Drive-In Saturday:
The Revolving Doors of Perception
Tableaux Vivants? "Art!"
Tableaux Vivants It? "Now!"

Sweet Outlandish Liberty

For Independence Day, some paisley patriotism.

Virgil Fox (1912 - 1980), the Bach-tripping organ king of the '70s from whom it seems Prince learned all he knows of sartorial restraint, performs Charles Ives' Variations on "America", written ca. 1891 when the composer was a church organist of 17.  Ives premiered the piece, appropriately, in a recital for the Fourth of July, after which it lay unpublished for nearly six decades until 1949.

Play it Loud is my advice.  

And may this be as "Safe and Sane" as your holiday gets.

In his heyday, a number of Virgil Fox's recordings were issued on the Westminster Gold label, which was perhaps better known for its eccentric, sometimes semi-scandalous cover art than for the recordings themselves.  

Fox's covers were relatively restrained

On top of Bach

in comparison to some of the alternatives, such as this,

Westminster nachtmusik

or such as that,

Westminster planets

or such as this other.

Westminster walkure

Ah! the naive charm, and ample white space, of hotshot '70s graphic design.  I rather miss it.  I suspect many an Impressionable Young Person was lured to the classical bins by these covers to browse and to, er, expand the old cultural horizons a bit.  

A largely complete archive of Westminster Gold cover art can be examined at your leisure here.



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