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Berio: Voci Import


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Audio CD, Import, January 29, 2002
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Berio: Voci (Folk Songs II)Radio Symphonieorchester Wien32:06Album Only
listen  2. Traditional: Grido del venditore di pesceAngelo Vitello 1:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Traditional: CanzunaUnknown 1:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Traditional: Lamento per il Venerdì SantoAntonio Bulgaretta 5:44$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Traditional: Novena di NataleVito D'Angelo 3:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Traditional: Ninna nanna / Specchiu di l'occhi meiGiuseppe Cangemi 3:07$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Berio: Naturale (Su melodie siciliane)Kim Kashkashian22:14Album Only


Product Details

  • Performer: Luciano Berio, Dennis Russell Davies, Kim Kashkashian
  • Audio CD (January 29, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B00005ND3I
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,483 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Voci seems an appropriate title for a disc about the composer's personal responses to Sicilian folk music. There are three pieces on this album--the first, the aforementioned Voci, is scored for viola and full orchestra. Berio manages to successfully combine avant-garde techniques with more traditional harmonic and melodic procedures, so that more tuneful elements stand out. The folk aspects of the music can be discerned sometimes as distant impressions and sometimes almost as transcriptions. The scoring is large and spacious (three percussionists surround two inner ensembles and the violist), but is used sparingly. The piece itself is powerful and raw, helped by Kashkashian's gritty, virtuosic playing. Of the other tracks, Naturale is a closer reflection of Sicilian folk music, but belongs very much to the vein of Voci. All the recordings have a rather "live" element to them, and this helps to draw out the vibrancy of the music. --Dominic Sewell

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 5 customer reviews
Kim Kashkashian is tremendous!
Autonomeus
I really enjoy listening to Berio, and Kim's playing is at her best I think at this recording.
"kenny375"
The music is highly melismatic, and dominated by microtones and unusual textures.
Christopher Forbes

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Forbes on August 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
I've often had a love/hate relationship with the music of Berio, I'm not sure exactly why. His more serialist music never seemed startlingly original to me...the Sequenzia, though interesting as experiments, never really grabbed me as pieces (though that may be a prejudice that I've often harbored against solo instrumental pieces...one that I've only recently begun to work through by listening to the Bach Cello Suites again.) And the Sinfonia, which has often been touted as his masterpiece, seems to me to be increasingly dated...sounding more and more like the work of a flower child. Then along comes this CD and I rethink everything that I've ever thought about this composer. These are amoung the most original and stunning works of the last 20 years.
The Cd is dominated by two pieces, Voci for viola and orchestra and Naturale for viola and percussion and tape. In between the two Berio pieces are field recordings of Sicilian folk songs upon which the works are based. The folk music is arresting, sounding more mideastern than Italian and thus showing Sicily's roots in the Moorish empire. (Sardinian and Corsican music have much the same impact.) The music is highly melismatic, and dominated by microtones and unusual textures.
Just these recordings by themselves are haunting, but what Berio does with them is magnificent! Voci has it's antecedents in the Folk Song "arrangements" that Berio did for Cathy Berberian in the 60's (another of my favorite Berio pieces). But here, Berio completely subsumes the folk elements into his own style. While you can initially hear some of the motives from the folk songs, particularly in the viola part, the orchestra begins a running commentary that eventually transforms the material into something rich and strange.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Autonomeus on July 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This album is incredible on all levels, a startling accomplishment! This is the first Berio I've heard, and I could not be more impressed. "Voci" and "Naturale" are both 1980s compositions featuring traditional Sicilian folk melodies. "Voci" features viola and orchestra, while "Naturale" features viola, percussion, and a tape recording of a Sicilian folk singer.

One of the brilliant aspects of this ECM disc is that in between the two Berio pieces are five field recordings of the Sicilian folk songs that are used in those pieces! An irony of "Voci" is that there are no vocals -- the melodies taken from the vocals of the folk songs are woven into the complex composition. The sound quality is superb, and the mesh of Berio's modernism with the folk music is beyond words. It reminds me of the way in which the free jazz of Ornette Coleman linked back to elements of pre-swing jazz, with its polytonal collective improvisation. In a similar way, the rough, bent notes of the folk songs loop and connect with Berio's post-tonality.

Kim Kashkashian is tremendous! Her viola is front and center through both compositions, a stunning showcase for her playing. I hope Berio's modernism will not be a deterrent for anyone who appreciates virtuosic performance -- in fact I hope if you do, you might have your ears opened to something beyond the standard repertoire!

The ECM package goes beyond any high standard you might expect -- a booklet with gorgeous black and white photos of Sicily and a long essay by Jurg Stenzl is included with the jewel case in a box.

This disc is truly a triumph for all involved!
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "kenny375" on March 28, 2002
Format: Audio CD
Kim does it again with this great recording. The album contains a piece with viola and orchestra, recordings of old folk songs, and a piece with viola and percussion. It reminds me of Bartok because Berio uses some old folk tunes that are pretty apparent in the first track Voci. At the same time, I also hear a lot of purity to the music despite some dissonance in the composition. I really enjoy listening to Berio, and Kim's playing is at her best I think at this recording. I've often heard her playing criticized as too manufactured and not taking enough liberties, but regardless of what you think of her playing on perhaps Bartok or Brahms, her recording of Berio evokes excitement and beauty. I reccomend this recording!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Culver TOP 1000 REVIEWER on October 28, 2009
Format: Audio CD
I'm a bit surprised to see other reviews here, because I've thought that Luciano Berio's music of the 1980s has fallen into obscurity compared to his music of the two decades prior. In any event, this ECM release highlighting the violist Kim Kashkarian does make a very elegant presentation of two pieces from this era, the Italian composer's "Voci" and "Naturale" along with selections from an ethnographic collection of Sicilian folk music which so inspired Berio.

"Voci" for viola and concerto (1984) is a concerto where the sololist continually maintains a cantabile line against sparse orchestral accompaniment. The orchestra, here the Radio Symphonieorchester Wien conducted by Dennis Russell Davies, is divided into two groups, but this doesn't really come through in recording. Upon first hearing the Sicilian folk melodies constantly turned out by the violist, I was struck by how similar they were to North African music. These ever-flowing sinuous, sensual inflections on the viola make for some of Berio's most seductive music. The role of the orchestra, however, seems weak, with so many instruments sitting on stage but no real role in shaping the work.

"Naturale" for viola, percussion and tape (1985-86) inhabits the same soundworld. The viola line is again constant folk melodies. The tape part, however, is powerful as it features recordings of the folk singer Celano. However, the percussionist (here Robyn Schulkowsky) has a very background role, contributing almost nothing. Sure, the percussionist plays a marimba line or bangs a drum a few times, but this part could be left out entirely with no impact on the piece. This ought to have been a simple duet for viola and tape.

Again, while the viola music here is lovely, the weak writing for the violist's partners makes this less essential Berio. After hearing these pieces, I'm usually in a mood to hear one of the composer's pieces of powerful orchestration like the Chemins cycle or "Formazioni".
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