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Laborintus II


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Audio CD, July 24, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

Captured on this CD is a remarkable performance of Laborintus II, only the third recording released to the public since it was first performed in 1965. Described as a music theatre work by its pioneering composer Luciano Berio (1925-2003), the avant garde piece was commissioned by the national radio agency of France to celebrate the 700-year anniversary of the birth of Dante Alighieri in 1265. Making its world premiere on French radio network ORTF in September 1965, Laborintus II is an edgy audial montage of voices, instrumentation and tape.

Laborintus II was inspired by the writings of Dante scholar Edoardo Sanguineti, who wrote the accompanying libretto. Whereas Berio was renowned for layering sounds and overlapping musical genres in his compositions, Italian poet Sanguineti employed the same patchwork and overlap technique with the words he used, the sources he drew from and the images his writing evoked for Berio s musical works. Pulling from his original work of poetry Laborintus, published in 1956, Sanguineti also wove in lines from Dante, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, St. Isidore of Seville and the Bible for Laborintus II to highlight the timelessness of love and mourning, usury and revolt, all of which are interlinking themes in this work. In short, Laborintus II is a modern plunge into the layers of hell, specifically the Inferno that Dante immortalized in The Divine Comedy.

Conducted by Georges-Elie Octors, this live performance of Laborintus II at the 2010 Holland Festival in Amsterdam was narrated by another pioneer in experimental music, esteemed vocalist Mike Patton, best known as lead singer of American post-punk band Faith No More. Dutch choir Nederlands Kamerkoor provided the haunting female voices and chorus, while Brussels-based Ictus Ensemble performed the musical accompaniment to this work that is considered one of Berio's masterpieces work as well as the great experimenter's most unusual creation.

1. Part 1
2. Part 2
3. Part 3

Product Details

  • Performer: Mike Patton
  • Orchestra: Ictus Ensemble
  • Conductor: Georges-Elie Octors
  • Composer: Luciano Berio
  • Audio CD (July 24, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Ipecac Recordings
  • ASIN: B0082SIQJE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #107,761 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By T. A. Daniel on July 3, 2012
Format: MP3 Music
With each of Mike Patton's solo releases, I have no idea what to expect, and his latest is no different. The description of LABORINTUS II sounds like a madlib: Experimental rock vocalist and pioneer Mike Patton has released an avant-garde poem from the 1960's about the work of Inferno author Dante Alighieri that tries to communicate the authors life through allegories to the Bible, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound, and more. Sound esoteric? Sound maddeningly niche? It is. But let's back up from here.

Mike Patton has made a career of defying expectations. Not only is he one of the best vocalists in town, but he's one of the more forward thinking musicians at work today. While he effortlessly defies genre or convention, some of his work isn't so accessible. DELIRIUM CORDIA for example is a concept album that focuses on the theme of being operated on without anethesia; it's only one track long, but that track stretched out for nearly 80 minutes. This isn't Patton's normal output, but for Patton fans, it shouldn't be too surprising. Usually, his albums adhere to some form of convention to ground the music. LABORINTUS II is definitely not one of these albums.

Luciano Berio's "Laborintus II" is a poem originally commissioned by France. Its purpose was to celebrate the life of Dante Alighieri: 1965, after all, celebrated the 700 anniversary of his author's birth. Berio's poem was created for three female voices, eight actors, a variety of instruments, and one speaker. The role of speaker is filled by Mike Patton.

Originally recorded in 2010, this live recording is a largely a faithful adaptation of Berio's work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David D. Gable on May 13, 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The new live recording of Laborintus 2 on Ipecac with Georges-Elie Octors conducting the Ictus Ensemble and Mike Patton narrating is the fourth recording of Laborintus 2 I've heard, the others being the studio recording with Berio and the Ensemble Musique Vivante; the live recording on Ermitage with Giorgio Bernasconi conducting the Ensemble Contrechamps; and an mp3 file of a live performance with Susanna Mälkki and the Ensemble InterContemporain. In another review Gwilym T writes that "the integration of live instruments with the tape [on Ipecac] is thrillingly achieved and [...] works much better than in the [Berio] recording." In fact, it works better than in any of the recordings I've heard, although I would put it another way. The sections in which the sounds recorded on magnetic tape thread their way through the roar of the crowd are far better recorded here than in any of the other recordings I've heard, giving me a better perspective on long passages from the score than ever before and enabling me to hear textural relationships hitherto inaudible to me. I don't think this has anything to do with the relative merits of the performers involved in any of the recordings, comparison of which is rendered difficult by the different perspectives afforded by the conditions under which they were recorded. In any case, this is a very fine performance, the recorded quality of which alone makes it worth the price of admission. Similarly, I have five recordings of Berio's Requies, the RCA studio recording with Berio and the London Sinfonietta, two live recordings with Chailly and the Concertgebouw, and live recordings with Roberto Abbado and Simon Rattle.Read more ›
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By L. filosa on November 28, 2013
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Earnestly enthusiastic performance of this Berio work. Not a Patton piece per se, but near and dear to his oeuvre. Look-It's BERIO-and it kicks butt-why wait?
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By Jason Rook on March 1, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Very good
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