I’ve spent countless hours over the years thinking about Andy Warhol’s Art so much so that I’ve not given much thought to the music he liked. This collection of music pieces together tracks from albums which Warhol designed, or was involved with designing the covers for, when cover art was just that, Art. Before hitting the bigtime and the radical highs and lows of The Factory this perhaps might just appear to be a little more sedate in comparison but either way it’s still an opportunity to listen to some truly astonishing music. Sedate or calm it certainly isn’t.
I’m not quite sure whether the music contained here actually inspired Warhol’s art or was simply a vehicle to get his work exposed. From Beethoven to Robert Schumann’s exquisite, Des Abends (In the Evening) from Fantasiestücke, Op. 12, to the smouldering raptures of Franz Liszt, Funérailles passions are always on fire. And like any great collection you’re left with the feeling of wonder and that something may have changed in to your psyche after the experience, even in just a small way.
The second disc has music from George Gershwin, Ravel, and Chopin’s lyrical and beautiful series of Nocturnes and is worth the price of admission alone. This could be a gateway to new sounds for you too, even though they originate from a lifetime ago. Music of this calibre doesn’t age. Or die.
Moving onto the rush of Jazz and the blaze of bright white lights beginning with non-other than Count Basie blasting intensity loud and clear, like tomorrow really depended on it. Numbers also feature the names of Monk and Moondog and the smoky blows of Kenny Burrell completing disc three.
By the time you arrive on the fourth disc allegiances have been switched to what has been titled: Andy’s New York, featuring music from around his time arriving in New York as the steam surrounding the artist began to gather pace. I’m guessing this about context, although minus the sharp pop melodies to dance too. However, you will hear the words of Lenny Bruce, the rumbling bass of Charles Mingus, Morton Feldman’s haunting, exceptional Piece for Four Pianos alongside Bill Evans Trio and the mysterious brilliance of Luciano Berio & Cathy Berberian – Circles. All in all. Wonderful.