Magazine article Gramophone

Cage: One

Magazine article Gramophone

Cage: One

Article excerpt


One (7). Four (6)

Sabine Liebner pf

Wergo [F] WER6797-2 (60' * DDD)

Music notation is a map providing points of orientation that allow players to walk the interpretative walk, their idea of how a piece might journey through time corresponding--hopefully--with the composer's own. But John Cage's late-period number pieces throw up precisely the opposite interpretative approach: Cage specifies notes and chords, and allies them to a time frame in which they can be placed; but the actual sounds to be used, and their ultimate duration, are left to the performer's discretion.

Few performers of New York School compositions show sounder judgement and greater acumen than the German pianist Sabine Liebner, whose Cage, Feldman and Earle Brown recordings are always conceived thoughtfully and executed deftly. Four6 (1990) challenges the performer to keep four separate strata evolving concurrently--no easy task on one piano. So Liebner takes her time. From the margins of audibility, the first sound you hear is a gently fluttering harmonic mist of massaged piano strings which fades back into silence. …

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