Sunday, August 08, 2010

What price John Cage?


John Cage, complete music for prepared piano played by Giancarlo Simonacci appears in that photo from my 2007 post, A quieter splash. The Brilliant Classics 3 CD set received an enthusiastic recommendation here when it came out and the Dutch budget label has now released a second set, John Cage, piano and cello music. I have not yet heard the new discs, but based on the quality of the first release and Brilliant Classic's track record the set is a no brainer at around £8.99 for three discs.

At the late night BBC Prom on August 20 John Cage's First Construction (in Metal) is being performed together with works by Cornelius Cardew, Howard Skempton and Morton Feldman. I was very tempted by this concert but it means an overnight stay in London. The tickets for the short late night Prom are commendably low priced, but despite this the total cost for me to attend is well over £100, even when using discounted rail travel for the 230 mile return journey and staying in a crappy London budget hotel.

So in one corner we have £100+ for one hour of live music by John Cage and in the other £8.99 for three hours of Cage on CD. Yes, I know I can hear the concert on Radio 3, and to preempt the inevitable comments from BBC groupies, I repeat this post is not about the price of Proms tickets; it is about the diverging cost of live and recorded music, particularly if you do not live in a major city. This blog has always championed live music, but I do sometimes wonder.....

This post is available via Twitter @overgrownpath. Photo is (c) On An Overgrown Path 2010.
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