CC: John Cage 'Concert for Piano and Orchestra'; Christian Wolff 'Resistance'

Philip Thomas (Performer)

Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Abstract

Sixty years after John Cage began composing his most extensive and ambitious compendium of indeterminate and graphic notations, the Concert for Piano and Orchestra (1957-8) remains something of a mystery. Often discussed for its stunning array of unusual and elaborate notations, it is all too rarely performed. As this recording testifies, it is a rich, dazzling and mesmerising work; carnivalesque, a 20th-century masterpiece.

As a companion work to the Concert for Piano and Orchestra, celebrated American composer Christian Wolff - a close associate of Cage and fellow member of the 'New York School' - was commissioned to write a new work for Apartment House. The result, Resistance, was premiered in July 2017. Both works celebrate performance as a unique event, and the openness of the scores produces music which resists repetition. Both works question the nature of an ensemble, how musicians and sounds relate to one another, and the functions of musical form in ways that, like Wolff's title, seem vital to contemporary life.

This recording by Apartment House with Philip Thomas (piano) marks a long and rich engagament with the music of both Cage - in particular the Concert for Piano and Orchestra - and Wolff, whose music they have enjoyed performing for 15 years.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationHuddersfield
PublisherHuddersfield Contemporary Records
EditionHCR16CD
Media of outputCD
Size2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017

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  • Activities

    • 4 Oral presentation
    • 2 Organising a conference, workshop, ...
    • 2 Invited talk
    • 1 Participating in a conference, workshop, ...

    Suggestions for action’: Notation and movement in recent music by Christian Wolff

    Philip Thomas (Speaker) & Emily Payne (Speaker)

    12 Jul 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Agitating the Discipline: performing Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra

    Philip Thomas (Speaker)

    19 Mar 2019

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

    Documentary and Digital Approaches to Performing John Cage’s Concert for Piano and Orchestra

    Philip Thomas (Speaker)

    6 Jul 2018

    Activity: Talk or presentation typesOral presentation

    Cite this

    Thomas, P. (Performer). (2017). CC: John Cage 'Concert for Piano and Orchestra'; Christian Wolff 'Resistance'. Digital or Visual Products, Huddersfield Contemporary Records.