Complete Sequenzas & Works for Solo Instruments


Paula Robison – flute
Susan Jolles – harp
Isabelle Ganz – soprano
Aki Takahashi – piano
Stuart Dempster – trombone
Garth Knox – viola
Jacqueline Leclair – oboe
Irvine Arditti – violin
Carol Robinson – clarinet
Kelland Thomas – alto saxophone
William Foreman – trumpet
Brian McWhorter – trumpet
Seth Josel – guitar

Noriko Shimada – bassoon
Stefan Hussong – accordion
Rohan de Saram – cello
Ulrich Krieger – soprano saxophone
Alain Billard – bass clarinet
Michael Cameron – double bass
Stefano Scodanibbio – double bass
Jane Chapman – harpsichord
Lucia Mense – recorder
Gary Verkade – organ

The New York Time’s pick as one of the “10 best recordings of 2006”

“Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2007” for “New Music Record of the Year”

“Premio del Disco Amadeus 2008” from Italy’s prestigious Amadeus Music magazine


David N.Lewis
All Music Guide
July 2006

Massimo Ricci
October 2006

Christopher Delaurenti
The Stranger
June 1-7 2006

Javier Palacio
August 2006

Andrew Clements
The Guardian
August 25, 2006

Dan Warburton
The Wire
August 2006

Dominy Clements
February 2007

David N. Lewis 
All Music Guide – July 2006

Although Naxos managed to speed out a similar collection a little ahead of this one, it’s really not in the same class with the Mode – the label spent more than a decade recording this set with artists that Berio himself favored. […]All of the interpretations are first rate, as is the annotation, photographs and sound, which retains a surprisingly consistent quality from track to track, as this 4-disc set was recorded all over the map over a long period of time. […] Berio’s music has a good chance of retaining currency within the future, and Mode’s Berio: Complete Sequenzas and Solo Works represents the gold standard in paving the way for his legacy.

Javier Palacio 
Diverdi – August 2006

[…]Era éste, desde luego, un capítulo particularmente importante al conceder el compositor italiano un papel fundamental al virtuosismo, y más en concreto al «virtuosismo de la sensibilidad y la inteligencia», puesto que «sólo los mejores solistas son capaces de tocar con vasta perspectiva histórica y de resolver los conflictos entre las exigencias creativas del pasado y el presente, utilizando su instrumento como herramienta de investigación y expresión». No podía, entonces, disponer de mejores traductores de su estética sonora y de su pensamiento que los ahora reunidos: nada menos que Irvine Arditti (violín), Rohan de Saram (chelo), Stefano Scodanibbio (contrabajo), Garth Knox (viola), Stuart Dempster (trombón), Jane Chapman (clavecín), Isabelle Ganz (mezzo), Aki Takahashi (piano), Jacqueline Leclair (oboe); Susan Jolles (arpa) o Carol Robinson (clarinete), entre otros, lo cual significa muchos de los nombres más granados de la escena interpretativa del momento. […]

Dan Warburton

The Wire – August 2006

[…]An essential release.

Dan Warburton 
The Wire – August 2006

[…]An essential release.

Massimo Ricci, 
October 2006

[…] A case in point is Sequenza IXa for clarinet (here masterfully rendered by Carol Robinson) which derives from Chemins V, a work Berio withdrew shortly after its premiere. This Mode set represents the very first time in which all the Sequenze (even the “posthumous” ones, notably Stefano Scodanibbio’s excellent transcription for double bass of the cello Sequenza XIV) and the works for solo instruments have been gathered together in a single release. Listening to the whole thing in one go is difficult but not impossible, as Berio’s articulately bright writing highlights both the strengths and the less explored nuances of every instrument while maintaining an evident intelligibility, a consequence of the composer’s interest in popular traditions and themes he often loved to mix with more experimental and serial techniques. Virtuosity is a necessity, never mere technical showing off; according to Berio’s instructions some of these scores should be played sempre molto flessibile, quasi improvvisando (“always very flexible, almost improvising”). […]The performers, a veritable Who’s Who of great soloists including Irvine Arditti, Stuart Dempster, Rohan De Saram, Isabelle Ganz, Ulrich Krieger, Seth Josel and Aki Takahashi (to name but a few), contribute with heartfelt passion to the success of the project. […]

Andrew Clements 
The Guardian – August 25, 2006

[…] the level of virtuosity on these discs is staggeringly high; anyone interested in Berio’s solo pieces, perhaps the most important instrumental music in our time, should explore this collection.

Dominy Clements 
February 2007

[…] Much of Berio’s music, the Sequenzas included, inhabits a world of inner drama which interacts with the outside world in a surreal fashion. It’s the kind of drama which confronts and subverts within the mind, entering and rummaging around in the subconscious and then rearing up in front of you like a giant balloon clown when you least expect it. The relationships of perspective between the player and his/her instrument, and between the player and the audience, are in state of constant distortion and flux. […]

Carol Robinson has a slightly wider range, more introverted in the soft, lyrical passages, and with a little more bite and attack when things become more hairy.[…]

Mode’s recordings are almost invariably more detailed and confrontational, but inevitably a bit of a mixed bag. […]Even where the recording is less appealing the performances are always good, and most are superb.

Christopher Delaurenti 
The Stranger – June 2006

[…]Berio: Sequenzas & Solo Works (Mode), collect the complete Sequenzas and offer a superb, if not superior, alternative to the pricey 1998 set on Deutsche Grammophon, which lacks the final Sequenza XIV composed in 2002. […] Mode enlisted several new music all-stars—Irvine Arditti, Carol Robinson, Stuart Dempster—and added a fourth disc of solo works. Also, I appreciate Mode’s inclusion of Edoardo Sanguineti’s optional prefatory spoken texts, all indexed on separate tracks. Essential.