This page lists all recordings of Music for Marcel Duchamp, by John Cage (1912-92) on CD & download (MP3 & FLAC). Generally, more recent releases are listed first, but with priority given to those that are in stock.
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John Cage: As It Is
Alexei Lubimov (piano and prepared piano), Natalia Pschenitschnikova (voice)
A fresh approach to one of contemporary composition’s most iconoclastic and inventive figures, ‘As It Is’ is issued to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Cage. Early Cage is the subject here, strikingly original songs and piano pieces from the 1930s and 1940s. Songs in which Cage set words by writers whose vision was as independent as his own – James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and e e cummings. They are performed by the Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov – who championed Cage’s work in Russia and later had a close working relationship with him – and his compatriot, vocalist Natalia Pschenitschnikova.
As Paul Griffiths writes, “The music exists in singing that has a raw, living edge, and it exists in piano tone that can be utterly simple and utterly remarkable. There is also a third presence, that of the producer, bringing forward the extraordinary resonances that come from Lubimov’s piano, with preparation or without.” With Manfred Eicher producing, the recording was made in December 2011 in Zürich. Lubimov grasps both the playfulness of the music and its message of freedom.
Lubimov previously included Cage’s In a Landscape on his 2002 debut recording for ECM New Series, Der Bote (461 8122), a disc of piano elegies. Among his other acclaimed recordings for the label are works by Scriabin, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Arvo Pärt, and Valentin Silvestrov. Earlier this summer his double album of Debussy’s Preludes and other pieces (476 4735) attracted huge praise and was BBC Music Magazine’s ‘Recording of the Month’ in July. Natalia Pschenitschnikova has appeared on two previous ECM discs of Giya Kancheli as a flautist.
“Nothing is generalised, and the performances by Lubimov and Pschenitschnikova take immense care over every nuance, without ever sacrificing any of the sense of the music's shape.” The Guardian, 29th August 2012 ****
“[Lubimov and Pschenitschnikova] have been performing his music since the time it outraged the Russian establishment in the '60s and '70s...The standout track...is "Dream" from 1948, a solo piano piece, which follows no overt narrative progression but drifts from note to note without ever sounding wilful or wrong.” The Independent, 1st September 2012 ****
“here is a set of exquisitely turned early miniatures, performed by two artists who recollect the powerful effect of Cage's visit to Russia in 1988...Paul Griffiths's booklet notes plainsong, Bali, folk music and popular song here; the disc shows Cage as a real composer.” The Observer, 18th November 2012
“Those who consider John Cage to be the king of chaos, ruling over a world of disconnected, random events, may be surprised by this wonderful CD...The recording presents great clarity and detail although sometimes spacious acoustics create unnecessary grandeur. Altogether, this is a crucial collection.” BBC Music Magazine, January 2013 *****
“another marvellously atmospheric and deeply involving release from ECM New Series which, in its exploration of John Cage’s opens up unexpected musical nuggets and provides context for his entire creative world” MusicWeb International, January 2013
BBC Music Magazine
Choral & Song Choice - January 2013
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John Cage & Morton Feldman
Cage works: Jeanne Kirstein (prepared piano, piano, and toy piano); Feldman works: David Tudor, Morton Feldman, Edwin Hymovitz, Russell Sherman (pianos), Matthew Raimondi & Joseph Rabushka (violins), Walter Trampler (viola) & Seymour Barab (cello)
This double-CD set combines two of the key titles of Columbia Records’s legendary “Music of Our Time” series curated by David Behrman. Jeanne Kirstein’s recording of Cage’s early keyboard works remains a touchstone of Cagean interpretation notwithstanding the passage of time.
Christian Wolff recalls, "I remember Cage saying that Jeanne Kirstein’s playing caught the spirit in which the pieces were written at the time he wrote them—a kind of simple excitement and enthusiasm (also, surely, out of the discovery of the preparing of the piano and the great new sounds)."
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John Cage: Works for Prepared Piano
Markus Hinterhäuser (prepared piano)
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Cage: Music For Prepared Piano
“Cage's prepared piano music might be better known by reputation than by acquaintance, but this excellent new release, part of Naxos's praiseworthy ongoing exploration of seminal 20th-century works, should persuade more people to step into the composer's eccentric sound-world. Boris Berman gives a sensitive, closely considered performance of the Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, written in the late Forties, and seems to relish every sound he makes. The very close recording allows the listener to hear every sound and every resonance in minute detail, and it is the strange beauty of the sounds themselves under Berman's tight control that makes this disc such a joy.” BBC Music Magazine, September 2001
(also available to download from $6.00)
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Music by John Cage for Prepared Piano
Nigel Butterley (prepared piano)
Nigel Butterley is well-known as one of Australia's best composers. He has another life as a pianist and has been performing these Cage works for over 20 years. His sense of style and the colours he draws from the piano have been awarded the highest critical praise.
“It is good to have a second recording of Cage's classic for prepared piano...The Australian composer and pianist, Nigel Butterley, is clearly sympathetic to this side of Cage and also sustains the cycle successfully.” Gramophone Magazine
Usually despatched in 8 - 10 working days.
Cage: Complete Piano Music Vol. 1 - The Prepared Piano 1940-1952
The interpreter is a very important person indeed in Cage’s piano music, and a top international expert like Steffen Schleiermacher is a must for a complete recording such as this one: he knows the nuts and bolts and all the fine nuances.
Usually despatched in 2 - 3 working days.