Tag Archives: Luciano Berio

In Sicilia: Imagination Unbound

Museo Regionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea Belmonte-Riso, internal courtyard

Imagination encircles the world.
Albert Einstein

On our return trip from Siracusa to Palermo, we could see, off in the distance, a great flat-topped mountain, covered with snow. When, later, we consulted our map, we realized it must have been Mt. Etna. Continue reading

Grock the Clown

Grock_1928Or Grock: Où, ça? [trans.: How’s that?]
(J’ai une idée.) [trans.: I have an idea.]
Grock: Où, ça’?

The Cantos of Ezra Pound, LXXXVII 589

I learned of Grock the Clown through the back door—Luciano Berio’s Sequenza V. Berio wrote of Sequenza V, “What weaves its way in and out of Sequenza V is the memory of Grock (Adriano Wettach), the last of the great clowns.” Sequenza V is an “homage to Grock and to the English version of his warum – why – which is the generative nucleus of the piece.” [citation] Continue reading

“Less Is More” with Telemann, Debussy, Kodály, Anzoletti, Prokofiev, Berio, and . . .

1IMG_6714_edited-1The Great Composers Appreciation Society has been listening to music on the theme of “Less Is More” this month (4/15-5/14/15). The main selections for the month, chosen with typical perspicacity by our helmsman, Brian Long, include:

J. S Bach: Cello Suite No. 3 in C Major, BWV 1009 (1720?)  (More information here.)

Joseph Haydn: Symphony No.45 in F-sharp minor, Hob.I:45 (“Farewell”) (1772)  (More information here.)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Duo for violin & viola No. 1 in G major, K. 423 (1783) (More information here.)

Claude Debussy: Syrinx (1913) (See below for more information.)

Edgar Varèse: Density 21.5 (1936, rev. 1946)  (More information here.)

Anton Webern: 5 pieces for orchestra op. 10 (1913)  (More information here.)

Benjamin Britten: Cello Suite No. 3, op. 87 (1971)  (More information here.)

Luciano Berio: Sequenzas 3 (for voice, 1965) and 5 (for trombone, 1966) (See below for more information.) Continue reading

Waltzing with Fish

Laurence OP 7182882083_6b63778d4a_b

And tomorrow we’ll read that X made tulips grow in my garden and altered the flow of the ocean currents.

—excerpt, text of Luciano Berio’s Sinfonia

It’s the heretics in Rimini who started it. Saint Anthony’s solution was to give up on them, march to the sea, and preach to the fish. According to Brother Ugolino, who reported on the event, the fish responded in exemplary fashion:

. . . all were ranged in perfect order and most peacefully, the smaller ones in front near the bank, after them came those a little bigger, and last of all, where the water was deeper, the largest. Continue reading