Bridge Records Catalog

PARTCH: Harry Partch
Sonata Dementia

$ 14.99
2019 Sequenza21: Best Recordings of 2019
2019 WQXR: Best Classical Recordings
2019 All About Jazz: Best Releases
2019 The Art Music Lounge Award
Percussive Notes Hall of Fame 2019

"The superb ensemble PARTCH, who play on the strange and aesthetically fascinating instruments designed by the composer...impressively virtuoso passages as well as highly atmospheric sections with bell-sounds that give an effect of distance, mysterious ringing strings and driving percussion that all add up to something oddly timeless as well as uniquely striking in its sonorities....Take the plunge and educate yourself on the art of an American legend."
-MusicWeb International

Did you know that the legendary American Maverick HARRY PARTCH wrote music for West Coast jazz icons Chet Baker and Gerry Mulligan? They never got a chance to play his smart and funny Ulysses at the Edge of the World, but this “Minor Adventure in Rhythm” really swings in time signatures that would have made Dave Brubeck blush. So opens a collection of Partch classics that no one has really heard before. His score for the film Windsong was edited for the soundtrack, and though music lovers will recognize the material from the subsequently expanded Daphne of the Dunes, the symphonically structured original is much more dramatically crafted, and is presented here for the first time. It turns out that there are actually Twelve Intrusions, too, not eleven.

And a demented sonata? Oh yes! Though the composer never performed or recorded it, his 1950 composition Sonata Dementia is in three movements: I. Abstraction & Delusion, II. Scherzo Schizophrenia, and III. Allegro Paranoia. Filled to the brim with humor, flights of fancy, and a febrile imagination, it was later reworked as “Ring Around the Moon,” but what a treat to hear the original in all its zany glory.

The Bonus Tracks reveal even more lost treasures: The first-ever recording of Partch as performer, playing what is probably his most famous piece, Barstow: 8 Hitchhiker Inscriptions in front of a live audience in 1942, just a year after it was written.



"Windsong, Ulysses, and their performances make this the most glorious Partch record I know.” - Fanfare

The vocal and theatrical aspects of Partch’s compositions evoke Woody Guthrie and Mark Twain. Sonata Dementia spans 1941-1962 and it’s like falling down a rabbit hole into a surreal estate wherein Frank Zappa, Duke Ellington, and Carl Stalling collaborate on the soundtrack.” - ICON (5 stars)

This is a fun recording to listen to. The liner notes are insightful and amusing, and the recording quality is excellent. It is encouraging to hear that the legacy of Harry Partch is in great hands!” - Percussive Notes

Partch was truly one of a kind, and the group PARTCH does a wonderful job of capturing both the letter and the spirit of his music.” - The Art Music Lounge

Listeners are always guaranteed intriguing new sounds with Harry Partch, and those who have already collected volumes 1 & 2 will know something of what they are in for with this third volume from the superb ensemble Partch, who play on the strange and aesthetically fascinating instruments designed by the composer.” - MusicWeb International

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Ulysses at the Edge of the World (1962)

Twelve Intrusions (1950)

Windsong (1958) first recording

Sonata Dementia (1950) first recording

Bonus Tracks

Canción de Los Muchachos

Barstow: Eight Hitchhikers' Inscriptions (1941) first recording