Berio notated the piece so that an individual staff line has a fixed duration, while the durations of individual notes are indicated proportionately--that is, a small distance between one note and the next denotes a short duration, whereas a greater distance denotes a longer duration. The actual realization of such guidelines is left to the player in such a way that specific elements in the score will vary with each performer and each performance. This kind of "open" structure allows for flexibility within an otherwise rigorous form. This juxtaposition of regulated versus improvisatory musical materials, however, was not the main impetus behind Sequenza I. The pitch materials of Sequenza I are initially simple, consisting primarily of descending chromatic scale passages that incorporate octave displacement and rhythmic ambiguity.
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He was taught how to play the piano by his father and grandfather, who were both organists. During World War II he was conscripted into the army, but on his first day, he injured his hand while learning how a gun worked and spent time in a military hospital.
He was unable to continue studying the piano because of his injured hand, so instead concentrated on composition. In came the first public performance of one of his works, a suite for piano. Berio made a living at this time by accompanying singing classes, and it was in doing this that he met the American mezzo-soprano Cathy Berberian , whom he married shortly after graduating they divorced in Berio wrote a number of pieces that exploited her distinctive voice.
In , Berio went to the United States to study with Luigi Dallapiccola at Tanglewood , from whom he gained an interest in serialism. He became interested in electronic music , co-founding the Studio di fonologia musicale , an electronic music studio in Milan, with Bruno Maderna in He invited a number of significant composers to work there, among them Henri Pousseur and John Cage. He also produced an electronic music periodical, Incontri Musicali.
In , Berio returned to Tanglewood, this time as Composer in Residence, and in , on an invitation from Darius Milhaud , took a teaching post at Mills College in Oakland, California. In he began to teach at the Juilliard School , and there he founded the Juilliard Ensemble, a group dedicated to performances of contemporary music. In , he again married, this time to the noted philosopher of science Susan Oyama they divorced in His reputation was cemented when his Sinfonia was premiered in In , Berio returned to Italy.
In he opened Tempo Reale , a centre for musical research and production based in Florence. He was active as a conductor and continued to compose to the end of his life. Luciano Berio died in in a hospital in Rome. He was an atheist. The next day he gave another two-hour seminar, with a completely straight face, showing why it was hopelessly flawed and a creative dead-end. The piece is in memory of Martin Luther King , who had been assassinated shortly before its composition.
In it, the voice s intones first the vowels, and then the consonants which make up his name, only stringing them together to give his name in full in the final bars. The voices are not used in a traditional classical way; they frequently do not sing at all, but speak, whisper and shout.
The third movement is a collage of literary and musical quotations. A-Ronne is similarly collaged, but with the focus more squarely on the voice. It was originally written as a radio program for five actors, and reworked in for eight vocalists and an optional keyboard part.
The work is one of a number of collaborations with the poet Edoardo Sanguineti , who for this piece provided a text full of quotations from sources including the Bible , T. Eliot and Karl Marx. Another example of the influence of Sanguineti is the large work Coro premiered , scored for orchestra, solo voices, and a large choir, whose members are paired with instruments of the orchestra.
The work extends over roughly an hour, and explores a number of themes within a framework of folk music from a variety of regions: Chile, North America, Africa. Recurrent themes are the expression of love and passion; the pain of being parted from loved ones; the death of a wife or husband. A line repeated often is "come and see the blood on the streets", a reference to a poem by Pablo Neruda , written in the context of the outbreak of the civil war in Spain.
Sequenza I, for flute
Analysis[ edit ] The opening chords present all the pitch materials of the piece. They are of two kinds: 1 "resonant" chords made by superposing two major, minor, augmented, diminished triads sometimes with an added seventh or ninth , to form basically "harmonic" structures, and 2 "anti-resonant" or "noisy" chords based on chromatic relationships and containing a large number of seconds and fourths, giving them a more "inharmonic" character Guigue and Onofre , These chords are progressively horizontalised, creating "a syntactic flux between structurally opposite and intermediate constituents" MacKay , The treatment of tempos also serves to govern the overall form. There are three types of tempo usage Thomas , : a single tempo is used for a long span of music, providing a sense of stability, stasis, or even tension different independent tempos governing short gestures are juxtaposed within a single section the tempo is made to accelerate or decelerate to underline the particular gestures The chordal opening soon dissolves into the turbulent "centre" of the piece, featuring tremolos and bursts of notes within a narrow registral span.
Sequenza I For Flute