Friday, 25 March 2016


More vintage vinyl porn I could never afford…. I’m currently reading The Rest Is Noise, Alex Ross’ huge panorama of 20th century composition and by right I should be listening to Schoenberg and Stravinsky but I’ve jumped ahead half a century to indulge in Volume 1 of Deutsche Grammophon’s sprawling 1968 six-album Avantgarde set. Some major figures from the European vanguard are on this one, Penderecki, Stockhausen, Ligeti and Mauricio Kagel, and the music is as difficult as you would imagine, but always a thrill to hear Stockhausen take apart an orchestra and reassemble it as a free jazz unit. It’s a shame Deutsche Grammophon chose not to re-issue the series on CD - I was lucky enough to grab some very clean FLAC rips of the first 3 volumes from the much missed Wolf Fifth blog, but my preference would be to own the entire four part series (spanning 24 LPs) as a multi-CD boxset complete with the impenetrable liner notes. As with the great Prospective 21e Siècle series, DG's Avantgarde series is marooned on the collectible vinyl circuit and doesn't come cheap - an EX/NM copy of the set pictured below is currently for sale over at Discogs for €200...

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