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Morton Feldman: Violin & Piano
     

Morton Feldman: Violin & Piano

by Andreas Seidel
 
The works on this two-disc set of music for violin and piano (plus a piece for four pianos) span a large part of Morton Feldman's career, from the tiny 1950 "Piece for Violin and Piano" to the monumental "For John Cage," written in 1982. Although he found a variety of ways of expressing his aesthetic principles, it's intriguing to hear how consistently Feldman held to

Overview

The works on this two-disc set of music for violin and piano (plus a piece for four pianos) span a large part of Morton Feldman's career, from the tiny 1950 "Piece for Violin and Piano" to the monumental "For John Cage," written in 1982. Although he found a variety of ways of expressing his aesthetic principles, it's intriguing to hear how consistently Feldman held to his vision throughout his career. One of the CDs is devoted to "For John Cage," which lasts nearly 80 minutes, and which Feldman described as "a little piece for violin and piano that doesn't quit." It's certainly an apt description because, in spite of its monumental length, it always feels intimate. It's also perhaps the most satisfying work in the collection; its large scope provided a spacious enough canvas on which Feldman could develop his ideas to make their maximum impact. As is virtually always true of Feldman's chamber works, the instruments are equal in their contributions to the musical fabric. The instruments' individual notes and minute constellations of sound drift past each other, extremely quietly, creating a hushed, often static atmosphere in which gestures unfold, often with little sense of predictability, although "For John Cage" makes more obvious use of repetition than the earlier works. Few artists have devoted themselves as tirelessly and with as much skill and insight to the avant-garde piano repertoire as German composer Steffen Schleiermacher. His large discography includes solo and chamber music by Satie, Schoenberg, Cage (the complete piano works), Boulez, Stockhausen, Glass, Kurtág, Earle Brown, Wolfgang Rihm, Michael Finnissy, and Josef Matthias Hauer, as well as his own works. His performances and those of violinist Andreas Seidel are remarkable for their focused energy and their ability to invest apparently random events with purposefulness and meaning. It would be easy for music that is this quiet and slowly evolving, and that doesn't involve traditional development to come as flaccid and random, but Schleiermacher and Seidel play every note and gesture with care and acute sensitivity to the ways it relates to what surrounds it. Gripping is not an adjective one would generally first associate with Feldman's music, but it is not farfetched to apply it to this performance of "For John Cage." MDG's audiophile sound is characteristically immaculate and natural.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/17/2012
Label:
Mdg
UPC:
0760623152424
catalogNumber:
6131524

Tracks

  1. For John Cage, for violin & piano
  2. Piece for Four Pianos, for 4 pianos
  3. Vertical Thoughts 4, for piano
  4. Spring of Chosroes, for violin & piano

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