Hicks, M.-Exorcism... Nones Berio



Hicks, M.-Exorcism... Nones Berio
Exorcism and Epiphany: Luciano Berio's Nones
Author(s): Michael Hicks
Source: Perspectives of New Music, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Summer, 1989), pp. 252-268
Published by: Perspectives of New Music
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/833415
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of New Music.
NONES HAS BEEN overshadowed by Berio's later and larger
.works, the composer has called this seven-minute orchestralcomposition one of his most important, his "first exorcism," a crucial step toward
"thinking musically in terms of process and not of form or procedure."''
The historical significanceof Nonesin Berio's opus has been mentioned in
surveysof Berio's work and its serialorganizationhas been discussed in two
brief1958 articles.2But the piece continues to demand attention to how, in
structure and in process, it relates to its literary sources, to its musical
environs, and to Berio's later compositions.
W. H. Auden first published his 112-line poem "Nones" in the 1951
book of the same name. The poem reappearedin his 1955 collection The
Shield of Achilles, where it served as the fourth in a cycle of "Horae
Canonicae"-poems based on the canonical hours. "Nones" links the
monastic ninth hour with the ninth hour of Good Friday(when Jesus cried
"My God, my God, why hast thou forsakenme?") and, in turn, with the
apocalyptic mood of post-war Europe. The poem has been described aptly
as containing "a dreamlike collage of psychologically potent but logically
unconnected images," which in at least one stanza resemble "a series of
stills ... held together by a mood of ominousness."3 The poem contains a
number of musically suggestive passages as well: the first stanza's unexpected "silence so sudden and so soon," the fourth stanza's "cry and stillness to follow after," and especially the seventh and final stanza's reference
to "restoring the order we try to destroy, the rhythm we spoil out of
When WorldWarII ended, Berio still had not been exposed to the music
of Schonberg, Stravinsky,Webern, Hindemith, Bartok, or Milhaud.4 Over
the next six years he quickly assimilated much of their music. When he
graduated from the Milan Conservatory in 1951, his music showed most
plainly the influence of Stravinsky.His brief study with Dallapiccolaat Tanglewood that summer seems to have reconciled him to serial composition.
Serendipitously, his stay in America also allowed him to begin discovering
modern literaryworks in their original English, primarilyby having friends
at the summer school read to him.
When Berio first read James Joyce is not known, but he admired Joyce
enough in 1952 that he began to set passages of Joyce's ChamberMusic
(1907) in serial style. According to Berio, Dallapiccola "often liked to
refer" to the "associativeepiphanies" of Joyce.5 Joyce first used the term
"epiphany" in his StephenHero, an early version of what would become A
Portraitof the Artist as a YoungMan. In Hero, the protagonist describes "a
sudden spiritualmanifestation, whether in the vulgarityof speech or of gesture or in a memorable phase of the mind itself.... these epiphanies ... are
the most delicate and evanescent of moments." For Joyce, then, an epiphany seems to have suggested both a revelation and a "moment." In this
regard, a subsequent author has defined an epiphany as a "frozen tableau"
in which some essential truth is perceived.6
When Berio first read or heard Auden is also unclear, although he certainly knew of the poet's collaboration with Stravinskyon The Rake'sProgressin 1951. By 1953, Berio recalled, he had "fallen in love" with "Nones"
and seems to have thought of it in Joycian terms. To him the poem
recorded a kind of universal epiphany: it "transfigure[d] the passion of
Christ into a lucid and burning inquiry about the agony of man chained to
the enigma of a sudden, final moment... the crucialmoment, the supreme
moment in which all of existence seems to be conveyed in an instant, the
moment of extreme awarenessat the end."7
Berio first attended the Darmstadt summer school in 1953, where he
became acquaintedwith Boulez, Stockhausen, Maderna,and Pousseur.8In
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the preceding two years Darmstadt had gained a certain notoriety for the
serial works produced there, works whose general characteristicsare now
well known: strict control of musical "parameters," avoidance of octave
simultaneities, static textures, "pointillism," and a propensity for palindromes. In 1952 Boulez warned againstmere "arithmetic masturbation"
in serial writing, and within two years wrote critically of the "punctual"
(pointillistic) style and the sense of "weightlessness" it manifested.9 In
1953 Darmstadt serialism began to embrace progressions from greater to
lesser degrees of order, and vice versa. This tendency was exemplified in
Stockhausen'sKontra-Punkte,premieredin Cologne that year, which originated from "the idea of resolving the antitheses of a many-facetedworld of
individual notes and temporal relationshipsto the point where ... only the
homogeneous and the immutable is audible."10
Berio's close friendship with Pousseur during this period helped him
adapt his Stravinskian predilections to post-Webernian musical ideas.
Pousseur had come to realize, as indeed Stravinskyhad, that Webern'srows
often emphasized the "split" (major-minor) third sound so prevalent in
Stravinsky,and implicit in the latter's characteristicuse of octatonic collections.11 Pousseur and Berio, like many Darmstadt students, were especially
attracted to certain surface aspects of Webern's op. 24 pitch series-the
ideas of row generation from a single trichord, and the "split" third
(0,1,4).12 But both Pousseur and Berio realized that Stravinsky's music
profited greatly from the sense of polarity that octave doublings could
engender, and the concomitant sense of tension that such "gravitational
dispositions" (Pousseur's term) could provide. Their apparent absence in
doctrinaireserialismseemed an obvious impediment to the new music.
Berio's fascinationwith Joyce, Auden, Webern, Stravinsky,and the ideas
circulating at Darmstadt coalesced in his 1953 sketches for a setting of
"Nones," a huge serial cantatafor soloists, chorus, and orchestra.
Berio based the work on a thirteen-tone row superficiallyderived from
the trichordalcell of Webern's op. 24.13 The row is palindromic; its retrograde is also its inversion at the tritone. The hexachords that radiatefrom
the row's axis consist of overlapping 4-17 (0,3,4,7) and 4-18 (0,1,4,7)
tetrachords, both commonplaces of Stravinsky'smusic, and both prominent tetrachordsin the octatonic scale.
' .
Berio could have generated a more conventional row from the Webern
cell but chose to fix an "axis" (Ab) at the center of the row-a perfect
fourth up and down from the sixth and eighth pitch classes, respectively-
in order to produce a duplicatingpitch (D, a tritone from the axis). He was
fascinatednot only by the symmetry, but also by the slight statisticaldominance of one pitch that it created. This set up a potential polarity in the
series, which, coupled with the trichordal generator and the palindromic
structure, gave the row a sense of equilibrium that appealed to the composer. It also seems to have assuredthat Berio would not attempt to exploit
the peculiar invariantproperties of the row that Webern did. In any case,
while Berio and those who have discussed Noneshave made much of the
row's interesting structure, that structure proves to be of more conceptual
than perceptual relevanceto understandingthe piece.
Some of the rigorous procedures that were to be used in Noneswere published in Smith Brindle's 1958 review of the work, and later clarifiedby the
1984 publication of plates of the composer's working notes to the piece.14
Briefly stated, those procedures are as follows. Each pitch class of the row
receives a value (1-7) corresponding to its order position, from either the
front or the back of the row to its axis. Durations likewise receive numerical
values (1-4), radiate from their own axis (the eighth note), and are progressively lengthened or shortened-the composer may choose-as their
number values increase. The possible dynamics and "articulations" of each
note likewise receive values of up to five or three, respectively.15
Berio planned to group the parametric values according to what he
rightly called "fatalistic"methods, which included this rule: the sum of the
values of all four parameters in each note must equal at least nine.16
Although this rule limited the material, it left much discretion to the composer. When writing the first pitch class, for example, Berio could combine
values in no less than sixty-four different ways in order to add up to nine
exactly. This left aside the option to exceed nine, which he could also
With these procedures at hand, Berio sketched the work for about a year
before deciding that "the poem was much too complex and long to allow
its total assimilationinto a musicalprocess."18He also may have realized, as
had so many of his colleagues, the "weightlessness" that procedures such as
his nine-sum rule produced. In "exorcizing" serialist principles, Berio
came to see that the internal symmetries of his row and the attendant
"fatalistic" procedures simply gave the music an aura of superstitious correctness, but would not lend themselves to his essentiallyItalianatemusical
impulses. He would later explain that "serialism," as then generallyunderstood at Darmstadt,
never gave relevantresults .... What I'm againstis the use of serialism
in the abstractsense without taking into considerationthe sound process .... It becomes a sort of immobile, static world revolving around
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Assembling into a "coherent sequence" five of the many orchestralinterludes he had sketched, Berio produced a short orchestralwork concerned
with what he called "extreme condensations or rarefactions."20 At first
hearing, some of these extreme states of characterare clear, but the five sections of the work as such are hard to delineate: the characterof row presentations constantly fluctuates, and each fluctuation suggests the crossing of a
formal threshold.
The formal divisions (see Example 1) may be understood by taking two
things into account. First, sections two, three, and four are all set off by
immediate and radicalrarefaction, as opposed to the usually gradual condensation and rarefactionthat occurs within sections. Second, a multipleoctave-doubled pitch class signalsthe end of sections three and four (El and
Bb, respectively), further setting off the pointillistic section that follows in
each case. The apparentclimax of the piece comes in the center of section
three, the largest condensation, in which the tutti orchestra saturates all
registers. (This saturation was possibly inspired by his work with white
noise in 1953.21) Hence, on the surface the work has a somewhat classical
symmetry: its apex is at the center.
I(mm. 1-39)
II(mm. 40-82)
L P-D-
III (mm. 83-156)
IV (mm. 157-242)
V (mm. 243-339)
- PL
s-L s-
Note: () signifies the brief appearance of a mode (seven measures or less)
Berio has said that Nonescame to be a study in "process" rather than
"procedure." The distinction between the two, which is far from selfevident, amounts to this: for Berio "procedure" denotes a series of discrete
steps to be taken, while "process" denotes a continuous, organic development. The assemblingof orchestralinterludesinto a form, for example, represents only procedure, as does the method of note selection (adding
together parametric values). But process is evident on many levels and is
characterized by Auden's line about "restoring the order we try to
destroy." In a broad sense, the piece is concerned with ways of moving
from the "control" of the number charts to the "freedom" of purely thematic treatments of the row. Which pole-the parametricallyorganized or
the intuitively structured-constitutes the more orderly in the piece is perhaps the conundrum of Nones.The composition moves from disorderlyto
orderly (accordingto the serialplan) but is ambivalentabout which is really
which: the conscious procedural control or the subconscious expressive
This orderly/disorderlydialectic in Nonesmay also be understood as "a
dialectic between the focus and the out-of-focus of things," which Berio
has called a consistent "theme" in his work. This dialectic, he explains,
corresponds to a basic experience involving everybody in our society.
Individuals belonging to a group sometimes go away and find themselves without their usual defenses. In order to survive they have to
develop new defenses for this unknown land, atmosphere, climate, situation. If they return with some traces of adaptationin the new field,
they will contribute to the development of the group.... At first,
when they return, they may be slightly out of focus in relation to the
group, but the focus is eventually restored, through mutual adjustment.22
The cinematic metaphor of focussing and unfocussing may be seen in
Auden's "Nones": the imagery constantly shifts in focus from one
peripheral element to another, while the image of the crucifixion, the
poem's ostensible center, is "blurred." The closing lines of the poem
extend this focussing idea, describing the shifting perspective of the beasts
surrounding the crucifixion scene. Some of these see from nearby ("the
smug hens passing close by"), some from afar ("the hawk looking down
without blinking"), and some, the final lines suggest, only with an
obstructed field of vision:
The bug whose view is balked by grass,
Or the deer who shyly from afar
Peer through chinks in the forest.
This shifting of perspectives has analogues in Berio's Nones. These may
be seen in what I call the work's texturemodesand accumulation/dispersion
modes.By "texture mode" I mean simply the way the composer presents a
row or row segment in a given passage-the kinds of figuration used, the
degree of continuity from pitch class to pitch class, and so on. By
"accumulation/dispersionmode" I mean the composer's way of condensing or rarefyingthe notes in the musical space of a given passage. Each of
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the mode types that I set forth below are displayed in some pure
("focussed") form in the piece (see Example 2).
The predominant texture mode in the piece, the one most closely associated with Berio's "fatalistic" serial scheme, and with Darmstadt serialism
generally,is the "punctual" mode. In this mode pitches from the row are
stated as points: widely spaced vertically (usually with more than two
octaves between serially adjacent pitches) and horizontally (usually with
rests between adjacentpitches), and radicallydifferentiatedby timbre (typically with single instruments taking only one or two pitches at a time).
The overtly thematic presentation of a row may be said to denote the
"lyrical" mode. It generally manifests a narrower vertical and horizontal
compass than its punctual counterpart. More importantly, dynamics, register, and conventional techniques of melodic compensation are used to give
overall direction to the line.
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c. declamatory (marked) and sustaining (strings) with repetitive mode
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Somewhere between these two is a third discernible texture mode in
Nones,the "declamatorymode." Like the punctual mode, the declamatory
lacks linear direction, either in registral placement of pitches or in
dynamics. But its melodic "points" are more assertivelybrought to the fore
through the use of instrumental doublings at the unison and the octave.
As mentioned above, most sections of the work begin with a swift
rarefaction,then take on direction through more gradualprocesses of condensation and rarefaction. Condensations are produced by the accumulation of notes in two distinct accumulation/dispersionmodes:
1. the "sustaining" mode, which generallyappearsin the strings, and by
which pitches are held until some common release point.
2. the "repetitive" mode, in which single pitches are in effect sustained
by being rapidly reattacked. (In this mode, condensation takes place
not so much as pitches accumulate [as in the sustaining mode], but
ratheras attacksaccumulate.)
The predominant accumulation/dispersion mode, however, is one in
which rows simply are added into or extracted from the texture to create
condensation or rarefaction, respectively. This mode I call the "interwoven" mode, and in some form or another it is present in most of the
Example1 chronicles the progressionof the prevailingtexture modes and
accumulation/dispersionmodes throughout the five sections of Nones.This
chart suggests some of the diverse formal tendencies in Nones. After its
cloudy opening (measures1-12), in which the work seems to be groping for
some sort of articulativenorm, the first section successivelypresentseach of
the texture and accumulation/dispersionmodes. This exposition reaches a
climax of sorts with the brief appearanceof the lyricalmode (measures3839). The ostensible climax of the whole piece comes in the third section,
where there is not only a saturation of registers and colors, as mentioned
above, but, for a time, a superposition of all modes. The fourth section
provides a secondary climax in the extensive expression of the lyricalmode
(measures204-32). The fifth section of the piece provides another sort of
climax: intensification through the horizontal juxtaposition of highly
focussed modes, a quasi-cinematic crosscutting that is reinforced by
numerous tempo changes.23It is in the "dreamlikecollage" of texture and
accumulation/dispersion modes in this fifth section (reinforced by a fluctuating pulse) that one finds the clearest representationof Auden's poem.
Moreover, this fifth section seems to represent a kind of "extreme awareness before the end" in at least two respects. First, it begins with a long,
introspective passagein both the punctual and the sustaining mode (a passage briefly foreshadowed in the first section, measures 13-17). Second, at
measures 312-27 (see Example 3), the declamatoryand interwoven modes
intersect as they had in the first section (measures 20-23), but now are
allowed to play themselves out in an unprecedented way, free from the
imposition of other modes.
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OF None's
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The chart also suggests some of Berio's syntacticprocesses. The punctual
mode alwaysbegins a section, but the mode that follows it progressesfrom
the declamatoryto the lyricalin sections one through four. In section five
the syntacticconflict is resolved and an equilibrium achieved in the alternation of the three modes. Among the accumulation/dispersion modes, the
dominance of the interwoven mode gradually gives way to the sustaining
mode (beginning of section five), but returns in the work's closing
moments, which, except for the final chord, seem a fully rarefiedecho of
the work's opening measures.
During the composition of Nones, Berio also began to reconstruct his
notion of the interrelationshipsof orchestralparts:
My musical ear became more refined so that, for example, the orchestra stopped being the orchestra,that is, a historic arrangementof acoustic families, and became one whose relations could be re-examined on
each occasion, in terms of the degree of fusion or of separation
between them.24
In Nones,there is a constant play of fusion vs. separationamong instrumental members or groups, a play that has connections to Berio's concerns with
"focus" (or "mutual adjustment"). Moreover, certain instruments seem
empowered to incite changes in the whole ensemble from one texture
mode to another, and from one accumulation/dispersionmode to another.
The most prominent of these inciting instruments are the piano and the
electric guitar.
The piano seems to intrude at its first appearance, interrupting the
declamatory row statement (B, D, Bb at measures 20, 23, 25, etc.), and
thoroughly disordering the row (cf. Example 2c). After appearing thus in
the first section of the piece, the instrument is not heard again until the
fifth section. When it returns, it has been transformedfrom a dissenting to
a reconciling voice, fully integrated into the essentially punctual statement
of the row (measures 257-64). In this way the piano manifests an underlying progression from unfocussed to focussed with respect to the whole
The electric guitar appears in all but the third section of the piece. In
measures 2-9 the guitar part protrudes, partly for its uncharacteristic
timbre (especially in 1954) and partly for the horizontal connectedness of
its line. From then on in sections one and two the guitar plays a more or
less passive role, being carefully woven into the contrapuntal web. In section four, after a brief absence, the guitar returns to play a more active role.
At measures 163-68 the guitar intrudes into the punctual scheme with a
connected line reminiscent of measures 2-9. Now, however, this line is
resounded by harp, strings, flute, and so forth in measures193-97. Follow-
ing this, the whole orchestra moves into the lyrical mode, a logical extension of the guitar's connected line (and one momentarily foreshadowed by
the solo violin at measures174-77). With the orchestrain the lyricalmode,
the guitar retreats until section five, where it resigns its provocative role,
briefly joins the piano in its integrated place in the music, then disappears.
Hence, the guitar suggests a progressionfrom unfocussed to focussed with
respect to the ensemble, a progression that is repeated (from sections one
and two to sections four and five).
Ironically,Berio uses the tambourines-the instruments which have perhaps the most narrow expressive range in his orchestra-to exert some
strong influences on the large-scaletransformationsin the piece. Unlike the
guitar and piano, the tambourines are present in all sections of Nones. In
section one they are rather static, punctuating the texture with
J.J.. groups. In section two the tambourines enter gradually, almost
tentatively, then at measure 68 begin a long tremolo ("white noise") that
culminates in a j,
group sounded by the combined winds and strings,
which is echoed by a final, solo eJ
group in the tambourines to close
the section. In the opening measures of section three, the tambourines
assert themselves vigorously,and provoke the repeated-note row statements
in the viola, which eventually lead to the orchestral climax (maximum
At the end of this third section, the persistent beating of the tambourines in iJ
groups manifests its maximum horizontal condensation. Complementing this condensation, the orchestra focusses on the
multiple-octave-doubled E-flat. After this, their most active section, the
tambourines disappear for virtually all of section four, finally reappearing
momentarily at measures 233-34. In section five tambourine lines gradugroups) until they provoke the
ally condense horizontally again (in .m
into the most prolonged
(measure 275)
and focussed manifestationof the lyricalmode in the piece.
The pitch class D, the row's repeating element, also incites focal changes
of various sorts. It seems to announce the entranceof new row forms (e. g.,
P5 and P3 at measures 142-43, P6 at measure 193, and P3 at measure 196).
It may provoke momentary disorderings,as at measure 23, where it triggers
the entrance of the piano, or as at measure 264, where it touches off the
revoicing of a twelve-note chord in the strings.25 It also may herald a
momentary change of texture mode, as at measures 49-50 and 143-44,
where the declamatoryD of Po is obscured by a brief lyrical"trope." In this
last instance, especially, one may discern a musical analogue to the
obstructed visual fields of"Nones"--the one mode momentarily blocked
by another.
The role of the D in relation to the row's axis, Ab, helps to account for
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some of the work's final measures. At measure 300, the viola begins a statement of R6, the doubled pitch class of which, of course, is Ab. The repetition of that pitch class, however, intrudes too early (measure 304), and
triggers a disorderly passage that is only "corrected" by the declamatory,
multi-octave-doubled appearanceof P0 and P8 (see Example 3). These two
rows are linked together by another sounding of the Ab (this time declamatory), the pitch classthat fills in the majorthird created by the first notes of
P0 and P8, thus duplicating the row's trichordalgenerator (0,1,4 = G, Ab,
B). The final passagesof the piece, then, with their highly focussed declamatory row statements, are preceded by a compensatory passageof the series
out of focus. This gesture-the "correction" of the disorderly music by a
declamation-is apparently provoked by the axis note (Ab) qua doubled
pitch class (in R6) qua trichordalelement (with G and B).
The focussing process of this final section also appears in the multipleoctave doublings themselves. In Nones'sopening twelve measuresthe vertical span of the punctual row statements is five octaves and a minor second
(FF-sharp to g3). In the "epiphany" (measures 312-27) the prime row
begins to be declaimed with a multiple-octave doubling that comprises a
vertical span of exactly five octaves. One hears, thus, the registralscattering
of the opening congealed at the end. This drawingtogether is foreshadowed
in the multiple-octave doublings at the ends of sections three and four.
Moreover, it is transformed in the final chord of the piece, a dense omniregistralaggregate-a "frozen tableau" of Nones'sbeginning.
If Nonesrepresents for Berio a "first exorcism" of Darmstadtian principles, it also foreshadows his later concerns. The deliberate insertion of a
duplicating pitch class into a series createsa polarity counter to the prevailing dogmas of the early 1950s. But more important, the duplicating pitch
class in the Nonesrow results from a process of expanding a single idea (the
trichord), interposed with the insertion of an axis note (Ab).This technique
appearsin many later Berio works, in which a line is expanded through the
interpolation of pitches with special structural relationships to the basic
series (O King, Linea, the Cheminspieces, and so forth).26 The notion of
focus accounts for the shifting dominance of certain gestural types within
virtually all of Berio's works since Nones.The "troping" of a row segment
in one texture-mode by a segment in another suggests the "selective resonances" of O King (or the second movement of the Sinfonia).The use of the
row in various texture modes looks forward to works such as Linea, in
which Berio, in his words, sometimes uses the basic series as a "singing"
melody, and at other times as a "hidden thread."27
Ironicallyperhaps, it is in its notion of form that Nonesmost clearlyforeshadows some of Berio's later works. The five parts of Nonesconsist of two
expository sections; a third, somewhat uncharacteristicsection that is "climactic" (i. e., contains the highest degree of saturation), and that derives
power from sheer mass and volume; a simplerfourth section that functions
as an interlude; and a fifth section of notably angular juxtapositions and
swift transformations-the "dreamlikecollage of psychologicallypotent but
logically unconnected images." A similarplan may be seen in the Sinfonia.
Its first two sections are expository, its third is uncharacteristicof the rest of
the piece and highly saturated, its fourth is an interlude, and its fifth is a
"Nones"-like juxtaposition of gestures from the preceding four sections.
Berio further elaborated this plan in Criesof London,which is essentially a
five-movement work expanded to seven by the insertion of two altered
reprises of the first movement. Here again, the final movement presents a
rapid, quasi-cinematicreview of the previous movements.
The "exorcism" of Nones consisted of Berio's coming to terms with
Darmstadtserialismand subjugatingit to his poetics. Through this work he
discoveredhow to integratehis literaryand sociological concerns with techniques that he quickly assimilatedthen transcended. He also discovered, as
if by accident, a large-scaleform (and underlying process) that would bear
fruit in works to come. Berio said in 1976 that serialismhad come to represent to him "an historical moment... a view of things, a spiritualsituation
of the early fifties."28 That "moment" clearly became for Berio a crucial
moment, one that provoked his own "lucid and burning inquiry," whose
answer-the ostensibly failed project Nones-held the seeds of future processes and plans. Darmstadt and Auden's "Nones" converged to become
Berio's own sudden spiritual manifestation, his own epiphany.
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1. "Entretien Luciano Berio Michel Phillipot," La Revue Musicale
265-66 (1969): 92; LucianoBerio: TwoInterviews,translated/edited by
David Osmond-Smith (New Yorkand London: Marion Boyars, 1985),
2. See especially Pietro Santi, "Luciano Berio," Die Reihe: Information
uber serielleMusik 4 (1958): 98-102; also Reginald Smith Brindle,
"Current Chronicle: Italy," MusicalQuarterly44 (1958): 95-101. All
other treatments of Berio's music with which I am acquainted discuss
Nonesin the same terms as these articles.
3. RichardJohnson, Man's Place:An Essayon Auden (Ithaca:Cornell University Press, 1973), 197-98.
4. See Luciano Berio, "Meditation on a Twelve-Tone Horse," Christian
ScienceMonitor, 15 July 1968, Home Forum Page.
5. For the quotation and information contained in the preceding two sentences, see Interiews, 54, 142-43.
6. For this statement and Joyce's, as well as a study of the term "epiphany," see Morris Beja, Epiphanyin the ModernNovel(Seattle:University of Washington Press, 1971), 13-23.
7. The ellipses signify the conflation of phrases about the work from
Berio's RCA Liner Notes to Nonesand Interviews,p. 63, respectively.
Berio's interpretation of the poem is somewhat idiosyncratic, since
"Nones" actuallydepicts the aftermathof the crucifixion, avoidingany
direct imagery of the cross.
8. Published chronologies of Berio's activity differ on many particulars.
Some sources-including Interviews,169-give the date of Berio's first
Darmstadt enrollment as 1954. I rely here on Berio's own recollections
published in Interviews, 51 and 61, and "Entretien Luciano Berio
Michel Phillipot," 85-86.
9. See Pierre Boulez, Notes of an Apprenticeship,translated by Herbert
Weinstock (New York:Alfred Knopf, 1968), 23, 148.
10. From Stockhausen's notes to Kontra-Punkte,in KarlH. Worner, Stockhausen:Life and Work,translatedand edited by Bill Hopkins (Berkeley
and Los Angeles: University of CaliforniaPress, 1976), 31-32.
11. For a summary of this thinking from Pousseur himself, see his
"Stravinskyby WayofWebern: The Consistencyof a Syntax,"Perspectives
of NewMusic 10, no. 2 (Spring-Summer1972): 21-22. See also the discussion of Stravinskyand Webernin PieterC. van den Toorn, TheMusic
oflgor Stravinsky(New Haven: YaleUniversity Press, 1983), 383-86.
12. See, for example, Henri Pousseur, "The Question of Order in New
Music," Perspectives
of NewMusic 5, no. 1 (Fall-Winter1966): 93-111.
13. The derivation seems obvious, but is confirmed by an inscription in
Berio's working notes to the row that readsin Italian: "similarto op. 24
of Webern" (platein Interviews).
14. Reproductionsof two pages of Berio'sworking notes (aswell as a page of
Maderna'slecture notes on Nones)appearin an unpaginated section of
platesin Interviews.
15. See the diagramsin Smith Brindle, "Current Chronicle," 99-100. Several aspects of the duration plan should be noted. First, his values are
quite simple when compared with those of similar works of the early
1950s. Second, Berio actually places rests into the scheme to allow certain rhythms to accommodate the normal simple division of the beat
(2/8 meter). Third, Berio allows for reststo be placed between durations
in the piece, accommodating any duration to the pulse, if desired.
16. The term "fatalistic" comes from his RCA Notes to Nones; the rule
comes from his working notes (platein Interviews).
17. In practice, however, in beginning a row statement, Berio usually chose
either the smallestrhythmic duration ()) or, more often, the largest(J),
both of which have the value of four, to join us to his first pitch. By
bringing the value of the note without dynamics or articulationto five,
he had much greaterfreedom to select a dynamic-which in "punctual"
textures could play a more lucid role than duration-and more important, allowed him to reservethe "effects" (trill, tremolo, fluttertongue)
for special situations. Berio also evidently built his exceedings of nine
into patterns. The P0 row at measures 1-10 (harp) for example, has a
a palparametricsum pattern of 9-9-10-9-10-9-10-9-10-9-10-9-9,
indrome. (The pp of the twelfth note of this row statement has been
omitted from the printed score. It is found, however, in Maderna's
notes to the score, which are printed in part in the plates in Two
18. RCA Notes to Nones.
19. "Luciano Berio on New Music: An Interview with David Roth," MusicalOpinion99 (September1976): 548.
20. RCA notes to Nones;Interviews,64. Osmond-Smith translates"rarefactions" as "rarifications." Regarding the length of Nones: while the
of NewMusic
Suvini Zerboni score of the work lists its durationas ten minutes, Berio's
RCA recording (ARL1-1674)of the work lastsjust under seven.
21. See Santi, "Luciano Berio," 99.
22. "Luciano Berio talks to Simon Emmerson," Music and Musicians 24
(February1976): 26-27.
23. Eight different metronome markingsappearin this section's ninety-six
measures, as opposed to one, three, three, and five, respectively,in the
precedingfour sections.
24. Interviews,63.
25. The second or twelfth members of other row-forms-i. e., the pitch
classesthat repeat in any form of this row-often function like D in the
prime row. The Bbof R9 at measures32-33 signalsthe appearanceof the
repetitive mode and an attendant disordering. At measure 278 the F of
R3 is repeated after a long delay, a delay during which the articulative
mode changes to the lyrical.
26. See, forexample, the discussionof the O Kingmelody in David OsmondSmith, PlayingOn Words:A Guideto LucianoBerio'sSinfonia(London:
Royal Music Association, 1985), 22-34.
27. See Berio's note to the work, RCA RecordsARL-1 2291.
28. "Luciano Berio on New Music," 548.