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John Cage

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Détails sur le produit

  • Interprète: Meyer Piano Duo, Pestova
  • Compositeur: John Cage
  • CD (3 mars 2014)
  • Nombre de disques: 1
  • Label: Naxos
  • ASIN : B00IOUPLF2
  • Autres éditions : CD
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Descriptions du produit

John Cage's practicality transformed the piano into a full percussion orchestra and a workbench for sonic experiment. Three Dances is one of his most ambitious works for prepared piano, often involving spectacular virtuosity and exciting wildness of texture and color reminiscent of Balinese gamelan. Striking a balance, Music for Two includes bowed piano techniques to create shifting tapestries of subtle expression, making for some of the most exquisite and moving chamber music of the late 20th century. This is the second of a three volume series, Volume 1 of which can be found on Naxos 8.559726.

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Two Pioneering Works for Two 3 mai 2014
Par Dr. Debra Jan Bibel - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
When thinking about classical composers who developed a body of instruments for their new timbre, Harry Partch and Lou Harrison come to mind, but when regarding the orchestral nature of the piano, John Cage and his various preparations must, of course, be included. Stick tacks on the felt hammers and, lo!, a quasi harpsichord; use blocks and pieces of metal for other percussive effects and a piano can be transformed into a gamelan -- whose Western-adapted music was under development in California when Cage was in residence. In the continuing series by Naxos of Cage's compositions for piano, this second volume for two keyboards offers two extensive works separated by four decades. His Three Dances from 1945 were from his pioneering days and was his first musician-commissioned work. Thirty-six keys of each piano were fitted with bolts, nuts, screws, pennies, and rubber and plastic pieces. In a fast, slow, frenetic presto movement series, the rhythmic phrasing of normal keys and pitched and unpitched modified tones creates a wild, dramatic but very abstract dance series suggestive of being somewhat Eastern or diffused tribal. [Compared to my 30-year old recording of this work by Pierce and Jonas on Wergo, the new performance by Pestova and Meyer makes the dances truly come alive, thanks to better audio engineering for increased clarity but also for seemingly greater deliberation, indicated by different timing: here, the first movement is taken over a minute longer and the third section is 2.5 minutes longer.]

These difficult works were lead by the 30-minute Music for Two, composed in the mid 1980s. Cage over the interim period had paid more attention to the space between the notes and silences, and anticipations within a greater rhythmic structure opened new vistas for him. Timing was carefully controlled, later involving a stopwatch. His Music for Two (or Three, or Four, or whatever number of instruments in the ensemble) anticipates Terry Riley's In C, where the musicians independently play a series of scores at their own whim, repeating each phrase and sentences as they desired, the combination forming a cohesive whole against a baseline rhythmic note, C. Cage in this earlier work, wrote each instrumental section independently but considered how it would fit together with the other, or others, neither dominating or falling into background. Again, there is musician choice of when to perform a section but the timing within is fixed. Cage included punctuation in the form of chords and silences. Thus, because of willful flexibility, each performance will differ considerably in detailed structure-timing. With extended silences and the quiet piano work, an air of mystery develops. It is minimal music in that it stretches time and emphasizes relationships rather than melody and mood. Cage's colleague Morton Feldman would compose similar pieces. This second album of three for two keyboards thus offers two strikingly different pieces, exciting, loud, percussive dances and a slow, quiet, tedious contemplation. Both are extraordinarily creative, but I prefer the exuberance of the extroverted dances.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Very interesting at least, even now 5 mai 2014
Par Daniel R. Coombs - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
The works for prepared piano by John Cage have always been niche curiosities. Virtually all of Cage's music remains controversial and is still seen as the product of a highly creative and iconoclastic personality writing during some of the country's most turbulent times. However, his many, many piano works do also remain as some of Cage's most "accessible" and easy to listen to scores. This is a very well done volume two of these pieces by the very talented and knowledgeable Xenia Pestova and Pascal Meyer. The Music for Two is the more abstract and static of these two works. It moves very slowly and in hard to anticipate fashion. There are plenty moments of silence - which, for Cage, was a valid and necessary compositional tool - and the chords are at times punctuated utterances and at other times are drawn out through pedals and through bowed interior. The piece is structured aurally vertically but one has to really study Cage to see the horizontal implication. It is a very zen-like sparse sounding work but one that you may find quite intriguing. Cage's Three Dances for prepared pianos is a whole different matter. There is ample forward momentum here and, thanks to Cage's very precise instructions for the prepared interior - which include what types of materials and hardware and even what node on what string to place the objects - the sound is like a Gamelan ensemble. I have always these works among Cage's most interesting and most thought provoking. Cage has created a template score "Music for...." over 1984-1987 and intended the score to be playable as almost any combination of instruments in almost any amount. His "Dances" are part of a series of works that intentionally echo the music of various cultures and are, therefore, sort of inherently captivating. In fact, on first listen you may not realize you are listening to pianos. Whether John Cage (who I had the pleasure of corresponding with a bit many years ago) will be remembered in the history of Western art as a composer or as a theorist/philosopher or not at all is quite a separate discussion. I think this particular disc will definitely appeal to those already aware of his music; these pieces in particular may appeal to a wider collective - in particular the charming and propulsive Three Dances. Pestova and Meyer are strong players with a clear affinity for modern music. I would like to hear more from them!
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A Mixed Bag 14 mai 2014
Par Digital Chips - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: CD
John Cage's music can be difficult to listen to. And many times, that's the point. Cage wanted audiences to be aware of the unspoken assumptions about what music was and how it should be listened to -- or viewed. There's often a strong visual element in his work. Which, I think, is the problem I had with "Music for Two."

It's part of his "Music for ___" series. Cage wrote a part for every instrument, and the composition/performance becomes whatever the combination of instruments are at the time. In this case, it's two prepared pianos. The problem for me is that there's just not a lot going on aurally. I suspect seeing the performances interact and the visual cues provided by them moving from one part of the piano to the other would give me a much richer experience. Musically, it sounds like about five minutes of material spread over a 29-minute track.

By contrast, "Three Dances" more than justified the price of admission. This is Cage at his finest. The prepared pianos sound like sophisticated electronics or exotic percussion instruments, which make these 1945 works seem as if they could have been written yesterday. And Cage's complex rhythmic patterns keep things hopping. This isn't the metronomic regularity of minimalism. Rather, these dances crackle and explode unpredicitably, yet all the while simmering with energy that can only sometimes be contained.

Xenia Pestova and Pascal Meyer perform these works with amazing precision and obvious relish, even if they couldn't quite sell me on the "Music for Two." That track, I'd recommend only to Cage completists. "Three Dances," though, are for everyone. Those pieces (and the Pestova/Meyer Piano Duo's performance) rock.
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