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- Aug 01, 2015 from the cd, LaSalle Quartet - Lutoslawski, Penderecki, Cage, Mayuzumi -- String Quartets.the four tracks that make the Cage quartet were originally released on LP in 1976.
- String Quartet in Four Parts is a string quartet by John Cage, composed in 1950.It is one of the last works Cage wrote that is not entirely aleatoric.Like Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano (1946–48) and the ballet The Seasons (1947), this work explores ideas from Indian philosophy.
- This is a list of compositions by John Cage (1912–1992), arranged in chronological order by year of composition. List of works. Thirty Pieces for String Quartet, for string quartet (September 1983) HMCIEX, tape for radio (1983–84) Perpetual Tango, for piano (February 1984).
- Avant garde music of John Cage and Harry Partch, challenged both the musicians and the audience. His String Quartet #4 is constructed in the very traditional theme and variation form, but is composed using very nontraditional microtones.
The first includes HPSCHD for harpsichords & computer generated sound tapes by John Cage and Lejaren Hiller, and String Quartet No. 2 by Ben Johnston. Both works are available in other recordings, but two different AGP partisans specifically requested these original recordings of the works, which I've been assured differ materially from the. The music is very simple and its atmosphere similar to that of Cage’s String Quartet in four parts. In fact, in one of his letters to Pierre Boulez, Cage calls the Six Melodies a “postscript to the Quartet,” and he makes use of the same gamut of sounds.
John Cage wrote String Quartet in Four Parts (1950) with the idea of writing a work that reflected the opposite approach he was taking in writing music for prepared piano. His prepared piano works involved placing objects on or between the strings of the piano in order to alter the instrument's sound. Sonatas and Interludes, from 1942, is his most famous example. With this string quartet, the idea was to reverse this process of manipulating the string. Performers of the quartet are instructed to inflect the sound of the instrument as little as possible: no vibrato and little weight on the bow. The members of the violin family sound more like viols with these restrictions. The general soundscape has an ancient quality. This sound is compounded by a generally consonant set of intervals at a regular tempo, and a looseness of melodic construction. There are no recognizable cadences, and the resulting timeless atmosphere is evocative and mysterious. It has a complex rhythmic structure based on a formula of 2 1/2 - 1 1/2, 2 - 3, 6 - 5, 1/2 - 1 1/2. These numbers add up to 22, which, multiplied by 22 equals 484 bars, the total duration of the string quartet. Probably by coincidence, a performance of this work is about twenty-two minutes long. The formula is then applied to the quartet's four movements and different array of phrases, chords, and so on. It is a complicated method. This process of composing makes the music consistently varied and coherent on a local level and on the larger scale as well. Cage referred to this microcosmic and macrocosmic phraseology, and it sometimes resembles certain medieval practices of musical organization. It is striking how this method makes the music's period difficult to pin down. Owners of recordings can challenge even the most astute listeners with this work in a game of 'drop the needle.' Guessers are as likely to guess at the origin of the piece as from the fourteenth century as they are the twentieth century. This does not mean that the music is backward looking or derivative. Cage's integrity and originality are unassailable. The compositional methods used in String Quartet in Four Parts (1950) are not lifted from a historical study of older methods of writing music. They are a reaction to his own artistic directions, and upon closer comparisons to instrumental music from the early Renaissance, Cage's work is completely different. If it were presented to composers or listeners of that day, they would not regard it as comparable to music of their times.
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The four movements of the quartet are divided into the seasons. 'Summer in France' is the first movement's subject. The second movement concerns autumn in New York. They are the composer's own impressions; the music does not develop the time/place association. The third movement is a canon in winter, and the forth movement is a spring quodlibet. Canons and quodlibets are sort of opposites, insofar as canons are staggered entries of the same theme while quodlibets juxtapose themes of different works for a humorous effect. String Quartet in Four Parts (1950) covers a lot of ground in this manner, combining titles that are fanciful with titles that are descriptive. These two separate titles are again opposites, indicative of New World/Old World and theme identical vs. opposing theme. Cage finds deceptively simple ways to fire the imagination with this work, and it is an engaging pleasure to hear. It is not a musical stunt that underlines a concept, although if it does, the quartet itself is nonetheless truly beautiful.
- (subject: summer in France)
- (subject: fall in America)
- (subject: winter expressed as a canon)
- (subject: spring expressed as a quodlibet)
|2017||Other Minds Records||OM 10242|
|2012||Wigmore Hall Live||WHLIVE 0053|
|2011||EtCetera Records||KTC 1429|
|Mode Records||MODE 27|
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