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Customer Review

28 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not something I'll often return to, May 29, 2012
This review is from: Silfra (Audio CD)
I'm quite fond of prepared piano and certain minimalist works, and I think Hahn is a formidable violinist. When the news about this CD reached my ears, I was excited; I like it when classical musicians record something that hasn't been recorded for a hundred times. After listening to the album, however, I have to say that I'm not that impressed.

The music is pleasant enough, with interesting acoustics, but really, what do you expect when a prepared piano is involved? I laud the musicians for doing improvisations, but I would rather listen to something carefully written out if this is all they can do with improvisations. Hauschka is quite ok, but Hahn... She's a great violinist. In the past, I had the pleasure to hear some truly great improvisations, and I have to say this is not. I feel that the music lacks a real sense of composition that gives a piece structure, that gets me return to a piece over and over again. To me the music itself is not very memorable in the first place, which is fine if it's interesting enough for repeated listening. The thing is, I don't find it interesting enough.

As for the novelty element... Barring the fact that it's done by classical musicians, there's not much new here. You can find similar sounds in many post-rock or ambient albums. If there's something that could have set Hahn and Hauschka apart from those musicians, it's that they could have given the music the level of structure that usually only musicians with classical training can achieve. But oh well... Dare I say, those musicians with much less formal training have done better.

Maybe my expectation was too high. I was hoping to hear the "Tabula Rasa" (a minimalist work written by Arvo Part in the 1980s for Gidon Kremer) of our age - not in terms of style, but in terms of inspirations and impact. Now I guess I'll just have to stick to that for some time longer.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jun 19, 2012 8:10:16 PM PDT
draudio2u says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2012 7:04:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 7, 2012 7:05:49 PM PDT
Milan Simich says:
No Cage won't educate anybody. Cage was not a musician. He did what he did precisely cause he could not write music so he created concepts. Nothing wrong with it, but it ain't 'music', interesting as his concepts were and influential as they rightly were.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 5, 2014 9:32:34 AM PST
Firestarter says:
@congwen,

Thank you for your review. I think yours was the most helpful one of them all (at least to me). Others were just pretending to be written by insiders and connoisseurs who have nothing to say except for repeating the editorial review and/or using snippets of text from the recording's liner notes.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 7, 2014 3:06:31 PM PDT
David Keymer says:
Check out the new album by pianist David Greilsammer, Scarlatti and Cage Sonatas. I do not like everything that John Cage wrote or performed but he did have a musical vision, or if you prefer, a vision of *sound*. On Greilsammer's album, it works especially in contrast to the beautiful Scarlatti pieces.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 5, 2014 9:28:52 AM PDT
congwen says:
Hi David,

Thank you for the recommendation. I think over the years I have come to acknowledge, if not appreciate, Cage's contribution to music, or at least our ways of viewing and defining music. I'll definitely try the album as soon as I get the chance.
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