Luciano Berio

Berio, born in Oneglia, near Imperia, Italy, was one of the most active of post World War II avant-garde composers, conductors, and teachers. He studied composition and piano with his father and classics in local schools. His piano studies were terminated at age 19 by an accident to his right hand. After WW II he moved to Milan and attended composition classes at the Conservatory.

In 1950 he married the American singer Cathy Berberian and in 1951 he obtained a Koussevitzky scholarship that enabled him to attend Luigi Dallapiccola's classes at Tanglewood. His encounter with Dallapiccola brought about a spiritual and technical transformation that enabled him to resolve the ambiguities he showed in some of his early music, and to reach beyond the concept of classical 12-tone serialism. The whole American musical scene was a revelation to this young composer from a small Italian village.

He became very interested in electronic music, and he made many contributions to that medium. In 1954, in Basle, he met Bruno Maderna, Henri Pousseur, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, and his first visit to Darmstadt exposed him to the main exponents and problems of the post-Webern avant-garde school.

He directed the Studio de Fonologia in Milan from 1955 to 1961, when he resigned because of bureaucratic problems and the inconvenience of being tied to a permanent post there. From 1960 to 1963 he taught at the Tanglewood, Dartington, and Darmstadt music festivals, and in 1963 he moved to the USA to teach at Mills College, Oakland, CA. He taught at Juilliard from 1965 to 1971, and in 1972 he returned to Italy.

In 1976 he became artistic director of the Accademia Filarmonica Romana. After his divorce from Cathy Berberian in 1965, Berio married the psychologist Susan Oyama, and in 1977 he married the musicologist Talia Pecker. He died in 2003.

Year / Artwork Title Importance Medium
1954 Nones for Orchestra 4.00 stars LP
Berio Comments:

London Symphony Orchestra cond. Luciano Berio

1957 Serenade No 1 3.50 stars LP
Luciano Berio - Serenade No 1 Comments:

Severino Gazzelloni - Flute
Solist from Rome Symphony Orchestra cond. Bruno Maderna

1958 Allelujah II 4.50 stars LP
Berio Comments:

BBC Symphony Orchestra cond. Luciano Berio and Pierre Boulez

1958 Thema - Omaggia a Joyce 4.00 stars CD
Luciano Berio Comments:

Inspired by Ulyssees by James Joyce, a book with I try to read in vain.

The CD text is by the musical equivalent of Josef Stalin, Konrad Boehmer, who I also do not understand but even more important do not trust.

1959 Allez Hop 4.00 stars LP
Luciano Berio - Allez Hop Comments:
This is Berio's struggle with the jazz idiom. Interesting!
This is the 1968 revision.
The orchestra is conducted by Bruno Maderna.
Has been performed at the Holland Festival in 1972. How do I get the video-footage?
1960 Momenti 4.00 stars CD
Luciano Berio Comments:
Electronic

Realised at Studio di Fonologica, Milano.

1961 Visage 4.00 stars CD
Luciano Berio Comments:
Electronic

Realised at Studio di Fonologica, Milano.

His swan song as far as the location is concerned.

1964 Sequenza 2 for Harp 4.0 stars LP
Luciano Berio Comments:
Francis Pierre - Harp
1964 Folk Songs 4.00 stars CD
Luciano Berio - Recital 1 for Cathy -  Folk Songs Comments:
Famous vocal works performed by London Sinfonietta, Juilliard Ensemble
and husband and ex wife Luciano Berio and Cathy Berberian
1964 Folk Songs 4.00 stars CD
Luciano Berio - Sinfonia / Eindrucke (Orch. National de Fr., Pierre Boulez) Comments:
Jard van Nes Mezzo-Soprano
Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Ricardo Chailly
1964 Folk Songs 4.00 stars CD
Comments:
Dawn Upshaw - Soprano
Andalucian Dogs
1963-1965 Laborintus 2 4.00 stars LP
Luciano Berio - Laborintus 2 Comments:
Based on texts from Dante.
For Soprano's, Contra-Alto, Speaker
Ensemble Musique Vivante, Choir cond. Luciano Berio
This recording won several prices.
1966 Sequenza V for trombone solo 4.00 stars LP
Luciano Berio - Sequenza V for trombone solo Comments:
Part of the  Avant Garde 1968 edition. Cassette with 6 records by Deutsche Grammophon.

Vinko Globokar - Trombone.

Berio was one of Globokar's teachers.
1968-1969 Sinfonia 4.00 stars CD
Luciano Berio - Sinfonia / Eindrucke (Orch. National de Fr., Pierre Boulez) Comments:
I have heard Sinfonia in the early 70's in the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam. I think Bruno Maderna was the conductor. Since then complete recordings have been recorded. "This absorbing and bewilderingly complex work has been available only in the four-movement version that Berio himself prepared in 1969 for the first performance with the Swingle Singers and the New York Philharmonic Orchestra". Because of its complexity this work begs for a Digital Dolby 5.1 recording.
I could choose between Chailly and Boulez.
I would prefer Chailly, but Boulez works with the Swingle Singers. So that one is closer to the original. which is also in the collection.
And.. 9,99 Not bad! Still no DD 5.1
1968-1969 Sinfonia 4.50 stars CD
Luciano Berio - Sinfonia / Eindrucke (Orch. National de Fr., Pierre Boulez) Comments:
Electric Phoenix
Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Ricardo Chailly
1968-1969 Sinfonia 4.50 stars LP
Comments:
Swingle Singers
New York Philharmonic cond. Luciano Berio
1969 Sequenza VII for Oboe 3.50 stars LP
Sequenza Comments:
Heinz Holliger - Oboe
1950-1970 Concertino for Clarinet and Piano 4.50 stars LP
Luciano Berio - Berio conducts Berio Comments:
London Sinfonietta cond. Luciano Berio
1971 Autre fois 3.50 stars CD
Comments:
Berceuse canonique pour Igor Stravinsky

Ralf Mielke - Flute
Matthias Kreher - Clarinet
Ellen Wegner - Harp

Performance on YouTube by Maria Alikhanova, Anton Dressler and Tatiana Oskolkova

1972 Recital 1 for Cathy 4.00 stars CD
Luciano Berio - Recital 1 for Cathy -  Folk Songs Comments:
Famous vocal works performed by London Sinfonietta, Juilliard Ensemble
and husband and ex wife Luciano Berio and Cathy Berberian
1972-1973 Double Piano Concerto 4.50 stars LP
Berio Comments:

Bruno Canino - Piano
Antonio Ballista - Piano

London Symphony Orchestra cond. Luciano Berio

1973 Linea 4.50 stars LP
Luciano Berio - Berio conducts Berio Comments:
For 2 Pianos, Vibraphone and Marimba

London Sinfonietta cond. Luciano Berio
1973-1974 Eindrucke 4.00 stars CD
Luciano Berio - Sinfonia / Eindrucke (Orch. National de Fr., Pierre Boulez) Comments:
Orchestra National de France cond. Pierre Boulez
1973-1974 Points on the Curve to Find. 4.50 stars LP
Luciano Berio - Berio conducts Berio Comments:

London Sinfonietta cond. Luciano Berio

1975 Concertino for Clarinet and Piano 4.50 stars LP
Luciano Berio - Berio conducts Berio Comments:
Chemins IV for Oboe

Heinz Holliger - Oboe
London Sinfonietta cond. Luciano Berio

1975-1977 Coro 4.00 stars CD
Comments:

Cologne Radio Choir
Symphony Orchestra cond. Luciano Berio

1987 Formazioni 4.00 stars CD
Luciano Berio - Sinfonia / Eindrucke (Orch. National de Fr., Pierre Boulez) Comments:
Concertgebouw Orchestra cond. Ricardo Chailly