And this week the first movement, Tacet, is a free download at the iTunes Store:
John Cage was a modernist composer with a playful sense of humor. In 1952 he wrote this short piano piece, which instructs the soloist not to play any notes at all the only sound you hear being provided by audience and their surroundings. The ensuing argument over whether this counts as music quickly made 4’33” the most famous and controversial composition of Cage’s career. Today, the work is most widely understood as a challenge to the concept of silence even when there’s apparently nothing present to make a sound, you can always hear something if you listen hard enough.
Then again, to me anyway, the really amazing aspect of 4’33” is that someone was once accused of plagiarizing it.
(No, I’m not putting up an MP3, wiseguy.)