Wednesday, March 28, 2012

John Cage - Four Walls

Here we have an excerpt from a piano composition by John Cage, written for a Merce Cunningham dance play that was performed once in August of 1944. No recording, script or program survived from the performance- just the score. Cage wrote the music to be played by another performer and the recording here is by Richard Bungler in 1979. For me, the piece hangs heavy with the burden of world war, in full swing at the time. But Cunningham’s play was apparently about a dysfunctional family. The piece runs over an hour and is mostly solo piano played in the diatonic scale (white keys only) with a short vocal phrase in the middle. I find it to be excellent music to play loud in the dark on a rainy night. I have combined the final six scenes that comprise Act 2 to make one 25 minute long file that quietly builds in intensity before the final devastating minute. Enjoy, this is a master at work.
Click to download or stream below.
Four Walls Act II Scene IX - XIV

Cunningham and Cage in the 60's.

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