|3-cd set with a 96 page booklet.
On May 15, 1958 - a few months before Cage's memorable appearance in Darmstadt - some friends organized a concert for the then 45 year old composer in New York's Town Hall. The friends were Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Emile de Antonio.
The pieces performed were written over a period of 25 years - between 1934 and 1958. Presented together, they reflect not only Cage's search for new compositional processes and means of expression, they also already contain the seed for all the technical procedures and the ideological basis of his later compositions: the interest in Eastern philosophies, the involvement with "silence", and the introduction of chance as a compositional procedure.
WERGO has now obtained the original recordings from producer George Avakian and has released them on three CDs, following the original sequence of the pieces. The 96-page booklet includes all texts (extensive notes by John Cage and George Avakian) and facsimiles of music scores that appeared in the original record booklet, and, in addition, rare historic photographs.
Four of the nine works documented in the album were first performances: "Six Short Inventions for Seven Instruments", "She is Asleep" (the first complete performance), "Music for Carillon", and "Concerto for Piano and Orchestra", in which Merce Cunningham took the part of the conductor - the "living clock" - and David Tudor that of the pianist.