Can opposites attract on record?

Can opposites attract on record?


norman lebrecht

April 07, 2014

There is no way this record should have worked. One of the two composers worked for a Catholic court, the other other was a Californian with no fixed sense of tradition. One represents the ultimate in order – old order. The other was a musical pioneer of chaos theory. One was a polysyllabic personage of an over-decorated civilisation. The other was plain John.

Together, they are my album of the week on Read how that works here.


photo: (c) Betty Freeman/Lebrecht Music&Arts


  • ed says:

    Norman, very nice commentary in your Sinfini article. May your hopes be realized.

  • AnnaT says:

    Structurally, it makes perfect sense, as most of the Scarlatti and Cage sonatas are simple binary forms with repeats (AABB). Cage didn’t go anywhere near the often-exhausting formal structure we now know as “sonata form.” This album sounds like an elegant pairing. I look forward to hearing it!

  • AnnaT says:

    PS I should add that Cage’s sonatas are highly mathematical and structured, as one of the sites where he perfected his micro-macro proportional technique, prominent in his early works. Quite elaborate and formal, and in its own way, also “the ultimate in order.”