Musical Borrowing
An Annotated Bibliography

Individual record

[+] Metzer, David. "Musical Decay: Luciano Berio's 'Rendering' and John Cage's 'Europera 5.'" Journal of the Royal Musical Association 125 (2000): 93-114.

In Luciano Berio's Rendering and John Cage's Europera 5, creation of new music through the "restoration" and "reproduction" of old materials offers more than just a way of holding onto the past. Both compositions examine the decay and loss intrinsic to past materials which makes that past less accessible. In Rendering, based on Schubert's sketches toward a tenth symphony, Berio incorporates his own music with sections of Schubert's unfinished symphony, sometimes filling in the gaps in Schubert's sketches, while at other times dismantling and reconfiguring the material to make it sound incomplete. Berio restores Schubert's symphony not in the traditional sense, but rather to a fragmented state which suggests the deterioration of the past. Europera 5 similarly pieces together fragments of past operas to suggest that the concept of opera has deteriorated. Cage's nostalgia mediates a sense of loss through presentation of these fragments as disjointed, antique, and irrecoverable.

Works: Berio: Rendering (95-103, 108-113), Chemins (96), Sinfonia (96, 113); Cage: Europera 5 (95, 103-113), Europera 1 &2 (103-104).

Sources: Mahler: Symphony No. 2 in C Minor (96, 113) Schubert: Symphony No. 10 (96-103, 108-113); Cage: Truckera (104).

Index Classifications: 1900s

Contributed by: Brent C. Reidy

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