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Stephen Drury|Cage: The Piano Concertos

Cage: The Piano Concertos

Charles Peltz, Callithumpian Consort, Stephen Drury

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The Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra is one of Cage's most delicate works. The orchestra is treated as a group of soloists throughout, and for the most part operate with a small set of pitches and timbres, but is extended by a large array of percussion instruments played by four players. The piano, played by the superb contemporary piano interpreter Stephen Drury, weaves between the orchestral sonorities, rarely taking extended solos, as the piece becomes progressively more sparse until it tapers into silence at the end. The Concert for Piano and Orchestra, although only written six years after the prepared piano concerto, has a completely different emphasis. Whereas the Concerto is completely composed, the Concert is a collection of parts which may be put together in any combination for any length of time. New music pioneer David Tudor, in his last recorded piano performance, plays electronics as well as the piano in this scintillating performance. Sonic gestures from the entire orchestral palette accompany Tudor's interpretations of Cage's experimental and beautifully artistic notations. Fourteen is from Cage's last years and is one of his 'number pieces,' so called based on the number of performers. The number pieces generally are completely notated in terms of pitch, but the durations are specified within time brackets, and the dynamics almost always very quiet. Most unusually, the piano keyboard is not played at all, but the piano (again played by Drury, who directs the ensemble here as well) is bowed using nylon fishing line, resulting in a quiet, shimmering piece, mostly for bowed piano solo, but occasionally colored by other instruments.
© Caleb Deupree /TiVo

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Cage: The Piano Concertos

Stephen Drury

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Concerto for Prepared Piano & Chamber Orchestra (John Cage)

1
I. —
Stephen Drury
00:09:12

John Cage, Composer - Callithumpian Consort, Ensemble - Stephen Drury, Artist, MainArtist - Charles Peltz, Conductor

(C) 1997 Mode Records (P) 1997 Mode Records

2
II. —
Stephen Drury
00:09:30

John Cage, Composer - Callithumpian Consort, Ensemble - Stephen Drury, Artist, MainArtist - Charles Peltz, Conductor

(C) 1997 Mode Records (P) 1997 Mode Records

3
III. —
Stephen Drury
00:05:05

John Cage, Composer - Callithumpian Consort, Ensemble - Stephen Drury, Artist, MainArtist - Charles Peltz, Conductor

(C) 1997 Mode Records (P) 1997 Mode Records

Concert For Piano And Orchestra (John Cage)

4
Concert for Piano and Orchestra
David Tudor
00:30:05

Ingo MetzmacHer, Conductor - David Tudor, Artist, MainArtist - John Cage, Composer - Ensemble Modern, Orchestra

(C) 1997 Mode Records (P) 1997 Mode Records

Fourteen (John Cage)

5
Fourteen
Stephen Drury
00:20:00

John Cage, Composer - Callithumpian Consort, Ensemble - Stephen Drury, Artist, MainArtist

(C) 1997 Mode Records (P) 1997 Mode Records

Album Description

The Concerto for Prepared Piano and Orchestra is one of Cage's most delicate works. The orchestra is treated as a group of soloists throughout, and for the most part operate with a small set of pitches and timbres, but is extended by a large array of percussion instruments played by four players. The piano, played by the superb contemporary piano interpreter Stephen Drury, weaves between the orchestral sonorities, rarely taking extended solos, as the piece becomes progressively more sparse until it tapers into silence at the end. The Concert for Piano and Orchestra, although only written six years after the prepared piano concerto, has a completely different emphasis. Whereas the Concerto is completely composed, the Concert is a collection of parts which may be put together in any combination for any length of time. New music pioneer David Tudor, in his last recorded piano performance, plays electronics as well as the piano in this scintillating performance. Sonic gestures from the entire orchestral palette accompany Tudor's interpretations of Cage's experimental and beautifully artistic notations. Fourteen is from Cage's last years and is one of his 'number pieces,' so called based on the number of performers. The number pieces generally are completely notated in terms of pitch, but the durations are specified within time brackets, and the dynamics almost always very quiet. Most unusually, the piano keyboard is not played at all, but the piano (again played by Drury, who directs the ensemble here as well) is bowed using nylon fishing line, resulting in a quiet, shimmering piece, mostly for bowed piano solo, but occasionally colored by other instruments.
© Caleb Deupree /TiVo

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