Walter Carlos ‎– Switched-On Bach II

CBS ‎– 65974, CBS ‎– S 65974, CBS ‎– KM 32659
Vinyl, LP, Album


Selections From Suite No. 2 In B Minor, BWV 1067
A1.1 Badinerie 1:25
A1.2 Minuet 1:20
A1.3 Bourrée 1:40
A2 Two-Part Invention In A Minor, BWV 784 1:20
A3 Two-Part Invention In A Major, BWV 783 1:10
A4 Sheep May Safely Graze From "Cantata No. 208", BWV 208 5:00
Suite From Anna Magdelena Notebook
A5.1 Musette In D Major, Anh. 216 1:10
A5.2 Minuet In G Major, Anh. 114 1:40
A5.3 Bist Du Bei Mir, BWV 508 2:15
A5.4 Marche In D Major, Anh. 122 1:00
Brandenburg Concerto No. 5 In D Major, BWV 1050
B1 Allegro 10:45
B2 Affettuoso 5:35
B3 Allegro 4:50

Companies, etc.



Catalog# on sleeve: 65974
Catalog# on labels: S 65974 (KM 32659)

Track A3: Incorrectly listed as "A Minor" on labels, and correctly listed as "A Major" on sleeve.

A Tempi Production.

Liner Notes:
Walter Carlos and I met formally in 1965, three years before the release of Switched-On Bach. At that time, Walter was a recording engineer and tape editor at a large New York studio. He had completed graduate studies in classical electronic music studio technique with Vladimir Ussachevsky at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center in New York City. Here, he learned the basic techniques of electronic sound generation and processing, and musical manipulation and assembly of sounds on a magnetic tape. His graduate work included original tape compositions, some of which had been played in public concerts and were well known among the (then) small circle of electronic music devotees, and have subsequently been released on records.

Carlos heard of the modular electronic music instruments that we had developed a short time before and initiated correspondence that led to our first formal meeting. We talked about many aspects of electronic music hardware and composition techniques, and I remember being amazed at how thoroughly Walter understood the musical application of instruments that, for him, then existed only on paper. His initial purchase included some instruments that we designed and built to his specifications.

From then on, we met or talked frequently. Over the months and years that followed, Carlos explored the technical and musical subtleties of his instruments. He often suggested features and modifications that would increase the instruments' capabilities and improve their operation. He demanded the highest level of sound quality and musical accuracy. We frequently discussed new types of instruments and then collaborated on the details of their design. My associates and I translated these ideas into hardware, and Walter put them to the test. The Moog 1967 catalog lists many modules with features that he first suggested. This same catalog also listed several "synthesizers"–integrated systems of voltage-controlled modular instruments for electronic music composition and performance.

Soon after Carlos began working with his new instruments, he started to assemble his own studio. With the help of his friend Bob Schwarz, he designed and built a simple, yet elegant, mixing board. He built his 8-track recorder from a refurbished tape deck and a hefty pile of surplus parts. The completed studio, fitting neatly into one corner of Carlos' living room, consisted of his synthesizer, mixing board, 8-track recorder, and a few "store bought" pieces of professional studio equipment. It is significant that this studio, which could easily have developed into a cranky, haywire assemblage, emerged instead as an efficient, professional, musically-oriented facility. Using this studio, Carlos, with the assistance of Rachel Elkind and Benjamin Folkman, produced the master tape for Switched-On Bach.

To appreciate the historical significance of Switched-On Bach, one must remember that in 1968 most people thought that electronic music was an avant garde endeavor that had little connection with traditional musical values. Commercial musicians generally felt that the electronic medium in general, and synthesizers in particular, had no place in the production of high quality music of wide appeal. Walter knew better. He understood that the alleged limitations of the electronic music medium could be overcome by the application of technique and discretion. His control over the equipment increased rapidly as he developed a repertoire of techniques and procedures for converting technical function into musical material. As Switched-On Bach neared completion, excitement ran high among Walter's friends and professional associates. We were literally witnessing a breakthrough! Guided by his own insight and integrity, Walter had achieved the seemingly impossible. He had produced high quality music in his studio, with only electronic instruments.

I remember the first public playing of Switched-On Bach, about a month before the formal release of the album. It was at the Electronic Music session of the Audio Engineering Society Convention, October 1968. I had presented a paper on "Recent Trends in Electronic Music Studio Design." After describing Walter's studio, I illustrated the points I had made by playing the Third Movement of the Brandenburg Concerto No. 3. The audience of several hundred audio engineers, music producers, and technicians gave Carlos an enthusiastic, emotional ovation, an uncommon response from those critical professionals.

The universal success of Switched-On Bach is now well known. It is the largest-selling classical album of recent times. Throughout the world, far more people know of electronic music and the synthesizer through Switched-On Bach than through any other musical endeavor. But Carlos did more than popularize a medium and an instrument. He set definitive artistic and technical standards, which in the long run have been of paramount importance in promoting electronic music and the synthesizer.

Each of Walter's works after Switched-On Bach is another milestone. He has invented tone colors, mastered new pieces of equipment, refined his control over balance and ambience. The delicacy of The Well-Tempered Synthesizer, the drama of the Clockwork Orange score, the scintillating complexity of Sonic Seasonings, have all redefined the boundaries of the electronic music medium. As a listener and as a musical instrument designer, I eagerly looked forward to every new album by Walter Carlos.

℗ 1973 CBS, Inc.

Made in England.

Shorepak by Shorewood Packaging Co. Ltd., England.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Matrix / Runout (Side A, Label): S 65974 A
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B, Label): S 65974 B
  • Matrix / Runout (Side A, Runout, Stamped): S 65974 A1
  • Matrix / Runout (Side B, Runout, Stamped): S 65974 B1

Other Versions (5 of 27) View All

Cat# Artist Title (Format) Label Cat# Country Year
KM 32659 Walter Carlos Switched-On Bach II(LP, Album) Columbia Masterworks KM 32659 US 1973 Sell This Version
KM 32659 Walter Carlos, Bach* Walter Carlos, Bach* - Switched-On Bach II(LP, Album) Columbia Masterworks KM 32659 US 1973 Sell This Version
65974, S 65974, KM 32659 Walter Carlos Switched-On Bach II(LP, Album, RE) CBS, CBS, CBS 65974, S 65974, KM 32659 UK Unknown Sell This Version
65974 Walter Carlos Switched-On Bach II(LP, Album) CBS 65974 Italy 1974 Sell This Version
S 65974 Walter Carlos Switched-On Bach II(LP, Album) CBS S 65974 Europe 1974 Sell This Version