Berio’s writes a suite for a nervous piano

Natural disharmony © Charles Thibo

Petite Suite. The name – it suggests the Baroque era. Georg Friedrich Händel composed a few suites for the harpsichord. The music – it evokes a modern jazz piece for solo piano. Keith Jarrett’s compositions come to my mind. Actually, this piece borrows from many sides. In 1947, the Italian composer Luciano Berio wrote this piece while he was still studying at the Milan Conservatory. The work saw its premiere a year later in Como.

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On intimacy, talent and hard choices

A stroll at dawn. © Charles Thibo

Intimacy – over the past weeks, I have come across this word several times while reading up on different pieces of chamber music; these posts are scheduled for later this autumn. Intimacy. How can a piece be intimate? And for whom? The musician? The audience? The atmosphere in a concert hall is hardly intimate. Even if it has a room dedicated to chamber music or recitals, it remains a public arena with clearly segregated roles: the audience, passive except for the clapping and coughing, and the musicians, active, absorbed by their performance. No intimacy here. A bond is formed through the music at best, but no personal, emotionally defined interaction between audience and performers will take place unless the performers are really bad.

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