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  • Cage - Vocal Works
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Cage - Vocal Works CD

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Product Description

HMF 907279; HARMONIA MUNDI - Francia;

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Expertly rendered Cage 21 Jun. 2003
By peter-from-la - Published on
Format: Audio CD
John Cage is known for being a raucous composer, but he had a gentler side as well, and both sides are present on this marvelous recording. It begins with what is the disc's highlight, in my opinion: the remarkable "Litany for the Whale." The longest piece on this disc, it is scored for two voices, and has a call and response structure to it. The two male singers, recorded in a resonant chamber, are given five pitches to sing, one assigned to each letter in the word "whale." This is calm, spare, meditative music, unlike anything in the modern repertoire that I have heard. It is really beautiful.
"Five" is another "quiet" Cage piece. In it five men and women sing wordless, sustained pitches, reminiscent at times of Ligeti's "Lux Aeterna." "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs" is one of my favorite Cage songs. It's a melodic work that features text by James Joyce and has the singer tapping a closed piano, as if a percussion instrument. "Experience #2" is a similar work, melodic and without percussive sounds. A female voice sings a lovely text, penned by ee cummings, which is set off by some lyrical humming as well.
Cage's whackier, more comical side is on display here as well, in the "Arias" and the "Solo for Voice." These voice stretching pieces are fascinating, and expertly rendered here, the electronics integrated in a polished and smooth manner. I can't emphasize enough how entertaining these pieces are.
Paul Hillier's group is ordinarily associated with Renaissance and Baroque era music (as well as music by Arvo Part). It is thrilling to hear these rarefied voices in this avant garde repertoire. More please!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful and stunning.... 18 May 2008
By Grigory's Girl - Published on
Format: Audio CD
I really like this CD. The title track is amongst the most haunting composition I've ever heard. It's a rather long piece (running just over 26 minutes), but it's hypnotic and one of Cage's more beautiful works. The songs The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs, Five, and Experiences No. 2 are quite beautiful. Aria No. 2 is quite strange (with even stranger vocals), but overall it doesn't diminish the work in anyway. Granted, I'm not a Cage expert (I only have a few recordings of his), but I think this is rather good. There had been negative reviews on this thread and others about this CD, but I like it very, very much.
Anxiously Waiting 15 Feb. 2013
By merrilyn holloway - Published on
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have not received the CD yet but I heard it on You Tube and it's truly beautiful!! I'm really anxious to receive my copy.
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