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COMPOSERS: Berio/Weill
LABELS: RCA Victor Gold Seal
WORKS: Recital I for Cathy; Folk Songs; Three Songs (arr. Berio)
PERFORMER: Cathy Berberian (mezzo-sop); London Sinfonietta, Juilliard Ensemble/Luciano Berio
CATALOGUE NO: 09026 62540 2 ADD (1972/68)
‘There must be some place in this world that isn’t a theater,’ sighs the demented protagonist of Recital I. Yes, there is: the room containing your hi-fi, for instance. Experience in live performance the tour de force Berio wrote for his ex-wife Cathy Berberian in 1972 (the year of the original recording, not ideally transferred here), and this ‘deconstructed recital’, assembled from the flotsam and jetsam of her repertoire, makes searing sense. Without the greasepaint, one notices the ramshackle structure and latent misogyny. But you can almost smell the Sixties in the 1968 performance of the Folk Songs. Brilliance and astonishing versatility from both composer and singer. Keith Potter