Berio: Sinfonia; Mahler: 10 Early Songs album review

Berio Sinfonia; Mahler/Berio 10 Frühe Lieder
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Artist: Matthias Goerne; BBC Symphony Orchestra; Josep Pons; Synergy Vocals; Luciano Berio; Gustav Mahler
Genre: Classical
Label: Harmonia Mundi

Luciano Berio's often collage-like Sinfonia for eight solo voices and orchestra is one of the seminal works of the 1960s. It incorporates texts by Lévi-Strauss and Beckett, as well as a tribute to Martin Luther King.

Its central movement is a highly idiosyncratic trawl through musical history, interwoven with the scherzo from Mahler's Second Symphony, And the premiere involved the ever so pliable voices of The Swingle Singers.

Josep Pons's new, gorgeously textured performance couples the endlessly fascinating work with Berio's two-decades-later, light-touch orchestrations of Mahler songs, sung with heart-piercing point by Matthias Goerne.

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan is a music critic and Irish Times contributor