One of the most grown-up review sites around

54,416 reviews
and more.. and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here



International mailing

Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             


JOHN CAGE (1912-1992):
THREE2 (1991) (9'00")
TWENTY-THREE (1988) (23'00")
SIX (1991) (3'00")
TWENTY-SIX (1991) (26'00")
Christina Fong (violin/viola) Glenn Freeman (percussion) Karen Krummel (cello)
CD available for post-free online mail-order or you may download individual tracks. For some labels you can download the entire CD with a single click and make HUGE savings. The price you see is the price you pay! The full booklet notes are available on-line.

NOTE • Click on the button and you can buy the disc or read the booklet details • You can also access each track which you may then sample or down load. • Further Information.

This disc, distinctively and pristinely packaged in a lime-green tinted jewel case, sets down the first recordings of Cage's final works for string ensemble and percussion ensemble. The liner notes are on the disc itself and are swirled around and out from the centre of the disc.

This is the second in the Cage series from this source. Both Glenn Freeman and Christina Fong are the movers and shakers behind the project. The first in their series (reviewed on this site) featured previously unrecorded works for solo violin by Cage.

An eerie stillness settles over Twenty-Three which has Fong (multi-tracked on violin and viola lines) with cellist Karen Krummel. The same long-held lines and lack of fast-flowing dramatic musical activity hangs over this meditational music as over the two One works on the earlier disc. This is music for those who have or want access to a different time-pace to the one most of us are driven by. Palate cleaning, mentally speaking, this music is minimalistic in approach and refreshingly honest. Don't look for obvious rewards. Three2 is liken a shaken curtain of tinkling sound, the reverberation of tiny bells caught in elfin jangling - close in spirit to the music we imagine for Prospero's island. Six (for percussion) is rumbles and jingles ominously. An almost Pendereckian (Threnody) richness and quiet stridency hangs over the multi-tracked Twenty-Six which runs for 26 minutes of high-oscillating sound-weave. At surface level there is very little going on in this music but it acts catalytically to stimulate, free up and lull the mind. The experience can be likened to looking fixedly into a flame or a pool. At times it strays close to that sense of timelessness and infinity that permeates the close of Holst's Neptune.

A recommendation then but, as last time, this music will only suit a very specific band of listeners. I can imagine adventurous New-Agers responding well to this as well as those with fond memories of the 1970s hey-day of the avant-garde. Cage left his mark in many quarters. It is praiseworthy that his champions include eloquent and committed artists of the rank and sensitivity of Freeman, Fong and Krummel.


Rob Barnett

see also review by Jonathan Woolf

NOTE Christina Fong is an active performer of newer music composed for both violin and viola, and has performed-premiered the works of many composers including Philip Glass, Michael Nyman and Michael Gordon. You can find out more from



CD Price: £ 11.00 Post-free Air Mail World-wide
- Download Price:
£ 8.49
Buy CD:
Download all tracks:

(minimum 30 secs)

Three2 (1991)

Twenty-Three (1988)

Six (1991)

Twenty-Six (1991)

You require QuickTime to listed to samples.

Get a free QuickTime download here

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION • You can sample only 30 seconds (or 15% if that is longer) of a given track. Select from the View tracks list. Each sample will normally start from the beginning but you can drag the slider to any position before pressing play. • PLEASE NOTE: If you are behind a firewall and the sound is prematurely terminated you may need to register Ludwig as a trusted source with your firewall software. •You will need Quicktime to hear sound samples. Get a free Quicktime download here • If you cannot see the "Sample All Tracks" button you need to download Flash from here.

Return to Index

Untitled Document

Reviews from previous months
Join the mailing list and receive a hyperlinked weekly update on the discs reviewed. details
We welcome feedback on our reviews. Please use the Bulletin Board
Please paste in the first line of your comments the URL of the review to which you refer.