John Cage’s remarkable magnum opus A Book of Music for two prepared pianos is brought together here with his complete works for toy piano. Intricately structured according to Cage’s ideas about Mozart, A Book of Music is an eloquent and virtuoso mosaic of driving and sometimes frenetic rhythms, the exotic sounds of the ‘prepared’ piano strings transporting the listener into worlds of the strangest imagining. The Suite for Toy Piano is a modest miracle of precise expression and the first ever serious concert music written for this instrument, while Music for Amplified Toy Pianos is composed using chance elements, generating a spacious field of sound filled with surprise.
"...The new Naxos edition with works for two keyboards by John Cage starts with a ravishing program, ranging from oriental percussion sounds to the amusing music with toy pianos. The major characteristic is that, beyond fabulous rhythmics, both of the pianists achieve in giving a soul to this very special music." *****
"... these lively, alert, and even virtuosic readings have much to recommend them, so if you’re curious, don’t hold back."
Raymond Tuttle - Fanfare - March/April 2014