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Harry Partch (1901-1974): Plectra and Percussion Dances / Harry Partch

Album Summary

>Partch, Harry : Castor & Pollux, for Partch instruments
>Partch, Harry : Ring Around the Moon, for baritone & Partch instruments
>Partch, Harry : Even Wild Horses, for baritone & Partch instruments
>Word, Spoken : Partch's introduction to the 1953 live broadcast of the premiere of Plectra and Percussion Dances on
Performers Composers

Notes & Reviews:

This new recording marks the first complete performance of Harry Partch's major cycle in three parts, Plectra and Percussion Dances. On the original 1953 recording, Castor & Pollux, was missing three movements, and the finale, Even Wild Horses, was missing its tenor saxophone part. The virtuosi of Partch give us revelatory interpretations of these stunningly original scores. Also included is a seven minute spoken introduction, given by the composer in 1953 on the occasion of the broadcast premiere of this work.

American Record Guide, January/February 2015
The record of Harry Partch's percussion dances is nicely representative of the early American experimental composer's contributions to the repertoire. Some mixture of foreign and invented instruments typifies Partch's music, and they take a prominent role here. In Castor, the first work on the album, Kithara, Surrogate Kithara, Cloud Chamber Bowls, Harmonic Canon, High Bass Marimba, Diamond Marimba, and Low Bass Marimba all make appearances. He is far from alone in this, and must be understood in the context of contemporaries who were also interested in non-Western traditions. I enjoy these pieces. A final valuable inclusion that collectors will appreciate is a seven-minute clip of Partch introducing the 1953 premiere of Even Wild Horses.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Disney Hall, Redcat Theatre, Los Angeles (06/09/2013).



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Works Details

>Partch, Harry : Castor & Pollux, for Partch instruments
  • Performers: Erin Barnes (Cymbals); Erin Barnes (Diamond Marimba); Paul Berkolds (Voice); Alison Bjorkedal (Harp); Alison Bjorkedal (Kithara); Matt Cook (Harmonic Canon); Matt Cook (Percussion); Matt Cook (Surrogate Kithara); David Johnson (Chromelodeon); David Johnson (Violin); Ulrich Krieger (Electronics); Ulrich Krieger (Saxophone); Yumi Lee; Yumi Lee (Percussion); Tom Peters (Double Bass); Tom Peters (Harmonic Canon); John Schneider (Guitar); John Schneider (Harmonic Canon); Derek Stein (Viola); Nick Terry (Bass Marimba); Nick Terry (Bowls); T.J. Troy (Bass Marimba); T.J. Troy (Voice); Alex Wand (Guitar); Alex Wand (Harmonic Canon)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 52 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1952-1968

>Partch, Harry : Ring Around the Moon, for baritone & Partch instruments
  • Performers: Erin Barnes (Cymbals); Erin Barnes (Diamond Marimba); Paul Berkolds (Voice); Alison Bjorkedal (Harp); Alison Bjorkedal (Kithara); Matt Cook (Harmonic Canon); Matt Cook (Percussion); Matt Cook (Surrogate Kithara); David Johnson (Chromelodeon); David Johnson (Violin); Ulrich Krieger (Electronics); Ulrich Krieger (Saxophone); Yumi Lee; Yumi Lee (Percussion); Tom Peters (Double Bass); Tom Peters (Harmonic Canon); John Schneider (Guitar); John Schneider (Harmonic Canon); Derek Stein (Viola); Nick Terry (Bass Marimba); Nick Terry (Bowls); T.J. Troy (Bass Marimba); T.J. Troy (Voice); Alex Wand (Guitar); Alex Wand (Harmonic Canon)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 55 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1952-1953

>Partch, Harry : Even Wild Horses, for baritone & Partch instruments
  • Performers: Erin Barnes (Cymbals); Erin Barnes (Diamond Marimba); Paul Berkolds (Voice); Alison Bjorkedal (Harp); Alison Bjorkedal (Kithara); Matt Cook (Harmonic Canon); Matt Cook (Percussion); Matt Cook (Surrogate Kithara); David Johnson (Chromelodeon); David Johnson (Violin); Ulrich Krieger (Electronics); Ulrich Krieger (Saxophone); Yumi Lee; Yumi Lee (Percussion); Tom Peters (Double Bass); Tom Peters (Harmonic Canon); John Schneider (Guitar); John Schneider (Harmonic Canon); Derek Stein (Viola); Nick Terry (Bass Marimba); Nick Terry (Bowls); T.J. Troy (Bass Marimba); T.J. Troy (Voice); Alex Wand (Guitar); Alex Wand (Harmonic Canon)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1949-1952

>Word, Spoken : Partch's introduction to the 1953 live broadcast of the premiere of Plectra and Percussion Dances on
  • Running Time: 7 min. 11 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Studio/Live: Live