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50 of 50 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be Prepared!, 9 May 2001
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This review is from: Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (Audio CD)
Those who have never heard Cage's music for prepared piano may be surprised by the beauty and interest of the resulting works. Far from being a mere avant-garde gimmick or conceptual contrivance, Cage's careful manipulations are an authentic augmentation of musical resource, resulting in an inimitable and enjoyable sound world. The music itself inhabits a somewhat Satie-like realm of alternating meditation and whimsy, but it is delightfully enhanced by the range of novel and fascinating sounds produced by inserting objects between the strings and under the hammers of an ordinary piano. These sounds range from metallic chimes recalling glockenspiels or musical boxes to percussive thumps evoking African thumb pianos, woodblocks, and bongo drums. The result is a kind of miniature musical utopia, a gentle blending of the naive (toy music, Satie) and the primitive ("ethnic" rhythms and percussive effects). Performance and recording, though perhaps not of the very highest standard, are thoroughly enjoyable. This disc is a notable bargain and an ideal introduction to the work of a seminal figure in modern music.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine introduction to Cage's piano universe, 13 Sep 2009
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This review is from: Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (Audio CD)
John Cage (1912-92) - rule breaking compositions for prepared piano

Yes i agree with the detailed reviewed already posted here. i bought this cd recently as was such a bargain on amazon and already bought Naxo's other Cage piano cd music for prepared piano vol.2 some years back. i thought it was time to concur that Cage's music is well recorded and played here and was composed in 1940's. This naxos cd at bargain price- is a fine intro to his radical + often brittle but beautiful sound world.

The sonatas and interludes(which each rarely pass the 4 minute mark) offer a complete overhaul from the heavy handed excesses of the late romantic school (Rachmaninov,Liszt etc) of piano composition, taking piano music into a insular,mystic inner-world influenced by Hindu + Zen mysticism, and is the all the better for that. Imagine taking the established rule book for piano music compositon - tonality , sonata form, fugues, exposition etc etc + then Cage ripping them up to make his own sound world via the piano - very inspirational outlook ! only Schoenberg + the later serialists in the 60's (Boulez etc)did more to re-write the rule book. Other 20th C masters of piano music and timbres to investigate are Kurtag, Messiaen, Ligeti and Nancarrow.

Highly recommended for the open minded music fan.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Remarkably accessible, 26 Sep 2011
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Mr. C. J. Waldron "mhsob" (UK & Australia) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano (Audio CD)
I was greatly surprised by how accessible this was and how interesting and melodic the music is. Not cut from the normal, this is an intriguing cd and well worth many listens.
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