Sunday, June 18, 2006


Cage, Mode, Stockhausen,&c

So Mode is apparently planning several more saxophone discs.  I’m not sure there is any Cage saxophone music left to record.  Will these be transcriptions, or maybe recordings of all the open-instrumentation works.  It should be interesting, in any case.  Reviews of the latest recordings coming soon-ish.

Sometime soon I should have a job, and my first vacation will probably be a pilgrimage to New Yok City, to visit a friend in school there and also to visit the enormous Cage collection at the library.  I would like to find references to some of the poorly documented works out there, so I can add those to this site, even though they wil not, strictly speaking, be reviews of listening experiences. could use a Cage page.  I wrote one three years ago but never submitted it; maybe I will revise it and send it in.  I swear they chose the photo of Cage that makes him look the most like a mad scientist.  Also, they have a little star by “songs” under Cage’s name.  Surely they don’t mean At East and Ingredients!  Maybe Song Books...which is one of several pieces I never heard due o its unavailability.  But even Stockhausen has a page on that site, and Cage’s lack of one seems unfair.    

Speaking of our German friend, I am contemplating a Stockhausen blog. I figure it would be on a different site, with a different but still boring color scheme.  There are pros and cons to such a plan:
  1. All his works are on recordings order-able from the same place

  2. I like electronic music and he’s got an enormous amount of it

  3. He’s alive, so I can imagine someone mentioning my blog to him, and him saying “Hmm” in a disinterested manner.  This would make me smile.  
  1. His catalog is pretty damned confusing.  I don’t know if I want to hear an opera recording, and then also a whole bunch of parts of the opera too.

  2. The prices are absolutely insane.

I figure I could buy all 80 CD’s for somewhere around $3000.  Once I am earning an income again, I figure I can just quit eating and/or live in my car until I save that up.  

This sort of medium is great for recent composers, because they didn’t write all that much music compared to the older guys, and almost every work is very unique.  Imagine, say, a Haydn blog.  Once you got to the 80th baryton trio, what will you have left to say?

Now I’m going to go find out if anyone has a Haydn blog.  Goodnight!

Have all 104 Haydn Symphonies ever been reviewed together? Or perhaps ... the complete works by Arnold Schoenberg? Or ... the complete Scarlatti harpsichord Sonatas?
Haydn might be pretty easy because there are complete symphony sets out there, and the same might be true of Scarlatti (I know a bunch of cycles; I do not know who actually finished!)

Schoenberg would be much more interesting, and easier since there are only 100-something works and a bunch are songs.

But what I find shocking is that you can go spend a few hundred bucks on, say, a Complete Mozart recording set--but are there any blogs devoted to listening to them? Not so far as I know! But it would be interestng.

Umm, well I guess it could be interesting. Maybe it would be hard to make it interesting for the barely-trained like myself.
Hey! What a thoughful and imaginative blog you're creating. I've been thinking about Cage for nearly twenty years and appreciate your fresh attitude. The "map" idea is terrific; hope you can pull it off. At the moment, I'm trying to track down a copy of the score for FIRST CONSTRUCTION. Any suggestions? I suppose I could inquire at the NYPL -- which is, incidentally, well worth the visit -- but I'm disinclined to that much activity at the moment.
been reading a book about Stockhausen's work for the past month, even re-reading parts of it that I enjoyed the most.

It seems like nobody is posting his material and you're right, the prices for his stuff is INSANE. I can't even begin to know which performance to buy of a given work - I haven't found a buyer's guide.

The works by Stockhausen I'd love to hear the most are Kontakt and Telemusik, because I've read so much about them.

I think Stockhausen is one of the most inspired people ever to set his mind to musique concrete or electronic music. He's brilliant.
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