The Avant Garde Project is a series of 20th-century classical, experimental, and 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.
AGP1-147 are now available for direct download in the archive at www.avantgardeproject.org
AGP148-149 and other recent AGP installments are also available at http://thepiratebay.org/user/loudav
The Avant Garde Project is celebrating its sesquicentennial with one more installment followed by a months-long rest. Look for more installments in September. AGP150 features two recordings of Schoenberg's String Trio op. 45, which was one of his last works, completed in 1946. It is also one of my favorite works by the master.
The first recording is presented in both 16-bit and 24-bit files and is performed by the Los Angeles String Trio. It was produced and engineered by the estimable David Hancock, who did so much fine work for CRI Records, and released on Desmar Records (DSM 1020G) in 1978. It is a lovely, spacious recording, and the Los Angeles String Trio's performance is both tight and passionate, with delicous sul ponticello work. The folks at Desmar had the good sense to have Teldec press the record, so there's very little noise or tracking distortion. This is the recording through which I originally fell in love with this work.
The second recording is performed by the Trio à Cordes Francais, and was released as part of a 4LP set featuring chamber works by Schoenberg, Berg, and Webern, on EMI Electrola (1C181 - 28368/71) circa 1970. This LP was also pressed in Germany and has very little noise or tracking distortion. The recording is clean and clear but with the slightly harder sound characteristic of many late 1960s recordings. The performance has nothing to be ashamed of, but is not quite as rich and passionate as the other.
As in the case of AGP149, I didn't scan the LP cover notes--neither of which provides information you couldn't readily find on the internet. There is unaccountably no wikipedia article on this great work, and I'm afraid I do not know enough to start one.
Los Angeles String Trio [20:08]
Trio à Cordes Francais [17:48]
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.
NOTE: To the best of my knowledge, these recordings are not currently available commercially. 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.