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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

John Cage - "The 25-Year Retrospective Concert of the Music of John Cage" 2 x Vinyl, Booklet, Limited Edition, 1959 (Modern Silence)


Ground zero for John Cage recording.  This phenomenal album is the essential document of a great concert that took place at Town Hall New York City in 1958.    Produced by Cage's good friends Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and filmmaker Emile de Antonio.   This is, at the time, was Cage's celebration of 25 years of composing and making music.   With the help of the art community, a concert was placed, and at this event, Cage and others performed his "greatest hits."  This is not only a document of a concert but also an important cultural moment that took place in Manhattan. 

David Tudor, Merce Cunningham, and Cage's wife, Xenia, as well as the composer, performed pieces in front of a hostile audience.  At least their catcalls mixed in with the bravos are clearly in the mix.  This is a real live recording!   Listening to the album, I really feel its presence in front of me.  There are not that many live albums that have that affect for me.   The works here are legendary, and Cage at the height of his creativity.   Beautiful packaging; this album is priceless to me.