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FUTURISM and DADA REVIEWED Original recording remastered

4 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, January 22, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

LTM Publishing is proud to announce the CD release of this unique collection of original sound recordings made by key figures from both 20th Century avant garde art movements. Three years in the making, and with over one hour of playing time, the CD features sound collages, tone poems, interviews and music made between 1912 and 1959 by luminaries such as: F.T. Marinetti the poet and guiding light of Futurism in declamatory mode, circa 1931. Antonio Russolo & Luigi Russolo represented by the only surviving original recordings made with the celebrated 'intonarumori' (noise machines) in 1924. Marcel Duchamp: A much discussed but rarely heard example of Duchamp's musical non-theory, it's ambient tones still sounding timeless. Kurt Schwitters: A very rare reading of the famed 'Die Sonata in Urlauten' from 1932. Tristan Tzara: The hugely influential poet of both Dada and Surrealism, whose abstract techniques went on to influence later writers such as William S. Burroughs. Wyndham Lewis: A rare 1940 reading by a leading light of the British futurist offshoot, Vorticism. Guillaume Apollinaire & Jean Cocteau: Not members of either movement, yet major influences on both, with Cocteau's contribution from 1929 a fascinating curiosity from the golden age of jazz. The collection also includes material by Marcel Janco, Luigi Grandi and Richard Huelsenbeck. 'Futurism & Dada Reviewed' is a must-have artifact for anyone interested in actually hearing the work of these pioneers, as was originally intended. Retailers may wish to catalogue this item as a 'book' as well as a spoken word CD. Praise for LTMCD 2301: 'The most enthralling LTM project to date, should lie in every record collection bar none. Some more of this right now!' (Melody Maker, 12/88).
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (January 22, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: LTM
  • ASIN: B00004ZB0R
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #363,562 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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I'm writing this largely in response to the only other review for this CD on Amazon, which nearly put me off from buying it. In the end, I'm glad I did.

I'm something of an expert on Dada, having read widely on the subject, and had just completed reading "The Futurist Moment"; natuarally I was curious to hear recordings of the performance works of both these movements, both poetic and musical, as I'd only heard Schwitters' "Ursonate" to date, and performance played such a crucial part in both Dada and Futurism.

I'll start with the bad news. As you might expect, many of these early recordings, particularly of the Futurist musical works, is of very poor quality. And as noted in the other review, the performance of "L'Amiral Cherche un Maison a Louer" is an interpretation by a later group, not Tzara et al in performance. As also noted there, the track listing is wrong, and though I could discern what I was listening to by picking through the listings, a neophyte might be confused by it.

However, as one with a passionate interest in the early 20th C. European avant-garde, owning and hearing these rare recordings is a pleasure, and it's a worthy addition to my library on the subject. The Futurist pieces seem to prefigure much late 20th c. "Noise" and Electronic music; it is also fascinating to hear Marinetti declaiming "The Battle of Adrianople". Wyndham Lewis's Vorticist poem with its jargon and pace seems to anticipate Kerouac and the Beats. The later interpretation of the Dada piece cited above at least effectively gives one the idea of what this 'simultaneous poem' was like in performance (Remarkably, Spike Jones came to mind) and one can better understand the outrage of a contemporary bourgeois audience.
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