John Cage: Piano Works by Steffen Schleiermacher & Josef Christof on Phil. Harmonie Records

Steffen Schleiermacher & Josef Christof - John Cage: Piano Works


  • £15.99

In the last years of his life, John Cage wrote a great many so-called 'Number Pieces' the title indicating the number of performing musicians. While most of these pieces indicate which instruments are to be played, as well as the sounds that are to be produced, other pieces offer only general tone descriptions or a framework for choosing the tones oneself.

What these pieces do have in common is time-organisation: Cage designates the measure within which the tones must be played. Should one play these sound-sequences within the interval quickly, then one must wait fort he beginning of the next measure in order to continue; should one play with an even slowness, the separate intervals are joined without interruption. And so, each performance of the same piece is different: in one instance an even flow of sounds, in another a pulsation of rapid responses accompanied by pauses (including all variations).

An exception is 'Two²'. Here the two pianists do not play according to a stopwatch, but rather by reacting to one another: Although the piece indicates measure, it does not assign tempo or even pulse. While both interpreters play independently of each other, they may continue on to the next measure only when the other player has finished his. Cage decided on the number of tones within a measure by drawing upon the rules of Renga, Japanese linked poetry, in which the number of syllables per verse are set at 5, 7, 5, 7, 7. As the pedal is continuously depressed, the notes sound into one another and this inner structure remains undetected.


  1. Early Piano Works - Music For Piano 4-19 
  2. Early Piano Works - Music For Piano 20 
  3. Early Piano Works - 21-36, 37-52 
  4. Early Piano Works - Variations I 
  5. Early Piano Works - Solo For Piano 
  6. Late Piano Works - One 
  7. Late Piano Works - Two 
  8. Late Piano Works - One 


  • Housed in clear jewel case 



see also: 
John Cage - Silence: Lectures And Writings   paperback 
Various - Par Hasard: Chance Composition 1913-1951   CD 
Various - The American Avant-Garde In The 20th Century   2CD 
Various - A Young Person's Guide To The Avant-Garde   2CD 
Various - A Revolution In Sound: Pop Culture And The Classical Avant-Garde   4CD 
Ulrich Krieger - Wall Of Sound: Drones Patterns Noises   CD 


browse collections: 
Classical & Composition collection 
Experimental & Avant-Garde collection 


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