When the 1925-born Boulez met the 13-year-older John Cage from the New York avant-garde scene, he was just 24. At first glance it is almost inexplicable that what was to emerge out of this encounter was one of the most intense, mutually inspiring composer-friendships of the ‘50s, since Boulez stands paradigmatically for French “clarté” and “raison” of organisation down to the last parameter, whereas Cage represents an anarchic breach with tradition in the name of chance and unpredictability and hence enmity towards organisation. Nevertheless, Cage was just as thrilled about Boulez’ Second Piano Sonata as Boulez for his part was about Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes, which he considered to be a major piece of music of the future. –Nina Polaschegg
3rd March 2011
“the piano writing in Structures Book 2 is thrillingly brilliant, and it makes a wonderful contrast to the cool discontinuities of Cage's pieces, with their plucked and strummed notes, percussive knockings and muffled chords.”
25th February 2011
“The differing approaches of Cage and Boulez to the challenges of composition is signalled in the titles they chose: the hyper-control of Boulez's Structures versus the laissez-faire openness of Cage's Music for Piano. Alternated here, they sound like opposing forces battling towards the same goal.”
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