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John Cage - The Seasons / Leng Tan, Russell Davies, et al

Album Summary

>Cage, John : Seventy-Four, for orchestra
>Cage, John : The Seasons, Ballet in One Act, for orchestra
>Cage, John : Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra
>Cage, John : Suite for Toy Piano, for toy piano or piano
>Cage, John : Suite for Toy Piano (orch. by Lou Harrison)
Performers Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
This is an enchanting CD, every item a sheer delight. Margaret Leng Tan worked with Cage in the last decade of his life, and her earlier recordings show a special sympathy for Cage's keyboard music. The second of her New Albion CDs included the piano solo version of The Seasons, and Cage was honest enough to admit to her that he had help from Virgil Thomson and Lou Harrison in making the orchestral version recorded here. The result is Cage at his most poetic, evoking each of the four seasons in lovely changing colours.

There are two realisations of one of the last of what are called Cage's 'Number Pieces', Seventy-Four, written for the American Composers Orchestra a few months before his death in 1992. This seamless garment of sustained sound in two overlapping parts is an immensely moving document from a unique human being at the end of his life. Anyone who responds to the spiritual minimalism of Pärt, Górecki or Tavener will understand, especially in these dedicated performances.

The Concerto for Prepared Piano (1951) takes its rightful place as the major classic for the transformed instrument with orchestra - a status emphasised by this fastidious performance with its delicate sonic tapestry, including discreet radio, all reflecting Cage's absorption with ori- ental philosophy. Tan has recorded the Suite for Toy Piano (1948) before. This time the sound is closer, you can hear her in-breath just before some movements, and we could have done with more precise rhythms. Lou Harrison's orchestration is perfectly in the spirit and makes a fascinating complement - Cage writing memorable tunes! This disc shows that much of Cage has now entered the mainstream and that his music is unique.



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Works Details

>Cage, John : Seventy-Four, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Dennis Davies
  • Ensemble: American Composers Orchestra
  • Running Time: 12 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1992

>Cage, John : The Seasons, Ballet in One Act, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Dennis Davies
  • Ensemble: American Composers Orchestra
  • Running Time: 15 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Ballet
  • Written: 1947

>Cage, John : Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra
  • Performer: Margaret Tan (Piano)
  • Conductor: Dennis Davies
  • Ensemble: American Composers Orchestra
  • Running Time: 20 min. 39 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1951

>Cage, John : Seventy-Four, for orchestra
  • Conductor: Dennis Davies
  • Ensemble: American Composers Orchestra
  • Running Time: 12 min. 15 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1992

>Cage, John : Suite for Toy Piano, for toy piano or piano
  • Performer: Margaret Tan (Toy Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 23 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1948

>Cage, John : Suite for Toy Piano (orch. by Lou Harrison)
  • Performer: Margaret Tan (Piano)
  • Conductor: Dennis Davies
  • Ensemble: American Composers Orchestra
  • Running Time: 6 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1963