Osvaldas Balakauskas - Ostrobothnian Symphony

Osvaldas Balakauskas (b. 1937) wrote his Ostrobothnian Symphony in 1989. The work is a fantastic texture piece of incredible weight and power, and also apparently an excellent study in musical techniques that fly way, way over my head.

The work is included on this disc, out of print but available from the Amazon Marketplace for around $30.

Ostrobothnian Symphony

Igor Wakhevitch - Étre Dieu

In 1927, renowkned painter Salvador Dali began writing the libretto for a poem-opera, Étre Dieu ("To Be God"). The opera stars the humble Dali himself in the titular role. The opera was not completed until 1974, when Dali hired Igor Wakhevitch to write the music. It was not actually performed until 2004, and then with different musical accompaniment which has never been recorded. The Dali/Wakhevitch recording was released on 3 CDs in 1992 and is very rare.

Étre Dieu


Dear friends,

Thank you for your encouragement and your participation in this blog.

Besides those which I've linked on the sidebar, what notable blogs share mostly classical music?

And, do you have any requests for rare or unavailable classical music from the 19th century or earlier?

Igor Wakhevitch - 6 albums

During the 1970s, Igor Wakhevitch releasd 6 albums of menacing avant-garde music. His music is officially informed by Terry Riley, Olivier Messiaen, Pierre Schaeffer, and Soft Machine, and stylistically also informed by Klaus Schulze. As such, it often sounds nearly as much "rock" and "jazz" as avant-classical. Docteur Faust (1971) is perhaps his best, with heavy rock influences. In fact, the aesthetic effect is not unlike that of Faust's self-titled debut from the same year. Wakhevitch is one of my absolute favorite "unknown" musical artists.

The LPs were re-released by Fractal Records in a 6-CD, 500-copy box set, now out of print and very hard to find.

Logos (Rituel Sonore)
Docteur Faust
Les Fous D'Or
Let's Start

La Monte Young - The Well-Tuned Piano

Here at Classical Connection I hope to provide a broad sense of "classical" music, ancient and modern. (All downloads are hosted by Rapidshare.) I'll focus on lesser-known or poorly available works, and those which provide a greater understanding of the breadth and passion of classical music beyond Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. I'll kick things off with La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano.

Seminal minimalist La Monte Young (b. 1935) is poorly represented on recordings, partly because his very long compositions don't fit the limitations of CD or Vinyl release, party because he often writes non-sound performance actions into his pieces, and partly because the composer himself is resistent to recorded mediums. "His compositions are based on a kind of timelessness, where sound and light (courtesy of his partner Marian Zazeela) are allowed to develop and grow, almost organically, over a period of days, weeks, months and even years." (source)

One of the few complete La Monte Young compositions to have been released is his most revered, The Well-Tuned Piano. The evolving piano piece relies on special tuning that was a secret for 27 years until Kyle Gann cracked the code. A performance was released on 5 CDs by Gramavision in 1988, and disappeared when the label was consumed by Rykodisc. It's now quite rare, but one copy is available for a mere $500 from the Amazon Marketplace.

There are many versions of The Well-Tuned Piano because Young continues to revise the piece, and because much of the work is improvisational within a prescribed structure. Here is the 1988 Gramavision recording.

Disc 1
Disc 2
Disc 3
Disc 4
Disc 5