This is an exquisite collection of musique concrète pieces. "Volumes" (1960) by Francois-Bernard Mache for 12-track tape and a chamber orchestra (consisting of seven trombones, two pianos, and two percussionists) creates cosmic sounds of great import on the distant horizon that slowly approach and suddenly disappear; there are small rattlings and great ones like crickets and breaking, impacting percussion. "Crucifixion (Excerpts)" by Romuald Vandelle is based on a poem by Poe spoken by a fragmented voice, gloomy and terrifying; the surreal, elegant "Ambiance II (Toast Funabre)" by Michel Philippot for woman's spoken voice and tape is based on a Mallarme text. One of the best musique concrète compositions and a soundtrack to stimulate the imagination, "Tautologos II" by Luc Ferrari features masses of speech-inflected, tape-manipulated sounds like conversations amongst alien beings, bizarre glasslike drones (rotating metal resonators on piano strings), and humorous mobiles of sounds that combine and recombine. "Texte II" (1953) by Andre Boucourechliev, described as "a form in movement" employing "controlled chance," was recorded on two tapes that are played simultaneously on two tape recorders so that coincidences of the mono tracks are always variable from performance to performance; for such an early piece, "Texte II" creates an astonishingly rich palette of sounds.
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