From January 1957 to March 1962 Columbia Masterworks in collaboration with the Fromm Music Foundation released a series of 9 highly acclaimed LPs in the Twentieth Century Composer Series with music by composers including Elliott Carter, Luigi Dallapiccola, William Denny, Leon Kirchner, Ernst Krenek, Benjamin Lees, Jerome Rosen, Ilhan Usmanbas and Ben Weber.
Sony Classical – with kind support by the Fromm Music Foundation – is now properly documenting the meritorious cooperation between Columbia Masterworks and the Fromm Music Foundation with the release of a special 9 (+1) CD boxed set, remastering the remaining 6 LPs with repertoire by Foss, Harrison, Killmayer, Kirchner, Krenek, Weber and Dallapiccola from the 2- and 3-track analogue tapes, and thus making this special repertoire available worldwide on CD and in digital 24-bit high resolution audio.
The Fromm Music Foundation was founded by the late Paul Fromm in 1952. Since 1972, it has been located at Harvard University where it has operated in partnership with the Harvard University Music Department. Over the course of its existence, the Fromm Foundation has commissioned over 400 new compositions and their performances. The Fromm Foundation has also sponsored hundreds of new music concerts and concert series, among them Tanglewood's Festival of Contemporary Music, American Composers Orchestra, and the Fromm Concert Series at Harvard University.
Nathan Rubin (violin), George Neikrug (cello), Leon Kirchner (piano), Ludwig Shapero (violin), The New York Concert Choir & Orchestra, Juilliard String Quartet (string quartet), The New Music String Quartet, Bethany Beardslee (soprano), William Masselos (piano), Julius Baker (flute), Harry Shulman (oboe), Alexander Williams (clarinet), Galimir String Quartet, Frederick Fuller (baritone), Elisabeth Söderström (soprano), Ralph Kirkpatrick (harpsichord), Charles Rosen (piano), Tossy Spivakovsky (violin), Aldo Parisot (cello), The Group For Contemporary Music at Columbia University, Grace-Lynne Martin (soprano), Leon Fleisher (piano)
There are classic recordings of the LP era scattered throughout, including the Juilliard String Quartet playing Lees’ String Quartet No. 1 and William Denny’s String Quartet No. 2, and the first recording of Lou Harrison’s Mass for Mixed Chorus, Trumpet, Harp and Strings. Highlights also include soprano Bethany Beardslee singing Krenek’s Sestina for Voice and Instrumental Ensemble and Lamentatio Jeremiae Prophetae, Charles Rosen and Ralph Kirkpatrick in Carter’s Double Concerto, and Leon Fleisher playing piano pieces by Copland, Kirchner, Roger Sessions, and Ned Rorem. This is an important and scintillating chunk of musical history and a fine value as well.
– Chicago Classical Review