Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Manuel Gottsching's E2-E4

I guess it must have been close to 20 years already that I first bought this compact disk, E2-E4, by Manuel Gottsching. I was wandering around the now-closed Ampang Park shopping mall and came across the disk in Love Music. Mesmerised by the cover AND the title, I had bought the disk without any hesitation, such was my interest in everything chess.

I must add that I wasn't disappointed with the music. Basically, an electronically generated sound that did not grate onto the ear in terms of melody or intensity. Much unlike Steve Reich's compact disk, the fascinating but monotonous Music for 18 Musicians, which I also possess. (I wouldn't mind owning that record too, by the way.)

And recently, the opportunity arose for me to buy the vinyl record version of the same Gottsching compact disk. Again, without any hesitation after immediately seeing its availability on one of the facebook groups that I am a member of.

The album arrived yesterday. And I placed it on the turntable late last night. Shiok only, I must say. Again, the melody leapt from my speakers. But I noticed a slight difference in the music between the two formats. The record was about five minutes shorter than the compact disk. One of the tracks was six minutes long on the CD but only one minute on the record. That accounted for the difference. Other than that, no difference to the ears.

Oh yes, I must add that the record version came with rather lengthy interesting liner notes that described how Gottsching came up with the concept for the music. And how Richard Branson played a part in it. The compact disk version had nothing!

Side One: Ruhige nervositat (Quiet nervousness), Gemassigter aufbruch (Moderate start), ... Und mittelspiel (...And central game)
Side Two: Ansatz (Promise), Damen eleganza (Queen a pawn), Ehrenvoller kampf (Glorious fight), Hoheit weicht (HRH retreats), (Nicht ohne schwung) (With a swing), ...Und souveranitat (...And sovereignty), Remis (Draw)

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