Herbert Henck

Music of Changes, Books I-IV

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An exquisitely played and beautiful recording of Cage's masterpiece, one of the most technically difficult pieces in all of piano repertoire. After studying the details of the work with David Tudor, who premiered it, and refining his interpretation in live performance over several years, pianist Joseph Kubera has applied his amazing range of touch and inflection to this accurate and highly musical recording. Because of advanced recording techniques we are able to hear the fine harmonic and resonant combinations that were scored by Cage, and that forms a sort of interior life of the piece. One unique and surprising sound follows the next over wide dynamic (pppp to ffff applied to each individual event), durational (blazingly fast grace note figures to events or silence held for a page), and pitch ranges (the entire tessitura of the piano is employed). This is one of the first compositions to use organized parameters and chance-operations (using the Chinese Book of Changes or I-Ching) in its composition. It provides a continually fascinating listening experience.

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