3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Back in the days when London was not the cultural hard vacuum that it is now, there was a time when this strange piece would be periodically performed, and I think it was in 1982 when I saw it no less than three times. I had had the original Musique Vivant recording since late 1979, when there were a bunch of us reading underground comics and eating some very hot curry in some den somewhere in Gloucestershire. Now it all seems so dreadfully long ago. With my student Grant (yes, we once were that much 1st world back then), I managed to get a slightly scruffy score at a considerable discount, and tried to decode what was going on.
The score is a work of art, worth looking at for it's own sake. What it says and what the Musique Vivant stuff DID are not exactly the same. Which makes me wonder... sometimes Universal Edition work over the penciled, precious original scores into different typesets, physical outlines, and some of the editions actually change; "Points on the Curve to Find" is an example of this.
The score and the music are fairly precise, at least compared with Stockhausen's "Aus den Seben Tagen" (an extreme example), but far looser than say, Lutoslawski's Prelude and Fugue for 13 solo strings. The notation alternates between five line staves and a looser notation meant to indicate only approximate registers - this is a THREE line stave, and sometimes only one line. One just cannot help wondering how much of the occasional conversations with Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead paved the way for this strange act of faith in the act of performance; I had a (very) brief conversation with Berio about how he felt about this kind of notation, and he said that his opinion had indeed changed somewhat over the years since Laborintus was written. Read more ›
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