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Cage: Works For Percussion Vol 1 / Amadinda Percussion Group


Release Date: 03/01/2000 
Label:  Hungaroton   Catalog #: 31844   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  John Cage
Performer:  Zoltán RáczZoltán KocsisTamás SchlangerGábor Pusztai,   ... 
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

This is the first release in Hungaroton's projected multi-volume collection of the percussion music of John Cage. Though Cage's experiments in sound go back more than 60 years, his ideas about discrete percussive constructions (especially on prepared piano) have only begun to make themselves known--or perhaps have only recently become intelligible, thanks in large measure to the music of his greatest student, Morton Feldman. Quartet (1935), the longest work here, takes several percussion instruments (some of which are unidentifiable but are clearly made of metal) and constructs a mostly rhythmic, very patient four-movement work. No sounds conflict here; there is no chaos. Cage, like Feldman, relies heavily on the spaces between the sounds Read more to help shape the individual notes or chords. Unlike Feldman, though, Cage always provides his music with a distinct forward propulsion. This is true in Trio, which also flirts with Balinese dance rhythms. Imaginary Landscape No. 1 involves percussion, but only as traditional underscoring. Its main tonality (for it's nothing more than a series of ascending tones) is carried by an unidentified--but Theremin-sounding--electronic instrument. Other lines are carried by a prepared piano.


First Construction in Metal and Second Construction employ a wide range of percussive effects such as mallets (padded and unpadded) on interior piano strings, gongs of differing sizes, glass bottles, and steel drums. Double Music is a collaboration between Cage and Lou Harrison, with Harrison's Southwest Asian temperament melding well with Cage's own alien music. The Amadinda Percussion Group seems quite at home with this music (all of it well-rehearsed and polished) and the recorded sound is spacious, if a bit airy. However, this is quite to the advantage of the music, allowing its meditative character to emerge at the appropriate places. In sum, be warned that listening to the whole disc at one sitting is probably not advisable--nor was this music intended to be heard this way. Taken in small doses, the music goes down rather well. [10/15/2000]
--Paul Cook, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

1. Quartet for 4 Percussionists by John Cage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1935; USA 
Notes: Arranger: Zoltán Váczi. 
2. Trio for 3 Percussionists "Suite" by John Cage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; USA 
3. Imaginary Landscape no 1 by John Cage
Performer:  Zoltán Rácz (Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
4. First Construction (in Metal) for 6 Percussionists by John Cage
Performer:  Zoltán Kocsis (Prepared Piano), Tamás Schlanger (Percussion), Gábor Pusztai (Percussion)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1939; USA 
5. Second Construction for 4 Percussionists by John Cage
Performer:  Aurél Holló (Percussion), Zoltán Kocsis (Prepared Piano)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
6. Living Room Music by John Cage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1940; USA 
7. Double Music by John Cage
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1941; USA 
Notes: This work was written in collaboration with Lou Harrison. 

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