Accessible to as many people as possible, it presents a unique layout: the singers and the instrumentalists are linked two by two, forming a vocal and instrumental choir with a unique spatial arrangement of sound. “Coro attacks the problem that is perhaps the most deeply anchored within me: coming together, giving an order to things that are apparently heterogeneous. It is a problem that our culture is obsessed with and which justifies my interest in linguistics, where we look for ‘internal’ links between different elements”, declares the composer. The celebration of life, work and love contrasts with the drama of alienation and repression: an elementary and powerful opposition between the forces of life and death. The solo parts use shared texts, taken from an assorted repertoire: Indian chants (from different ethnic groups), Peruvian, Polynesian, Gabonese, Persian, Croatian, Venetian, Piedmontese, Chilean, with the addition of an extract from Song of Songs; all the parts use verses by Pablo Neruda taken from the collection Residencia en la Tierra. The idea of a choir acquires an ethical and political meaning: a gathering of human beings going beyond their ethnic and linguistic differences.
Choir and Orchestra comprised of the students of the Universities of Latin Music
HEM Genève, HEMU, Conservatorio della Svizzera italiana
The Argentinian conductor and composer Emilio Pomàrico has been a guest of the most famous orchestras and operas in Europe and Latin America, as well as many international festivals. He has conducted some of the best contemporary music ensembles, such as the Vienna Klangforum, Musikfabrik, the ensemble Resonanz, London Sinfonietta, Asko| Schönberg, le Collegium Musicum Zürich, Remix Ensemble, Ensemble intercontemporain, Ensemble Modern and Ensemble Modern Orchestra. He has also worked with a classical repertoire, ranging from Bach to Webern. He has given unforgettable performances at many premieres, including the cycle Carceri d’invenzione by Brian Ferneyhough in Geneva, Zurich and Paris; Logos-Fragmente by Hans Zender and Quatre études pour orchestre by Georges Aperghis. During recent years he has conducted several premieres at the Vienna Klangforum, at the Vienna Festival and at the Festival d’Aix-en-Provence. He conducted Coro by Luciano Berio in Geneva in the presence of the composer, and more recently for the Latin American premiere of the piece at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires in 2014. During the 2018-2019 season, Emilio Pomàrico has performed with numerous orchestras, such as the WDR Symphony Orchestra Cologne, the German Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra, in premieres at the Opernhaus Zurich, the Opéra Comique and at the Opéra de Dijon, and at international music festivals such as Aix-en-Provence and Avignon.
Born in 1925, Luciano Berio studied counterpoint and fugue, composition and orchestra conducting at the Conservatoria di Milano. After a spell in the United States, in 1953 he made some first attempts at tape recording music (Mimusique n°1) and at serialism (Nones, 1954). The composer showed a keen interest in literature and linguistics, which influenced his musical thought, in particular in Thema (Omaggio a Joyce, 1958). In 1960, he returned to the US where he taught composition in prestigious institutions such as Harvard, University of Columbia and the New York Juilliard School, where he founded the Juilliard Ensemble (1967) specialising in contemporary music. In 1968 he composed Sinfoniawhich, with multiples references to repertoire works, showed the composer’s constant need to interrogate history. During this period, he intensified his work as an orchestra conductor. Luciano Berio went back to live in Europe in 1972. Invited by Pierre Boulez, he took on the management of the Ircam electroacoustic department and, enriched by this experience, in 1987 founded Tempo Reale, the Florence institute for live electronic music. His interest in folk music inspired him to write Coro (1975), one of his main works. During the 1980s, he realised two major lyric projects: La vera storia (1982) and Un re in ascolto (1984) using librettos by Italo Calvino. At the same time as his creative work, Berio was tirelessly involved in musical institutions in both Italy and elsewhere in the world. His international renown has been saluted by numerous honorary university titles and prizes, including a Lion d’or at the Venice Biennale (1995) and the Praemium Imperiale (Japan). Luciano Berio died in Rome on 27 May 2003.