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Cornelius Cardew

The great learning

RESTOCKED "We are proud to present the first complete release of a milestone of XX century music and a first piece to be called minimalist (by Michael Nyman). In a nearly 5-hour long recording of the piece one can hear Webern's punctualism, Reich's trance music, Ligeti's "clouds of sound" and echoes of Cage's conceptual provocations. The monumental music-theater mystery, on the one hand, evokes long lost spirit of archaic tribal rituals and, on the other, prophesies emancipated, experimental home-made music of the XXI century. Cornelius Cardew, one of the most visionary composers of the revolutionary 60., never attempted to create a masterpiece nor a summa of New Music; be it composed, improvised or experimental. "The Great Learning" is most of all a fulfilled utopia; a universal, egalitarian and unconventional art. Not meant for a concert hall, theater stage, avantgarde gallery or art lofts but performed by a group of amateurs gathered together in an archaic-leftist Scratch Orchestra wandering through the fields in search of authentic, emancipatory experience. "The Great Learning" has become exactly this for many of contemporary visionaries such as Michael Nyman or Brian Eno.
Four decades after its completion, the composition remains one of the most often recalled and imitated masterpiece of counterculture avantgarde. And the most ignored by the music market - official, popular and independent. Most probably because of its ideal and unabated inadequacy towards their consequences and standards.
We have managed to recreate its original scenery and context. In an almost untouched outdoor of Polish north-east and historic, sacral spots of Suwalszczyzna, Cardew's insiders met amateurs from ten different countries to bring back to life this unique ritual. Here, in a form of 4 CD album, comes an audio documentation of this unprecedented event." (Label info)
Details
Cat. number: BR 1008
Year: 2010

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