This newly remastered reissue marks a welcome return to the catalog of the first volume of the classic 4-CD collection that was formerly available on the CRI label. The works recorded on this disc span the first six years of what Harry Partch (1901–1974), slightly tongue-in-cheek, called the “third period” of his creative life. They show him moving away from the obsession with “the intrinsic music of spoken words” that had characterized his earlier output (the vocal works of 1930–33 and 1941–45) and towards an instrumental idiom, predominantly percussive in nature.
This path was to take him through the “music-dance drama” King Oedipus (1951)—the culmination of his “spoken word” manner—to the “dance satire” The Bewitched (1954–55), in which his new percussive idiom manifests itself. The three works on this disc show Partch before, during, and after this period of transition.