4 February 2019

Eureka! I’ve found my CD of Berio’s A-Ronne and Cries of London sung by Swingle II (see my blog post of 20 January 2019)! I owe it to Delius… Here’s the story: I was again buying tons of CDs on eBay and the 5-CD set of Beecham’s Delius recordings from the early 1950s with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra on Sony came up. I couldn’t remember if I had this set already, or just a few individual CDs from it. But my Delius CDs are in a drawer nearby, so I moved my butt and opened it to check. Sure enough, I have the set, so the eBay offer is one I’ve refused and I’ve made a small saving. But in the same drawer – eureka! A box of CDs neatly stacked, with a lot of classical-inspired jazz (the Bach derivations of Jacques Loussier and John Lewis), my Lambert-Hendricks-Ross and Double Six of Paris CDs which I had been looking for in the wake of my transfers of reviews and discography of the Swingle Singers and puzzled not to find, and a few other related things. And, yes, it makes sense, there’s a coherence to all that and I remember having wanted to review or listen again to all these CDs. It’s a terrible mistake to neatly put up your mess, you can be sure you won’t find it.

Thanks again, Delius and Beecham! And so now I’ve reviewed Berio’s A-Ronne and Cries of London on Decca / London “Entreprise” 425 620-2 (1990), two major works in contemporary vocal techniques.

1 February 2019

brought over my reviews of three recordings of Gavin Bryars’ three string quartets. Those works put the lie to those (ignorants) who claim that nothing of beauty has been composed since Britten and Shostakovich.

Three Viennese Dancers: Prologue (1986). String Quartet No. 1 “Between the National and the Bristol” (1985). First Viennese Dance (“M.H.”) (1985-6). Epilogue (1986). Pascal Pongy (French horn), Charles Fullbrook & Gavin Bryars (percussion), Arditti String Quartet. ECM New Series ECM 1323 and Japanese editions (1986)

“The Last Days”. String Quartet No. 1 “Between the National and the Bristol” (1985), Die Letzten Tage (“The Last Days”) for Two Violins (1992), String Quartet No. 2 (1990). Balanescu Quartet. Argo 448 175-2 (1995)

Three String Quartets: String Quartet No. 1 “Between the National and the Bristol, 1985), String Quartet No. 2 (1990), String Quartet No. 3 (1998). The Lyric Quartet. Black Box BBM1079 (2002)

Before that, finished my Balanescu Quartet transfers, with Alexander Balanescu’s Maria T., on Mute CDSTUMM242 (Europe), Mute 9286-2 (US) (2005), Universal Music Romania 4811723 (2015), and Michael Nyman’s String Quartets 1-3 on Argo 433 093-2 (1991) (reissues in 2002 on Decca and in 2012 on MN, Nyman’s own label)