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  Neos Classics -
  NEOS 10720
  Cage: Seven, Quartets I-VIII - Grossmann
  John Cage: Seven, Quartets I-VIII

Orchester Jakobsplatz München
Daniel Grossmann (conductor)
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Reviews: 2

Site review by Polly Nomial October 8, 2008
Performance:   Sonics:
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Review by JJ July 1, 2008 (3 of 4 found this review helpful)
Performance:   Sonics:
First and foremost, this SACD is a small gem. Wonderfully recorded in both stereo and multicanal, it offers John Cage’s (1912-1992) music an indispensable setting. The program opens with “Seven”, a 20-minute piece dating from 1988, for flute, clarinet, percussion, piano, violin, viola and cello, giving improvisation a unique image in which seven musicians are free to do as they please. “This is in no way random music,” states Daniel Grossmann, “and yet, each interpretation is unique. This uniqueness constitutes a central concept in John Cage. It is only thus that he felt his music was alive.” “Quartets I-VII” for 24 instruments, composed in 1976 to commemorate the United States’ bicentenary, is based on eight American chorals transformed by the composer, who at the time declared in an interview: “I would like to create a circus full of music, as could have been heard in this country in 1776. But, I am already up against conservative feelings. For, of all the arts, music was the one which tried to attract people’s attention to one thing. Much of the music of the time was what could be called “sacred.” It was church music. And people think I am sacrilegious by playing two or three pieces at the same time. They therefore refuse to cooperate. That is the problem in our country: feelings that helped people live no longer do, except for a few, who are helpless opposite the weight of the institutions.” Daniel Grossmann and his Munich orchestra pay a vibrant tribute here to the California composer by inviting the listener to share this moving music that anyone can approach.

Jean-Jacques Millo
Translation Lawrence Schulman

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Works: 2  

John Cage - Quartets I-VIII
John Cage - Seven