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Three2, Twenty-Three, Six, Twenty-Six Limited Edition

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Audio CD, Limited Edition, January 1, 1999
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$14.21 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details Only 1 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Gift-wrap available.

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Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Three2Glenn Freeman 9:05Album Only
listen  2. Twenty-ThreeChristina Fong23:03Album Only
listen  3. SixGlenn Freeman 3:05$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Twenty-SixChristina Fong26:01Album Only

Product Details

  • Performer: Christina Fong, Glenn Freeman, Karen Krummel
  • Composer: John Cage
  • Audio CD (January 1, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Limited Edition
  • Label: OgreOgress productions
  • ASIN: B0000667F2
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #517,242 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Second in a complete series of the Number Pieces (final works) for strings and/or percussion, this 61-minute CD features the world premiere recordings of John Cage's Three2, Twenty-Three and Twenty-Six.


At first hearing, Cage's 'number pieces', which he started in 1987 and worked on until his death in 1992, might seem to be extreme oxymorons as beautifully voiced chords imperceptibly drift in and out of focus. Cage's writing certainly feels as though it is conceived harmonically. But is it, in fact, the case? Well, it's certain Cage wouldn't have passed any academic music theory exam, but his 'number pieces' represent the most radical rethink of the very stuff of harmony. Twenty-Six is oddball and eerie. The harmonies are slightly sour and given extra spice by tiny, expertly placed glissandi. The effect of layering 26 separate vibrato-less violin parts suggests something almost superhuman, but the music also has an attractive vulnerability. Twenty-Three adds Karen Krummel on cello to make a virtual string quartet, and the richness and scope of this highly sensual performance is a joy. Philip Clark, The Wire, September 2001

Both percussion works are short. Three2 is played here on metallic instruments and runs about nine minutes. The result is a sustained exploration of metallic percussion. Six is even shorter at three minutes and uses a wider variety of instruments including what sound to be tympani. Twenty-Three is for roughly the same ensemble as Strauss's late Metamorphosen (Cage does not use double basses in his work). Although the actual music could not be more removed from the Strauss masterpiece, it does convey a sense of loss of surprising poignance. Twenty-Six is for twenty-six violins and is rather similar. The result in both cases is a slowly shifting cluster that expands and contracts in both pitch and density over the twenty plus minutes of each piece. The emotional content is, I am quite sure, entirely unintentional. Still there is an elegiac quality to both of the string pieces, in particular Twenty-Three, that is surprisingly moving and beautiful … these performances are certainly an important addition to the canon of Cage performances. Recommended. John Story, Fanfare, July/August 2002

Three2 and Six are continuous sounds for percussion, Twenty-Three and Twenty-Six are for violins and cellos electronically manipulated at great length and all in endlessly long tones. There are no notes, but one may eventually discover a paragraph quoted from Cage printed on the disc itself. David Moore, American Record Guide, January/February 2001

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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Forbes on June 17, 2003
Format: Audio CD
At the end of his life, Cage became consumed by a series of works that have come to be called the Number Pieces. These works, like so much of Cage's music, were generated using chance techniques, but in this case, with the help of computer algorithms. Each work received a number, according to how many performers were required, and very general sets of playing instructions, with precise pitches and rather open rhythmical interpretation. The resulting works are strikingly individual and in my opinion, among the most beautiful pieces that the composer created in the last thirty years of his life.
Christina Fong, Glenn Freeman and Karen Krummel are the only instrumentalists on this disc. The needed sound masses in the works have been created by overdubbing. Two pieces, Three(2) and Six are rendered for percussion, using instruments that are capable of sustaining quiet sounds. Sounds layer in and out of these works gently. They are well played by Mr. Freeman. The string works are richer in texture. 23 is written for that number of solo strings and rendered with Ms. Fong on Violin and Viola and Ms. Krummel on cello. 26 is for that number of violins alone. Both works are haunting, and at times nearly electronic. The pieces don't so much change as morph from shape to shape, varying in texture, tone and density. The effect is hypnotic. These are not works to "listen" to as much as they are works to let wash over you with sound.
There are some who might question the choice to overdub these works rather than hire the number of instrumentalists required and perform the work "live" as it were. But I think the results here warrant attention and praise. There is no feel of "coldness" or disengagement in the performances and the result couldn't be better. Highly recommended to fans of Cage's work and to others with adventurous ears.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Max Ridgway on February 24, 2014
Format: Audio CD
In an interview late in his life, John Cage said, "Recently I've come to like sounds that don't change... I enjoy them, and I offer them to other people to hear."

While the music by John Cage on this recording is not comprised strictly of "sounds that don't change", the rate of change is very slow, slow enough to suggest a kind of unchanging timelessness. This CD by OgreOgress presents a selection of works nicely balanced between percussion and strings. "Three 2" and "Six" feature Glenn Freeman on percussion in contrast to "Twenty-Three" and "Twenty-Six" with Christina Fong on violin and viola, and Karen Krummel on cello. The aesthetic thread that ties the CD together is Cage's interest in static sounds whose rate of change is hypnotically slow. The performances are sensitive and thoughtful, beautifully capturing the intent of Cage's compositions.

This music is colorfully seductive, a pleasant listening experience to be repeated many times.
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Three2, Twenty-Three, Six, Twenty-Six
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