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Berio somehow manages to suggest that the score, wild and manifold as it is, is nonetheless more permanent than the instrument that executes it; the instrument is in turn an elastic, mutating text. In essence, the Sequenzas are as much about their instruments as on their instruments.
Dedicated to clarinetist Eduardo de Benedetti who premiered it in Genoa that year , the piece is in many ways a miniature version of the massive clarinet Sequenza IXa from three years earlier.
Like that work, it feels less built or composed than woven or plaited together. Likewise, it also makes the clarinet into a stage on which to perform its own collective memory; though, while the Sequenza was vividly evocative of Brahms as of Klezmer and perhaps even the ancient shofar , Lied is more of a sketch, its physiognomy more abstract.
In its construction, Lied is a game of melodic expansions and contractions, of traversing and re-traversing identical passages in perpetually new and subtle re-figurations. It has two generators of material, two nuclei: the first is the more standard lyric impulse, the slow unfolding breath; the second is a contrasting staccato declamatory motif. The music language is not tonal, atonal, or serial; in its subtle game of repetition and non-repetition, it makes one indifferent to those distinctions.
Instead, they seem to come from the linguistic impulses latent in the instrument, its inimitable proximity to the breath that makes it sound, and to the words the mouth might pronounce were it not blowing into a reed.
BERIO LIED CLARINET PDF
Luciano Berio, Lied for Clarinet Solo
Lied, Solo Clarinet