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AGP167 - Carl Ruggles (1876-1971)
AGP167 is a 24-bit, 44.1 kHz transcription of a long out-of-print 2LP set of The Complete Music of Carl Ruggles (CBS Masterworks M2 34591). This set has never been re-issued on CD, nor is there any other commercially available collection of these works, which is just weird and shows up the occasional glaring shortcomings of the traditional system for distributing music.
Ruggles was a contemporary and close friend of Charles Ives, who had something of the same streak of staunch individualism in both life and art. Unlike Ives, he composed slowly and painstakingly, and so produced only a small collection of compositions. In later life, he devoted more of his creative energy to painting and drawing than to music.
I would have included this set in the AGP long ago, but I'd always assumed it had been reissued on CD or at least that there was another CD collection of these works. The same devoted AGP partisan who provided the CD transcription for AGP162 recently called my attention to the fact that this set is out of print, so I got to transcribing it. Actually, it's a lucky thing I didn't do it earlier, as the iffy CBS vinyl and the dense orchestral sonorities wouldn't have transcribed as well with my old tonearm. While there is some light pressing noise, and a bit of congestion in the last few minutes of Sun-Treader, otherwise the transcription is gratifyingly clean. The recording of the orchestral works is fairly detailed if a bit warm and indistinct, possibly as a result of the space it was recorded in.