Academic journal article Notes

Tom Johnson: An Hour for Piano

Academic journal article Notes

Tom Johnson: An Hour for Piano

Article excerpt

R. Andrew Lee. Tom Johnson: An Hour for Piano. Irritable Hedgehog IHM001 (2010), CD.

Tom Johnson's description of his score for An Hour for Piano (1971) on the Editions 75 website succinctly states: "Exactly 60 minutes of music for piano." This deadpan wit is also present in the program notes the composer wrote and included with the Frederic Rzewski recording of this piece in 1974 (An Hour for Piano, Lovely Music/Vital Records VR1081 [1979], LP; Lovely Music LCD1081 [2000], CD)-Johnson specifies: "Program notes to be read while hearing," yet begins with this declaration: "It is important that you try not to allow the program notes to distract you from concentrating on the music." Rzewski's version clocks in at 54:36, perhaps more a concession to the time constraints of the LP format than the result of interpretive decisions, but an obsession with exactitude is not what Johnson seems to be asking of listeners. Those watching the clock intently will be pleased to know this recording by R. Andrew Lee is exactly 60 minutes; however, those surrendering themselves to hearing the music will soon lose track of time, and possibly find themselves contemplating the effect reading about music has on listening to music. …

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