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O King (author's note)

O King
for mezzosoprano and five instruments (1968)

Written in 1968 and scored for mezzosoprano, flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano, this short piece is a tribute to the memory of Martin Luther King. The text simply consists of the enunciation of the black martyr’s name. The words and their components are submitted to a musical analysis, which is integrated into the structure of the piece. The voice enunciates the different phonetic elements of the name, which is gradually recomposed towards the end: “O Martin Luther King”.

Luciano Berio