use the winrar repair tool inside winrar...

  3. Thanks Otto, but winrar asks me for a part 3, and I can't find it.



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