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Berio (Oxford Studies of Composers) Hardcover – March 14, 1991

ISBN-13: 978-0193154780 ISBN-10: 0193154781

 
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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Studies of Composers (Book 20)
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press (March 14, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0193154781
  • ISBN-13: 978-0193154780
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.6 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,834,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review


"This book is indispensable."--Notes


"An admirable introduction to the life and works of Luciano Berio."--Choice


--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

David Osmond-Smith, Senior Lecturer in Music, University of Sussex. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Format: Paperback
David Osmond-Smith's guide to the work of Luciano Berio appeared in the Oxford Studies of Composers series in 1991. The work is slim--minus index and appendices it comes to only 118 pages--but tries to cover Berio's entire career up to that point.

One immediately notices that the emphasis here is on the music itself. Biographical material is very limited and brought up only when relevant to the composer's writing, such as his fruitful first marriage to Cathy Berberian. His writing is not handled in strictly chronological order, but the pieces are organized to highlight certain facets of his work. One whole chapter is dedicated to his general conceptions of melody and harmony. The following--for me the most interesting--is on his "commentary techniques", his ability to write new pieces organically growing from the basis of earlier music (sometimes by different composers). A next chapter is dedicated to vocal music. The 1970s, with Berio's return to electronics and maturization of technique, get their own chapter, where "Coro" gets the most substantial treatment. Finally, a last chapter covers Berio's theatre pieces up to the time of writing.

While resources on Berio are woefully few, and I would recommend this book to any fan, the enterprise could have been so much more. Like all Oxford Studies of Composers, this installment is far too brief to give more than a passing glance at most of the composer's work. And since no second edition was prepared after Berio's death, we end things in 1990, before the great triumphs of his late career like the opera "Outis", the Schubert completion "Rendering", and his last work "Stanze". And there's a need for more information on Berio's life itself, such as his involvement in the Italian television series "C'e musica e musica" and what students he inspired. At least Osmond-Smith has also written PLAYING ON WORDS a full-length guide to the wonder that is Berio's "Sinfonia", which fans should also seek out as well.
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