The art of the album sleeve
Above is the box design for the 1980 LP release of Supraphon's Martinů Symphonies, which I wrote about recently. The gorgeous typography is by Miroslav Jiránek. It, literally, graphically reminds us of what we lost when the CD replaced the LP.
This Sunday Nov 4 I will be playing Martinů's Fourth Symphony on my Future Radio programme at 5.00pm UK time. Preceeding it will be another Czech rarity, Krystof Harant's Missa quinis vocibus. This dates from the early seventeenth century, and the exuberant performance by the Prague Madrigalists directed by Miroslav Venhoda should not invoke the silence detector.
The Harant Mass is a mid-price Supraphon re-release. The recording was made in 1971 for LP release, and Miroslav Venhoda died in 1987. The early recording date, which predates much early music scholarship, probably explains why the musicians sound as though they are really enjoying themselves. The CD inlay by Jan Alton Design is below. This very well illustrates the compromises dictated by the CD format. The Harant design does its job. The Martinů could be out of the Museum of Modern Art.
Graphics matter, which is why this book is important.
* Listen via the audio stream here on Sunday Nov 4 at 5.00pm UK time. Convert Overgrown Path radio on-air times to your local time zone using this link. Windows Media Player doesn't like the audio stream very much and takes ages to buffer. WinAmp or iTunes handle it best. Unfortunately the royalty license doesn't permit on-demand replay, so you have to listen in real time. If you are in the Norwich, UK area tune to 96.9FM.Any copyrighted material on these pages is included as "fair use", for the purpose of study, review or critical analysis only, and will be removed at the request of copyright owner(s). Report broken links, missing images and other errors to - overgrownpath at hotmail dot co dot uk