Harry Partch

Harry Partch: Delusion of the Fury

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AllMusic Review by Joseph Stevenson

After 30 years, this is the reissue of the classic Columbia Masterworks recording from January 1969. It was one of the first commercially produced tapes of a Harry Partch tape performance, and the first opportunity most listeners ever had to hear a large-scale Partch music drama in fine sound. Partch had once remarked that the purity of his just-intoned chords was compromised by any kind of recording where vibrations of the drive motors get into the sound chain, whether on a turntable or a tape transport mechanism. The original recording, produced by Columbia's ace producer John McClure and engineered by Jack Latig and Ed Michalski, was a revelation. It and a companion demonstration disc plus one more Columbia recording virtually kept interest in Partch alive for 15 years. The sound of the LP was amazingly wide ranging, including the majestic power of the nearly sub-bass instrument the marimba eroica. It sounds even better here. All vibrations in the mastering and playback stage have been eliminated, leaving only the minuscule amount that McClure's team could not exclude. Now on just one disc, it is an outstanding document and a great introduction to Partch's unique musical vision. The performance is led by Danlee Mitchell, who also had to teach the players how to play the instruments and read their parts. He did a magnificent job. The performance ranges from haunting to sonically overwhelming to truly funny. At first hearing, nearly everyone finds Partch's music, written outside the familiar piano scale, to be weird. But this joyful and splendid recorded performance is one of the best introductions to it imaginable.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Harry Partch 10:45 Amazon
2 Harry Partch 05:09 Amazon
3 Harry Partch 04:15 Amazon
4 Harry Partch 03:32 Amazon
5 Harry Partch 06:01 Amazon
6 Harry Partch 04:43 Amazon
7 Harry Partch 03:02 Amazon
8 Harry Partch 06:20 Amazon
9 Harry Partch 02:59 Amazon
10 Harry Partch 02:51 Amazon
11 Harry Partch 08:08 Amazon
12 Harry Partch 06:03 Amazon
13 Harry Partch 04:43 Amazon
14 Harry Partch 03:31 Amazon
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