I've just read an interview with Steve Reich in the November 2005 issue of Wire. He makes this statement about when he was a student in the late 1950s studying for his MA:
You could sound like Boulez, Cage, Stockhausen, Berio, etc, or get laughed at.
Reich also complemented Berio on being more "musical" and "generous" than others on that list.
Somewhere else, I think in another issue of Wire, I read someone recommending Berio's Sinfonia. I can - and will - get access to a cd with Berio's Chemins 2 and 4, Points on a Curve, Chorale, and Ritorno.
I had never heard of Berio. Is the CD I can get my hands on a good place to start? And of course, more juicily, what political nerve is Reich striking both in his statement about his MA and when he singles Berio out for compliment over the others?