What Berio was doing in 1949

What Berio was doing in 1949


norman lebrecht

November 17, 2019

Writing this extraordinary Magnificat which has, apparently, never been recorded before.

Listen intently here or watch below.

Kudos to Emerson Eads and Minot State University.


  • Barry Guerrero says:

    I’m guessing my view isn’t what you want to hear, but it comes across as an eclectic mess to me. It might clearly benefit from a more polished performance in a more favorable acoustic.

    • David Rohde says:

      Your comment strikes a nerve, Barry. Earlier this year Isabel Leonard sang Berio’s orchestration of Falla’s Seven Spanish Folk Songs (“Siete canciones populares españolas”) with Noseda conducting the National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, and I thought the whole thing was too clever for its own good. The orchestration was too busy and varied from moment to moment, and in particular there were too many effects buzzing right around the mezzo range and interfering with the vocal line. It’s the only thing, dramatic or comedic, that I’ve heard Isabel be less than totally effective in, and much of Falla’s irony and subtlety was lost. I’ll give the Magnificat a whirl but I couldn’t help noting this when I read your remark.

  • John Borstlap says:

    Nice piece from Berio’s innocent period. It curiously sounds like an Inca representation of the Roman Catholic ritualistic text.

  • An extremely interesting view of the early work of Berio and a wonderful achievement by the young singers of Minot State University! Indeed, kudos to Emerson Eads!