| AGP26 is a
particularly happy outcome of a request by an AGP patron. Luciano Berio
has long been one of my favorite composers, but I had jumped to the
conclusion that so many of his works were available on CD that I could
not assemble an installment from out-of-print works. Only when a Berio
AGP installment was specifically requested did I look closely enough to
realize that I actually had two installments of unavailable Berio in my
stacks--one devoted to vocal music and another (for next week) devoted
to instrumental music.
We're starting with Berio's vocal music because he had a special gift for writing for voices. Even if vocal music from the late 20th century is not normally your thing, I strongly encourage you to check out this torrent. The works included come from two LP releases from the 1970's, one on RCA and one on Decca. The earliest work was written in 1952 and the latest in 1974. Tracks 01, 02, 05, and 06 are the original versions of works that were later modified for incorporation into Berio's "Opera", while track 03 is the original chamber version of what became the second movement of his "Sinfonia". The installment includes a text file containing liner notes from the LPs from which these recordings were transcribed.
There was more tracking distortion than I would have liked during the transcription of the last movement of "Cries of London", most of which I was able to eliminate by increasing the stylus tracking force from 1.6 to 1.8g. However, the upshot of doing this is a somewhat heavier and less airy sound. My feeling is that the slight loss of detail is a fair trade for less distortion, so the first version of that last movement is the 1.8g transcription. To enable listeners to make the final choice for themselves, I have also included the 1.6g transcription as track 09 of the torrent. You may be interested in comparing these two tracks by way of experiencing the headaches that are sometimes associated with the inner grooves of LPs, when the stylus covers less groove area per second, and so tracking can be compromised during loud and/or complex passages.
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