Label: New World Records
This double-CD set combines two of the key titles of Columbia Records's
legendary "Music of Our Time" series curated by David Behrman. Jeanne
Kirstein's recording of Cage's early keyboard works remains a touchstone
of Cagean interpretation notwithstanding the passage of time. Christian
Wolff recalls, "I remember Cage saying that Jeanne Kirstein's playing
caught the spirit in which the pieces were written at the time he wrote
them-a kind of simple excitement and enthusiasm (also, surely, out of
the discovery of the preparing of the piano and the great new sounds)."
The seminal 1959 Columbia LP that introduced Morton Feldman's work to the listening public features historic performances that still resonate with passion and conviction more than four decades later. The works maybe divided into three categories: the earlier, precisely notated music (Extensions 1 for Violin and Piano, Extensions 4 for Three Pianos, Two Pieces for Two Pianos, Structures for String Quartet, Three Pieces for String Quartet); the first graphic notation pieces (Intersection 3 for Piano, Projection 4 for Violin and Piano); and the first free durational composition (Piece for Four Pianos).
To quote a prescient critic of the time, "[All eight works are] are full of spots, sparks and spangles of radiant color; a single note becomes an event of epical portent; the final result is to compact hours into seconds with an almost overwhelming intensity and depth of feeling."
John Cage: Two Pieces, Metamorphosis, Bacchanale, The Perilous Night, Tossed As It Is Untroubled, A Valentine Out of Season, Root of an Unfocus, Two Pieces for Piano, Prelude for Meditation, Music for Marcel Duchamp, Suite for Toy Piano, Dream
Morton Feldman: Piece for Four Pianos, Intersection 3 for Piano, Extensions 4 for Three Pianos, Two Pieces for Two Pianos, Projection 4 for Violin and Piano, Structures for String Quartet, Extensions 1 for Violin and Piano, Three Pieces for String Quartet