Luciano Berio's Sinfonia (1968) marked a return by the composer to orchestral writing after a gap of six years. This in-depth study demonstrates the central position the work occupies in Berio's output. David Osmond-Smith discusses the way in which Berio used the Bororo myth described in Levi-Strauss's Le cru et le cuit as a framework for Sinfonia. This is one of many influences in the work, which also include Joyce's 'Sirens' chapter from Ulysses, Beckett's The Unnameable and the scherzo from Mahler's 2nd Symphony. The listener who takes refuge in the score of Sinfonia, argues Osmond-Smith, finds there a maze of allusions to things beyond the score. It is some of those allusions that this book seeks to illuminate.
This series was originally supported by funds made available to the Royal Musical Association from the estate of Thurston Dart. Its purpose is to provide a medium for specialized investigations of a topic, concept or repertory - studies of a kind that would not normally be feasible for commercial publishers and that would be too long for most periodicals.