Personnel: Irvine Arditti (violin); Mayumi Miyata (sho); Stephen Drury (piano).
These two magnificent versions of John Cage's late duo work Two4, one with the Japanese sho (mouth organ), the other the piano, both feature the exceptional talents of violinist Irvine Arditti. Apart from mastering a range of microtonal inflections, the piece doesn't stretch him technically the way that a Ferneyhough or Xenakis work would, but its difficulties are subtler and no less challenging: Stephen Drury's excellent notes are some the clearest out there, with their lucid explanation of the nuances of Cage's time-bracket notation. The violin's sustained tones -- sul ponticello and without vibrato -- are crystalline and slightly jarring, and meld with the sho and the piano in radically different ways, and yet the "identity" (Cage's term) of the piece is clearly preserved in both versions. This is fantastically beautiful music performed with loving care and attention -- quiet and restrained as ever, though quite distinct from the hushed carpet weaving of Morton Feldman, to which it has often been somewhat unjustly compared. Another fine addition to Mode's ongoing Cage collection. ~ Dan Warburton
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Works DetailsCage, John : Two 4 for Violin and Piano/Sho
- Performers: Mayumi Miyata (Sho); Irvine Arditti (Violin)
- Running Time: 30 min. 16 sec.
- Period Time: Modern
- Written: 1991