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Berio: Orchestral realisations of Schubert, Brahms & Mahler

Label:

Chandos

Catalogue No:

CHSA5101

Discs:

1

Release date:

30th Jan 2012

Barcode:

0095115510124

Length:

73 minutes

Medium:

SACD (download also available)

Format:

Hybrid Multi-channel
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Berio: Orchestral realisations of Schubert, Brahms & Mahler


Berio:

Rendering

Brahms:

Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120 No. 1

arr. Berio

Michael Collins (clarinet)

Mahler:

Hans und Grete (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

arr. Berio

Scheiden und Meiden (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

arr. Berio

Erinnerung (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

arr. Berio

Phantasie aus Don Juan (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

arr. Berio

Frühlingsmorgen (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

arr. Berio

Ich ging mit Lust (Lieder und Gesänge aus der Jugendzeit)

arr. Berio

Roderick Williams (baritone)


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Berio had an abiding fascination with reconciling the past and the present, which can be seen in his orchestral realisations of works by Mahler and Brahms, and most notably, in Rendering (1990), his typically creative completion of unfinished symphonic sketches by Schubert.

In Rendering, Berio – in his own words – sets himself the target of ‘following those modern restoration criteria that aim at reviving the old colours without, however, trying to disguise the damage that time has caused, often leaving inevitable empty patches in the composition’. In the ‘restoration’, Schubert’s sketches have been beautifully orchestrated in period style, and the ‘empty patches’ have been filled with music composed by Berio himself, in his own voice – thereby successfully combining the musical worlds of the early nineteenth and late twentieth centuries into one convincing whole.

The Clarinet Sonata by Brahms embodies the composer’s taut and concentrated compositional style. In transcribing the work, Berio felt that, when experienced in the less intimate surroundings of today’s concert halls, the extreme compression of Brahms’s late chamber music style was in need of some additional support, and his version, recorded here, includes a fourteen-bar orchestral introduction to the first movement, leading into Brahms’s own, much shorter opening phrase, as well as five additional bars at the beginning of the second movement.

Berio completed his orchestration of six early songs by Gustav Mahler in 1987, and conducted the first performance with the Toscanini Orchestra on 7 December that year, with Thomas Hampson the baritone soloist. The six songs in this orchestrated set are ‘Hans und Grete’, ‘Phantasie’, ‘Scheiden und Meiden’, ‘Erinnerung’, ‘Frühlingsmorgen’, and ‘Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grünen Wald’.

The Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra is conducted by Edward Gardner, with Roderick Williams the baritone soloist in the songs by Mahler and Michael Collins the soloist in Brahms’s Clarinet Sonata.

Luciano Berio: Schubert - Rendering

I. Allegro

II.

III.

Johannes Brahms: Clarinet Sonata No. 1 in F minor, Op. 120 (orch. L. Berio)

I. Allegro appassionato

II. Andante un poco adagio

III. Allegretto grazioso

IV. Vivace

Gustav Mahler: Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 1 (excerpts) (arr. L. Berio for voice and orchestra)

No. 3. Hans und Grethe

Gustav Mahler: Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 2: No. 2. Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grunen Wald (arr. L. Berio for voice and orchestra)

Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 2: No. 2. Ich ging mit Lust durch einen grunen Wald (arr. L. Berio for voice and orchestra)

Gustav Mahler: Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 1 (excerpts) (arr. L. Berio for voice and orchestra)

No. 1. Fruhlingsmorgen

No. 5. Phantasie aus Don Juan

Gustav Mahler: Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 3: No. 3. Scheiden und Meiden (arr. L. Berio for voice and orchestra)

Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 3: No. 3. Scheiden und Meiden (arr. L. Berio for voice and orchestra)

Gustav Mahler: Lieder und Gesange aus der Jugendzeit, Book 1 (excerpts) (arr. L. Berio for voice and orchestra)

No. 2. Erinnerung

The Guardian

2nd February 2012

****

“Gardner shapes it all beautifully, and his soloists – Michael Collins in the Sonata, baritone Roderick Williams in the songs – are suave and refined.”

The Independent

12th February 2012

****

“In a joyfully discombobulating programme, Luciano Berio's mischief-making orchestration of Mahler's "Six Early Songs" uses the Mahlerian paintbox in an almost anti-Mahlerian, jaunty fashion...Gardner conducts with élan, highlighting the clean attack of the Bergen strings.”

Gramophone Magazine

May 2012

“Gardner's phrasing of the central movement [is] a cousin to Brian Newbould's completion, and thus Rendering's periodic, unpredictable descent into twilit oblivion becomes all the more touching...Leaving balance issues to the engineers, Roderick Williams takes a relaxed, confiding approach, never less than suave even against the galloping rhythms of 'Scheiden und Meiden'.”

BBC Music Magazine

May 2012

****

“[Berio's] versions of the Mahler songs are straightforward and affectionately sung by Roderick Williams...Berio himself looms larger in Rendering...The sound of the celesta, alien to Schubert, signals these departures into a dream world, which Gardner captures atmospherically. His assured sense of style in Schubert's material is compelling.”

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