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Work Title
Composed in 1958. Premiered in Rome, January 5, 1959, with Fontana Mix.
Ensemble Type
For voice, any range. To be performed alone or with Fontana Mix (EP 6712 ), or any part(s) of Concert for Piano and Orchestra (EP 6705, EP 6705a, and EP 6705n).
The score for this virtuosic work consists of 20 pages of graphically-notated music, each equating to 30 seconds in performance. That said, pages may be performed over longer or shorter time spans to create a program of a determined time-length. Aria may be performed as a solo, or with Fontana Mix and/or with any of the parts comprising Concert for Piano and Orchestra. The text consists of isolated vowels and consonants, as well as words, from Armenian, Russian, Italian, French, and English. The notation is colorful and graphic, consisting, essentially, of wavy lines in different colors and 16 black squares denoting "non musical" vocal noises. The colors denote different singing styles, which are determined by the singer prior to performance. Cage used Fontana Mix as his composing means to create Aria, a work with which it is frequently performed.
Cathy Berberian
Peters Edition EP 6701