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Work Title
Cheap Imitation (variable large ensemble)
Begun in 1970, completed in 1972. Premiered in The Hague, May 13, 1972.
Ensemble Type
Large Ensemble
Work Length
Approximately 35
For variable large ensemble, with versions available for 24, 59, and 95 players.
Using the original solo piano version as a base, Cage composed this larger version, using I-Ching chance operations, to answer the following questions (reprinted here from a brochure for a concert): Of those orchestra instruments that easily play all the notes of the phrase, how many and which actually do? Of those notes in the phrase, how many and which are actually to be played? (for all instruments). What quantity of the total duration is to be held? (for each duration longer than the unit within a phrase). Is a note left quickly, held full length, or held slightly more than full length? Note that the premiere date was declared a public rehearsal by the composer.
Serge Koussevitzky Music Foundation in the Library of Congress and dedicated to the memory of Serge and Natalie Koussevitzky
Peters Edition EP 6805ar
Recordings (click for details)