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John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano

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Album Review

French pianist Gerard Fremy's interpretation of Cage's classic Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano provides a new insight into this cycle of works exploring the prepared piano. Performances are fresh and lively with plenty of energy. Fremy had, at the time of the release of this recording, performed this cycle nearly 30 times — and frequently with Cage himself in the audience. Cage's innovation of the prepared piano stems from his desire to expand the usage of the instrument, transforming it into both a melodic instrument and percussion rack. He did this by instructing the performer to use various items (often screws) to modify the strings being struck by the piano hammers. The result is a single instrument that takes on the sound of a multi-instrumental session. Tones range from hollow gong sounds to chimes to cymbal clangs or dead drum sounds — not to mention the classic piano sound. Compositions show Cage experimenting with the possibilities of this type of technique. The recording quality is only fair and the CD packaging is poor. ~ Mark W. B. Allender, Rovi

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John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, Maro Ajemian
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