Ars Nova, The Complete John Cage Edition Volume 18: The Choral Works

Seth Colter Walls

By Seth Colter Walls

on 10.09.11 in Reviews

Let’s take a moment to admire the service the Mode label has done for Cage appreciation. In the CD era, they released dozens of full albums in their (still in-process) Cage Complete Edition, exploring the less-celebrated (or more infamous) sections of the oeuvre. To wit: who knew that Cage wrote so beautifully for voices? If you can’t say that you did, prepare to be knocked down by “Hymns and Variations” and “Four2 (second version).” What separates this pretty choral music from a lot of other pretty choral music is precisely what’s specific to Cage: the spaces in between, an overall lack of hurry to get anywhere in particular.