Re: [thewire] Electronomusic
- Sorry I'm late on this one.
> I've got this record called 'Electronomusic 9' Images by a blokeIt took me a while to remember that I actually have this LP. Got it at a
> called John Pfeiffer. Its on Victrola from 1969. Its early
> electronic music, charmingly clunky and off centre. The final track,
> After Hours, features the sound of typewriters and other office
> equipment in unison.
> Does anyone else have this? Can anyone offer me any info at all on
> the guy or other recordings? Who was he?
yard sale a few years ago, listened once I believe and dismissed as
something in the vein of Perrey & Kingsey, but I just put on the turntable
again and it is much more serious than that, even though it seems to cave in
to the "novelty" trend record labels were exploiting back then. Some pieces
bring to mind Arne Nordheim's late-'60s electronic pieces.
As for info on the guy, all I can supply is what's written on the back
sleeve, and I guess you already have that information...
Writer, journalist (All-Music Guide, Ici), translator, proofreader.
Producer of Delire Actuel and Delire Musical, CFLX.
Personal webpage / Page personnelle: http://membres.lycos.fr/fcouture
Visitez / Visit the All-Music Guide at http://www.allmusic.com
- I had also meant to respond to this earlier. Anyway...
John Pfeiffer was *the* classical producer for decades for RCA. He died in 1996.
Here is an obit I found on the web that mentions his electronic work:
John Pfeiffer, Classical Music Producer, Dies at 75
By ALLAN KOZINN
John F. Pfeiffer, an executive producer at RCA Red Seal who recorded many of the
great classical musicians of the century during a 47-year career, died Thursday
at his office in Manhattan. He was 75 and lived in Manhattan.
Marilyn Egol, a spokeswoman for RCA, said that the cause was a heart attack.
One of the last producers from a time now regarded as a golden age of recorded
music, Pfeiffer was a genial man with an encyclopedic command of the history of
recording and of the performing world, past and present.
A producer who cared deeply about capturing a performance with a realistic sonic
perspective, he also developed the diplomatic skills necessary to coax great
performances from famous and sometimes temperamental artists who were not always
comfortable before the microphones.
Among Pfeiffer's productions were classic recordings by the violinist Jascha
Heifetz, the pianists Vladimir Horowitz, Artur Rubinstein and Van Cliburn, the
harpsichordist Wanda Landowska, the soprano Leontyne Price and the conductors
Arturo Toscanini, Fritz Reiner, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy and Charles
"Somehow I always managed to give the artists the feeling I was on their side,"
he said in an interview with Audio magazine in 1992, "that I was doing
everything I could to help them do what they did best. It was my job to
translate that onto a phonograph record, not to tell them how or what to do."
In recent years, he oversaw the remastering for compact disk of dozens of
historic recordings, many of which he had produced originally. His reissues of
the complete recordings of Toscanini, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Jascha Heifetz
have been critically praised and have won several awards.
The Heifetz Collection, reissued last year, is a nominee for a Grammy award in
the historical category.
He also continued recording current artists, including the mezzo-sopranos
Marilyn Horne and Frederica von Stade, and Xiang-Dong Kong, a young Chinese
Pfeiffer was born in Tucson, Ariz., on Sept. 29, 1920. He studied music and
engineering at the University of Arizona and Bethany College in Lindsborg, Kan.
After naval service during World War II, he moved to New York, where he attended
Columbia University and worked as a jazz pianist before joining RCA in 1949.
His first job with the company was on the technical side, as a design engineer.
He worked on teams that developed stereo and quadraphonic recording techniques,
and coordinated RCA's entry into the world of digital recording in the late
He was also a composer and combined his interests in music and engineering in
"Electronomusic," an album of his own experimental electronic music that he
recorded for RCA in 1968.
In addition to his recording work, Pfeiffer was the audio producer for several
televised classical music programs, including "Heifetz on Television," for CBS;
"Horowitz Live," for NBC; the White House concerts by Horowitz, the cellist
Mstislav Rostropovich and the soprano Leontyne Price, as well as installments of
"Live From Lincoln Center" and "Live From the Met." He is survived by a
half-brother, Leslie Wolf; two grandsons and two great-grandsons.
> Sorry I'm late on this one.
> > I've got this record called 'Electronomusic 9' Images by a bloke
> > called John Pfeiffer. Its on Victrola from 1969. Its early
> > music, charmingly clunky and off centre. The final track,
> After Hours,
> > features the sound of typewriters and other office equipment in
> > unison.
> > Does anyone else have this? Can anyone offer me any info at
> all on the
> > guy or other recordings? Who was he?
> It took me a while to remember that I actually have this LP.
> Got it at a yard sale a few years ago, listened once I
> believe and dismissed as something in the vein of Perrey &
> Kingsey, but I just put on the turntable again and it is much
> more serious than that, even though it seems to cave in to
> the "novelty" trend record labels were exploiting back then.
> Some pieces bring to mind Arne Nordheim's late-'60s electronic pieces.
> As for info on the guy, all I can supply is what's written on
> the back sleeve, and I guess you already have that information...
> Francois Couture
> Writer, journalist (All-Music Guide, Ici), translator,
> proofreader. Producer of Delire Actuel and Delire Musical, CFLX.
> Personal webpage / Page personnelle:
> http://membres.lycos.fr/fcouture Visitez / > Visit the
> All-Music Guide at http://www.allmusic.com
- Thanks for the responses to my ELECTRONOMUSIC querie, sorry I'm a bit late responding too.
Just after posting the message I also found that obituary on the web, which answered a lot of questions. You can't help thinking that its a radical departure for a classical producer to make such a quaintly futuristic record can you? Yet somehow it all falls into place.
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