Edward Gardner

Luciano Berio: Realisations

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A leading figure in the avant-garde movement of the 1960s, and most famous for his monumental Sinfonia (1968), Luciano Berio was by no means a doctrinaire composer, attached to only one ideology or compositional technique. Stylistic flexibility held him in good stead for decades, and his open mindedness gave him the freedom to look to the past for inspiration. The works on this Chandos CD were products of Berio's practice of arranging music for orchestra: Sonata, Op. 120/1 (1986), Sechs frühe Lieder (1987), and Rendering (1988) are full-scale orchestral realizations of music by Johannes Brahms, Gustav Mahler, and Franz Schubert, respectively, and the music is comparatively free of parody or modernist commentary. While it isn't easy to see the necessity of turning Brahms' Clarinet Sonata No. 1 into a full-blown concerto, the arrangements of Mahler's earliest song collection, Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit, really fill a need, since the originals for voice and piano weren't orchestrated by the composer. Rendering is based on Schubert's sketches for a Tenth Symphony, yet because the gaps between plainly tonal sections are laced with strange, dreamlike passages of polytonal or atonal music, the realization as a whole is not convincing, either as a Schubert arrangement or as a Berio collage. The performances by Edward Gardner and the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra are rich and resonant, given Chandos' exceptional super audio format, and the album is an enjoyable exploration of Berio's sideline pursuits.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
Rendering, for orchestra
1 9:49
2 10:57
3 11:58
Clarinet Sonata
4 8:29
5 6:08
6 4:11
7 5:16
Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit
8 2:41
9 4:11
10 1:49
11 2:29
12 2:16
13 3:12
blue highlight denotes track pick