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Mode 205: Cornelius Cardew - Treatise (Live in Prague 1967)

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Uploaded on Mar 30, 2011

[excerpt]
The QUaX Ensemble, directed by Petr Kotik. Live recording from Prague, 1967.
High resolution 96khz, 24-bit remastering from the original analog tape.


This performance of Cardew's monumental 193-page graphic score Treatise was recorded live in Prague in 1967 by the Czech QUaX Ensemble, directed by composer/flutist/conductor Petr Kotik.

This historical recording offers a unique perspective to hear Treatise as interpreted by Cardew's contemporaries.

Kotik met Cardew in Warsaw in 1962, and they began exchanging scores by mail, including Treatise, which was a work in progress. Upon meeting again in London (1966), Cardew provided Kotik with additional portions of the score and insights.

Fresh from this encounter, Kotik started the QUaX Ensemble upon his return to Prague in 1966. The first thing QUaX did was to rehearse Treatise, working through the pages Kotik had: "The piece was very important for getting all of us together, musically speaking, besides having a lot of fun working out individual pages by having all the musicians contribute ideas and suggestions. We worked regularly over a long period of time, ending up with a 2-hour version of the piece ... only performed once, at the concert on October 15, 1967 in Prague." It is presented here.

Cardew said: "Treatise is a continuous weaving and combining of a host of graphic elements (of which only a few are recognizably related to musical symbols) into a long visual composition, the meaning of which in terms of sound is not specified in any way. ... Any number of musicians using any media are free to participate in a 'reading' of this score ... and each is free to interpret it in his own way.

Liner notes by Petr Kotik and Cardew's friend and colleague John Tilbury.

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