The Boston Phoenix
November 13 - 20, 1997

[Music Reviews]

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**** Earle Brown, John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff


(hat Art)

The Swiss record label hat Art continues to release an essential series of New Music recordings, focusing largely on the American composers known as the New York School. This compilation, third in a series, is perhaps the most engaging and instructive of all: pieces by Brown, Wolff, and Cage are played twice each, so as to dramatize the nature of indeterminate composition. Performances of the same piece are not grouped together: the CD goes through them once and then again in reverse order. At the center of this musical palindrome is a dramatic reading of an entertaining and informative essay by Morton Feldman, in which he explains the '50s: "For one brief moment -- maybe, say, six weeks -- nobody understood art. That's why it all happened. . . . But there's no place now where you can hide out for six weeks." Hat Art is trying, one hour at a time.

-- Damon Krukowski
[Music Footer]

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