Contemporary Sound Series

The Contemporary Sound Series provides a panoramic view of avant-garde music from the 1960s and beyond, featuring the work of 49 composers from 16 countries. Produced by Earle Brown from 1960 to 1973, the original 18 LPs showcase a number of composers who performed on the recordings, including John Cage, Luciano Berio, and Bruno Maderna. The series also presented the first commercial recordings of Giacinto Scelsi, Christian Wolff, and Sylvano Bussotti. 

Wergo reissued these rare collector items in six boxed sets of three CDs each. Udo Wüstendörfer digitized and remastered the historic recordings under the auspices of the Earle Brown Music Foundation.

(See also: RECORDINGS)

Contents (scroll down or go directly to Vol. IVol. IIVol. IIIVol. IVVol. VVol. VI):

Earle Brown - A Life in Music - Vol. 1

CD 1 Concert Percussion for Orchestra

Amadeo Roldán, Ritmicas Nos. 5 & 6
Lou Harrison, Canticle No. 1
William Russell, Three Dance Movements
Henry Cowell, Ostinato Pianissimo
William Russell, Three Cuban Pieces
John Cage and Lou Harrison, Double Music
John Cage, Amores

CD 2 Stockhausen – Kagel

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Zyklus / Refrain
Mauricio Kagel: Transición II

CD 3 Live Electronic Music Improvised

MEV: Spacecraft

The Manhattan Percussion Ensemble / conductors: John Cage and Paul Price / Christoph Caskel: percussion / David Tudor: piano / Aloys Kontarsky: piano, wood blocks / Bernhard Kontarsky: celeste, antique cymbals / MEV (from Rome: Ala Bryant / Alvin Curran / Frederic Rzewski / Richard Teitelbaum / Ivan Vandor): electronics / AMM (from London: Cornelius Cardew / Lou Gare / Christopher Hobbs / Eddie Prévost / Keith Rowe): electronics

Earle Brown - A Life in Music - Vol. 2

This Volume won the prestigious German Record Critics' Award.

CD 1 Works for Chamber Orchestra

Luigi Nono: Polifonica – Monodia – Ritmica
Bruno Maderna: Serenata N. 2
Luciano Berio: Différences

The English Chamber Orchestra / conductor: Bruno Maderna / Jacques Castagner: flute / Walter Lewis: clarinet / Francis Pierre: harp / Walter Trampler: viola / Seymour Barab: cello / conductor: Luciano Berio

CD 2 New Music from London

Peter Maxwell Davies: Antechrist
Harrison Birtwistle: Ring a Dumb Carillon
David Bedford: Come In Here Child
Richard Orton: Cycle for 2 or 4 Players

The Pierrot Players / conductor: Peter Maxwell Davies / Mary Thomas: soprano / Jane Manning: soprano / John Tilbury: piano / Moray Welsh: cello / Richard Orton: piano

CD 3 Feldman – Brown

Morton Feldman: Durations I–IV
Earle Brown: Music for Violin, Cello and Piano
Music for Cello and Piano

Don Hammond: (alto) flute / Don Butterfield: tuba / David Tudor: piano, celeste / Philip Kraus: vibraphone, orchestra bells, marimba / Matthew Raimondi: violin / David Soyer: cello

Earle Brown - A Life in Music - Vol. 3

This Volume was nominated for the ICMA classical music awards 2011.

CD 1 The Voice of Cathy Berberian

Luciano Berio: Circles (e.e. cummings)
Sylvano Bussotti: Frammento
John Cage: Aria with Fontana Mix

CD 2 Toshiro Mayuzumi: Nirvana Symphony

Buddhist Cantata for 12-part male chorus and orchestra

CD 3 New Music for Piano(s)

Iannis Xenakis: Herma
Roger Reynolds: Fantasy for Pianist
Yuji Takahashi: Metathesis
Earle Brown: Corroboree

Cathy Berberian: voice / Francis Pierre: harp / Jean-Pierre Drouet: percussion / Boris de Vinogradov: percussion / Luciano Berio: piano / NHK Symphony Orchestra / Tokyo Choraliers / Nippon University Chorus / conductor: Wilhelm Schüchter / Yuji Takahashi: piano

Earle Brown - A Life in Music - Vol. 4

CD 1 New Music for String Quartet

Pierre Boulez: Livre pour Quatuor I, II, V
Giacinto Scelsi: Quartetto d’archi n. 4
Earle Brown: String Quartet

CD 2 New Music for Chamber Orchestra

Iannis Xenakis: Achorripsis
Aldo Clementi: Triplum
Bo Nilsson: Szene III, Frequenzen
Arnold Schönberg: Drei Stücke
Wlodzimierz Kotonski: Canto
Yuji Takahashi: Six Stoicheia

CD 3 The Hamburger Kammersolisten

Milko Kelemen: Études contrapuntiques
Niccolò Castiglioni: Tropi
Vittorio Fellegara: Serenata
Isang Yun: Musik für sieben Instrumente

Quatuor Parrenin / Hamann Quartett / Quartetto di Nuova Musica / New York String Quartet / Internationales Kranichsteiner Kammerensemble, conductor: Bruno Maderna / Hamburger Kammersolisten, conductor: Francis Travis / Paul Zukofsky: violin

Earle Brown - A Life in Music - Vol. 5

CD 1 Sonic Arts Union: Electric Sound

Alvin Lucier: Vespers
Robert Ashley: Purposeful Lady Slow Afternoon
David Behrman: Runthrough
Gordon Mumma: Hornpipe

CD 2 "Concord“ Sonata

Charles Ives: Piano Sonata No. 2 “Concord, Mass., 1840–1860”

CD 3 Music for Flute and Piano

Franco Evangelisti: Proporzioni
Niccolò Castiglioni: Gymel
Luciano Berio: Sequenza I
Olivier Messiaen: Le Merle noir
Yoritsune Matsudaira: Somaksah
Bruno Maderna: Honeyrêves

Alvin Lucier: electronics / Robert Ashley: electronics / Mary Ashley, Barbara Lloyd, Mary Lucier: singers / Cynthia Liddell: speaker / David Behrman: electronics / Gordon Mumma: French horn, electronics / Aloys Kontarsky: piano / Theo Plümacher: viola / Willy Schwegler: flute / Severino Gazzelloni: flute

Earle Brown - A Life in Music - Vol. 6

CD 1 John Cage – Christian Wolff

John Cage: Cartridge Music
Christian Wolff: Duo for Violinist and Pianist / Duet II for Horn and Piano / Summer for Strings Quartet

CD 2 New Music for Violin and Piano

George Crumb: Four Nocturnes for Violin and Piano (Night Music II)
Isang Yun: Gasa
Charles Wuorinen: The Long and the Short
John Cage: Six Melodies for Violin and Keyboard

CD 3 New Music from South America for Chamber Orchestra

Gerardo Gandini: Soria Moria
César Bolaños: Divertimento III
Marlos Nobre: Tropicale
Oscar Bazán: Sonogramas
Manuel Enríquez: Diptico I
Alcides Lanza: Penetrations II

John Cage / David Tudor: piano / Kenji Kobayashi: violin / Howard Hillyer: horn / Matthew Raimondi: violin / Walter Trampler: viola / David Soyer: cello / Paul Zukofsky: violin / Gilbert Kalish: piano / The New Sound Composers-Performers Group / Alcides Lanza: conductor

Earle Brown Music Foundation