Luciano Berio - Sequenza VIII





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Published on Mar 28, 2012

Sequenza VIII, for violin (1976)

Giulio Plotino, violin

Following Sequenza VI for oboe (1969), Luciano Berio waited seven years to undertake Sequenza VIII for violin (1976), a work "about" that most history-laden of instruments. Berio considered this Sequenza to be repayment of a "personal debt" to the violin, as well as an homage to Bach's solo Partita in D minor. Sequenza VIII is, perhaps not surprisingly, the most history-conscious entry in the Sequenza series.

The work begins with varying timbral and articulative approaches to the pitch A—played on a single string, in unison on adjacent strings, accented—eventually joined by the pitch B to establish a harmonic center and its own refutation. As in Sequenza VII and Sequenza IV, rapid filigree infiltrates more stolid passages to create a polyphony of textures; additionally, the mostly linear method of those pieces is extended in Sequenza VII to melody on two strings at once—i.e., genuine counterpoint. Sequenza VIII also ranges further in its presentation of moods and style, including a very rapid repeating figure punctuated by multi-stop chords.

Sequenza VIII was written for Carlo Chiarappa and premiered by him at La Rochelle in 1977. In a process of expansion similar to that in the composer's Chemins series for solo instruments and ensemble, Berio uses Sequenza VIII as the basis of his Corale for violin and ensemble (1981). [allmusic.com]

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