Various – Earle Brown ”A Life in Music” (Cage, Kagel, Stockhausen, Lucier, Scelsi, Feldman, etc) 18CD



Earle Brown’s legendary Contemporary Sound Series has been re-released on WERGO as six individiual 3CD sets. Recorded between 1960 and 1973, the original eighteen LPs have been highly sought after in the secondary market since 1978 when they were discontinued. These rare and historically important recordings of international avant-garde music have been carefully digitized and remastered by the Earle Brown Music Foundation.

The series – re-released on WERGO since 2009 – presents the extraordinary world of contemporary and avant-garde music that flourished in Europe, the United States, Latin America and Japan in the 1960s and early 1970s.

The sets include original compositions by Cage, Feldman, Stockhausen, Berio, Tudor, Mumma, Ashley, Lucier, Maderna, Scelsi, Boulez, Xenakis, Ives, and many more.

The price for individual boxes is Euro 30 or all six boxes (= 18 CDs) for Euro 150.
All sets are mint & unplayed.

The first CD set contains works by, among others, John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel, performed by Christoph Caskel, David Tudor, Aloys and Bernhard Kontarsky, The Manhattan Percussion Ensemble, Paul Price and the ensembles for electronic music, AMM from London (with: Cornelius Cardew, Lou Gare, Christopher Hobbs, Eddie Prévost, and Keith Rowe) and MEV Musica Elettronica Viva from Rome (with: Alan Bryant, Alvin Curran, Frederic Rzewski, Richard Teitelbaum, and Ivan Vandor).

The second CD set within this series contains works by Luigi Nono, Bruno Maderna, Luciano Berio, Peter Maxwell Davies, Harrison Birtwistle, David Bedford, Richard Orton, Morton Feldman and Earle Brown, performed by The English Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Bruno Maderna; Jacques Castagner, Walter Lewis, Francis Pierre, Walter Trampler and Seymour Barab directed by Luciano Berio; The Pierrot Players under the direction of Peter Maxwell Davies; Mary Thomas, Jane Manning, John Tilbury, Moray Welsh and Richard Orton; Don Hammond, Don Butterfield, David Tudor, Matthew Raimondi and David Soyer.

The third CD set within this series contains works by Luciano Berio, Sylvano Bussotti, John Cage, Toshiro Mayuzumi, Iannis Xenakis, Roger Reynolds, Yuji Takahashi and Earle Brown, performed by the great singer Cathy Berberian, accompanied by Francis Pierre, Jean-Pierre Drouet, Boris de Vinogradov and Luciano Berio; furthermore the NHK Symphony Orchestra together with the Tokyo Choraliers and the Nippon University Chorus under the direction of Wilhelm Schüchter and the pianist Yuji Takahashi.

The fourth CD set contains string quartets by Pierre Boulez, Giacinto Scelsi and Earle Brown himself, performed by the ensembles Quatuor Parrenin, Hamann Quartet, Quartetto di Nuova Musica, and the New York String Quartet on CD 1, while CD 2 focuses on works for chamber orchestra by Iannis Xenakis, Aldo Clementi, Bo Nilsson, Wlodzimierz Kotonski, and Yuji Takahashi; apart from them, the first recording of Arnold Schoenberg’s “Drei Stücke” [“Three Pieces”] is outstanding as well. The works were performed by the International Kranichsteiner Kammerensemble under the direction of Bruno Maderna, the Hamburger Kammersolisten under the direction of Francis Travis, as well as the exceptional violinist Paul Zukofsky. CD 3 presents four works premiered by the Hamburger Kammersolisten: “Études contrapuntiques” by Milko Kelemen, “Tropi” by Niccolò Castiglioni, “Serenata” by Vittorio Fellegara, and “Musik für sieben Instrumente” [“Music for Seven Instruments”] by Isang Yun.

The fifth set contains music by the Sonic Arts Union on CD 1 (Alvin Lucier: Vespers, Robert Ashley: Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon, David Behrman: Runthrough, and Gordon Mumma: Hornpipe. CD 2 presents “Concord“ Sonata and Piano Sonata No. 2 “Concord, Mass., 1840-1860” by Charles Ives. CD 3 features Music for Flute and Piano by Franco Evangelisti: Proporzioni, Niccolò Castiglioni: Gymel, Luciano Berio: Sequenza I, Olivier Messiaen: Le Merle noir, Yoritsune Matsudaira: Somaksah, and Bruno Maderna: Honeyrêves

The sixth and final box contains on CD 1 works by John Cage and Chris­tian Wolff from the early 1960s: In Cage’s “Cartridge Music”, sounds are generated by inserting different objects in the pick-up head of the gramophone. Due to their composition structure, Wolff’s works “Duo for Violinist and Pianist”, “Summer” and “Duet II” have in common that no interpretation is identical with the next one. CD 2 presents the outstanding violinist Paul Zukofsky, brilliantly accompanied by the pianist Gilbert Kalish, performing works by George Crumb, Isang Yun, Charles Wuorinen and John Cage which make extremely high demands on the performer. And CD 3 contains works by the South American composers Gerardo Gandini, César Bola­ños, Marlos Nobre, Oscar Bazán, Manuel Enríquez and Alcides Lanza, performed by the New Sound Composers-Performers Group under the direction of Alcides Lanza.