Monday, April 1, 2013

April Arkiv Music Archival Review

Originally published by Music Web International, April 2007:

John CAGE (1912-1992) 
4’33" (five performances)
4’33" (orchestral transcription by Leopold Stokowski)* 

 Evgeny Kissin (piano)
* New York Philharmonic Orchestra/José Serebrier
rec. London in June 1997, Moscow in February 1998, Tokyo in September 1998, Berlin in May 2000, Vienna in June 2000 and *New York in June 2001
Picture format NTSC 4:3; Sound Format 0; Region Code 0; Disc Format DVD 9; subtitles in American, French, German, Russian and Esperanto 
 SONY CLASSICAL DVD  4334 3343-3 [33’00]

alternatively   AmazonUK   AmazonUS

Review by Patrick C Waller

It must be very unusual to have six performances of the same work on one disc but I am sure the eccentric American composer John Cage would have approved. His work consisting of four minutes and thirty-three seconds of "silence" was premiered in 1952 by David Tudor who sat at the piano, opened and closed the lid, and timed the work by means of a stopwatch. Since then it has not featured often on concert programmes until adopted in the 1990s by Kissin as one of his signature pieces, perhaps a deliberate attempt to show that his artistry extends beyond large-scale romantic works...

Read this rest of this review at MusicWeb international:


  1. Poisson d'Avril!

    1. Subtitles in Esperanto indeed!

    2. When I was in grade school, they tried teaching us Esperanto. I guess it looked like the future (for a few months). That quickly went the way of introducing the metric system as a standard (in the U.S.)

  2. I've always been partial to the orchestral transcription, myself :D

    1. I'm surprised there hasn't been a organ transcription yet. It would make a great service prelude. :)

    2. I'm told the organ version is particularly popular with Quakers and Trappists


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