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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

Biography

Born: 09 July 1924

Genre: Classical

Years Active:

Pianist Maro Ajemian was a key advocate of contemporary music in the mid-twentieth century, not only as a soloist, but also in a violin/piano duo with her sister Anahid. Both were of Armenian ancestry and studied at Juilliard; Maro Ajemian gave the American premiere of the Khachaturian Piano Concerto at a Juilliard School concert in 1942. At about this time Ajemian started a grassroots organization called the Friends of Armenian Music, which gave an annual concert at Town Hall in New York City. The...
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John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes for Prepared Piano, Maro Ajemian
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