Nordic Voices sings Berio's A-ronne selections09:31

Nordic Voices sings Berio's A-ronne selections.mp4


Luciano Berio is one of Italy's greatest avant-garde composers who was born in 1925 to a musical family that eagerly guided him into the world of composistion. He studied at Milan until 1951, and then set upon a long career of living alternately in Italy an the United States, studying under various modernist masters and forging his own unique style. In 1950, he married Amarican singer Cathy Berberian, and many of his pieces are wirrten for her voice.


A-Ronne (1974-1975) is an unaccompanied vocal work for eight siners, the material under analysis is not a musical work, but the poetry of Edoardo Sanguineti (b. 1930). Berio described this work as "a documentary on a poem by Edoardo Sanguineti, just as we speak of a ducumentary on a painting or on a foreign country."

Berio's setting of A-Ronne draws freely from the old and the new to create a third, entirely unique product. The most important element of this work is the text and Berio's experimentation with it.

The text for A-Ronne is comprised of three stanzas, which reveals several recurrent elements fo Sanguineti's work. Sanguineti makes use of alliteration and assonance in his writing and this becomes prominent in the musical setting. Also, in A-Ronne Berio uses three primary vocal styles to present text: speaking the text, singing the text and extended vocal techniques.  Berio avoids large-scale development and works in small vingnettes or what he describes as "locan situations."


Leaf is a piano work written by Berio, which is dedicated to the memory of Micheal Vyner, the artistic director of the London Sinfonietta, who died in 1989. Yet it is not funereal music; it seems instead to w

II - Leaf - Luciano Berio - 199002:17

II - Leaf - Luciano Berio - 1990

ant to reflect Vyner's cheerful personality until the sudden calm at the end -- the hush following the notes' ping-pong game. 

Even though it is a totally different style comparing with the choral work A-Roone, but we can still find out the similar dramatic character in Berio's music.


A-Rrone takes recognizable elements like music, speech, singing, and everyday sounds and combines  thm to create something new.  I'm kind of familiar with Berio's piano works. However, the choral works just sound compeletely patent for me. 

Work CitedEdit

A guide to Luciano Berio's music. Luciano Berio

"II - Leaf - Luciano Berio - 1990". Youtube Video. Uploaded Sep. 16, 2013. Posted by “Andre Greboge”. Accessed April 26, 2014.

"Nordic Voices sings Berio's A-ronne selections.mp4". Youtube Video. Uploaded Feb.24, 2012. Posted by “Jonathan Wentworth”. Accessed April 26, 2014.

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