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The Full Text of Berio's Sinfonia

Luciano Berio
Sinfonia
[B2] il y avait sang [B1] Il y avait il y avait il y avait unoe fois un indien mari et pre de
plusieurs fils adultes, le!ception du dernier n "ui sappelait #ssar$ %n &our, un &our "ue
cet indien tait la c'asse, les frres, les frres
(uand locan stait form, les frres d#sar avaient tout de suite voulu sy )aigner$ *t
encore au&ourd'ui, vers le fin de la saison des pluies, des pluies on les voit appara+tre dans le
ciel, dans le ciel, tout propres et removes sons lapparence des sept toiles des ,leiades ce
myt'e nous retiendra longtemps$ [B2] au&ourd'ui vers le fin de la saison de la saison des
pluies des pluies des pluies dans le ciel dans le ciel cans le ciel
[tutti] ,luie douce appel )ruyant [repeated several times, broken down into component
syllables]
[- voices] sang [solo] sang eau eau [-]eau [solo] eau sang [-] eau [solo] sang [tutti] sang [-]
eau [solo] eau [-] sang [solo] eau cleste [-] eau [solo.- antip'onally] eau cleste sang eau
eau terrestre pluie, pluie, pluie, pluie douce, pluie douce de la saison sc'e pluie, pluie
orageuse, pluie orageuse de la saison des pluies )ois eau, )ois )ois eau, )ois pourri, )ois, )ois
dur roc ar)re ar)re rsor) sous leau un fils priv de mere, un fils priv de nourriture 'ros
'onteau!, 'ros tuant, 'ros tu, 'ros furieu!, musi"ues rituelle [-] eau sang cleste eau eau
terrestre sang eau terrestre sang eau sang eau terrestre eau sang eau eau eau terrestre eau eau
terrestre eau cleste)ois )ois ar)re rsor) )ois dur )ois dur rsor) ar)re rsor) )ois pourri
les 'ros )ois dur le 'ros 'ros furieu! 'ros tu [tutti] musi"ues rituelle
[tutti] tuant tu
II
/ 0I12
/ 0ing / 3artin Lut'er 0ing
III
I1 4%5I2 6LI*SS*17*4 B*8*2%12
[tutti] o' peripeti [91] nic't eilen, )itte [S1] o' [#1] no [B1] rec't gem:$$$ [S2] "uatrime
symp'onie [#2] du!ime symp'onie [92] rec't gem:$$$ [S1] deu!ime partie [#1] premire
partie [91] "uatrime partie [B1] troisime partie [92] gem:c'e$$$ [B1] In ru'ig fliessender
Be;egung [91] se'r gem:c'lic' nic't eilen [B1] <eep going [tutti] peripetie [B1] peripetie
;'ere= [#1] and no;= [B1] not'ing more not'ing more restful t'an c'am)er music [#1]
;'en no;= [91] I, say I
[91] >ou are not'ing )ut an academic e!ercise [B1] no time for c'am)er music ?$$$@ ;e need
to do somet'ing [S2] 6or t'oug' t'e silence 'ere is almost un)ro<en it is not completely so 'e
emerges as from 'eavy 'angings$ 5ardly a resurrection [#2] ;e ;ant t'at [#1] It seems t'ere
are only repeated sounds [92] ;'at= [#2] ;'o= [91] I prefer a ;a<e [92] ;'y= [B1]
Somet'ing is going to 'appen$ So after a period of immaculate silence t'ere seems to )e a
violin concerto )eing played in t'e ot'er room in t'ree "uarters [#2] t;o violin concertos
[S2] in t'ree eig'ts [#1] I am not deaf, of t'at I am convinced, t'at is to say 'alfAconvinced
[92] 0eep going [B2] ;'ere no;= [91] 8it' not even a small mountain on t'e 'oriBon, a
man ;ould ;onder ;'ere 'is <ingdom ended [#1] ;'ere= [91] 0eep going [92] ;'at= [91]
a poem [B2] 0eep going [91] a danced poem, all round, and endless c'ain, ta<ing turns to
tal<
[S2] 0eep going [91] 9'is represents at least a t'ousand ;ords I ;as not counting on$ [#1]
t'ree t'ousand notes [91] I may ;ell )e glad of t'em ?$$$@ But seeing 7ap'ne and C'lo
;ritten in red, counting t'e seconds ;'ile not'ing 'as 'appened )ut t'e o)session ;it' t'e
[B1] go on [#2] ;it' t'e c'romatic [S2] and t'e c'romatic again [92] 8'ere no;= [91] I am
in t'e air, t'e ;alls, everyt'ing yields, opens, e))s, flo;s li<e t'e play of ;aves [S1] 0eep
going [B2] >es, I feel t'e moment 'as come for us to loo< )ac<, if ;e can and ta<e our
)earings if ;e are to go on$ [91] >es, I feel t'e moment 'as come for me to loo< )ac<$ I must
not forget t'is, I 'ave not forgotten it$ But I must 'ave said it )efore, since I say it no;$ 9'ey
t'in< I am alive, not in a ;om), eit'er$$$ 8ell, so t'ere is an audience its a fantastic pu)lic
performance [B1] and t'e curtain comes do;n for t'e nint' time$ [B1] >ou never noticed you
;ere ;aiting$ >ou ;ere ;aiting alone, t'at is t'e s'o;$ 0eep going$
[B1] I s'all say my old lessons no;, if I can remem)er it [92] t'en I s'all 'ave lived t'ey
t'in< I am alive, not in a ;om), eit'er, even t'at ta<es time$
[#1] it is [92] <eep going [#1] is it= [B1] <eep going [91] it is as if ;e ;ere rooted, t'ats
)onds if you li<e D t'e eart' ;ould 'ave to "ua<e$ it isnt t'e eart', one doesnt <no; ;'at it is
[#1] But you all <no; t'at t'ey ;ill )ring me to t'e surface one day or anot'er and t'ere ;ill
)e a )rief dialogue in t'e dunes [91] may)e a <ind of competition on t'e stage, ;it' &ust eig't
female dancers and ;ords falling$ you dont <no; ;'ere, ;'ere no; [#1] under t'e sun [91]
;'o no;= But no; I s'all say my old lessons if I can remem)er it$ I most not forget t'is$ But
I must 'ave said it )efore, since I say it no;$
I am listening$ 8ell, I prefer, t'at, I must say I prefer t'at [#2] t'at ;'at ;'o you [91] o'
you <no;, o' you, o' I suppose t'e audience, ;ell ;ell, so t'ere is an audience, its a pu)lic
s'o;, you )uy your seat and you ;ait, per'aps its free, a free s'o;, you ta<e your seat and
you ;ait for it to )egin, or per'aps its compulsory, a compulsory s'o;$$$
you ;ait for t'e compulsory s'o; to )egin, it ta<es time, you 'ear a voice, per'aps it is a
recitation, t'at is t'e s'o;, someone reciting, selected passages, old favourites, or someone
improvising, you can )arely 'ear 'im, t'ats t'e s'o;, you cant leave, you are afraid to leave,
you ma<e t'e )est of it, you try to )e reasona)le, you came too early, 'ere ;ed need latin, its
only t'e )eginning, it 'asnt )egun, 'ell appear any moment, 'ell )egin any moment [#1] 5e
is only preluding, clearing 'is t'roat, alone in 'is dressing room, or its t'e stageAmanager
giving 'is instructions, 'is last recommendations )efore t'e curtain rises [tutti] t'at is t'e
s'o; [91] t'ats t'e s'o; ;aiting for t'e s'o;, to t'e sound of a murmur, you try to )e
reasona)le, per'aps it is not a voice at all, per'aps its t'e air, ascending, descending, flo;ing,
eddying, see<ing e!it, finding none, and t'e spectators, ;'ere are t'ey, you didnt notice, in
t'e anguis' of ;aiting, never noticed you ;ere ;aiting alone, t'at is t'e s'o;, for t'e fools,
in t'e palace, ;aiting [B1] t'e )rig'test star [91] ;aiting alone t'at is t'e s'o; [tutti] t'at is
t'e s'o; [91] ;aiting alone in t'e restless air, for it to )egin, ;'ile every no; and t'en a
familiar passacaglia [92] Eet;as BurF<'altendG [B1] not really [91] filters t'roug' t'e ot'er
noises ;aiting, for somet'ing to )egin, for t'ere to )e somet'ing else )ut you, for t'e po;er
to rise, t'e courage to leave, pic<ing your ;ay t'roug' t'e crossed colors, see<ing t'e cause,
losing it again, see<ing no longer$ 8e s'all overcome t'e incessant noised, for as 5enri says,
if t'is noise ;ould stop t'ered )e not'ing more to say$ >ou try and )e reasona)le, per'aps
you are )lind, pro)a)ly deaf, t'e s'o; is over, all is over, )ut ;'ere t'en is t'e 'and, t'e
'elping 'and, or merely c'arita)le, or t'e 'ired 'and, its a long time coming, to ta<e yours
and dra; you a;ay, t'at is t'e s'o;, free, gratis, and for not'ing, ;aiting alone, )lind, deaf,
you dont <no; ;'ere, you dont <no; for ;'at, for a 'and to come and dra; you a;ay,
some;'ere else, ;'ere per'aps its ;orse$ [S1H2] Its a real pleasure upon my ;ord it is to )e
una)le to dro;n under suc' conditions in a la<e full of colors far from my ;alls [91] ;'ere
no;= [#1] ;'o no;= [B1] <eep going no; [91] ;'en no;= [21] )lood [#1] Iust a small
murder [91] <eep going [B2] 'ardly ;ort' it, yet ;'at can you e!pect [91] t'ey dont <no;
;'o t'ey are eit'er [B1] did you 'ear= [91] <eep going [S2] 7id you 'ear= [92] stop [B2]
stop [#1] do you 'ear= [91] <eep going [B1] 5Jren Sie= [92] 7ortK [B2] 5eavensK 9'ere ;as
a soundK [91] yes, t'ereK [B1] Ia, dortK [92] IesusK 7as ;ar ein 9onK
I am 'ere so little, I see it, I feel it round me it enfolds me, it covers me, if only t'is voice
;ould stop, for a second, [91H2] it ;ould seem long to me, a second of silence I ;ould listen,
[92] Id <no; if it ;as going to start again or if it ;as stilled for ever ;'at ;ould I <no; it
;it', Id <no;$ #nd Id <eep on listening [91] Id <no; if it ;as going to start again its late
no;, and 'e is still tal<ing incessantly, any old t'ing, repetition after repetition, tal<ing
unceasingly, in yourself, outside yourself
Its late no;, 'e s'all never 'ear again t'e lo;ing cattle, t'e rus' of t'e stream$ In a c'am)er,
dimensions un<no;n, I do not move and never s'all again on long road or s'ort$ But t'e fact
is I trou)le no one$ But I did$ #nd after eac' group disintegration, t'e name of 3a&a<o;s<y
'angs in t'e clean air$
#nd ;'en t'ey as<, ;'y all t'is, it is not easy to find an ans;er$ [S2] la mer, la mer tou&ours
recommence [91] 6or ;'en ;e find ourselves, face to face, no;, 'ere, and t'ey remind us
all t'is cant stop t'e ;ars, cant ma<e t'e old younger or lo;er t'e price of )read [#1] say it
again, louderK [91] it cant stop t'e ;ars, cant ma<e t'e old younger or lo;er t'e price of
)read, cant erase solitude or dull t'e tread outside t'e door, ;e can only nod, yes, its true, )ut
no need to remind, to point, for it is all ;it' us, al;ays, e!cept, per'aps at certain moments,
'ere among t'ese ro;s of )alconies, in a cro;d or out of it, per'aps ;aiting to enter,
;atc'ing$ #nd tomorro; ;ell read t'at $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ [mentions composer and title of a work
included in the same program] made tulips gro; in my garden and altered t'e flo; of t'e
ocean currents$ 8e must )elieve its true$ 9'ere must )e somet'ing else$ /t'er;ise it ;ould
)e "uite 'opeless$ But it is "uite 'opeless$ %n"uestioning$ But it cant go on$ It, say it, not
<no;ing ;'at$ Its getting late$ 8'ere no;= 8'en no;= I 'ave a present for you$ 0eep
going, page after page$ 0eep going, going on, call t'at going, call t'at on$ But ;ait$ 5e is
)arely moving, no;, almost still$ S'ould I ma<e my introductions= ?This voice introduces to
the public the other seven singers.@ But no; its done, its over, ;eve 'ad our c'ance$ 9'ere
;as even, for a second, 'ope of resurrection, or almost, 3ein &unges Le)en 'at ein *nd$ 8e
must collect our t'oug'ts, for t'e une!pected is al;ays upon us, in our rooms, in t'e street, at
t'e door, on a stage$ 9'an< you, 3r$ ?full name of the conductor@
IL
[tutti] 4ose de sang appel )ruyant appel dou! )ruyant 4ose de sang
L
[S1] 4ose de sang 4ose de sang appel )ruyant appel )ruyant dou! appel appel dou! [#1.2]
Loil voil Il y avait, il y avait une fois un &eune, un &eune garcon "ui suivit sa mere [91] rose
de sang 4ose de sang [92] Listen, listen, are you going already= Listen, listen, let me see your
face once more [B1] nous voil voil ;'ere no;= ;'o no;= #nd no;= ;'o no;= [B1] Loil
"uoi Loil "ui Loil$ Il y avait une fois$ [B1,2] Il y avait un fois un indien, un indien mari et
pre de plusieurs fils adultes
[tutti] )ruyant dou! appel dou!
[B1] ,artiel ou provisoire, ce dernier commentaire nest pas convaincant, car il laisse de cMt
dimportants aspects de nos t'mes$ [ot'er seven voices repeat t'e follo;ing ;ords and
p'rases] sang, pluie, )ruyant appel, dou! )ruyant, vie, sang, feu [B1] appel )ruyant mais
pourtant, mais pourtant les t'mes sont l$ ,artout, ailleurs mais pourtent voil [S2] ,artiel ou
provisoire, ce dernier commentaire nest pas convaincant$ [#1] mais pourtant les t'mes sont
l [91] mais pourtant, mais pourtant, mais pourtant les t'mes sont l, "ui affirment la priorit
[92] Listen, let me see your face once more$ Listen [B2] ;'ere no;= 0eep going [B1]
,artout, ailleurs, les t'mes inversent la valeur de leur termes selon "uil sagit de retarded la
mort ou dassurer la resurrection [B2] #vant de terminer dune faNon provisoirement definitive
E Lienne on dit Odfinitivement provisoireOG il faudrait rsoudre "uel"ue contradiction
[92] mais partout les t'mes sont l, "ui affirment [#2] les t'mes "ui affirment la priorit de
la discontinuit universelle des t'mes sur la continuit de [S1, S2, #1] un fils priv de mere
[S2] un fils priv de nourriture [91] il y avait, il y avait, il y avait un fois, un &eune, un &eune
garNon "ui suivit sa mre en cac'ette, la surprit et la voila$ [92,B2] sur la continuit de
lorganisation interne c'acuns [B1] il y avait une fois un indien mari, pre de plusieurs fils
adunts le!ception du dernier n "ui sappelait #sar$ %n &our "ue cet indien tait la c'asse
les frres d#sar tour de role violrent leur mere dans la maison des 'ommes$ [91]
continueB 3$ ?the name of 2
nd
Bass@ s$v$p$ [B2] ,ersuad de son infortune le pre e!pdie son
fils au Onid des PmesO [B1] Les coupa)les reNoivent de leur pre une rude correction [B2] unQ
les Pmes la grandmre lui recommande do)tenir laide de loiseau mouc'e [B1] unQ le
crocodile$ # sa demand les oiseau! pics le dissimulent sous un tas dou!Q Il lui c'appe grPce
au! perdri! "ui consentent le cac'er sous la paille [B2] deu!Q lanimal secutant cette fois la
colom)e au vol rapide$ [91] 9roisQ #sar se cac'e sous les pulc'ures des gousses de yato)a$
[B2] 9roisQ il est aide par la grande sauterelle, dont le vol est plus lent$[#1] (uartreQ au )eau
milieu du fleuve il recontre un crocodile n dune multitude de lBards "uil avait luiAmRme
tus pendant le voyage, et "ue les eau! grossissantes ont entra+ns$ [B2] (uartreQ c'asse les
lBards "ui a)ondent sur le plateau$ Cin"Q 7u maca)re festin il ne reste au fond de leau "ue
les ossements dc'arns, et les poumons surnagent sous forme de plantes a"uati"ues donSt les
feuilles ditAon ressem)lent poumons$ [#2] Cin"Q ,eu aprs, on les voit appara+tres dans le
ciel tout propres et rnovs sous lapparence des sept toiles des ,liades$ Si!Q #ssar arrive
enfin c'eB son oncle "ui attend le crocodile de pied ferme et linonde de son fluideAA [B2] Si!Q
la grandmre ne sait trop comment parer ce nouveau danger, mais elle remet son petit fils
un )aton magi"ueAA [S2] un &eune "ui couc'ait en plein air, tom)e amoureu! dune toile [#2]
#sseB [B1] Listen [B2] non, pas Na [#2] Lesprit crateur "ue les 'omes seraient immortels$
[91] Listen are you going already= let me see your face once more [B2] lesprit crateur avait
dcid Il fallait les informer, et il c'oisit il c'oisit le camlon [S2] et il c'oisit comme
messager [#2] "ui est un animal fort lent [S2] lesprit malin, laffTt dun )on fond, alla porter
au! 'omes la nouvelle [91] la nouvelle "uils taient mortels [B2] "uils taient mortels Cela
ne leur plTt pas normment [92] Listen, are you going= [S2] mais ils finirent par se rsigner
tant )ien "ue mal [92] Let me see your face once more [#2] Lesprit crateur ny pouvait plus
rien [B2] #lors, alors, pour consoler les 'omes, il cra un esprit special$ dont le role tait de
leur apporter de leur apporter$$$
[9utti, repeat many times] priptie, 'roes tu