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Cage: Works For Percussion Vol 3 - Four 4 / Amadinda

Release Date: 02/27/2001 
Label:  Hungaroton   Catalog #: 31846   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  John Cage
Performer:  Károly BojtosAurél HollóZoltán RáczZoltan Vaczi
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 12 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

Four4 (or rather, four to the fourth power--a symbol that this computer won't duplicate, so see the album art for the correct expression) is a single, 72-minute piece written for Hungary's Amadinda Percussion Group, which is in the middle of a complete Cage cycle for Hungaroton. Cage's fourth composition for four musicians, this 1991 piece was written to fill up an entire CD. As with so many of his works, much is left up to the artists' discretion in terms of when to sound certain notes and how long to sustain them. Unlike other Cage pieces--which perhaps are most easily grasped and savored in small amounts--this disc is simply one track long. Four4's background is an enormous blank field of white-canvas silence from which sound Read more occasionally bubbles up--a gong here, a wash of cymbals there, and many unknown instruments in between. (A complete list of instruments used would be fascinating to see.)

The Amadinda players execute Four4 masterfully in this world-premiere recording. If you share or appreciate Cage's aesthetic sensibilities, then this is a must-have both for its repertoire and performances. If, on the other hand, you're unsure about your feelings toward Cage--and if an all-white room would drive you crazy--you're better off looking elsewhere. This piece probably won't be for you.

Audio quality is another matter. The "silence" on which Cage's sounds are imprinted isn't silent at all. There's an inexcusable amount of high-end sizzle, most prevalent when you turn up the volume--which is entirely necessary for the quieter music. Hungaroton's recording is largely inaudible on either of my stereos when levels are set anywhere below about 90 percent capacity (for example, 28 on a system whose loudest level is 30). Turning up the volume has its downside, however: much of Four4, when audible, really alarms cats, as I have had ample opportunity to discover. Be forewarned.
--Anastasia Tsioulcas, ClassicsToday.com Read less

Works on This Recording

Four 4 by John Cage
Performer:  Károly Bojtos (Percussion), Aurél Holló (Percussion), Zoltán Rácz (Percussion),
Zoltan Vaczi (Percussion)
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Amadinda Percussion Ensemble
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1991; USA 
Date of Recording: 03/2000 
Venue:  Hungaroton Studio 
Length: 72 Minutes 0 Secs. 

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