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GERHARD, ROBERTO: Electronic Explorations from his Studio + the BBC Radiophonic Workshop 1958-1967.
An exemplary collection of the seldom-heard works of this Spanish-born composer, and pioneer of concrete/electronic music. Resident in the UK, he established his first home studio in about 1954 – well in advance of the BBC radiophonic workshop (1958) and other independent ‘home studios’ here. Employing concrete rather than electronic techniques for the most part, he evolved a unique aesthetic. It’s a commonplace that the vocabulary and grammar of the different early tape schools was generally quite similar, but Gerhard’s was different from the start - as amply demonstrated in this fine collection. The rarity and precocity – and limited means – of these pieces make them essential listening for anyone interested in the history of electronic music, but they are also great pieces in their own right, culminating in the extraordinary ‘Lament for the Death of Bullfighter’ a setting of the great elegy to Ignacio Sanchez Mejias by Frederico Garcia Lorca, a piece made for radio in 1959, with text spoken by Stephen Murray. Nicely presented with excellent notes on the archive, the problems of restoration, Gerhard’s life and the individual pieces in a 27pp booklet.
Code: SR 378