|This disc collects 3 early piano works of John Cage, including his classic work for toy piano and early works composed using chance.
Music of Changes is a seminal piece in 20th century composition because it is the first work to be fully composed using chance operations. The title makes reference to the ancient Confucian book the I-Ching which, together with lectures by the Japanese Zen master Suzuki, introduced Cage to the concepts of chance. The title also makes reference to Cage's change in musical direction with this work.
Cage prepared charts of squares which indicated numbers for tempo, dynamics, sounds, duration, rests and overlapping of material. He then used chance operations based on these numbers to compose a piece - devoid of personal choice and influences - which was then conventionally notated.
The element of noise is also introduced into the composition, with indications for sound to be made by closing the piano lid, pedal noise, playing inside the piano, knocking under the keyboard, etc.
The incredibly complex score includes 80 pages of instructions/directions written with the help of the pianist David Tudor, who premiered it.
The SUITE FOR TOY PIANO is among Cage's infamous works. Composed in 1948 for the Merce Cunningham dance "Diversions", it was premiered by Cage at Black Mountain College. Cage creates a magical piece composed around the limited resources of the toy piano.
7 HAIKU (1952) continues Cage's influence from Asian culture and philosphy. Here the brief movements are structured around the Haiku form, each movement consisting of three structural bars in a length relation of 5-7-5.
French pianist Martine Joste is a new music specialist with a tradition of playing Cage's works. Cage wrote Two6 for Martine and the violinist Ami Flammer, which they premiered and subsequently recorded on Mode 44.
Liner notes by noted French writer Daniel Charles.