Dieter Roth ‘Die Radio Sonate’

Die Radio Sonate LP frontDieter Roth portrait by Richard Hamilton, 1998Dieter Roth 'Wer War Mozart' artist book (1971)Die Radio Sonate label

Die Radio Sonate (42:35)

CD-R published by Dieter Roth Estate, Seedy CDs and Boekie Woekie, 2006 [mp3 from Virtual Circuit]

The sound file for this comes from a welcome CD-R reissue of these infamous talkative piano improvisations recorded by Dieter Roth (1930-1998) in a German radio studio in 1977. It was originally released as an LP in 1978 by Edition Lebeer-Hossmann (Brüssels/Hamburg) and Edition Hansjörg Mayer, Stuttgart, Germany, The original black and white LP cover had the words ‘adio Sonate’ handwritten with felt pen, either in green or red. The letter ‘R’ was printed, so that the release is sometimes called ‘The R adio Sonate’, though disc’s label states ‘Radio-Sonate’. Like on several of his other music releases, Dieter Roth is recorded unceremoniously improvising on piano while drinking schnapps and joking with the sound technician. His chair is creaking, he makes a lot of noise with his glass, burps and makes all manner of unwanted noises. European Free Music certainly sounds inhibited and conformist compared to this exhilarating recording. Note: LP cover and label above from original 300 copies LP, as exhibited in Galerie Immanence, Paris, 2008. ‘Wer War Mozart ?’ (Who Was Mozart?) artist book, 1971, from the same exhibition.

[Link removed. Complaint received]

Information from:

  • Dirk Dobbke ‘Dieter Roth: Books and Multiples’,
    Edition Hansjörg Mayer, London, 2004
  • Ursulla Block & Michael Glasmeier ‘Broken Music’,
    DAAD galerie, Berlin, 1989
  • Amsterdam artist bookstore Boekie Woekie release page

8 Responses to “Dieter Roth ‘Die Radio Sonate’”

  1. 1 Matthias September 25, 2009 at 12:22 pm

    this is truly & simply great stuff. diter rot was a genius, and this recording, together with the “selten gehörte musik”, are not just great works of art, they’re a lot of fun too. so if you don’t know it yet, give it a try!

  2. 2 continuo September 25, 2009 at 12:39 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, Matthias.

  3. 3 startlingmoniker September 25, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    Any chance of doing these shares on Mediafire in the future? I have so much less trouble with them, in comparison to some of the other file services.

    Regardless of your answer, thanks for this! It sounds like a very interesting listen.

  4. 4 continuo September 25, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Sharebee is the best I can do. Thanks for dropping by.

  5. 5 LUCKY October 28, 2009 at 8:55 pm


    this is huge!!! as a long time fan of dieter i really appreciate this one!!!

    please have a look at new frank garvey post on sm know anything of him?? a gem.

  6. 6 continuo October 28, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    Hi Lucky. I’ll download the Frank Garvey LP and post a comment later on Sanity Muffins. I trust you if you say it’s a gem! Thanks for dropping by.

  7. 7 maqlcolm green January 25, 2010 at 4:52 pm

    dear continuo,
    I see you are offering Dieter Roth’s “Radio Sonata” on your platform. This is copyright material which has been published in cooperation with Dieter Roth’s estate by Boekie Woekie in Amsterdam and Red Sphinx/Seedy CDs in Heidelberg. Please would you remove this link immediately. Producing this record costs a great many man hours, which are inadequately paid for even by sales. This is idealism, which you are undermining when you give our work away for free. please remove this link now. Thank you
    Malcolm Green

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