Four Principles On Ireland And Other Pieces (1974)

(Ampersand - ampere07) CD $10.00 (Out-of-stock)

2001 CD reissue of all of the piano music Cardew wrote in the early ’70s, originally released on LP by Cramps in 1975, when the Scratch Orchestra was questioning its relevance. “Red Flag Prelude” is a take-off on "O Tanenbaum” enriched with alternate chord progressions. “The Croppy Boy" utilizes a dirge form, rolling chords in the key of G Major, and laments a seventeen-year-old Irish boy (who happened to have close-cropped hair), hanged for his resistance. “Four Principles on Ireland” is a self-contained six-minute work with flights of virtuosity, even with Cardew’s always threadbare, clean musical language: un-Romantic, directness of gesture, nothing opaque or convoluted.


Thälmann Variations

(Matchless - MR10) Used LP $30.00

The side-long title track was written in 1974 to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the death of Ernst Thalmann, the Secretary General of the German Communist Party, and is based on a popular German Worker’s Movement song, incorporates music from Eisler, Charles Koechlin’s “Let’s Free Thälmann”, funeral dirges and, perhaps unintentionally, outside-the-room sounds, especially car horns. Six short pieces are on the flip: joyous march called “Bethanien Song,” which commemorates a change in plans regarding the conversion of an old hospital from an artist center to a children’s hospital; “The Red Flag,” based on the changes to “O Tanenbaum”; the lovely, quasi-minimalist piece “Soon,” based on a pamphlet of Mao’s from 1930 promising imminent revolution; and a trio of Irish songs, “Croppy Boy,” “Father Murphy” and “Four Principles on Ireland.”