A Fully Authoritative Reading of a Great Work
David N. Lewis | Ann Arbor, MI USA | 06/10/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Margaret Leng Tan has devoted much of her life to studying and performing John Cage's prepared piano music. For a prepared pianist, Cage's Sonatas and Interludes is the equivalent of J.S. Bach's "48." Leng Tan has examined the original preparations used by Cage in the 1940s as a means to get at the "truth" of this work; her playing is majesterial, buoyantly rhythmic and evokes the grand gesture, yet is gentle, incisive and intimate when the music calls for it. Leng Tan's reading of "Sonatas and Interludes" is absolutely authoritative, and has been welcomed enthusiastically even by English critics - not usually well-disposed to the work of John Cage - as enlightening and revelatory. This mode CD is a benchmark recording in the long history of the Sonatas and Interludes, and should be regarded as a "go to" option for the work; something to measure all future recordings against. It also includes the charming, long "lost" early Cage piece "Chess Pieces" and music of Vittorio Rieti. This is in every way outstanding."