Can opposites attract on record?

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

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  • 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!

  • 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.”

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