Cage in Bremen

Sendesaal Bremen, Germany

Since the 60s John Cage was a regular guest at pro musica nova in Bremen. On his
70th birthday A House Full of Music was held at the natural history and ethnographic Überseemuseum. To follow on from this to mark his 100th anniversary the German premiere of Cage’s last work Fifty-Eight is to be performed at the same location. This piece for 58 wind players, a work commissioned by ORF Graz for Musikprotokoll, was written by Cage for the courtyard of this mansion house. He positioned the 58 musicians in the three-story arcades of the renaissance courtyard. The audience experienced fascinating spatial music of festive, almost ceremonial austerity but also of cheerful equanimity of the randomly significant. This music knows no climaxes, no beginning, no middle and no end in the conventional formal sense but every detail is equally important and commended to the attention of both the performer and the listener. The texture of the score precludes certain minimal manual abilities. What is key here is the ability to master tonal qualities as well as a willingness to follow on from Cage’s world of ideas. Fifty-Eight is to be performed by pupils from wind classes at general schools in Bremen. When realizing his piece A House full of Music (1982) for performance at the Überseemuseum Cage had himself insisted on the involvement of young people. The Cage project is to be rounded off by a piano recital by Steffen Schleiermacher featuring works by other composers of the 60s American avant-garde such as Wolff, Feldman, Brown and Rzewski.

May 10th to 12th 2012 
Sendesaal Bremen

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