EDITION WANDELWEISER RECORDS
> Antoine Beuger
Beuger . Cage
Antoine Beuger; John Cage
Kathryn Gleasman Pisaro, Oboe
Few composers have the self-control seen here to allow the silence that
surrounds all we do to be so present, to bring to the forefront that
which is covered by all of our daily activities, only present when we
let ourselves realize the stillness at the base of all action, all
The regular presence of notes in calme étendue (oboe)
provides for the listener a feeling similar to that of a light on top
of a lighthouse as it regularly turns in the night – a feeling of
grounding. Every eight seconds, the oboist reaffirms the world of
constructed sound with constant repetitions of three seconds of a sound
followed by five seconds of silence. After a group of these
beacons, the silence takes over again. The feeling is of heading back
out to sea as silence resumes its supremacy.
The subtle play of sounds given to the oboist comes from an aspect of
playing so common many professional players do it almost unthinkingly.
Most oboists, when playing notes that use only a few fingers will add
keys lower down on the oboe to provide subtle alterations of pitch and
tone quality. The ethereal beauty of the subtle color and
pitch changes make the sounds heard in calme étendue (oboe) haunting, yet beautiful.
The interludes of John Cage’s Music for One
are also haunting, again using alternative pitches and tone colors.
Cage uses microtonal inflections, mutes and harmonic fingerings to
subtly shade the tones and pitches, surrounding each grouping with
expanses of silence.
Although long notes and short phrases dot the composition, the most
memorable features of the work are the melodic vignettes that appear
throughout, examples of Cage’s melodic gift. Possibly a
legacy of his early love of Grieg, these melodies create small worlds
that become clear when heard in a solo version, as they are here. The
Eastern nuances of the oboe sliding between notes, the elephantine
qualities of loud, low playing, the manic energy of the last explosive
phrases, the plaintive quality that comes through when a section is
played at a slower tempo, all of these musical nuances come from a part
of Cage not usually revealed.
Kathryn Gleasman Pisaro