Philip Clark travels to Manhattan and absorbs the sounds surrounding the composer's apartment in order to understand why Cage wrote the things he did. For those new to Cage's philosophies and music, here are ten points of departure...
1) Gramophone recommended recording:
The Seasons. Suite for Toy Piano (orch L Harrison) Concerto for Prepared Piano and Chamber Orchestra. Seventy-Four (Versions I & II) Margaret Leng Tan toy pf/prepared pf American Composers Orchestra / Dennis Russell Davies ECM New Series 465 140-2 (76' · DDD · Recorded 1979) Buy from Amazon
This is an enchanting CD, every item a sheer delight. Margaret Leng Tan worked with Cage in the last decade of his life, and her earlier recordings show a special sympathy for Cage’s keyboard music. The second of her New Albion CDs included the piano solo version of The Seasons, and Cage was honest enough to admit to her that he had help from Virgil Thomson and Lou Harrison in making the orchestral version recorded here. The result is Cage at his most poetic, evoking each of the four seasons in lovely changing colours.