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  • Luciano Berio: Formazioni / Folk Songs / Sinfonia
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Luciano Berio: Formazioni / Folk Songs / Sinfonia Import

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Audio CD, Import, May 1, 1990
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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Berio: FormazioniRoyal Concertgebouw Orchestra18:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Folk Songs - 1. Black Is The Colour (USA)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 3:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Folk Songs - 2. I Wonder As I Wander (USA)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1:42$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Folk Songs - 3. Loosin Yelav (Armenia)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Folk Songs - 4. Rosssignolet Du Bois (France)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1:17$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Folk Songs - 5. A La Femminisca (Sicily)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Folk Songs - 6. La Donna Ideale (Italy)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1:02$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Berio: Folk Songs - 7. Ballo (Italy)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 1:20$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Folk Songs - 8. Motettu De Tristura (Sardinia)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 2:16$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Folk Songs - 9. Malorous Qu'o Uno Fenno (Auvergne - France)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra0:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Folk Songs - 10. Lo Fiolaire (Auvergne - France)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Folk Songs - 11. Azerbaijan Love Song (Azerbaijan)Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra 2:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Sinfonia For 8 Voices And Orchestra - 1.Electric Phoenix 6:01$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Sinfonia For 8 Voices And Orchestra - 2. O KingElectric Phoenix 4:25$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. Sinfonia For 8 Voices And Orchestra - 3. In Ruhig Fließender BewegungElectric Phoenix11:19$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. Sinfonia For 8 Voices And Orchestra - 4.Electric Phoenix 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Sinfonia For 8 Voices And Orchestra - VElectric Phoenix 6:14$0.99  Buy MP3 

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Product Details

  • Performer: Jard Van Nes, Electric Phoenix
  • Orchestra: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra
  • Conductor: Riccardo Chailly
  • Composer: Luciano Berio
  • Audio CD (May 1, 1990)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: London
  • ASIN: B00000E45Y
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #347,074 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Hodges on January 5, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This recording highlights some of Berio's best pieces, and shows off the superb playing of this orchestra under Chailly, who obviously loves these scores.
The original "Sinfonia" recording from the 1960's was marvelous, but this one has the fifth movement, added later, and the entire CD is in spectacular sound. (I have not heard the Boulez version.) The beautifully played interpretation could stand on its own merits, but the fact is that Decca has given this masterwork the sonic splendor it deserves. The vocalists are Britain's outstanding Electric Phoenix, and they are at their finest in the taxing, complex middle movement that uses the "Scherzo" from Mahler's Second Symphony as its spine. Berio's transformation requires the singers to sing, yell, laugh, whisper and more, and the disciplined, yet uninhibited approach here is breathtaking.
Jard van Nes uses her warm timbre beautifully in the Folk Songs; check out her flowing line in "Black is the color of my true love's hair." Berio's spare orchestrations, coupled with freshly altered chords and rhythms, make intriguing listening. With all this, the rousing "Formazione" almost seems like a bonus.
This disc may be hard to find, but is highly recommended, both as an outstanding document of an invigorating (and major) 20th-century work, and of the chemistry between Chailly and the orchestra. One of their best recordings together.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Prescott Cunningham Moore on January 9, 2011
Format: Audio CD
This is a wonderful disc of Berio. True, the over-played and somewhat uneven Folk Songs are not really representative of Berio's art, but the Sinfonia is a modern classic, his most widely preformed work. Chailly's performance may irk those of us that have long lived with Boulez's performance with the New Swingle Singers. In the famous third movement, Boulez highlights the narrator which brings him to the front of the texture. The effect is quite satisfying indeed but it is not exactly what Berio intended. One need only listen to the New York performance conducted by the conductor to hear that Berio intended the narrator to be integrated in the orchestral fabric. In that sense, Chailly's performance most closely resembles Berio's own, of course, with better playing and recorded sound. Despite the fact that the music was written for the Swingle Singers, Electric Phoenix offers clearer diction than their predecessors and, because the narrator is now just only one of seven other voices, more of the total text is revealed. Chailly also offers a slightly more coherent performance of the tacked-on finale than Boulez. Eotvos's recent performance on Deutsche Grammaphon's now defunct 20/21 series is highly recommended as well, but Chailly's orchestra is just spectacular.

And yet, the best part of this disc is Formazioni, a work commissioned by the Concertgebouw in the late eighties. A through-composed piece, Formazioni is an exploration of timbres and colors typical of the composer but is filled with some many felicitous details and really delightful orchestral effects that more effectively sustains attention than Eindrucke, with its hard edged rhythms, or Continuo, with its smoother profile.
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Format: Audio CD
This 1990 Decca disc where Ricardo Chailly conducts the Royal Concertgeouw in three works by Luciano Berio has been overlooked even by dedicated fans of the composer. It does have some value for its recording of "Formazioni", one of the few out there of such a great piece, but the remaining two pieces are disappointingly performed.

"Sinfonia" for 8 voices and orchestra (1968-69) is vast in its proportions and in the musical traditions it incorporates. The eight voices are meant to be jazz singers, and Berio originally wrote the piece for the Swingle Singers. The first two movements are quiet and mysterious. In the first, the singers gently intone selections from Levi-Strauss' retellings of Brazilian myths, made so vague that only the phonetic properties matter. In the second movement "O King", an orchestration of an earlier independent work, the singers slowly build up to the name "Martin Luther King", who had been murdered the year in the tumultuous year when Berio wrote the bulk of the piece.

The third movement of "Sinfonia", the extroverted "In ruhig fliessender Bewegung", is the most famous. The skeleton of the work is the second movement from Mahler's "Resurrection" symphony, a little cut-up and reordered. Over this, Berio has a tenor reciting text taken mainly from Samuel Beckett's "The Unnameable" and Berio's own journalistic writings, and the orchestra responds with quotations from fifteen composers. For example, when the narrator uses the term "the lowing cattle, the rush of the stream", we hear part of Beethoven's "Pastorale" symphony, while a singer's cry "This is nothing but an academic exercise" is ironically accompanied by music by Hindemith.
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Format: Audio CD
Luciano Berio was unquestionably one of the great composers of the 20th century, having had a significant influence on such forms as minimalism and avant-garde. As it is with so many of today's composers, Berio's works oftentimes require a number of run-throughs for a listener to really "get" what he was trying to get across. Once beyond that, however, and the inclination to dismiss all contemporary music as "temporary music", as George Szell was infamous for doing during his tenure at the Cleveland Orchestra, the rewards are quite significant.

Having only hear one work of Berio's before this, "Rendering" (his 1989 conception of what might have been Franz Schubert's 10th Symphony), I wasn't quite sure what to expect from the three works featured on this recording by the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra and conductor Riccardo Chailly. And yet, those three works--"Formazioni"; "Folk Songs"; and "Sinfonia"--are fairly accessible overall, especially when rendered as superbly as they are by such a world-class conductor/orchestra combine. Jard van Nes functions very well in her vocal role in "Folk Songs", especially with Berio's adaptation of John Jacob Niles' Christmas ballad "I Wonder As I Wander"; and England's Electric Phoenix vocal ensemble gives a spooky gravitas to "Sinfonia", with its references to Mahler's Resurrection Symphony and the late, great Martin Luther King (it was composed the year after King's assassination). These are all fairly modern works (though "Folk Songs" and "Sinfonia" are actually creations of the 1960s); and anyone familiar with the "minimalist" works of John Adams or Steve Reich, let alone the avant-garde excursions of Krzysztof Penderecki, will find a lot of value in them, especially in performances with this orchestra/conductor combination at hand.
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