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Album: John Cage, As It Is (ECM New Series)


The flood of releases marking Cage's centenary continues with this excellent selection of early works played by pianist Alexei Lubimov and singer Natalia Pschenitschnikova, who have been performing his music since the time it outraged the Russian establishment in the '60s and '70s.

Settings of texts by ee cummings, Gertrude Stein and James Joyce are included alongside prepared-piano pieces such as "Music for Marcel Duchamp", which has a peculiar but apt Middle-Eastern/Caucasus flavour. The standout track, though, is "Dream" from 1948, a solo piano piece, which follows no overt narrative progression but drifts from note to note without ever sounding wilful or wrong.

Download: Dream; Music for Marcel Duchamp; Five Songs; Two Pieces for Piano