Cowell, Cage, and Crumb in Philadelphia Reviewed

Henry Cowell

Via Phindie.

If you were hoping for a cozy little concert with harpsichords and Mozart, this series is not for you. Last Wednesday’s concert, sponsored by music enthusiast Anthony B. Creamer, III, was hard core. The musician, Singaporean Margaret Leng Tan, is a formidable pianist who has devoted her performances to nonconventional modern music.

The program was entitled Cowell, Cage, Crumb – Pioneers of the Avant-Garde Piano. Tan performed John Cage’s long piece for prepared piano, The Perilous Night, which he wrote in 1944. Cage, known for his unconventional gimmicks, created this piece of relatively conventional sounds, excepting the bell-like sounds produced by the prepared instrument, and he ended it in a sort of rock rhythm and tunefulness that was a harbinger of the 1950s American popular style.