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

Enjoy!

28 Comments:

At 4:23 PM, Blogger marxbert said...

This is amazing. Thank you so much for the link. You are already off to a tremendous start with this rarity. I have heard VERY little by La Monte Young, and am eagerly looking forward to this!

 
At 5:01 PM, Blogger Astarte said...

Thnk you for this remarkable set!

 
At 5:44 PM, Blogger knowby said...

Any requests? I'll fill them if I can.

More great stuff to come: spread the word!

 
At 5:57 PM, Blogger marxbert said...

haha, i have already spread the word! i left a comment alerting the owners of onthemasterfade.blogspot.com to your blog, and a note at a classical music forum (skafunkrastapunk.com/forum/)...

i tend not to make requests--especially when beauties like this appear without suggestion!

the only music i have of la monte young comes from these two sources--maybe i can add to your collection...

http://www.ubu.com/historical/young/young.html
http://www.archive.org/details/42forHenryFlynt

thanks again.

 
At 4:17 AM, Blogger IraMaura said...

Many thanks for this one!

Amazing!!!

;-))

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger Djurdjica said...

! thanx a bunch.
! keep it up

 
At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

it is actually available as a complete 6 hour 24 minute performance DVD.

Just a mere $126.00

http://www.melafoundation.org/LYrecscat.html

 
At 4:25 PM, Blogger zhao said...

I am simultaneously disappointed (that I was not the first blogger to ever post this), relieved (that I no longer have to count on my somewhat flakey friend to rip), and over-joyed (for obvious reasons).

thanks for the heads up nonetheless. this is an amazing colossal piece of music that the world has had to do without for WAY too long... and itunes is perfect for it: no pauses in between getting up and changing the record on the phonograph -

 
At 4:28 PM, Blogger zhao said...

requests? sure how about some late period Nono?

or Feldman?

or Toru takemitsu's Film Music series? (huge undertaking I know...)

cheers

 
At 5:30 PM, Anonymous cecilia said...

anything from the earle brown curated part of mainstream label would be good to post and would far outstrip this "remarkable" yawner from lamonte young

 
At 5:34 PM, Blogger zhao said...

but having a brief listen to the first disc, it is VERY different from a vinyl version I heard once - which was much faster ripples of notes forming an ocean... VERY different...

 
At 5:42 PM, Blogger zhao said...

I mean this has the fast rippling passages too but it feels very different... less elegiac

 
At 12:55 AM, Blogger knowby said...

confusious, thanks for contrasting two versions. I've only heard this recording.

 
At 1:52 AM, Anonymous eugene said...

great! :)

what's the format? mp3 or lossless?

 
At 6:43 PM, Blogger knowby said...

cecilia, can you list some examples of "anything from the earle brown curated part of mainstream label"? I'm having a hard time figuring out which records you may be referring to.

 
At 8:48 AM, Anonymous cecilia said...

the mainstream label released many (not enough) fantastic recordings in the sixties, often the 2 album sides were split between different composers (feldman/stockhausen, amm/mev, cage/wolff, etc.). these are very well recorded albums. the tudor/cage version of cartridge music is a total monster.

i really think that "well tuned" is a masturbatory cash-in compared with some of young (& zazeela's) far more interesting drone pieces from the sixties. the gushing here is obviously because it's so hard to come by anything young-related.

the new stuff you've posted looks fantastic tho- thanks & keep on blogging...

 
At 12:26 PM, Blogger knowby said...

It's funny to hear something as anti-climactic as The Well-Tuned Piano described as masturbatory, and something so entirely noncommercial as a "cash-in."

But I can't refute your argument. I don't actually know much about music; I just like listening to it. I know enough to sound like I know something to a totally ignorant audience. The very little commentary I provide on this blog should be suffixed with an understood "...or so I've read."

Thanks for the anti-mainstream Mainstream recommendations.

 
At 9:32 AM, Anonymous cecilia said...

there won't be any more cashing in on this recording, now that you've decided to post it on the internet for free.

i'm digging the igor wakhevitch stuff- real weird.

 
At 12:11 PM, Blogger knowby said...

Well, seeing most La Monte Young music is either not recorded or has been out of print for 30 years, there was never much "cashing in" for La Monte Young. If he wanted money he'd imitate John Adams.

 
At 11:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I might be able to provide an excerpt from another version (possibly the one confucius refers to) if you're interested.

 
At 7:10 AM, Blogger knowby said...

Certainly!

 
At 9:09 PM, Anonymous goofbutton said...

Magnificent selection of works being posted here, thank you.

Any chance you can dig up the 6-disc "Schulwerk" box set by Carl Orff?

 
At 2:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

hehe, i hihi ou heh

 
At 10:40 AM, Anonymous obacht! said...

truly, thank you for sharing this masterpiece!

 
At 3:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for this! And to think I almost paid that 500 for this!

 
At 12:51 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

just wanted to know if you could post this again. I missed it and this is one of my favorite pieces of his. pretty please. I prefer this to his drone recordings how boring can you get. Also prefer it to what he's doing now I mean who wants to hear a western version of Indian music if I want that I 'll just go to the real thing. Well tuned piano is a culmination of years of work for la monte and should be considered a masterpiece of 20th century music. Please post again!

 
At 11:26 AM, Blogger Rafael said...

please post again

 
At 2:21 AM, Blogger aa said...

live119|live119論壇|
潤滑液|內衣|性感內衣|自慰器|
自慰套|情趣內衣|
G點|性感丁字褲|吊帶襪|
煙火批發|煙火|情趣用品|SM|充氣娃娃|AV|情趣|
衣蝶|丁字褲|無線跳蛋|性感睡衣|
按摩棒|電動按摩棒|飛機杯|自慰套|
角色扮演|跳蛋|情趣跳蛋|

 

Post a Comment

<< Home