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Avant-Garde Art \ Festival Paris Dada [LTMCD 2513]

A unique anthology of piano music directly linked to the Dada avant-garde art movement in Paris between 1920 and 1923, Festival Dada Paris is based on the piano repertoire performed at two landmark Dada events in Paris, namely the Festival Dada on 26 May 1920, and the infamous Soirée du Coeur â Barbe on 6 July 1923, an event disrupted by violent confrontation between Tristan Tzara's Dada faction and the Surrealist vanguard lead by Andre Breton.

Music from the 1920 event includes two pieces by Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes as well as The American Nurse by Francis Picabia, consisting of 'three notes repeated to infinity'. Pieces performed at the riotous 1923 soirée include two fox-trots by Georges Auric and Darius Milhaud (both members of celebrated compositional group Les Six), Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire by Erik Satie (performed in person by the composer on the night), and Three Easy Pieces by Igor Stravinsky.

The anthology also includes other pieces such as Satie's bizarre playlet Le Piège de Méduse (premiered in Paris in May 1921), Drie Composities voor Klavier by the Belgian-born Dada/Surrealist E.L.T. Mesens, and a piano rendering of Marcel Duchamp's short vocal Musical Erratum from 1913. The album closes with an historic Stravinsky recording from 1925 by Marcelle Meyer, the pianist who performed at both Dada events in 1920 and 1923.

Although often described in detail in written histories of Dada and Surrealism, the music performed at these legendary happenings is rarely heard. Remarkably, this project includes the first ever recordings of the featured compositions by Ribemont-Dessaignes, Picabia and Mesens. All were researched and performed by Dutch pianist Peter Beijersbergen van Henegouwen.


Tracklist:

1 ERIK SATIE Trois morceaux en forme de poire
2. DARIUS MILHAUD Caramel Mou (shimmy)
3 GEORGES AURIC Adieu, New York (Fox-trot)
4 IGOR STRAVINSKY Trois pièces faciles à quatre mains
5 GEORGES RIBEMONT-DESSAIGNES Le Nombril Interlope
6 FRANCIS PICABIA La Nourrice Américaine (fast)
7 GEORGES RIBEMONT-DESSAIGNES Pas de la chicorée frisée
8 ERIK SATIE Le Piège de Méduse
9 E.L.T. MESENS Drie Composities voor Klavier
10. MARCEL DUCHAMP Musical Erratum
11. FRANCIS PICABIA La Nourrice Américaine (slow)
12. IGOR STRAVINSKY Rag-Time (1925 recording by Marcelle Meyer)
13. IGOR STRAVINSKY Le Pelican (fox-trot) (wax cylinder recording)

Available on CD and download. Booklet includes detailed liner notes by James Hayward, as well as archive images.


Reviews:

"This soundtrack to four Parisian Dada events recreated on this CD is revealing. The 1923 event included cute foxtrots by Satie acolytes Milhaud and Auric, an exercise in suave primitivism by Stravinsky, and Satie's own Trois Morceaux en Forme de Poire, a sardonic response to Debussy's accusation that his compositions were formless. Satie, whose music alternated between quirky charm and translucent beauty, has been hugely important to later, more overt experimentalists, not least because of his constitutional perversity and creative independence. For these reasons he was Dada's favoured composer, although audibly his own man. Les familiar, and in that sense more interesting, music is included here, for example three pithy pieces by ELT Mesens. Picabia outstrips even the confrontational minimalism of Satie's sublimely tedious Vexations, while Duchamp's Musical Erratum enshrines randomness decades in advance of John Cage's use of chance procedures. Still more arresting are the mechanical thrust and punchy articulation of two chance-based pieces by Ribemont-Dessaignes, a distorted echo perhaps of fashionable player piano music. Dada music may not have captured the 'roaring of tense colours' that Tzara was after in his soirees, but with Satie's unassuming guidance it has reverberated into an experimental future" (The Wire, 04/2008)

"Pianist Peter Beijersbergen van Henegouwen's account of Satie is flat and cerebral, a winning strategy that allows Satie's oddness to register on its own terms. His take on Stravinsky adds coolly controlled grit, while he relishes the structural labyrinth of the Auric. Picabia's slowly unfolding piece hovers like an anticipation of Morton Feldman, and Duchamp is curiously refreshing. The disc concludes with two archival gems, and this latest instalment from the LTM label is a stimulating postcard of bygone controversies" (International Piano, 5-6/2008)

Festival Paris Dada [LTMCD 2513]

Tristan Tzara launched Dada in Paris with a scandalous event at the Salle Gaveau on 26 May 1920, only to see it implode with a riotous soirée at the Théâtre Michel three years later, on 6 July 1923. While the art and tumult of both performances is often discussed in popular and academic texts, the music presented at the Festival Dada and Soirée du Coeur à Barbe is rarely if ever heard. Now, after almost a century, these new recordings by pianist Peter Beijersbergen van Henegouwen allow a proper appreciation of the remarkable music of Paris Dada.

Strong links existed between the Dada movement and Paris long before Tzara arrived in the French capital in January 1920. In his account of the large Dada soirée held at the Salle Kaufleuten in Zurich on 9 April 1919, Tzara records that pieces by French composer Erik Satie (1866-1925) were performed by a pianist named Suzanne Perrottet. This repertoire may well have been suggested by the French artist Francis Picabia, then based in Zurich, who had included Satie (mis-spelled Satye) in his 'tableau-message' drawing Mouvement Dada. No record survives of precisely which works by Satie excited the interest of the original Dada cabal in Zurich. However, it is known that Satie received Tzara's review Dada from Switzerland, and was present at the Romanian-born poet's first public appearance in Paris on 23 January 1920. Indeed Tzara and Picabia would remain Satie's closest allies within the volatile movement that was Paris Dada.

Born in Paris, artist, poet and theorist Francis Picabia (1879-1953) is recognized as a key figure in the development of abstract art and the avant-garde in the 20th Century. Influenced first by Fauvism and Cubism, he met Marcel Duchamp and Guillaume Apollinaire in 1911, and between 1913 to 1915 made several visits to New York, where he was active in avant-garde circles and took part in the Armory Show. In 1917 Picabia published his first volume of poetry and founded the celebrated avant-garde periodical 391, which ran for 19 (irregular) issues until 1924. Other contributors to 391 would include Duchamp, Tzara, Max Ernst, Hans Arp, Robert Desnos, René Magritte, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes, Edgard Varèse and Max Jacob.

Picabia continued his involvement in Dada through 1919 both in Zurich and Paris, producing numerous machine drawings as well as two issues of Cannibale (1920). So far as is known he composed just one piece of music, an antagonistic piece performed for the first - and last - time at the Festival Dada, the landmark event staged at the prestigious Salle Gaveau, Paris, on the afternoon of Wednesday 26 May 1920. The two-part programme offered plays, poems and music from a veritable who's who of Paris Dada, including Tzara, Picabia, Ribemont-Dessaignes, André Breton, Paul Eluard and Philippe Soupault. According to Picabia's then-partner Germaine Everling, his piece La Nourrice Américaine (The American Nurse) consisted simply of "three notes repeated to infinity". In reality the motif was probably played by pianist Marguerite Buffet for a few minutes only, and The American Nurse was not mentioned in any contemporary review of the event, despite the presence of numerous reporters.

Very probably, Picabia selected these three notes by chance, and may have been inspired by his friend and future collaborator, Erik Satie. As we have seen, Picabia was among the first to co-opt Satie into Dada, and may have been aware of Vexations, his remarkable composition from 1893, which consists of three lines of music repeated 840 times, a complete performance lasting up to 24 hours. However Vexations remained obscure until 1963, when John Cage organized the first complete performance, and if Picabia knew of the piece at all before the Festival Dada, he may not have heard it. Nonetheless, Satie-esque inspiration can also be inferred from Picabia's unsubtle subtitle Musique sodomiste ('sodomist music'), applied just a few weeks after Picabia praised Satie as the originator of Musique d'ameublement ('furniture music') in issue #3 of Der Dada, published in Berlin in April 1920.

Another likely inspiration was Marcel Duchamp, a close friend of Picabia since 1911. Both men endorsed chance as a component of the creative process, and Duchamp's extraordinary Musical Erratum of 1913 (see below) allowed for a random method of composition utilizing balls, a funnel and a model train. Another method endorsed by Duchamp called for notes to be drawn from a hat. It is possible that Picabia elected to employ composition par hasard for The American Nurse - true Instantanéisme if made up on the spot. Inevitably, Picabia must also have discussed music theory with Ribemont-Dessaignes (see below), with pianist Marguerite Buffet (the sister of his first wife Gabrielle), and perhaps with another fellow French expatriate in New York, Edgard Varèse.

Certainly The American Nurse was intended to provoke rather than to entertain, its anti-art intent emphasized by the Musique sodomiste subtitle. But whether Picabia's artistic intent was truly serious is more difficult to determine. He seems not to have referred to the piece in subsequent writings or interviews, and the suspicion remains that the piece was more in the nature of an ironic, nihilistic prank. Nonetheless, it remains a rare example of Dada music properly so called, and is a perfect aural counterpart for Picabia's oft-quoted Manifeste Cannibale Dada, published in Dadaphone (#7, March 1920).

Although better known as a writer and artist, Montpellier-born Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes (1884-1975) also experimented seriously with music, and his compositions Le Nombril interlope and Danse frontière were both performed at the Salle Gaveau in May 1920. A friend of both Picabia and Duchamp since 1911, Ribemont-Dessaignes produced broadly similar 'mechanomorphic' artworks, as well as contributing to 391, and composing music scores based on chance. The creation of his first musical piece, Pas de la chicorée frisée was influenced by conversations with Duchamp, and described thus by Ribemont-Dessaignes: "Somewhat later on, I was led to make a sort of pocket roulette wheel that had a dial on which notes, semitone by semitone, were written instead of numbers. By noting the results of the spins of the wheel, I had my melody and the necessary duration. It could have gone on forever. So much for the horizontal direction. For the vertical, the very same method determined the choice of the chords."

Pas de la chicorée frisée (the title may be read either as No Curly Chicory or March of the Curly Chicory) was performed for the first time on 27 March 1920 at the Manifestation Dada staged at the Théâtre de l'Oeuvre, with Margueritte Buffet at the piano. Ribemont-Dessaignes stood by as page-turner, and later recalled being "overwhelmed by the unprecedented din that was made up of this terribly dissonant music, and the restlessness, shouts and whistling of the audience, all of which united with a crash of broken glass to give a truly most curious effect."

At the Festival Dada two months later Ribemont-Dessaignes unveiled two new pieces: Le Nombril interlope, which translates as The Shady Navel, and Danse frontière. Sadly none of these experimental works were recorded, and the score for Danse frontière cannot now be traced, while later music from 1921 also appears to be lost. After the collapse of Paris Dada in 1923 Ribemont-Dessaignes threw in with the Surrealists, but like so many others eventually broke with Breton. That his music has not been heard since 1920 is regrettable indeed, since his method of composition was at least as interesting as his friend Duchamp, and certainly more advanced than Picabia.

The three experimental piano pieces by Picabia and Ribemont-Dessaignes featured in the Festival Dada programme on 26 May were performed by pianist Marguerite Buffet. The proceedings closed with Vaseline symphonique by Tristan Tzara, an extended tone poem performed by 20 people, and consisting of the syllables 'cra... cra... cra...' followed by 'cri... cri... cri...', the whole then repeated a semitone or a tone higher, and so on. Ribemont-Dessaignes later recalled of the event: "For lack of rehearsals the presentation left something to be desired… Tristan Tzara, though so expert at breathing life into these affairs, had all the trouble in the world getting his Vaseline symphonique played. Though scarcely very musical, it encountered the open hostility of André Breton, who had a horror of music, and suffered from being reduced to the role of an interpreter.

"However, the public's horror was a joy to behold. The Gaveau family, who attended the Festival, turned deathly pale at hearing the great organs, accustomed to Bach, resound to the rhythm of Le Pélican, a popular fox-trot. During an intermission some young people in the audience went to a butcher shop and bought some veal cutlets, which they later hurled at the performers. Tomatoes splashed down on a big cardboard funnel in which the author of these lines, executing a Danse frontière of his own invention, was hidden. But they also fell elsewhere, and one hit the post of a loge, splashing Mme Gaveau herself. This frenzy left more than one member of the public undecided: was this art, or was it real sacrilege at the expense of a heap of things that were really sacred? The various tones adopted by the press could hardly have enlightened anyone."

No music by Erik Satie was performed at the Festival Dada, nor is there any record that the composer attended the event. His absence was almost certainly because of his fractured relationship with the Littérature faction lead by André Breton, who disliked music generally, and Satie in particular on account of his humorous songs, and links with opportunistic polymath Jean Cocteau. Indeed when Tzara first arrived in Paris in January 1920, Breton had warned him against making contact with Satie for this very reason, a slight the composer would not forget. In any event, Satie's interest in Dada was rooted in a more general interest in modernism and the avant-garde, rather than a particular commitment to the volatile Dada creed. Certainly Satie signed no manifestos, and appeared in no group photographs. It is worth noting that no Satie music from 1922 survives. Whether the composer was too busy with Dada and other literary activities to write music, or whether Dada disguised a dry period, must remain a matter of conjecture.

Also worth noting is the fact that Tzara, Ribemont-Dessaignes and others disrupted an intonarumori performance by Futurist brothers Luigi and Antonio Russolo at the Théâtre des Champs Elysées in June 1921. Ribemont-Dessaignes described the incident thus: "The Italian bruitistes, led by Marinetti, were giving a performance of works written for their new instruments. These works were pale, insipid and melodious in spite of Russolo's noise-music, and the Dadaists who attended did not fail to express their feelings - and very loudly. Marinetti asked indulgence for Russolo, who had been wounded in the war and had undergone a serious operation on his skull. This moved the Dadaists to demonstrate violently how little impressed they were by a reference to the war." Some accounts state that the Dada faction was forcibly removed; whether Satie was also present at this event is unknown.

A month earlier, on 24 May 1921, Satie's absurdist 'lyric comedy' Le Piège de Méduse was given a belated public premiere at the Théâtre Michel. Described as 'seven tiny dances for Jonas the Monkey', Le Piège de Méduse (or Medusa's Trap) dated from 1913 and consists of (1) Quadrille; (2) Valse; (3) Pas vite; (4) Mazurka; (5) Un peu vif; (6) Polka; (7) Quadrille. The music lasts for less than four minutes, and was originally intended to be performed on a prepared piano, with sheets of paper inserted between the hammers and strings. The event was organized by the actor Pierre Bertin, and also included amiable fox-trots by two members of Les Six, the loose, youthful avant-garde grouping sponsored by Cocteau and Satie the previous year. Darius Milhaud contributed Caramel Mou (Soft Caramel), a shimmy dedicated to his friend Georges Auric, while Auric himself provided incidental music for a one-act play by Raymond Radiguet. This may well have been the same fox-trot published as Adieu, New York, composed by Auric between 1919 and 1920 and dedicated to Jean Cocteau. However, Ribemont-Dessaignes indicates that a popular fox-trot of 1919, Le Pélican, was performed on the Salle Gaveau organ at the Festival Dada in May 1920. In view of this ambiguity both pieces are included on this CD.

Milhaud later recalled of the Bertin soirée at the Théâtre Michel: "Shows of this kind, so variegated in character, were excellent training for us, enabling us to experiment in all sorts of techniques and to strive constantly after new forms of expression." While hardly an anti-art Dada event, two years later, and at the very same venue, much of this repertoire would be recycled by Satie for Tzara's notorious Soirée du Coeur à Barbe.

But that is to jump ahead. Towards the end of 1921 a schism developed between Tzara and the proto-Surrealist faction lead by Breton. Tzara was a Dada original, having co-founded the Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich in 1916, and edited the journal Dada. In February 1922 Breton attempted to wrest control of the movement, dismissing Tzara as a "publicity-hungry imposter" and announcing a formal Congress to determine the parameters and direction of Dada. In what may have been a gesture towards neutrality, Satie was proposed as chairman, although the composer soon sided with Tzara, and dismissed the Littérature faction as "faux-Dadas". Beset by infighting, the First Dada Congress of Paris never took place, and Satie instead presided over the public 'trial' of Breton, held at the Closerie des Lilas restaurant in Montparnasse on 17 February.

To some at the centre of this power-play, Satie seemed merely a pawn. Breton wrote to Picabia: "Satie's case is extraordinary, which much result from his great 'friendship' for Auric and especially Cocteau. Satie is a man with whom one does not trifle! This old artist is sly and sharp - at least, that's what he thinks of himself, but I think the opposite! The man is very sensitive, proud, truly a sad child, whom alcohol sometimes renders optimistic. He's a good friend whom I dearly love. Tzara doubtless wants to use him as a standard-bearer (for a white flag), but Satie will be happy to return to us..."

However Satie had no intention of switching allegiances, and in April 1922 contributed further extracts from his Mammal's Notebooks to a one-off publication by Tzara, Le Coeur à Barbe (The Bearded Heart), which also featured works by Duchamp and Ribemont-Dessaignes. Had Satie's involvement with Dada ceased at this point, it would be tempting to equate his spell astride the Dada hobby-horse with his brief Rosicrucian diversion in 1892. However, Satie would return to share a stage with Tzara in July 1923, participating an infamous art-riot every bit as scandalous as any Futurist serata, or the premiere of The Rite of Spring in 1913 - or his own work Parade in 1917, in respect of which Apollinaire had coined the term sur-real.

On 6 July 1923 Tzara staged the Soirée du Coeur à Barbe at the Théâtre Michel, a miscellaneous multi-media bill featuring a performance of his play Le Couer à gaz (The Gas-Operated Heart), as well as poetry by Apollinaire, Eluard, Soupault and Cocteau, spoken contributions from Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes and Pierre de Massot, modern dance, and abstract films by Man Ray, Hans Richter and Charles Sheeler. Tzara had asked Satie to arrange the musical element of the programme, but in a letter to Tzara on 29 June the composer warned that it was already "much too late to reach an agreement with musicians" and urged him to 'give up the musical section - which, anyhow, is of only limited interest'. Tzara declined to postpone the event, and Satie's selections betray haste and compromise. In addition to his own Trois Morceaux en forme de poire, written in 1903 as a riposte to Debussy, Satie resurrected the fox-trots by Darius Milhaud and Georges Auric performed at the Théâtre Michel two years previously. This distinctly faux-Dada selection was completed by Trois pièces faciles à quatre mains by Igor Stravinsky, written in 1917. Stravinsky had of course earlier scandalized Paris with The Rite of Spring, premiered in May 1913.

Far more sedate than the challenging works by Picabia and Ribemont-Dessaignes presented at the Festival Dada, these selections by Auric, Milhaud and Stravinksy were performed during the first part of the programme by the celebrated pianist Marcelle Meyer (1857-1958), wife of Pierre Bertin. Later Satie himself performed the four-hand Trois Morceaux en forme de poire together with Meyer, whose own availability and repertoire may explain the choice of music performed. It is worth noting that Meyer was said to be Satie's favourite pianist, and was also pictured with Le Groupe de Six in the well known painting of the same name from 1922 by Jacques-Emile Blanche. This CD closes with a restored 1925 recording by Meyer of Rag-Time by Stravinsky (written in 1918), which is as close as we can get to hearing how the music performed at the Théâtre Michel on 6 July 1923 might have sounded.

Famously, the Soirée du Coeur à Barbe degenerated into factional brawling. During the second half Tzara's play Le Couer à gaz provoked several clashes, Breton leaping onstage to assault Pierre de Massot with a cane, while Paul Eluard set about Tzara and René Crevel. Picasso was pronounced "dead on the field of honour", thus provoking further clashes. Much bitterness ensued, not least after Breton accused Tzara of having "peached" and called on the police to intervene, a claim repeated in his novel Nadja. The police forcibly ejected Breton, Eluard, Benjamin Péret and Robert Desnos, to shouts of "Murderers!" and "Get out!" Satie was due to participate in a second soirée the following evening, but decided to withdraw, writing to Tzara: "Cher ami - impossible this evening... I like you a lot, but I don't like Breton and the others."

In any event, the second show was cancelled by the management of the Théâtre Michel. Although this cancellation effectively marked the end of Dada in Paris, however, Satie and Tzara remained on good terms. Later Picabia too would break with the Surrealist clique, Breton and company having disrupted the 15 June 1924 performance of the ballet Mercure, scored by Satie with décor by Picasso, at which their shouts of "Bravo Picasso!" and "Down with Satie!" once more required police intervention. The final collaboration between Picabia and Satie followed in December 1924, being their 'Instantanéist' ballet Relâche.

Generally remembered today as the leader of Surrealist groups in Belgium and London, E.L.T. Mesens (1903-1971) began his creative career as a musician and composer. Born in Brussels, Edouard Léon Théodore Mesens enrolled at the Brussels Conservatory in 1919, and met Erik Satie for the first time in April 1921, when Satie visited the Belgian capital to give a lecture on Les Six. Mesens played his own piano compositions to Satie, who in turn offered irregular but constructive advice. The work of Satie came as a revelation to Mesens, who later recalled: "Thanks to the work of Satie my first personal revolution was accomplished. Goodbye sentimental love of the Flemish land; goodbye impressionist harmonies; goodbye schmaltzy humanitarian poets!"

Included on this CD are three of Mesens' Vier Composities voor Klavier (Four Pieces for Piano), written and compiled between 1920 and 1921. These are: (I) For Herman Teirlinck (October 1920), (II) For Theo van Doesburg (November 1920) and (IV) For Erik Satie (February 1921). To date, the score for piece (III) has not been traced. As well as founding De Stijl in Holland, Theo Van Doesburg was an enthusiastic advocate of Dada, and his wife Nelly (aka Petro) an accomplished interpreter of modern piano repertoire. Indeed the Ribemont-Dessaignes scores used for the recordings on this CD were located in the Van Doesburg archives. Nelly Van Doesburg's work is explored more fully on the CD Repertoire De Stijl/Bauhaus/Dada (LTMCD 2495).

Mesens afterwards visited Satie in Paris in December 1921, and was introduced to key Dada figures including Tzara, Ribemont-Dessaignes, Soupault, Duchamp, Man Ray and others. Indeed Man Ray designed a cover for the score of Garage, a ragtime setting of a poem by Soupault. Other works include Défence de pleurer and En l'honneur du mariage de René Magritte, both of which date from 1922. Curiously, in about 1923 Mesens abandoned composition altogether, citing only 'moral' reasons, although his friend George Melly has suggested that Mesens admitted lacking 'mathematical' aptitude, and that his father refused to continue funding his musical studies. Mesens' alignment with Surrealism and Breton after 1923 may also have influenced this decision. In 1925 Mesens and compatriot René Magritte produced a single issue of the journal Œsophage (Période), which included poems by Tzara, Arp and Ribemont-Dessaignes. Mesens later co-organized the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936, ran the London Gallery from 1938 to 1952, and edited the London Bulletin, the most important English-language Surrealist periodical. Biographies were published in 1997 and 1998.

Born near Blainville, France, Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) is recognized as a leading artist and theorist of the 20th Century. After early experiments with traditional styles and Cubism, Duchamp abandoned orthodox forms and techniques, and in 1915 relocated to New York. There he worked on provocative 'readymade' artworks such as Fountain (1917), a porcelain urinal signed R. Mutt, and promoted avant-gardism and Dada together with Picabia and Man Ray.

Duchamp produced relatively few paintings, the best known being Nu descendant un éscalier (Nude Descending a Staircase) from 1912. The large glass, La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même (The bride stripped bare by her batchelors, even) evolved between 1915 and 1923. Other notable works include 3 Standard Stoppages (1913-14), L.H.O.O.Q (1919) and the installation Etant Donnés (1946-66). Much of Duchamp's work, and his influence as a theorist, is in the sphere of the abstract and conceptual. His pioneering achievement was to identify the important of context and 'appointment' for the evaluation (and marketing) of a work of art: "The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution."

While not a composer in any conventional sense, Duchamp conceived two pieces of music. Both are titled Erratum Musical (or Musical Erratum), and both appear to have been written in 1913. The first was a short vocal piece, to be sung by Duchamp and his younger sisters Yvonne and Magdeleine (musicians both), composed par hasard. Duchamp included a facsimile of the single-page score in The Green Box (1934), describing the creative act thus: "Each one of us drew as many notes out of a hat as there were syllables in the dictionary definition of the word: imprimer, picked by chance." Given that the title Musical Erratum may be construed to mean 'correction to a printed musical text', the choice of the verb imprimer (to print) offers a typically flippant pun. The version included on this CD is performed on piano, and is based on the Green Box score rather than a random draw. The four component parts are: (1) Yvonne; (2) Magdeleine; (3) Marcel; (4) all three together.

Sub-titled La Mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même, Duchamp's second Musical Erratum of 1913 was a far more complex and open-ended work, explored more fully on the LTM Duchamp CD Musical Erratum + In Conversation (LTMCD 2504). As noted above, his friends Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes and Francis Picabia also produced music using chance as a compositional tool, and this remarkable repertoire may be considered the true music of Paris Dada. However, to date none of these artists have gained entry to the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, and it is the work of a 'proper' composer, the visionary Erik Satie, that better reflects the wit and humour of the Dada movement, with the added benefit of being infinitely more listenable.

James Hayward