Matthias Goerne / Synergy Vocals / Josep Pons / BBC Symphony Orchestra

Berio: Sinfonia; Mahler/Berio: 10 Fruhe Lieder

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Luciano Berio's most celebrated and influential work is his Sinfonia for 8 amplified voices and orchestra (1968), a tour de force of musical quotations and collages, literary references, and social commentary that he composed for The Swingle Singers and the New York Philharmonic on the occasion of the orchestra's 125th anniversary. This composition has received noteworthy performances by Berio, Pierre Boulez, Peter Eötvös, Riccardo Chailly, Hannu Lintu, and now Josep Pons, who leads the Synergy Vocals and the BBC Symphony Orchestra for this important release on Harmonia Mundi. Because Berio used the scherzo from Gustav Mahler's Symphony No. 2 in C minor ("Resurrection") as the framework for the spectacular third movement, it has become the most famous part of Sinfonia, and reveals the significance of Mahler in Berio's thinking. The 10 Frühe Lieder (1986-1987), a collection of Mahler's songs on texts from Des Knaben Wunderhorn, here orchestrated by Berio, show a tangential relation to Sinfonia, at least in terms of adapting Mahler's original versions for voice and piano into more elaborate orchestral arrangements. However, Berio's adaptation is not avant-garde: the songs possess rich post-Romantic sonorities and harmonies, and baritone Matthias Goerne delivers them with a combination of warm lyricism and powerful declamation. Highly recommended.

Track Listing

Title/Composer Performer Time
Des Knaben Wunderhorn
1 01:37
2 03:49
3 04:32
4 01:49
5 02:47
Des Knaben Wunderhorn
6 02:03
7 04:26
8 01:59
9 02:24
Des Knaben Wunderhorn
10 02:38
12 04:33
13 12:23
blue highlight denotes track pick