Album Review

Partch, Harry – “Bewitched, The ” – [New World Records]

loun   7/19/2006   A Library, CD

In what may be his defining work, the prodigal son of American music, Harry Partch, deeply examined the interactions of music, dance, and theater, in the context of both society and individuals. In a time when American arts were completing their sgregation into isolated component forms, Partch looked back in time and saw the integrated whole from whence they had come, and mourned the loss of gestalt. “The Bewitched” is the dance/play/opera/musical production that both celebrates the potential of iintegrated arts and realizes it. By itself, the soundtrack still retains much of its power, since it is rooted in deep conviction. The sound is unmistakably Partchian, as almost all instruments are of the composer’s design. Most tracks are in the 4-6 minute range, and are musically self contained. The tempo is lively enough to make this appropriate for almost any show. As with all things Partch, I am inspired to contemplate the limitations of my ability to appreciate it, and in so doing, begin to break them down. Play, and be enlightened!


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