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Sequenzas I - XIII & IXb

Luisa Castelllani (soprano) Gabrielle Cassone (trumpet) Eliot Fisk (guitar) Teodoro Anzellotti (accordion) and members of Ensemble Intercontemporain.
DG 457 038-2 [53.22+47'44+56'46]
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Recorded in 1994-97 and released in 1998, this complete collection of Luciano Berio's famous works for solo instruments has won universal accolades, fully deserved. The series began in 1958 with No I for flute and they became increasingly well known with Nos III for his wife Cathy Berberian and V (in memory of Grock) for trombone, each of those two 'a theatre of vocal and instrumental gestures'. They made a huge initial impact and have spurred a whole literature of avant-garde instrumental music for solo instruments, regularly included in recitals, e.g. by the Park Lane Group's Young Artists each January. One welcomed each as it emerged through the years, just as one had every new work by Britten during his lifetime.

Berio's aim was to develop a harmonic discourse with monodic instruments, and to explore the technical possibilities inherent in each instrument and the voice. All demand virtuosity, often of completely new types. The instruments become 'a means of research and expression' and many were composed in collaboration with musicians 'of sensibility and intelligence'. Berio was keen not to go against the 'nature' of each instrument, but he often unveiled possibilities little considered beforehand. The performances are all authoritative and ideally suited to home listening, a few at a time. The most recent are given by their dedicatees, guitarist Eliot Fisk No. XI (1988), Pascal Gallois, bassoon, No XII & Teodoro Anzellotti, (saxophone) - both world first recordings.

It is supported with texts by Sanguineti and essays by the composer, who was no doubt in close attendance at the sessions for this first complete recording of his Sequenzas at IRCAM in Paris.

Peter Grahame Woolf


Peter Grahame Woolf

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