Berio: Coro. Cologne Radio SO. Luciano Berio. 1 CD. Brilliant Classics 9018-2

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Luciano Berio: Coro. Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Luciano Berio, in some recordings from 1979.

1 CD. Brilliant Classics. 9018

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Luciano Berio: Coro. Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra is conducted by Luciano Berio, in some recordings from 1979.

1 CD. Brilliant Classics. 9018

In the 1970’s the leading European composers of the avant-garde had returned from various projects and teaching posts around the world and had settled in their home countries. Boulez in Paris with his computer music institute, Stockhausen to Germany and Nono to Venice, where he developed a new sound world of silence and space charged with tender compassion. Berio had spent much of the 1960’s in the USA, and his music had evolved considerably both in technical range and expression during this period. The return to Italy however produced what is probably his Masterpiece, and his most challenging work – Coros. Music and poetry from around the world – American Indian, Polynesian, Croatian, Persian and Italian – including folk texts are often key elements here, with only one poet named. Pablo Neruda’s words ‘Come and see the blood in the street’ dominate the work. Coro was written at the time of the 1973 bloody military coup in Chile and the murder of President Allende that propelled the dictator General Pinochet to power, to begin his rule of terror and murder. Neruda died in Chile of a heart attack, just days after the coup. This political situation of the period and the Neruda verses make Coro an extremely powerful utterance. Although for 40 voices and 44 instrumentalists (each singer sits alongside a member of the orchestra), the textures are often sparse, and on occasion the music is intimate, reduced to just only two instruments. Coro is a masterwork, and a difficult one to comprehend at times. It requires sustained concentration.

Pioneering recording made in 1979 and directed by the composer.

‘A highly personal, yet urgently communicative statement, persuasively performed.’ Gramophone reviewing the original release in 1980

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