Boomkat Product Review:
Enchanting renditions of traditional arrangements and original pieces by Luciano Berio, written for his wife, Cathy Barbarian and two instrumentalists c. 1964; here performed and recorded by Éloïse Decales and Delphine Dora in Brussels, 2014. Pure melters
“The origin of FOLK SONGS (1964) is a song-cycle assembled by the composer Luciano Berio for his wife, singer Cathy Barbarian and two instrumentalists who share duty on flute, clarinet, harp, alto, cello and percussion. Presented are two songs from he folkloric bard John Jacob Niles (adapted from traditional American pieces), two original compositions from Berio himself (La donna ideal and Ballo), and a small but revealing selection of songs from around the world (Armenia, France, Sicily…).
Richly rendering relatively simple melodies, audacious arrangements, instrumental progressions, playing with the contrasts between the different pieces, a balance which is constantly called into question between the immediate, the complex, the familiar, the unforeseen… this hybrid ensemble forms a precious manifesto, poetic an theoretic, which refuses all consideration as music often termed “educated” or even “popular” and for which the challenge is to install fertile dialogues between genres.”