John Cage - The Number Pieces 6

John Cage


mode 239


Mode Records - A Record Label Devoted to New Music

The Number Pieces 6

Five (1988) 5:00
for any five voices or instruments

Seven (1988) 20:00
for flute, clarinet, violin, viola, cello, piano & percussion

Thirteen (1992) 30:00
for flute, oboe, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone, tuba, 2 violins, viola, cello & 2 xylophones

Essential Music
John Kennedy & Charles Wood, directors

New York based ensemble Essential Music had a strong relationship with John Cage in his later years. This experience gives these recordings a special authority. Recorded in 1993-94, they are being released for the first time.

In 1987 John Cage began writing his “number” and “time-bracket” compositions, which became his primary compositional method for the remainder of his life.  These works are named for the number of musicians participating, consist of the number of parts with no complete score, within which are various series of flexible time-brackets in which each musician is free to choose the beginnings, ends, and durations of one’s notes.

Thirteen is Cage’s final completed work. This is only its second recording.

Five does not specify instrumentation. Essential Music chose to perform it, with Cage’s approval, by blowing into bottles to create pitches creating a mysterious effect.

Volume 44 in Mode’s John Cage Edition.

Related Resources:

John Cage profile/discography

Essential Music profile

John Kennedy profile

Charles Wood profile

Also by ESSENTIAL MUSIC on Mode Records:
John CAGE: “The Lost Works” — The City Wears a Slouch Hat, etc. (mode 55)
Peter GARLAND: Another Sunrise — with Aki Takahashi, piano & harpsichord (mode 110)
William RUSSELL: Complete Works for Percussion (mode 34)




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