Sequenza IV in Luciano Berio’s Piano Work

Olga V. Sobakina


A classic of modern music, Italian composer Luciano Berio is distinguished by a rare variety of creative directions and a wide range of interests. The Sequenza I , written by him in 1958, became the beginning of a series of 14 pieces dedicated to the modern interpretation of the capabilities of various instruments and voices in the genre of predominantly solo concert composition. As exemplars of virtuosity, the Sequences represent an encyclopedia of the development of Berio's aesthetic and span the period from 1958 to 2002. In most pieces of this type, the composer uses experimental instrumental techniques, combining them with dramatic elements. He calls his sequences “exceptionally complex gestural exercises.”

Sequence IV (1965) is one of those works that are written in a more traditional manner; the composer avoids experimental playing techniques and methods of sound extraction and continues to develop his own concept of polyphonic composition. The article is devoted to a comprehensive analysis of this piece and touches on the issues of other Sequences , as well as some aspects of the composer’s creative path.

Keywords: Luciano Berio, Italian music of the 20th century, sequence, gesture in music, virtuosity

For citation: Sobakina O. V. Sequenza IV in Luciano Berio’s Piano Work [Electronic source]. In: Sovremennye problemy muzykoznaniya / Contemporary Musicology, 2022, no. 3, pp. 119–135. (In Russ.) DOI: 10.56620/2587-9731-2022-3-119-135


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