In 1967 RCA Victor’s budget classical Victrola label brought out “The New Music”, three individual Italian-based LPs featuring prominent European modernists who made their mark in the 1950s and ’60s. Indeed, I remember purchasing these discs in the late ’60s for $1.49 apiece at New York’s Sam Goody bargain outlet (that’s $9.44 in 2013 currency). Sony/BMG and ArkivMusic join forces in reissuing the series’ first volume.
While the current catalog may offer suaver, more blended performances of Stockhausen’s Kontra-Punkte for Ten Instruments and Penderecki’s Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima, Bruno Maderna’s relatively spiky, clear, and closely miked readings with members of the Rome Symphony Orchestra still stand out todayRead more for their vivid intensity. Also of note is pianist Frederic Rzewski’s forceful and incisive presence in the Stockhausen.
Being a graphic piece, many characterful elements of Earle Brown’s Available Forms I for Chamber Ensemble are unique to the present recording, especially the slithering high string harmonics and gently cascading mallet instrument passages. In Henri Pousseur’s Rimes, pre-recorded electronics interweave with dense orchestral textures to complex and often exciting effect, even though the composer’s intended multi-channel loudspeaker deployment is somewhat compromised by the parameters of conventional stereo. That said, Sony/BMG’s CD transfers sound far superior to their vinyl counterparts; let’s hope that the remaining two volumes will follow.
Beautiful rare Pousseur (+ big bogeymen) April 4, 2014By George G. See All My Reviews"I have always loved Posseur's Rimes.., a fantastic outpouring and deluge of electronics on par with Stockhausen's Kontakte, yet I've only ever come across this one recording. No, it's more fun ! Posseur integrates electronics not only with two percussionists and piano, but with a full orchestra, and the colours and timbres are laid out so deftly and wittily it's a true event, beautifully recorded for maximum integration (ie real confusion as to possibility of either instrumental or electronic sounds, uh, which was that ?). Another rendition of Kontra-Punkte is always welcome too. LPs of this sort of music inevitably developed clicks, cf: CD we have the deluges and the silences, the space and the flow, all the elements so essential to both of these works sense of elegance reproduced pure and uninterrupted. The sequencing is just right, the music breathes. Maderna was the great conductor of this music, whereas Boulez's move in that direction often felt like Maderna's space being filled by someone more uptight, pedantic and just too damn serious. OK, lp crackles make me a little uptight, they interfere with the rhythms and distort the full blow-outs. This then is the collectible edition, the good old CD. Thank you then to whomever for making this fantastic 'hits and interesting b-sides' album available in such post-20thC detail, a collection that should have cracked the classical Top 40 if anything from this most audacious, brave, and slightly bonkers fashion in music was ever going to. A suitable gift, something for both those narrow-minded relatives you tolerate and their hopefully more open-minded wives."Report Abuse
thanks Arkiv !September 13, 2013By a. sande (trondheim, sor-trondelag)See All My Reviews"Nowhere else available, except as MP3, I was delighted to get this Cd of one of my favorite "new music" records of the seventies. Main attraction was Threni but the other "pling plong" stuff is great too. Super remastering. Original cover. Very attractive."Report Abuse