First Night, Boston

December 31, 1994

Donald Berman, piano

music of John Cage (1912-1992):
Sonatas for Prepared Piano (1948)

John Cage transformed the piano into a percussion ensemble by inserting objects such as screws, bolts, and erasers between the strings of the piano.

The delightful new sounds were composed into forms similar to the sonatas of the late Baroque composer Domenico Scarlatti. The early Sonatas are the simplest and neatest, the later ones busier and more romantic. A post-war era of the avant-garde was launched by these strikingly new, yet formal pieces. Happy New Year!