The Avant Garde Project is a series of 20th-century classical-experimental-electroacoustic torrents digitized from LPs whose music has in most cases never been released on CD, and so is effectively inaccessible to the vast majority of music listeners today. This is wild stuff, so check it out if you've never heard this sort of music before. The analog rig used to extract the sound from the grooves is near state-of-the-art, producing almost none of the tracking distortion or surface noise normally associated with LPs.
AGP1-47 are now available for direct download in the archive at www.avantgardeproject.org
AGP48-49 are available at http://thepiratebay.org/user/loudav
The AGP celebrates its jubilee installment with a personal favorite, and one of the first pieces of Twentieth Century music that I fell in love with. Paul Hindemith's Das Marienleben was one of the key works of his first years of neoclassical composition. It is set to a cycle of poems by Rainer Maria Rilke and is written for soprano and piano. Hindemith completed it in 1923 and then thoroughly revised and reconceived it in 1948. While I appreciate the professionalism of the 1948 version, I much prefer the poignancy of the original.
This installment features a complete recording of the original 1923 version and the first six songs of the 1946 version. The 1923 version is performed by Peggy Bonini and Ingolf Dahl, and makes up volume 7 of the Paul Hindemith Anthology, released by GSC Recordings in 1977. The recording has warmth and immediacy that goes nicely with the music. This performance contrasts markedly with the only recording currently available on CD, with Glenn Gould on piano and Roxolana Roslak singing. That performance is taken MUCH more slowly, enabling one to appreciate the harmonies at leisure, but losing some of the spirit and vitality of the work. The 1948 version is performed by Janet Wagner and John Cobb, and was released on Spectrum in 1984.
Both LPs are in excellent condition, but they are American pressings and so have some level of pressing noise. There was more surface noise in the recording of the 1948 version than I would have liked, so I only included enough songs to fill out an 80-minute CD. If you are interested in having the rest, let me know at [email protected] and I may eventually upload them to the website. The torrent includes a text file with the liner notes from the GSC LP.
NOTE: These songs are sung in German. I used the English titles below, largely because it was easier for me. The lyrics are from Rilke's poetry collection of the same name.
Equipment used for A/D conversion: Lyra Helikon phono cartridge, Linn LP12/Lingo turntable, Linn Ittok tonearm, Audioquest LeoPard tonearm cable, PS Audio PS2 preamplifier, Kimber PBJ interconnect, M-Audio Audiophile USB A/D converter.
01 - Birth of Mary [2:51]
02 - The Presentation of Mary in the Temple [6:21]
03 - Annunciation to Mary [3:29]
04 - Visitation of the Virgin [2:04]
05 - Joseph's Suspicion [1:38]
06 - Annunciation Above the Shepherds [4:06]
07 - Birth of Christ [3:08]
08 - Rest on the Flight into Egypt [3:54]
09 - Of the Wedding at Cana [3:45]
10 - Before the Passion [4:51]
11 - Pieta [3:17]
12 - Consolation of Mary [1:55]
13 - Of the Death of Mary I [6:37]
14 - Of the Death of Mary II [5:09]
15 - Of the Death of Mary III [2:30]
16 - Birth of Mary, 1946 [2:11]
17 - The Presentation of Mary in the Temple, 1946 [4:46]
18 - Annunciation to Mary, 1946 [3:43]
19 - Visitation of the Virgin, 1946 [2:06]
20 - Joseph's Suspicion, 1946 [1:52]
21 - Annunciation Above the Shepherds, 1946 [5:41]
NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, these recordings are currently out of print. If you know otherwise, please let me know ASAP, as I do not wish any artists to be deprived of the royalties that they so richly deserve.