Berio Remembering the Future

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<ul><li><p>E R I N G</p><p>UTUREwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA</p></li><li><p>REMEMBERINGlHE FUlUREmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA</p><p>Lucia no Ber iowvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA</p><p>HARVARD UNIVERSITY PRESS</p><p>Cambridge, MassachusertsPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAI London, England 2006</p><p>-</p></li><li><p>Copyrighr 2006 by the President and Fellows ofHarvard CollegeAli righrs reserved</p><p>Primed in rhe Unired States of AmericamlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBALibr a r y of C ongr essC a ta loging-ia -P ublica tionD a ta</p><p>Berio, Luciano, 1925-</p><p>Remembering the future / Luciano Berio.</p><p>p. cm.-(The Charles EliorPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAN o r t o n lectures)Conrents: Forrnations-c- Translaring music-Forgening music-</p><p>O alter Dufc= Seeing rnusio=Poccics of analysis.</p><p>ISBN 0-674-02154-1 Ialk. paper)1. Music-Hisrory and criricisrn.</p><p>2. Composers. I. Tide, 11. Series.</p><p>ML60.B46852006</p><p>780--d'22 2005056706</p></li><li><p>PREFACEwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA</p><p>TALIA PECKER BERIO</p><p>Luciano Berio delivered the Charles Eliot Norton lectures at</p><p>Harvard University during the academic year 1993-94. Eachlecture was introduced and conduded by the performance of</p><p>one of Berio'smlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBASequenze-a series of fourteen compositions forsolo instruments that cover the entire arc of his career. Berio</p><p>conceived of their presence not as "illustrations" of the lectures,</p><p>but rather as "musical quotation marks intended to protect the</p><p>audience fram the inevitable incompleteness and factiousness</p><p>of any discourse on music made by a musician."</p><p>Two dose friends and longtime collaborators preceded Be-</p><p>rio in this prestigious series of lectures. Umberto Eco read his</p><p>Six Wa lks in the F ictiona l Wods during the spring semester of</p><p>1993; the title ofhis book and its opening pages pay homage toItalo Calvino, who was about to depart for Cambridge to de-</p><p>liver his Six Memos for the Next Millennium when he suddenlypassed away in September 1985. The affinity of spirit and theexperiences shared with both authors can be traced within and</p><p>between the lines in various passages of Berio's own lectures. It</p><p>is no coincidence, then, that he derived their title from U n r e</p></li><li><p>in a scolto-onewvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAof his three rnusic-thearer works with texts byCalvino. "Remembering the future" is hardly a literal transla-</p><p>tion of the more ambiguous original "r icor do a I futur o"-the</p><p>closing words pronounced by Prospero, the key figure of U n r e</p><p>in a scolto, who takes his leave from life questioning voice and</p><p>silence, turning memory back and forth, from and toward the</p><p>future:</p><p>Ia memor ia custodisce il silenzio</p><p>r icor do deI fittur o la pr omessa</p><p>qua le pr omessa ? questa che or a a r r ivi</p><p>a sfior a r e col lembo della voce</p><p>e ti sfugge come il vento a cca r ezza</p><p>il buio nella voce il r icor do</p><p>in penombr a un r icor do a i futur o.</p><p>(TRANSLATlON BY DAVID OSMOND-SMITH)</p><p>Memory srands guard over silence</p><p>recollection of the future rhe promise</p><p>which promise? rhis one that now you may</p><p>barely touch with the voice's extremity</p><p>and that slips from your mind as the wind caresses</p><p>rhe darkness in the voice the memory</p><p>in the shadows a memory for the future.</p><p>VI / PREFACE</p></li><li><p>PREFACE I VII</p><p>This interplay of past and present, of remembering and for-</p><p>getting, is ever present in the following pages, but it is always</p><p>underpinned by an unshakable faith in the future, and in the</p><p>power of music to cross distances, to give voice and shape to</p><p>that interplay and faith.</p><p>The content and structure of these lectures were defined</p><p>and sketched out over a long period following the appoint-</p><p>ment as Norton lecturer, which was formalized at rhe begin-</p><p>ning of 1992. By the time we settled in Cambridge in the fall</p><p>of 1993, the first two lectures were substantially written out,</p><p>but work on them, as on each of the other four lectures, pro-</p><p>ceeded until the very time of their delivery, and sometimes well</p><p>aterward. AlI of thern were written in ltalian, translated into</p><p>English by Anthony Oldcorn, and then further elaborated by</p><p>Berio himself</p><p>ln the years following our residence at Harvard, Berio was</p><p>engaged in rhe composition of two major works of music the-arer,mlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAO utis (1996) and C r ona ca del Luogo (1999), and a con-siderable number of instrumental works such as Ekphr a sis for</p><p>orchestra; Alter na tim for viola, clarinet, and orchestra; Solo for</p><p>trombone and orchestra; Kol od (C hemins VI for trumpet andchamber orchestra); Rcit (C hemins VII for alto saxophone andorchestra); Sona ta for piano; the last three Sequenze (XII for</p></li><li><p>bassoon, XIII for accordion, XIV for cello), as well asmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAAltr avoce (for alto Hute, mezzo-soprano, and live electronics), andthe new Finale for Puccini's Tur a ndot. He completed his last</p><p>work, Sta nze for baritone, three male choirs, and orchestra, a</p><p>few weeks before he left us on May 27, 2003.</p><p>Thus the final revision of the Norton Lectures was constant-</p><p>ly delayed, yet work on them was never entirely abandoned.</p><p>Periodically, between one composition and another, Berio</p><p>would go back to thern, introducing minor changes, pointing</p><p>out passages in need of major revision, taking notes for furtherdevelopments. This "work in progress" (an important conceptin Berio's poetics, which recurs frequently in the following pag-</p><p>es, especially in the fourth lecture, "O alter Dut") involvedboth the ltalian and English texts. As a result there were often</p><p>multiple versions of each lecture, none of which, at the mo-</p><p>ment of the author's death, could be declared as "definire"; nor</p><p>was it always possible to establish the chronological order of</p><p>the variants.</p><p>Confronted with such a complex source situation, I decided</p><p>to follow the texts of the lectures as they were read at Harvard,</p><p>correcting and integrating thern only in those places where the</p><p>variant readings were either objectively clearer or undoubtedlyapproved by the author, I felt that this approach conveyed more</p><p>VIII I PREFACE</p></li><li><p>.oherence to the text (in contrast to a more orthodox philo-I gical editing method), andPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAI was inspired as well by Robert</p><p>hurnann's youthful and rornantic idea that "the first concep-cion of a work is always the best and most natural."</p><p>Any attempt to acknowledge on behalf of my husband the peo-pie who accompanied him in the process of writing and revis-ing the lectures would necessarily be incomplete. OavidmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAO s-mond-Srnith, Luciana Galliano, and Anthony Oldcorn wouldundoubtedly have been among thern. I can personally testilyto rhe constant and inspiring exchanges he had with ReinholdBrinkmann, the late Oavid Lewin, and Christoph Wolff, who,along with Dorothea, June, and Barbara, gave warmth to oureason in Cambridge with their priceless friendship. Mark Ka-</p><p>gan and Nancy Shiffman helped in every possible way to makeour !ife and work, as well as the meetings and performances atanders Theatre, srnoorh and enjoyable. Peg Fulton ofHarvard</p><p>University Press patiently accompanied the long genesis of Re-r nember ing the F utur e frorn the day of Berio's appointment toche Norton Chair down to the last detail of this edition.</p><p>My personal thanks go to Reinhold Brinkmann, who pro-</p><p>vided me with the only intact printed copy rhat has survived ofthe full set of six lectures: at the end of each lecture, Luciano</p><p>PREFACE / IX</p></li><li><p>would ritually hand him a copy of the text that he had just readout. In a different time this would have been the "engraver's</p><p>copy", I have tried to conduct my editing accordingly, with the</p><p>economy and respect that was common before the computer</p><p>era, and was lucky to have Mary Ellen Geer as an exceptionally</p><p>sensitive editor. Marina Berio had read and commented upon</p><p>her father's lectures at the time of their delivery; she was at my</p><p>side last summer to give a loving and knowing hand in the re-</p><p>vision of the texto I would like-and feel that Luciano would</p><p>have approved-to dedicare this bcok to her, to Cristina, Ste-</p><p>fano, Daniel, and jonarhan Berio.</p><p>RADICONDOLl (SIENA), OCTOBER 2005</p></li><li><p>ONTENTSPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA</p><p>I wvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAFormations I</p><p>I 2 Translating Music 31</p><p>~ 3 Forgetting Music 6 1</p><p>I 4 O Alter Duft 79</p><p>I 5 Seeing Music 99</p><p>I 6 Poetics of Analysis 1 2 2</p></li><li><p>REMEMBERINGlHE FUlURE</p></li><li><p>FORMATIONSwvutsrqponmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA</p><p>The honor of delivering the Norton Lectures coincides with</p><p>my desire to express my doubts about the possibility of offering</p><p>today a unified vision of musical thought and practice, and of</p><p>mapping out a homogeneous and linear view of recent musical</p><p>developments. I am not even sure that we can find a guiding</p><p>thread thraugh the intricate musical maze of the last few de-</p><p>cades, nor do I intend to attempt a taxonomy, or seek to define</p><p>the innumerable ways of coming to grips with the music we</p><p>carry with uso</p><p>Of course, I am not inviting you to abandon words and take</p><p>refuge in purely sensory experiences-nor to play games with</p><p>music in some hermeneutic "hall of mirrors." But I would like</p><p>to suggest to you some points of reference that I have found</p><p>useful in my work, and in my reflections on that strange, fasci-</p><p>nating Babel of musical behaviors that surrounds uso</p><p>I like to remember the last words that Italo Calvino wrate</p><p>for the closing of my music-theater workmlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAU n Re in Ascolto,when the pratagonist departs fram life, saying: "a recollection</p><p>of the future." This, I feel, sums up my concerns in these lec-</p></li><li><p>tures. I will not concern myselfhere wirh music as an emotiori-</p><p>ai and reassuring commodity for the listener, nor with music as</p><p>a procedural and reassuring commodity for the composer. Ir is</p><p>my intentiori to share with you some musical experiences that</p><p>invite us to revise or suspend our relation with the past, and to</p><p>rediscover ir as part of a future trajectory.Such an exerci se in revision may lead us into amlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAselva</p><p>oscur a -D a nte's "dark forest." But unlike Dante, we will have</p><p>to sacrifice paths, voluntarily lost and found, and behave like</p><p>Brechtian actors with their famous Ver fr emdung: we will have</p><p>to step outside ourselves, observe and question what we do. We</p><p>need to question the very idea of a musical reality that can be</p><p>defined or translated by words, and therefore the idea of a linear</p><p>relationship between the empirical and conceptual dimensions</p><p>of music. We also need to challenge the idea that musical experi-</p><p>ence could be compared to a huge, protective building, designed</p><p>by history and constructed over severa! millennia by countless</p><p>men (and now, finally, also by wornen). Not that we could everget to see a floor plan, a cross-section, or a profile of this im-</p><p>mense metaphorical building. We might wander through a few</p><p>rooms, trying to grasp the content and function of each of thern</p><p>(the Ars nova room, the Baroque room, the Schubert, Mahler,and Stravinsky rooms, the Viennese, the Darmstadt, the "ser</p><p>2 / REMEMBERING THE FUTURE</p></li><li><p>d. .ory" rooms-and, why not, the minimalist and the post-modero rooms), but in doing so we would be conditioned bywhat we had already heard and known; we would then reinter-PONMLKJIHGFEDCBAp i ' t each experience, modify its perspective, and therefore also111 building's global hisrory, The history of such modificationsb rhe history of our actions and ideas, which sometimes seem</p><p>1 0 run ahead of the arrival of the actual work that will embody</p><p>Ih .rn. If that were not so, our metaphorical building would be-</p><p>i orne a homogeneous and unanimous space, deterministically</p><p>~ I Ibjecr to so-called historical necessities, and therefore musically. I ~ I mlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAss.</p><p>Ar the same time, however, we are aware that we are only</p><p>.11,1 to know and to explain those musical experiences thathnv already taken place, rhose virtualities that have been fullyI ' -nlized. The history of music, unlike the history of science, isn v r made of intents but of achievements. It is not made of</p><p>P&lt; I ntial forms waiting to be shaped but, rather, ofTexts (withI npital "T" and with the largest possible musical connota-</p><p>I ions). It is made ofTexts waiting to be interpreted-conceptu-ally, cmotionally, and practically.</p><p>In rnusic, as in literature, it may be plausible to conceive aI iprocal shifting of focus between the text's supremacy over</p><p>,1\ rcader and the primacy of the reader becoming his or her</p><p>FORMATIONS I 3</p></li><li><p>own text. As Harald Bloom remarked, "you are, or you beco me</p><p>what you resd" and "that which you are, that only can you</p><p>read."</p><p>The implcatioris af these srarernents are endless. When ap-</p><p>plied to musc they have to take into account performance, so</p><p>that the queition of supremacy becomes overly complicated:</p><p>to perform 2nd interpret a musical text is obviously not the</p><p>same thing ai to read and inrerpret a literary one. Perhaps the</p><p>diliculties Ct)mposers encounter when they talk about textsarise fram their feeling that they themselves are a musical Text,</p><p>that they liveinside a text and therefore are lacking the derach-</p><p>ment necesssry to explore, with some objecriviry, the natureof the relatioo they entertain with themselves as texto It is not</p><p>an accident that the most rewarding commentaries written by</p><p>composers ale on other composers, and that cornposer-writ-</p><p>ers-such as 5chumann and Debussy-were "hiding" behind a</p><p>pseudonym. I'he same may be true today, even without pseud-</p><p>onyms, provded rhat the main concern af the composer who</p><p>commentsPONMLKJIHGFEDCBA0 1 the work of another composer is other than toprove that hi. analysis "works" and that it is immune from pre-</p><p>conditioning.I tend to admire "analytical listening" and the so-called</p><p>"analyrical pnforrners,' but I also believe that a delicate bal-</p><p>4 / REME"BERING TI-IE FUTURE</p></li><li><p>ance must be maintained, at whatever cost, between recogni-</p><p>tion of conventions, stylistic references, expectations, and, on</p><p>the orher hand, the concrete experience of giving a new life to</p><p>an object of knowledge. In fact, performers, listeners, and in-deed composers undergo a sort of alchemical transformation in</p><p>which recognition, knowledge, and conceptual associations-</p><p>ali fruits of their relationship with Texts-are spontaneously</p><p>transformed into a live entity, a "being" which transcends and</p><p>sublimates technical realities. An "intertextual" conditioning</p><p>can become so imposing that the measure in which the speak-</p><p>ers are themselves spoken may be the same rhat would deprive</p><p>the speaker of the courage to speak.</p><p>When James Joyce said that hismlkjihgfedcbaZYXWVUTSRQPONMLKJIHGFEDCBAU lysses would keep scholarsbusy for at least a hundred years, he was of course displaying</p><p>his Mephistophelian nature. He knew that scholars would not</p><p>be able to resist the temptation to identily references and allu-</p><p>sions, once they knew they were there. But he also knew thatliving with the "half-recognized" and with deceptive identities</p><p>was ao important dimension of U lysses-a s ir is of any form of</p><p>poetry.</p><p>It is the pinning down per se-as if to...</p></li></ul>