£12.99Released February 21, 2020.
• The Beatles played their last advertised public concert on 29 August 1966 at Candlestick Park, San Francisco. The American tour had been unsatisfactory. The group had tired of uncritical audiences who came only to scream and onstage It was proving impossible for them to do justice to their increasingly sophisticated material. Exhaustion and the pressures of fame had finally taken their toll. They returned to Britain determined to concentrate on pushing he boundaries of pop music in the recording studio. They had matured as artists and were ready to enter a new phase in their career, a feeling passionately expressed at the time by John Lennon, ´we can create something that’s never been heard before, a new kind of record with new kinds of sounds.´ In due course, The Beatles would turn Abbey Road into a playground of musical experimentation and the consequences would be far-reaching.
• With the Beatles’ schedule now dramatically less intensive, Paul McCartney revelled in the London arts scene, meeting Peter Blake and Richard Hamilton, grooving to Pink Floyd and Soft Machine at the UFO Club, sitting in on AMM sessions, and further investigating the soundworlds of major figures in the international avant-garde: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Luciano Berio and John Cage. From them, both he and eventually John would borrow authentic musique concrete and electronic music techniques, breaking incredible new ground by applying these advanced procedures to pop. Effectively making them Beatles music.
• The influence of the avant-garde can be heard in the heavily treated vocals and complexity of tape loops that are Tomorrow Never Knows; the long ascending string bridges and tumultuous sustained single-note ending of A Day In the Life; the free-form coda of Strawberry Fields Forever; the collage of fairground organs in the middle eight bars of Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite; the dial-spinning transistor radio in the closing chaos of I am the Walrus; the sequence of classical snatches in the maelstrom of sound amid the final choruses of All You Need Is Love, and the entirety of both McCartney’s still unreleased freak-out, Carnival of Light, and of Revolution 9, Lennon’s dizzying exercise in aural free association which borrows from the cut-ups of John Cage and Stockhausen’s Hymnen, a vast canvas of national anthems from around the world.
• Producer George Martin’s playful inventiveness and wide musical experience proved invaluable in helping the Beatles realise their vision. Martin was the bridge between the group and the classical musicians who contributed to the creation of Yesterday, Penny Lane, Eleanor Rigby, A Day in the Life and All You Need is Love. He recalled Bach and Bernard Herrmann and applied the musical Impressionism of his beloved Debussy and Ravel where he could.
• Martin enhanced George Harrison’s Eastern-flavoured contribution to Sgt. Pepper, Within You, Without You, with a gentle string arrangement. Introduced to Indian classical music by David Crosby of the Byrds, George wrote his memorable first sitar part for Norwegian Wood in 1965 and that same year met the raga’s greatest exponent, Ravi Shankar. The encounter changed Harrison’s life and years of friendship and collaboration followed.
• As the avant-garde served as mood music to the psychedelic generation, Syd Barrett, vocalist, lyricist and guitarist in the Pink Floyd unlocked his music listening to Bo Diddley’s Roadrunner and Igor Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring, hearing a parallel between slide blues and glissandi drawn across stringed classical instruments in chromatic swells.
• David Bowie shared Barrett’s enthusiasm for The Rite, declaring it ´as powerful as anything in rock´, and it seems appropriate that the heart of a man out of time, the ‘lost English romantic’, Nick Drake, should become enraptured by Vaughan Williams’ pastoral meditation on Thomas Tallis. The gentle vibrato of Peter Pears in folk song settings with Benjamin Britten left an early impression on Robert Wyatt and today we can hear Pears in Wyatt’s phrasing. The clear skies of Delius and the cool woods and icy streams of Sibelius helped establish the mood of the quartet of extraordinary solo albums Scott Walker released between 1967-69. Barbirolli’s impassioned account of the second symphony (recorded, incidentally, on the day of the death of the conductor’s mother) was a favourite of that avid Sibelian, Kevin Ayers, while, in America, Frank Zappa of the Mothers of Invention would champion the work of Edgard Varese, giving concert tributes and drawing on the composer’s dramatic modernist landscapes.
• With Vinicius de Moraes, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Joao Gilberto were the principle architects of bossa nova. A national institution in Brazil, Jobim’s regard for the romantics, Ravel, Debussy, Rachmaninoff, Chopin and his fellow countryman Villa-Lobos, was well known. Comparison between his masterful How Insensitive and Chopin’s Prelude in E Minor, Opus 28, No. 4 confirms their affinity.
• Bossa Nova is for many personified by Joao Gilberto. He combined the vocal intimacy suggested by Lucio Alves with a guitar style that was in essence a minimalist reinvention of samba, the lightness of touch inspired by his mentor, the classical guitarist Garoto, who Joao described as `The Heart of Brazil”
1. BACH – BRANDENBURG CONCERTO NO. 2, BWV1047 – ALLEGRO ASSAI – Maurice Andre / Jean-Pierre Rampal (PENNY LANE)
2. BACH – BOURREE IN E MINOR – Julian Bream (BLACKBIRD)
3. BEETHOVEN – PIANO SONATA 14 OP 7 NO 2 MOONLIGHT – ADAGIO SOSTENUTO – Claudio Arrau (BECAUSE)
4. IANNIS XENAKIS – METASTASIS (EXCERPT) – SW German RSO / Hans Rosbaud (A DAY IN THE LIFE)
5. GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE – Karlheinz Stockhausen
(TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS)
6. THEMA (OMAGGIO A JOYCE) – Luciano Berio (TOMORROW NEVER KNOWS)
7. WILLIAMS MIX – John Cage (REVOLUTION 9)
8. THE MURDER FROM PSYCHO – Bernard Herrmann
9. KING LEAR (ACT IV, SCENE 6) – SHAKESPEARE (I AM THE WALRUS)
10. SIBELIUS – SYMPHONY 7 (EXCERPT) – RPO / Sir Thomas Beecham (REVOLUTION 9)
11. IMPROVISATION ON THE THEME FROM PATHER PANCHALI –
12. MAURICE RAVEL – LEVER DU JOUR – SCÈNE (FROM DAPHNIS & CHLOE) – LSO / Pierre Monteux
13. CLAUDE DEBUSSY – PRÉLUDE À L’APRÈS-MIDI D’UNE FAUNE – OSCC / Constantin Silvestri
14. CLAUDE DEBUSSY – LA SOIREE DANS GRENADE FROM ESTAMPES – Rudolf Firkusny (DAY TRIPPER)
15. GUSTAV HOLST – NEPTUNE FROM THE PLANETS – BBC SO / Sir Malcolm Sargent
THE BEATLES / GEORGE MARTIN
1. ROUGET DE LISLE – LA MARSEILLAISE – LSO / Pierre Monteux (ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE)
2. RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS – FANTASIA ON GREENSLEEVES – LPO / Sir Adrian Boult (ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE)
3. J S BACH – TWO-PART INVENTION NO. 8 IN F MAJOR – Wanda Landowska (ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE)
4. J S BACH – AIR ON THE G STRING FROM SUITE NO. 3 IN D BWV1068 – Jaime Laredo (YELLOW SUBMARINE)
RICK WRIGHT OF PINK FLOYD
5. THE AUTUMN LEAVES – Bill Evans Trio
SYD BARRETT OF PINK FLOYD
6. INTERSELLAR LOW WAYS – Sun Ra
7. G F HANDEL – HALLELUIJAH CHORUS FROM THE MESSIAH –
RPO / Sir Thomas Beecham
8. ANGI – Davy Graham
9. RAGA SIMHENDRA MADHYAMAM –
10. TUNJI – John Coltrane
11. LOVE THEME FROM SPARTACUS – Yusef Lateef
12. PANNONICA – Thelonious Monk
13. YARDBIRD SUITE –
Charlie Parker Septet
SYD BARRETT / DAVID BOWIE
IGOR STRAVINSKY – THE RITE OF SPRING – PART ONE – ADORATION OF THE EARTH – NYPO / LEONARD BERNSTEIN
15. THE AUGURS OF SPRING
16. MOCK ABDUCTION
17. SPRING ROUND DANCES
18. GAMES OF THE RIVAL TRIBES
19. PROCESSION OF THE WISE ELDER
20. ADORATION OF THE EARTH
21. DANCE OF THE EARTH
22. EDGARD VARÈSE – HYPERPRISM – Robert Craft
ROBERT WYATT (SOFT MACHINE)
1. SIX DUKES WENT A-FISHING – Benjamin Britten / Peter Pears
KEVIN AYERS (SOFT MACHINE)
2. SIBELIUS – SYMPHONY 2 – ALLEGRETTO –
RPO / Sir John Barbirolli
3. DELIUS – A SONG OF THE HIGH HILLS – TRANQUILLO –
RPO / Sir Thomas Beecham
4. NE ME QUITTE PAS – Jacques Brel
5. SIBELIUS – VALSE TRISTE – RCO / Eduard Van Beinum
6. RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS – FANTASIA ON A THEME BY THOMAS TALLIS – Sinfonia Of London / Sir John Barbirolli
ANTONIO CARLOS JOBIM
7. MAURICE RAVEL – JEUX D’EAU –
8. CLAUDE DEBUSSY – NUAGES FROM NOCTURNES –
Boston SO / Charles Munch
9. HEITOR VILLA-LOBOS – GUITAR ETUDE NO. 5 – Laurindo Almeida
10. SERGEI RACHMANINOFF – VOCALISE – Nathan Milstein
11. FREDERICK CHOPIN – PRELUDE 4 OP 28 – Sviatoslav Richter
12. ESTRADA DO SOL – Lucio Alves
13. ESTATE – Bruno Martino
14. ALMA BRASILEIRA – Garoto