Buy “Harry Partch – Seventeen Lyrics of Li Po – Music” Online

Seventeen Lyrics of Li Po

Ever read Li Po, one of the greatest Taoist poet ever. Li Po spent much of his life as a hermit wandering around the mountains and writing poetry: sounds like a pre-Jahpy Ryder. Anyway, Harry Partch has put his writings to music, utilizing original instruments such as the cloudchamber bowl and the prepared viola and guitar. I first heard these recordings on a scratchy Partch/John Cage LP sampler and constantly listened to the Partch side (I’m not a big Cage fan). Now that these recordings are finally available in digital format, they sound even better. Go out and buy the Cd, then read Li Po. Check it out!

Composer, theorist, inventor of musical instruments, and one of the most colorful characters of 20th century music, Harry Partch (1901-1974) broke with Western tradition and forged a new music based on a more primal, corporeal integration of the elements of speech, rhythm and performance using the intrinsic music found in the spoken word, the principles of acoustic resonance and just-intonation. The Seventeen Lyrics of Li Po was composed between 1931 and 1933 and is among Partch’s earliest extant compositions. They were composed for Intoning Voice and Partch’s Adapted Viola, a hybrid instrument consisting of a cello neck grafted onto the body of a viola, its open strings sounding one octave below the violin. Partch used texts from the eighth century Chinese poet, Li Po.This is the first recording of all seventeen of Partch’s Lyrics of Li Po.Baritone Stephen Kalm has sung with many of America’s leading regional opera companies and symphony orchestras, and received critical acclaim as the Subjective Voice in Harry Partch’s US. Highball with Newband in Berlin, and for creating the role of Franco Hartmann in Meredith Monk’s Atlas, which he has also recorded for ECM. He can also be heard on New World Records’ Ponder Nothing, singing Five Fragments by Ben Johnston.Cellist Ted Mook has recorded over 2 dozen works, including Lois V. Vierk’s Simoon for eight multi-tracked cellos, Ezra Sim’s Solo in Four Movements (with its 72-note per octave source scale) and discs of standard repertoire with the New York-based Philharmonia Virtuosi. He has recorded for ECM, Arabesque, Opus One, CRI, Columbia Masterworks, Mode, Ess.A.Y., Avant, Cambridge, New World, Experimental Intermedia, Ear Rational, and Northeastern Records.




Seventeen Lyrics of Li Po Review


A noble undertaking, and historically commendable, but entirely too operatic and self-serious, I think, to really convey what Partch was trying get at. Buy the CRI Harry Partch discs instead. -Read Reviews-

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