Sinfonia (Berio)  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Sinfonia is a composition by the Italian composer Luciano Berio that was commissioned by the New York Philharmonic for its 125th anniversary. Composed in 1968-69 and was premiered on October 10, 1968. The eight voices are not used in a traditional classical way; they frequently do not sing at all, but speak, whisper and shout words by Claude Lévi-Strauss, whose The Raw and the Cooked provides much of the text, excerpts from Samuel Beckett's novel The Unnamable, instructions from the scores of Gustav Mahler and other writings.

Leonard Bernstein states in the text version of his Charles Eliot Norton lectures from 1973 that Sinfonia was representative of the new direction classical music was taking after the pessimistic decade of the sixties.

Luciano Berio's Sinfonia uses text of the The Raw and the Cooked The YouTube clip above explains that Levi-Strauss was not aware of the aproach that the italian composer used when he used the book as a major source of inspiration for his Sinfonia. In an interview, Levi-Strauss said that:

"[Y]ou know that Berio used The Raw and the Cooked in his Sinfonia. A part of the text is recited, accompanied by the music. I admit that I did not grasp the reason for this choice. During an interview a musicologist asked me about it, and I answered that the book had just come out and the composer had probably used it because it was at hand. Now, a few months ago Berio, whom I don't know, sent me a very disgruntled letter. He had read the interview, several years after the fact, and assured me that the movement of this symphony offered the musical counterpart of the mythical transformation I was revealing. He included a book by a musicologist (Osmond-Smith 1985) who had demonstrated the fact. I apologized for the misunderstanding, which was, I said, the result of my lack of musical training, but I'm still baffled."

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Sinfonia (Berio)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools