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AR Contemporary Music Project

Guest pbda

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I am looking to acquire releases 2, 3 and 4 of this LP series, initiated in 1970. I have an extra copy of release 5 (Wolpe, Rhodes and Whittenberg) to trade.

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  • 1 year later...

I finally found an entire set of these LPs, and have been working my way through them. Most of the music was composed in the sixties, and is a mix of vocal and orchestral pieces. Some are remarkable: A "ricercar" (had to look that one up) of five solo trombones. Early synthesizer pieces. Sung "Portraits" of Pocahontas, Dolly Madison and Nancy Hanks (Abraham Lincoln's mother). And I've only listened to the first three records in the series so far...

This is not easy listening by any means, and I'll avoid a steady diet of it. But it is a refreshing change from my usual day-to-day music. (And probably also useful for clearing a room of people, when used judiciously.)

What is also interesting about this is AR's sponsorship of the series. While it may have raised the company's profile among classical music aficionados, and telegraphed a "leading edge" point of view with audiophiles of the day, I'm pretty sure that it was a promotional expense rather than a money maker for AR (or for Deutsche Grammophon). The fact that a company would view something this rarefied as a valuable promotional effort it does say something (positive) about the hifi culture in American society at the end of the sixties. Or perhaps it says something more about the ethos and aspirations of Acoustic Research.



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