LUCIANO BERIO (1925-2003): Piano Sonata, 6 Encores, Rounds, Sequenza IV, 5 Variazioni, Touch, Canzonetta.
Catalogue Number: 06I104
Description: Although Berio is not a composer primarily associated with the piano, his limited output for the instrument is of the highest quality and originality. Unlike the piano output of other influential avant garde figures - Stockhausen and Boulez, pre-eminently, whose seminal Klavierstücke and sonatas respectively seem at times written against, or at least in spite of, the piano - Berio's works, especially the splendid sonata of 2001, appear in their use of harmony and piano texture to extend the tradition of piano writing, rather than self-consciously turning away from it. Here and there, as in several of the Encores and the two occasional pieces, we hear conventional, and very beautiful, Romantic-inflected piano writing. Even the 1960s pieces, explicitly atonal and pointillistic, as expected, display an awareness of the shape of hands on the keyboard and an unabashed pleasure in keyboard virtuosity that is rare for the avant garde. The sonata, with its incessant ostinato, dazzling filigree decoration and sense of architecture, is a major work by any standards. Andrea Lucchesini (piano), Valentina Pagni Lucchesini (second piano - Touch, Canzonetta).