John Cage: As It Is

John Cage: As It Is

by Natalia Pschenitschnikova


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John Cage: As It Is

Released as part of the 2012 celebration of John Cage's centennial, this ECM New Series album presents pieces for piano, prepared piano, and voice that represent the lyrical side of the composer. While many of Cage's pieces are accessible for their simplicity and delicacy, these quiet piano reveries and vocal settings of texts by James Joyce, e.e. cummings, and Gertrude Stein are especially easy to approach for their quiet music, soft sounds, and hypnotic melodies and patterns. The performances by pianist Alexei Lubimov and singer Natalia Pschenitschnikova are fully in accord with Cage's methods, and their self-effacing introspection contribute greatly to this disc's feelings of anonymity and secrecy. The words of "The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs," "Experiences No. 2," "Three Songs," "Five Songs," and "Nowth upon nacht" tend to blur in the highly resonant recording space, and Pschenitschnikova's thick accent tends to obscure the words sufficiently to create dreamlike performances that can only be followed with the help of the booklet. In contrast, Lubimov's keyboard performances are quite clear, clean, and precise, and the slight increase of volume is almost surprising when compared with the sotto voce quality of the songs. Yet listeners will easily find a volume level that's suitable for home listening, which is perhaps the best way to appreciate the haunting subtlety of these pieces.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/25/2012
Label: Ecm Records
UPC: 0028947649335
catalogNumber: 001719802


  1. Dream, for piano
  2. Nowth upon Nacht, for voice & piano
  3. She is Asleep, for voice, prepared piano & 4 percussion
  4. Prelude for Meditation, for prepared piano
  5. Five Songs for Contralto, for voice and piano
  6. Two Pieces for Piano (1946)
  7. A Room, for piano or prepared piano
  8. Experiences No. 2, for voice
  9. Music for Marcel Duchamp, for prepared piano
  10. A Flower, for voice & closed piano
  11. The Unavailable Memory of, for prepared piano
  12. The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs, for voice & closed piano
  13. Dream, for piano

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