Berio, Carter, Corigliano, Hannibal, Takemitsu: Hannibal: African Portraits; Berio: Continuo; Carter: Partita; Takemitsu: Visions; Corigliano: Symphony No. 1

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COMPOSERS: Berio,Carter,Corigliano,Hannibal,Takemitsu
LABELS: Teldec
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Daniel Barenboim
WORKS: Hannibal: African Portraits; Berio: Continuo; Carter: Partita; Takemitsu: Visions; Corigliano: Symphony No. 1
PERFORMER: Chicago SO/Daniel Barenboim
CATALOGUE NO: 8573-81792-2 Reissue (1991, 1995)
Keen collectors will already have the three genuinely worthwhile works included in this mini-anthology of pieces written at the beginning of the Nineties, which showcases both the Chicago Symphony’s glittering expertise and Barenboim’s unswerving support of contemporary music. Berio’s iridescent study, inspired by play of light and airiness of the architecture of Renzo Piano, and the first movement of Carter’s towering Symphonia (now available complete in Oliver Knussen’s authoritative recording on DG), were released together with Takemitsu’s typically delicate orchestral aquatints on a single disc in 1995. The self-indulgence of the other two offerings – the polyglot ‘opera in two acts’ African Portraits by Hannibal (born Marvin Peterson in 1948) and Corigliano’s much hyped yet overblown ‘AIDS Symphony’ – sits uneasily alongside these tightly disciplined scores, but it is to Barenboim’s credit that he presents such lesser music with just as much commitment and care as he does the more rewarding pieces here. Andrew Clements

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