ARTBOOK LOGO

ARTBOOK BLOG

RECENT POSTS

DATE 8/13/2020

Annie Leibovitz on Henri Cartier-Bresson and 'Le Grand Jeu'

DATE 8/11/2020

Francesca Woodman: On Being an Angel, color photograph with tripod

DATE 8/10/2020

Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Bookstore presents a virtual launch event for 'Mungo Thomson: Mail'

DATE 8/10/2020

Visit us at the Atlanta Summer Gift & Home Market 2020

DATE 8/9/2020

BACK IN STOCK! The landmark first major monograph on nonagenarian surrealist Luchita Hurtado

DATE 8/7/2020

Tosh Berman on 'The World's Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia'—a new adventure in its highest form

DATE 8/5/2020

Taking inspiration from John Baldessari

DATE 8/3/2020

In 'Jordan Casteel: Within Reach,' fundamental and expansive humanity

DATE 8/2/2020

Pat de Groot captures nothing or everything in summertime staff favorite, 'Landscape Painting Now'

DATE 8/1/2020

Artbook @ Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles Bookstore presents a virtual launch event for 'The World's Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia'

DATE 7/31/2020

From hair lacquer to whiskey and sweat in Karlheinz Weinberger, 'Together & Alone'

DATE 7/29/2020

Symbols are like doors to other dimensions in 'Hilma af Klint: Artist, Researcher, Medium'

DATE 7/28/2020

On Marcel Duchamp's birthday, a spectacular treat

DATE 7/26/2020

Back in Stock! 'William Eggleston: Election Eve'

DATE 7/24/2020

Questions of power and identity in 'Samuel Fosso: Autoportrait'

DATE 7/21/2020

July 22, 1971, from 'Bernadette Mayer: Memory'

DATE 7/18/2020

Darkness and hope in 'Philip Guston Now'

DATE 7/17/2020

Carlo McCormick on 'Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation'

DATE 7/16/2020

5 Essential Books on Jean-Michel Basquiat

DATE 7/15/2020

In 'The Atmosphere of Crime,' Gordon Parks foreshadows the brutality of today's prison system and current demands for equal rights, access and justice

DATE 7/13/2020

In 'Lines,' Shantell Martin seeks to understand "who we are at the core, as people"

DATE 7/12/2020

In celebration of Buckminster Fuller's 125th birthday, a new facsimile of the cult cookbook, 'Synergetic Stew'

DATE 7/12/2020

Celebrate the radical optimism of Buckminster Fuller during the month of his birth 125 years ago!

DATE 7/9/2020

Jeff Divine's 70s Surf Photographs tell it like it was

DATE 7/7/2020

Profound questions about space, time and material in Julia Christensen's 'Upgrade Available'

DATE 7/5/2020

'John Cage: A Mycological Foray—Variations on Mushrooms' is here at last!

DATE 7/4/2020

On Independence Day 2020, we remember Robert Frank, "tragic poet" and author of the seminal photography book "The Americans"

DATE 7/3/2020

Relaxed mastery in the "Afternoon Paintings" of Stanley Whitney

DATE 7/1/2020

RIP Milton Glaser

DATE 6/30/2020

See Book Reviews, Trailers and Flip-Through Videos on our new YouTube Channel!

DATE 6/26/2020

Ecstasy and celebration in 'Mechanical Fantasy Box: The Homoerotic Journal of Patrick Cowley'

DATE 6/25/2020

'Berenice Abbott: Portraits of Modernity' is a Pride Month Pick from Fundacíon Mapfre

DATE 6/19/2020

Pieces of life and shards of history in 'Melvin Edwards: Lynch Fragments'

DATE 6/19/2020

“That’s what art is; we’re the art!”

DATE 6/17/2020

Kader Attia represents the unrepresented in 'Landing Strip'

DATE 6/15/2020

240 pages of remarkable trans art in 'Kiss My Genders'

DATE 6/14/2020

'Alvin Baltrop: The Piers' is a Staff Pick for Pride Month

DATE 6/12/2020

Nicole R. Fleetwood on Mickalene Thomas's world making

DATE 6/11/2020

In 'Ellen Gallagher: Accidental Records' radical aesthetic possibilities emerge from seismic cracks in the surface of things

DATE 6/8/2020

Power and Poetry: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Gordon Parks and Muhammad Ali

DATE 6/5/2020

Taking inspiration in the quilts, paintings and political posters of Faith Ringgold

DATE 6/3/2020

David Hammons in 'Soul of a Nation'

DATE 6/1/2020

Celebrate LGBTQ Pride!

DATE 5/31/2020

Summertime Fun Staff Picks

DATE 5/30/2020

Powerful 'Bernadette Mayer: Memory' is new from Siglio Press

DATE 5/28/2020

Staff favorite 'Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah' evokes sunscreen and wood cabins, feathered hair and tube socks

DATE 5/27/2020

Beautiful and voyeuristic. Tosh Berman reviews 'Weegee's Naked City'

DATE 5/24/2020

Memorial Day Staff Pick: Ice Cream Headaches

DATE 5/23/2020

Summertime Staff Favorite 'Cape Cod Modern' is back in stock!

DATE 5/21/2020

'Oscar Wilde's Italian Dream' is new from Damiani

DATE 5/18/2020

In 'JB Blunk,' art, life and spirituality fully merge


EVENTS

CORY REYNOLDS | DATE 5/15/2020

Listen to 'The World’s Worst' Playlist

Compiled by Chris Reeves and Aaron Walker on the occasion of the publication of The World’s Worst: A Guide to the Portsmouth Sinfonia, published by Soberscove Press. Listen to the complete playlist here!

Listen to 'The World’s Worst' Playlist

1. Florence Foster Jenkins – “Queen of the Night Aria” (Mozart), The Glory (????) of the Human Voice, RCA, 1962.
The godmother of the Sinfonia. A tone-deaf socialite performing in the 1940s surrounded by a society too polite (or cruel) to tell her she stunk. Foster Jenkins’ vocal rendition of the incredibly difficult “Queen of the Night” aria from Mozart’s “Magic Flute,” is a high point of the few recordings that exist of her unforgettable live performances.
Listen here.

2. Temple City Kazoo Orchestra – “2001 Sprach Kazoostra” (Strauss), Some Kazoos, Rhino, 1978
A kazoo ensemble founded by the heads of the Rhino Records label and featuring a few members of Stevie Wonder’s band. Like the Sinfonia, this ensemble brought to the fore how different classical music can sound when put into the hands (or mouths) of playful musicians (and non-musicians).
Listen here.

3. The Majorca Orchestra – “Venice By Night” (Ezra Read), Live Recording from the Lucy Milton Gallery, London, 1976
The Majorca Orchestra was a spin-off of the Portsmouth Sinfonia, consisting of many of its members. Rather than play familiar classical music, the MO played originals or works by lesser known composers such as Ezra Read. This version of Read’s “Venice By Night,” represents their capabilities well: they can’t make it to the end of the piece!
Listen here.

4. Michael Nyman – “The Very Beautiful Blue Danube” (Strauss), Audio Arts Vol. 3, No. 2: Recent English Experimental Music, 1983
Sinfonia member Michael Nyman’s transfiguring the most recognizable passage of Strauss’ original into a maddening withholding of melodic resolution.
Listen here.

5. The Portsmouth Sinfonia – “In the Hall of the Mountain King” (Grieg), The Portsmouth Sinfonia Plays the Popular Classics, Transatlantic, 1974
The Sinfonia barely making their way through Grieg’s popular classic. One of my favorites in that, even as a “definitive version” on record, the ensemble can barely play this one.
Listen here.

6. The Portsmouth Sinfonia – “A Day in the Life” (Lennon/McCartney), 20 Classic Rock Classics, Transatlantic, 1978
From the Sinfonia’s brief foray into playing “contemporary” pop music. A surprisingly moving tribute to the Beatles through their signature dissonance.
Listen here.

7. The Scratch Orchestra – “Liberty Bell” (Sousa), Live recording ca. 1972
The Sinfonia were born out of the Scratch Orchestra’s own populist idea that music making could involve everyone. Like the Sinfonia, the SO also played “popular classics” they recognized from television shows. Their rendition of Sousa’s “Liberty Bell,” famous for being the title theme to Monty Python’s Flying Circus, is one such example.
Listen here.

8. The Portsmouth Sinfonia, “Classical Muddly,” Self-titled 7-inch single, Island Records, 1981
This single, perhaps the most warped of all the Portsmouth Sinfonia’s releases, is a take on the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra’s smash-hit “Hooked On Classics” medley record. The Sinfonia’s détourned response is a collage of classical melodies cut from their own recordings, sped up, amalgamated, and set to a handclap disco beat. Improbably, "Classical Muddly" worked its way onto the UK Singles Chart before being pulled off the air by the BBC due to an allegation of copyright infringement by the publishers of Richard Strauss.
Listen here.

9. Brian Eno, "Brutal Ardour” (Variation on ‘The Canon in D Major’ by Johann Pachelbel), Discreet Music, LP, Obscure Records, 1975
The A-side of this record is a now-classic work of early electronic minimalism. This track would provide a conceptual template for much of Brian Eno’s future experiments in self-generating ambient music. The B-side is only slightly less beguiling to my ear, consisting of three deconstructed variations on 'The Canon in D Major' by Johann Pachelbel, as performed by the Cockpit Ensemble and conducted and co-arranged by Gavin Bryars. Eno was less than enthusiastic about the results, but I have a real fondness for these melancholy chamber pieces.
Listen here.

10. Spike Jones and his City Slickers, “The William Tell Orchestra” (Rossini), Spike Jones Is Murdering the Classics, LP, 1971, RCA
The Sinfonia feel as indebted to Spike Jones; satirist, bandleader, and drummer extraordinaire, as they do the community improvising of Cornelius Cardew and the Scratch Orchestra. This track remains a gem of finely tuned big band comedy chaos, stuffed to the brim with dog barks, a gargling solo, and Doodle Weaver’s nonsense horse race calls.
Listen here.

11. The Portsmouth Sinfonia with Sally Binding, “Piano Concerto in A” (Tchaikovsky), Hallelujah: Live at the Royal Albert Hall, LP, Transatlantic, 1974
Concert pianist Sally Binding joined the Sinfonia at a packed Royal Albert Hall for their performance of Tchaikovsky’s “Piano Concerto in A.” Captured on this live album, the contrast between Binding’s virtuoso soloing and the hesitant bowing of the Sinfonia string section accompaniment is as moving as it is hilarious.
Listen here.

12. The Promenade Theatre Orchestra, “Ambroise Farman's Memory,” The Orangery, Holland Park, 1, October 1972, Experimental Music Catalogue, 2002
The Promenade Theatre Orchestra was an English quartet founded in 1969. In an ad written by PTO member and systems composer John White, the group’s sound was described as “restful reedorgans, tinkling toy pianos, soothing psalteries, suave swanee whistles, jolly jaw harps–NO noisy electronics! (Just the job for that lazy Sunday afternoon!)” You can hear some of that in this live recording from 1972, released in 2002 by the invaluable Experimental Music Catalogue.
Listen here.

13. Steve Beresford and Anne Marie Beretta, “Comfortable Gestures,” Dancing The Line, Nato, 1986
A Baleric piece of loungewear post-punk by Steve Beresford, trumpeter in the Sinfonia and renowned free improviser. I hadn’t heard “Comfortable Gestures” until it was recently rereleased on Music From Memory’s compilation Uneven Paths: Deviant Pop From Europe 1980-1991. A lilting, slow dance earworm with some wonderfully fragile singing from Beresford.
Listen here.

Listen to 'The World’s Worst' Playlist
Listen to 'The World’s Worst' Playlist
Listen to 'The World’s Worst' Playlist
Listen to 'The World’s Worst' Playlist
Listen to 'The World’s Worst' Playlist
Listen to 'The World’s Worst' Playlist
Listen to 'The World’s Worst' Playlist

The World's Worst

The World's Worst

SOBERSCOVE PRESS
Pbk, 6.75 x 9 in. / 232 pgs / 30 color / 80 b&w.

$28.00  free shipping




ARTBOOK LOGO
 
 

the art world's source for books on art & culture

  

CUSTOMER SERVICE
orders@artbook.com
212 627 1999
M-F 9-5 EST

TRADE ACCOUNTS

800 338 2665

CONTACT

JOBS + INTERNSHIPS

NEW YORK
Showroom by Appointment Only
75 Broad Street, Suite 630
New York NY 10004
Tel   212 627 1999

LOS ANGELES
Showroom by Appointment Only
818 S. Broadway, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90014
Tel. 323 969 8985

ARTBOOK LLC
D.A.P. | Distributed Art Publishers, Inc.


All site content Copyright C 2000-2017 by Distributed Art Publishers, Inc. and the respective publishers, authors, artists. For reproduction permissions, contact the copyright holders.

ARTBOOK AMPERSAT

The D.A.P. Catalog
www.artbook.com