Teodoro Anzelloti, John Cage: Cheap Imitation, Souvenir & Dream

George Grella

By George Grella

on 08.13.11 in Reviews
His most accessible work is both atypical and all Cage

Cage’s loveliest, most charming piece has a perfectly Cage-ian story to it. His partner Merce Cunningham wanted to make a dance to Erik Satie’s Socrate, so Cage set about preparing a two-piano arrangement of that orchestral score. Satie’s publisher forbade permission to perform the music, however, so Cage set about creating an original work that followed the same rhythms and structures from Satie that Cunningham had been using. With his own system and the I Ching, the composer followed Satie’s general harmonic and melodic outline, but substituted his own notes, scales and key changes. The result is mysteriously, even mournfully, tuneful, not a traditional piano piece by any means but one that seems just slightly removed from the history of classical piano literature. His most accessible work, it’s both atypical and all Cage. In this recording, virtuoso accordionist Teodoro Anzelloti plays the transcription originally made for violinist Paul Zukofsky.