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Chamber Music (Berio)

Chamber Music is a composition in three sections for female voice, clarinet, cello and harp by the Italian composer Luciano Berio. It is a setting of three poems from the collection of poetry Chamber Music by James Joyce, whose work was to be a frequent source for Berio. The songs were composed in 1953, and show the influence of Luigi Dallapiccola with whom Berio had studied in 1952 at the Tanglewood Music Center.

About his composition Berio said that,

[a]s often happens to me with important encounters, I reacted to Dallapiccola with four works: Due pezzi, for violin and piano, Cinque variazione, for piano (based upon the three-note melodic cell—"fratello"—from Il prigioniero), Chamber Music (setting poems by Joyce) and Variazione, for chamber orchestra. With these pieces I entered Dallapiccola's "melodic" world, but they also allowed me to escape from it.


External links

Chamber Music (book)

Chamber Music is a collection of poems by James Joyce, published by Elkin Matthews in May, 1907. The collection originally comprised thirty-four love poems, but two further poems were added before publication ("All day I hear the noise of waters" and "I hear an army charging upon the land").


Although it is widely reported that the title refers to the sound of urine tinkling in a chamber pot, this is a later Joycean embellishment, lending an earthiness to a title first suggested by his brother Stanislaus and which Joyce (by the time of publication) had come to dislike: "The reason I dislike Chamber Music as a title is that it is too complacent", he admitted to Arthur Symons in 1906. "I should prefer a title which repudiated the book without altogether disparaging it."[1]

Richard Ellmann reports (from a 1949 conversation with Eva Joyce) that the chamberpot connotation has its origin in a visit he made, accompanied by Oliver Gogarty, to a young widow named Jenny in May 1904. The three of them drank porter while Joyce read manuscript versions of the poems aloud - and, at one point, Jenny retreated behind a screen to make use of a chamber pot. Gogarty commented, "There's a critic for you!". When Joyce later told this story to Stanislaus, his brother agreed that it was a "favourable omen".[2]

In Ulysses, Leopold Bloom reflects, "Chamber music. Could make a pun on that."[3]

In fact, the poetry of Chamber Music is not in the least bawdy, nor reminiscent of the sound of tinkling urine. Although the poems did not sell well (fewer than half of the original print run of 500 had been sold in the first year), they received some critical acclaim. Ezra Pound admired the "delicate temperament" of these early poems,[4] while Yeats described "I hear an army charging upon the land" as "a technical and emotional masterpiece".[5] In 1909, Joyce wrote to his wife, "When I wrote [Chamber Music], I was a lonely boy, walking about by myself at night and thinking that one day a girl would love me."[6]

Musical adaptations

Today, although the individual poems of Chamber Music are less frequently anthologised than the later Pomes Penyeach, they continue to have - as Joyce hoped - an accessible lyricism which has led to a wide-ranging number of musical adaptations, including pieces by Samuel Barber, Luciano Berio, Israel Citkowitz, Robin Williamson, Syd Barrett, Martyn Bates of Eyeless in Gaza, and Jim O'Rourke and Steve Shelley of Sonic Youth.

In 2008, Fire Records released a two-disc compilation featuring all thirty-five poems set to music by some of today's finest contemporary alternative acts, including Mercury Rev, Gravenhurst, Ed Harcourt, and Willy Mason.


External links

es:Música de cámara (Joyce) zh:室內樂 (喬伊斯)

Chamber Music (Coal Chamber album)

Chamber Music is the second studio album by Californian nu metal band Coal Chamber, released on Roadrunner Records on September 7, 1999.

With this record, Coal Chamber purposely distanced their sound from that of Korn who they were often compared to because of the prominent influence on Coal Chamber's debut album. Many of the songs on Chamber Music are notably more melodic than that of its predecessor and could perhaps make it the group's most accessible record. Their cover of Peter Gabriel's "Shock the Monkey," featuring guest vocals by Ozzy Osbourne, helped launch the band into the mainstream music scene as well. A music video was produced for "Shock the Monkey," and the song received notable radio airplay for a time.

Track listing

All songs written by Mike Cox, B. Dez Fafara, Rayna Foss-Rose and Miguel Rascón except where noted.

  1. "Mist" – 0:43
  2. "Tragedy" – 2:51
  3. "El Cu Cuy" – 4:22
  4. "Untrue" – 3:26
  5. "Tyler's Song" – 2:49
  6. "What's In Your Mind?" – 3:55
  7. "Not Living" – 3:50
  8. "Shock the Monkey" featuring Ozzy Osbourne (Peter Gabriel) – 3:42
  9. "Burgundy" – 2:11
  10. "Entwined" – 3:49
  11. "Feed My Dreams" – 2:55
  12. "My Mercy" – 4:04
  13. "No Home" – 5:09
  14. "Shari Vegas" – 3:16
  15. "Notion" – 3:27
  16. "Anything But You" – 4:42
  17. "Wishes" - 3:07*
  18. "Apparition"- 2:27*

* Bonus tracks on international releases of the album.


Chart performance


Year Title Chart Position
1999 Chamber Music UK Albums Chart 21


Year Title Chart Position
1999 "Shock the Monkey" UK Singles Chart 90
1999 "Shock the Monkey" US Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 26

es:Chamber Music hr:Chamber Music pt:Chamber Music fi:Chamber Music