Berio: Rendering; Stanze

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
For any admirer of the great Italian composer Luciano Berio 1925-2003, this release requires no special recommendation, as it includes the world premiere recording of his final work, Stanze. Scored for baritone soloist, male chorus, and orchestra, it was completed mere weeks before Berio's death and first performed in January 2004 by Dietrich Henschel and the Orchestre de Paris, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Those performances yielded the present recording, which reveals Stanze to be a work of great poetic power and a worthy capstone to Berio's career. Setting texts of Paul Celan, Edoardo Sanguineti, and three others, the score addresses issues of mortality and ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Paulin
For any admirer of the great Italian composer Luciano Berio 1925-2003, this release requires no special recommendation, as it includes the world premiere recording of his final work, Stanze. Scored for baritone soloist, male chorus, and orchestra, it was completed mere weeks before Berio's death and first performed in January 2004 by Dietrich Henschel and the Orchestre de Paris, conducted by Christoph Eschenbach. Those performances yielded the present recording, which reveals Stanze to be a work of great poetic power and a worthy capstone to Berio's career. Setting texts of Paul Celan, Edoardo Sanguineti, and three others, the score addresses issues of mortality and leave-taking, and if its mostly somber tone is no real departure for Berio, there is inevitably an added layer of poignancy under the circumstances. Henschel's singing -- his voice often reminiscent of Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau's -- is the linchpin in this performance, linking the hovering clusters and fractured sound masses of Berio's orchestration and providing a compelling human presence to guide us toward the solemn conclusion. Berio's Rendering, a reworking of sketches for an incomplete Schubert symphony, makes an appropriate pairing for Stanze. No straightforward "completion" of the Schubert symphony, Rendering places Berio's own newly composed music in dialogue with the traces of Schubert's -- one of several works in which this composer created imaginative relationships between past and present, including even an extended reference to Johann Strauss' Tritsch-Tratsch Polka in the fourth movement of Stanze. Listeners who are new to Berio should not hesitate: Rendering and Stanze are among his most immediate and accessible works and would make a fine starting point for exploring his highly individual musical career.
All Music Guide - Blair Sanderson
Just weeks before his death, Luciano Berio completed Stanze 2003, a five-movement composition for voice and orchestra on poems by Paul Celan, Giorgio Caproni, Edoardo Sanguineti, Alfred Brendel better known as a pianist than as a poet, and Dan Pagis. This valedictory work is pure Berio, instantly recognizable in its continually shifting layers, sly musical quotations and allusions, fleeting gestures, startling interpolations, and dissolving textures; and its sustained twilight mood resembles the elegiac tone of his most celebrated work, "Sinfonia" 1968. Where that piece summed up a turbulent decade, Stanze appears to sum up a fascinating life. Even though Berio's meditations on God and death are rather free of rage or resignation -- neither posture is particularly suited to the composer's dry wit and sense of irony -- he is nonetheless probing and questioning of life's meanings, and supplies the texts with fairly unsettling, provocative music. "Rendering" 1988-1989 is a tongue-in-cheek fleshing-out of sketches Franz Schubert left for a projected "Symphony in D major" D936A. It is difficult to mistake Berio's deliberate lapses of harmony, forlorn melodic fragments, and atonal counterpoint for Schubert's more coherent tonal passages; though they have a charming, dreamlike quality, these strange episodes add nothing to an understanding of how the symphony might have developed, and only indicate where it breaks down. This 2005 package of live recordings by baritone Dietrich Henschel, the French Army Chorus, and the Orchestre de Paris, incisively conducted by Christoph Eschenbach, has vivid sound and realistic dimensions, and remarkably few audience noises.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/22/2005
  • Label: Ondine
  • UPC: 761195105924
  • Catalog Number: 1059
  • Sales rank: 197,467

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1–3 Schubert-Berio: Rendering, for orchestra - Luciano Berio & Christoph Eschenbach (35:02)
  2. 4–8 Stanze, for baritone, chorus & orchestra - Luciano Berio & Alfred Brendel (28:33)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Christoph Eschenbach Primary Artist
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