[ Harmonia Mundi / CD ]
Release Date: Friday 4 November 2016
"Since it was first performed in 1969, Luciano Berio's Sinfonia has become a classic, certainly the most widely known of all his works and arguably the most successful concert piece by a composer of his generation." The Guardian
This release is dedicated to the pioneer of Italian modernism Luciano Berio. His 5-movement 'Sinfonia', is undoubtedly his most well-known work, written for the New York Philharmonic and dedicated to Leonard Bernstein. It has become one of the key works and principle musical manifestations of the 1960s bringing together collage technique and modernism.
A few years later, Berio went on to orchestrate a number of songs on texts from 'Des Knaben Wunderhorn', which Mahler had scored for piano and voice, as if they had been written at the time of the later 'Kindertotenlieder'. A symphonic backcloth tailor-made for the great baritone voice of Matthias Goerne [whose 'Knaben Wunderhorn' songs are already available on DVD, with Andris Nelsons, from Lucerne]. His warm, dark voice allows him to capture the sombre and tragic atmosphere of this music like no one else.
"Berio's skilful arrangements invoke a similar soundworld as Mahler's own orchestrations of his songs: it's colourful, slightly brittle, and vividly pointed up by Pons...Goerne gives the vocal lines the slightly larger-than-life quality they need, exaggerating their expressive extremes and running through his full palette of baritonal shades." (The Guardian)
"Berio's Sinfonia, premiered in 1968, remains an incomparably rich conundrum...On a disc such as this outstanding one, balance can be contrived so that the throng of words is audible to just the right degree." Sunday TImes
"We have only to listen to [Berio's] exquisite song orchestrations, graced with Goerne on riveting, vibrant form, to feel the depth of his empathy, an almost palpable longing to be absorbed into that lost Viennese world…this coupling is a must-have" BBC Music Five Stars
BBC Music Magazine Awards 2017 - Vocal Winner