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La Monte Young

The Well-Tuned Piano 81 X 25 (Gramavision 18-8701)


FANFARE November/December 1987

The Want List 1987, Kyle Gann:

The first choice is clear. I'm confident that La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano will receive little competition as the most important and beautiful new work recorded in the 1980s. Young's achievement is unique, the recording a technological triumph.

FANFARE November/December 1987

The Want List 1987, Edward Strickland:

Three discs stand out as I skim through the shelves, all of them music of great meditative and melancholy force, all well recorded and available on CD. La Monte Young's marathon Well-Tuned Piano is one of the greatest anomalies of the solo keyboard repertoire, like the Sorabji Opus Clavicembalisticum. Young has let this work unfold for over two decades while his uncompromising dedication has kept him in discographic obscurity. You don't have five hours to listen? Call in sick today. Skip a night's sleep.

THE NEW YORK TIMES December 27, 1987

Jazz Milestones and Rock Pioneers, Robert Palmer:

Here are 10 very personal favorites among the year's albums:

La Monte Young, The Well-Tuned Piano, (Gramavision)

The La Monte Young and Ornette Coleman albums are watershed events, not just in the careers of two vitally important artists but in the development of late 20th-century music.

THE NEW YORK TIMES December 27, 1987


In the realm of the overtly contemporary, La Monte Young's throbbingly mystical The Well-Tuned Piano (Gramavision 18-8701, five disks)


'87 a classical gas on CD, Alan Rich:

It was the best of all times or close enough, anyhow for serious record collectors this year. Here are some of 1987's memorable newer recordings:

Young: The Well-Tuned Piano: played by La Monte Young; Gramavision (five discs). It lasts five hours; it is played on a piano tuned to the ancient system known as Just Intonation so that the notes and harmonies always sound a little off by what we're used to; the fanciful titles of some of the sections are truly wacko. But, believe me, this is a piece of amazing depth and beauty, music that roars, caresses, exults, whispers and, yes, sings. This is the first major recording by one of America's true musical pioneers, and it makes up for lost time.

PULSE MAGAZINE December 1987

The New Age Christmas Shopping List: Top 25 Albums of 1987, Lee Underwood:

La Monte Young The Well-Tuned Piano (Gramavision/49.98 5-lp list). Five album boxed set (also CD & Cass); improvised acoustic piano tuned to natural harmonics. Demanding and rewarding. A contemporary classical masterpiece.

WNYC-FM NEW SOUNDS January 3, 1988

1987's best new music releases, John Schaefer:

We're going to hear eleven recordings and that is because there is one release that I didn't actually put anywhere on the top ten list for this year because it really seems to be a special case. I wanted to mention it specially because it is such a remarkable feat both musically and in terms of the recording. It's something that I feel is really a remarkable release, a one of a kind release and perhaps unlike anything else that has ever been issued in a recorded form. It is La Monte Young's mammoth piece The Well-Tuned Piano. It is a very important musical document. It is certainly one of the most unusual releases and one of the most important releases of the past twelve months and perhaps one of the most important releases of the decade in the new music field.