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Berio/ S. Rattle & CBSO: Sinfonia - I

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Published on Jun 15, 2010

This is the first movement of the Sinfonia by italian contemporary composer Luciano Berio. In this movement Berio used excerpts from Levi-Straus's The raw and the cooked, and he was also inspired by Levi-Straus's work on mythology, in which myths are explained as having a structure similar to a musical composition. When Levi-Strauss heard of this work by Berio, he did not pay much attention at first, but after he got a letter from Berio, he changed his mind:
"You know that Berio used The Raw and the Cooked in his Sinfonia. A part of the text is recited, accompanied by the music. I admit that I did not grasp the reason for this choice. During an interview a musicologist asked me about it, and I answered that the book had just come out and the composer had probably used it because it was at hand. Now, a few months ago Berio, whom I don't know, sent me a very disgruntled letter. He had read the interview, several years after the fact, and assured me that the movement of this symphony offered the musical counterpart of the mythical transformation I was revealing. He included a book by a musicologist (Osmond-Smith 1985) who had demonstrated the fact. I apologized for the misunderstanding, which was, I said, the result of my lack of musical training, but I'm still baffled."

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