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In A Silent Way - John Cage, Morton Feldman / Barbetti, Spinosa


Release Date: 04/14/2009 
Label:  Stradivarius   Catalog #: 33819   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  John CageMorton Feldman
Performer:  Maurizio BarbettiRossella Spinosa
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews



CAGE Nocturne. 1,2 Ophelia. 2 Dream. 1,2 Melodies: No. 5; No. 6. 1,2 8 Whiskus. 1,2 In A Landscape. 2 FELDMAN For Aaron Copland. 1,2 To Philip Guson. 2 Read more The Viola in My Life III 1,2 Maurizio Barbetti (va); 1 Rossella Spinosa (pn) 2 STRADIVARIUS 33819 (53:29)


Think, if you will, of music composed by John Cage and Morton Feldman, and what is your response? Pro or con, it probably doesn’t focus on their lyrical nature. Yet that is precisely what this thoughtfully conceived and exquisitely executed program does. The disc’s title, “In a Silent Way,” puns on the delicate, sotto voce quality of much of the music herein (there are few fortes to be found), and even suggests a tongue-in-cheek association—purely imaginative and metaphorical, mind you, free of any actual musical connection or influence—with that most intimate and lyrical of jazz trumpeters, Miles Davis (“In a Silent Way” was the title of one of his concept-shifting, breakthrough albums).


Alternating between duos and solos for variety, violist Barbetti and pianist Spinosa have selected works of minimal gestures; narrow, but graceful, often modal melodic contours; and frequently contemplative moods. Which is not to suggest that the music is bloodless, or without drama. Actually, there is a great deal of emotion implicit in Cage’s Ophelia , or Feldman’s For Aaron Copland and The Viola in My Life , which move through unfamiliar but recognizable degrees of melodic and harmonic articulation. There are also comforting evocations of medieval music in Cage’s Melodies , and of pastoral Japan in his Dream . (Although, truth to tell, I prefer the original solo piano version to this arrangement of the latter for viola and piano.) I wouldn’t say that this is the album to turn modern-music doubters into devotees, but it does offer a perspective that might soothe and surprise the believer and non-believer alike.


FANFARE: Art Lange
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Works on This Recording

1.
Nocturne for Violin and Piano by John Cage
Performer:  Maurizio Barbetti (Viola), Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1947; USA 
2.
Ophelia by John Cage
Performer:  Maurizio Barbetti (Viola), Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1946; USA 
3.
Dream by John Cage
Performer:  Maurizio Barbetti (Viola), Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
4.
Melodies (6) for Violin and Keyboard: no 5 by John Cage
Performer:  Maurizio Barbetti (Viola), Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; USA 
5.
Melodies (6) for Violin and Keyboard: no 6 by John Cage
Performer:  Maurizio Barbetti (Viola), Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; USA 
6.
Eight Whiskus by John Cage
Performer:  Maurizio Barbetti (Viola), Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USA 
7.
In a Landscape by John Cage
Performer:  Maurizio Barbetti (Viola), Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1948; USA 
8.
For Aaron Copland by Morton Feldman
Performer:  Maurizio Barbetti (Viola), Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981; USA 
9.
For Philip Guston: Piano Piece by Morton Feldman
Performer:  Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1984; USA 
10.
The Viola in my Life no 3 by Morton Feldman
Performer:  Maurizio Barbetti (Viola), Rossella Spinosa (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1970; USA 

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