The Complete String Quartets, Volume 2

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Album Name Length Format Sample Rate Price
The Complete String Quartets, Volume 2 50:32 $11.98
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# Track Title Length Format Sample Rate Price
1 String Quaret in Four Parts, Quietly Flowing Along 4:09 $1.49 Buy
2 String Quaret in Four Parts, Slowly Rocking 4:44 $1.49 Buy
3 String Quaret in Four Parts, Nearly Stationary 9:59 44.1/16 Album only
4 String Quaret in Four Parts, Quodlibet 1:35 $1.49 Buy
5 "Four" Part One 15:05 44.1/16 Album only
6 "Four" Part Two 15:00 44.1/16 Album only

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The second volume of Cage's String Quartets features his first and last works in this repertoire. The well known and exquisitely beautiful, serenely Zen-like early quartet receives its first new recording in 16 years. It is a pivotal work in Cage's oeuvre, showing the composer's transition between the rhytmically complex percussion works before it and the chance works of the 1950s. Four was written for the Arditti Quartet, its "time-bracket" form opens a world of microtones, the four independent players forming constantly shifting textures.

The pairing of these two quartets on this recording offers a striking demonstration that the silent compositional voice which Cage discovered in 1949 has remained with hin ever since. The booklet features another etching by Cage and extensive liner notes by Cage scholar James Pritchett. Composer supervised recordings.

John Cage (1912 - 1992)

"My very favorite Cage piece, the String Quartet in Four Parts (1950), a thing of wonderous hockets and ecstatic stillness, composed right before chance took over, is in the Arditti set on Mode, which, together with Tan's piano recordings, is the best Cage to be had on records."