Irmin Schmidt

Can kingpin Irmin Schmidt reveals the first and last records he bought, and one he couldn’t do without


‘Symphony No 8 In B Minor, D 759 (Unfinished)’
(RCA Victor REd Seal, 1961)

“When I was young I sold my electronic toy railway set and bought a record player. I had some money left over from to buy two records, and they were my first: Schubert’s ‘Symphony No. 8’, the ‘Unfinished Symphony’, and ‘La Sacre Du Printemps’ by Stravinsky. The Schubert symphony was just my most favourite piece of music at the time, and I still love it very much.”


The Louisville Orchestra
‘Henry Cowell – Ongaku / Symphony No 11 / Thesis’
(First Edition, 2001)

“I don’t buy records anymore, and I rarely listen to rock or pop. One of the last albums I bought was The Louisville Orchestra playing the works of Henry Cowell. The first piece, ‘Ongaku’, refers to an ancient Japanese music that I studied and Cowell used elements of this ancient Japanese court music in the piece.”


‘La Sacre Du Printemps’
(Columbia Masterworks, 1958)

“My ‘Always’ record is also one of my first. When I first heard ‘La Sacre Du Printemps’ on the radio I didn’t understand it. It was mysterious to me and I wanted to understand it. I bought it and learned it nearly by heart. It’s one of the great masterpieces and, for me, it’s one of the most important pieces of music of the 20th century.”

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