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ALLA BREVE

June 22, 1986|ALLAN ULRICH

BERIO: "SINFONIA"; "EINDRUECKE." New Swingle Singers, Regis Pasquier, violin; Orchestre National de France conducted by Pierre Boulez. Erato NUM 75198 (digital). Luciano Berio has updated his striking 1968 musical collage, adding a fifth movement which bestows a more cyclical quality on the work. The composer interweaves texts by Levi-Strauss, Martin Luther King Jr. and Samuel Beckett with snippets of a dozen composers from Bach to Stockhausen. The central movement, with its extended quote from Mahler's Second Symphony, achieves the flow and the power which lends substance to the remainder of this dense, monodic mosaic. Throughout, Berio places his complex writing at the service of a relevance still too potent to be denied. Boulez and Ward Swingle's eight-person aggregation attack the work with extraordinary vehemence. The more recent orchestral essay, "Eindruecke," with its sliding pitches and arresting cadences, receives similar treatment.

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