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Artist: NEUHAUS, MAX
Title: The New York School: Nine Realizations of Cage, Feldman, Brown
Format: CD
Label: Alga Marghen
Country: Italy
Price: $20.00
"2004 release. Previously-unreleased recordings, made 1964-1968. Different realizations than those featured on the Columbia LP Electronics and Percussion -- Five Realizations from 68. The term "New York School" refers to a circle of composers in the 1950s who orbited around John Cage: Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, Christian Wolff and David Tudor, above all. Their music paralleled the music and events of the Fluxus group, and drew its name from the New York School of mostly Abstract Expressionist painters who had got their start in the 40s: Motherwell, Pollock, de Kooning, Rothko, and Kline. What brought these artists together was a faith in the liberation of the unconscious and an excitement drawn from the street energies of Manhattan. This compact disc offers multiple realizations by the solo percussionist Max Neuhaus of scores by three key members of the New York School: Earle Brown (three realizations of "Four Systems - For Four Amplified Cymbals," recorded between 1964 and 1968), Morton Feldman (three realizations of "King of Denmark," recorded between 1965 and 1968) and John Cage (one realization 64 and two realizations 65 of "2710.554""). All three composers conformed to the ethos of the 60s, not to the blend of hippie mysticism and pop commercialism that defined that decade towards its end, but to a broader notion of personal liberation. In this context Max Neuhaus was allowed to express himself, to revel in timbral color (including the use of electronics, as in the amplification of the cymbals in the Brown performances, or in the use of a FM tuner, of a self-built electronic mini-instrument or of a tape with concrète sounds in the Cage performances) and in giddy dialogues between notated compositional intention and performed expression. Each of the realizations on this disc is a valid response to the scores, yet each is different, almost a new piece of music. This edition includes a 16-page booklet with original photos and concert programs, Max Neuhaus own comments on the original scores, an editorial note by John Rockwell, and reviews by Malcolm Goldstein and Theodore Strongin." -Alga Marghen.

Artist: NEUHAUS, MAX
Title: Zyklus
Format: CD
Label: Alga Marghen
Country: Italy
Price: $20.00
Four previously unreleased realizations of "Zylus" (different recordings than the one featured on the Columbia LP Electronics and Percussion -- Five Realizations (CD: SICC 79). Recorded 1959-68. "The term New York School refers to a circle of composers "Zyklus was written in 1959 and is one of the first solo pieces to utilize such a large number of percussion instruments (twenty one). When Neuhaus first started to play this piece there were only three percussionists in the world who could play it. Stockhausens idea was that a performer would play the piece spontaneously, making its complex decisions on the fly. No one played it this way; it was too difficult. Everyone wrote out his own version of the score and played from it. Coming from the world of jazz Neuhaus decided he wanted to take up the challenge of playing it spontaneously. At that time percussionists generally played only one instrument at a time. Playing twenty one simultaneously was unheard of. Neuhaus quickly realized that the only way to do it, in fact, was to think of all them together as just one instrument, one multi-surfaced bank of timbre. Neuhaus decided to travel to Europe and go to Darmstadt where Stockhausen was teaching. He wanted to talk to him about the piece. Stockhausen was interested in the idea that the twenty one instruments had to be physically formed into one instrument and that so much work had been done already. So he offered Neuhaus the big opportunity to perform Zyklus on the first American tour. Stockhausen came over to New York to hear Neuhaus play, but he wasnt satisfied with the improvisation version. It was too long. Neuhaus was determined to teach himself how to do it for this tour. He had another six months. He got down to seven minutes; and he was still improvising, not writing it out. He was ready to play that piece, and played it like nobody had ever heard it before. Each of these four recordings is a document of a true solo performance, one person and two hands, with no additional live help and no overdubbing. This CD also offers four different kinds of beauty, four proofs that the latitude that Stockhausen allowed, when capitalized on by a performer with creative imagination, could validate Stockhausen as a composer and an entire aesthetic of freedom and control. This edition includes a 12 pages booklet with original photos of both official concerts and performances for invited audiences, Max Neuhaus own comments on the original score and an editorial note by John Rockwell." - Alga Marghen.

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