Crucial compilation of David Tudor's most historic performances of avant-garde and minimalist piano compositions, featuring works by these composers: John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, Sylvano Bussotti. Mostly seminal recordings from the mid-50s, total date range of 1955-1963. Includes "Music For Piano 21-36", "Variations 1", "Variations II", "Winter Music", "Piece For Four Pianos" (including performance by Feldman), etc. Essential document. "David Tudor, pianist -- a profession, a vocation, a life. From 1950 until around 1965, David Tudor was the epitome of the pianist who could simply play anything. In fact, David Tudor was no longer a name, but an indication for instrumentation as dozens of pieces were written 'for David Tudor.' As early as 1960, after having conquered all of the challenges posed by serial piano music, Tudor began to differentiate between composers who filled him with life and those who left him cold -- the focus of his repertory became crystallized.
The main criterion for his choices were shaped by the part he would play as interpreter in the composition. He distinguished carefully between having a free choice among prefabricated parts -- generally called aleatoric, as for example, Stockhausen's 'Klavierstück XI' (dedicated, as his 'Klavierstücke V-VIII', to Tudor) -- and indeterminate actions. In the first case, they have a tendency to 'put me to sleep,' whereby pieces that are less limiting led him to say, 'I feel that I'm alive in every part of my consciousness.' The program of these CDs portrays these distinctions." --Frank Hilberg