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Cage As It Is

Alexei Lubimov
A fresh approach to one of contemporary composition's most iconoclastic and inventive figures, 'As It Is' is issued to mark the 100th anniversary of the birth of John Cage. Early Cage is the subject here, strikingly original songs and piano pieces from the 1930s and 1940s. Songs in which Cage set words by writers whose vision was as independent as his own ? James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, and e e cummings. They are performed by the Russian pianist Alexei Lubimov ? who championed Cage's work in Russia and later had a close working relationship with him ? and his compatriot, vocalist Natalia Pschenitschnikova.

As Paul Griffiths writes, "The music exists in singing that has a raw, living edge, and it exists in piano tone that can be utterly simple and utterly remarkable. There is also a third presence, that of the producer, bringing forward the extraordinary resonances that come from Lubimov's piano, with preparation or without." With Manfred Eicher producing, the recording was made in December 2011 in Z?rich. Lubimov grasps both the playfulness of the music and its message of freedom.

Lubimov previously included Cage's In a Landscape on his 2002 debut recording for ECM New Series, Der Bote (461 8122), a disc of piano elegies. Among his other acclaimed recordings for the label are works by Scriabin, Stravinsky, Shostakovich, Schnittke, Arvo P?rt, and Valentin Silvestrov. Earlier this summer his double album of Debussy's Preludes and other pieces (476 4735) attracted huge praise and was BBC Music Magazine's 'Recording of the Month' in July. Natalia Pschenitschnikova has appeared on two previous ECM discs of Giya Kancheli as a flautist.

(Ecm) 002894764933

Track Listing Extract:
Five songs (1938) for Voice and Piano (e.e.cummings)
Two Pieces for Piano (1946)
Three Songs (Words by Gertrude Stein)
The Wonderful Widow of Eighteen Springs
The Unavailable Memory of
A Flower for voice and piano
Music for Marcel Duchamp
Experiences No. 2 Words by e.e.cummings
A Room

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