Author Topic: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)  (Read 99035 times)

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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #820 on: November 25, 2021, 02:09:17 PM »


The Zukofsky/Schroeder I've had since the 90's so that is what is most familiar to me. There is a pervasive scraping sound in many sections which I was never sure was intentional or not until this past summer when I acquired some other versions and they don't have that.
Regardless, I would recommend and you can choose whatever quality download you like at whatever price you choose at Bandcamp, even $0.
Those extraneous sounds are on the download as well though.

Maybe I'm a bit in the shiny new toy syndrome as far as recent favorites.

I probably listen most now to the Orazbayeva/Knoop on All That Dust. Has the odd quality of wanting me to start up again as soon as it finishes which is rare for me given its length.

My other favorite at the moment is the recent Hat Hut by Wegmann/Kunz.
The sound is extremely loud and intense so probably not for you but is exquisite if you can capture the 'right' volume. The trails of vanishing notes doesn't come across listening at the Bandcamp site online. Though this is one of the longer versions(90 minutes) it doesn't feel so and pairs well with the Fong(66+ minutes) as a study in contrasts.

This is very much my experience with Wegmann/Kunz and with Orazbayeva/Knoop. In truth I think it probably is a major masterpiece so it’s a pleasure to have these different recordings. However where we part company is with Schroeder/Zukofsky because, on my transfer, the violin is so closely recorded, it makes the music sound less still and more colourful - that stillness is what I like so much in this.
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #821 on: November 25, 2021, 02:22:17 PM »
Is For Philip Guston the Der Ring des Nibelungen of contemporary classical music?

Offline T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #822 on: November 25, 2021, 03:26:30 PM »
Is For Philip Guston the Der Ring des Nibelungen of contemporary classical music?

I can't say...and it'd be an imperfect analogy in any case.
Off the top of my head, Stockhausen's Licht and La Monte Young's The Well-Tuned Piano also come to mind.
For Philip Guston probably gets more ink than either of those...I don't know the performance history of Licht, and The Well-Tuned Piano could be classified as "the M(inimalist) word", which turns many off.
But Feldman's String Quartet #2 seems to get just as much publicity as FPG.
Having mentioned La Monte Young, Sorabji might be in the mix somewhere, depending on your definition of "contemporary".

Offline hvbias

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #823 on: November 30, 2021, 10:40:01 AM »
Through listening to For John Cage I’ve started to understand more how piano decay is important in Feldman’s music, and in that piece, Tilbury’s two recorded performances are particularly impressive. It may be interesting to hear what he does with For Bunita Marcus.

Tilbury, like Kleeb, and unlike Takahashi, comes to Feldman with a lot of experience in improvised music and graphic and text scores (which I see as quasi improvised music.)

OK, OK, you’re selling it to me. I thought I’d give the longest version on record a try, and yes, I am really enjoying it. Too late to get through more than 20 or 30 minutes though.

https://www.discogs.com/release/3287035-Morton-Feldman-Last-Composition-Piano-Violin-Viola-Cello-28-May-1987

Still think it’s depressing and eerie though - one of us must be weird, or maybe we both love depressing eerie things.

Received this version a couple of days ago and spent a little over an hour with it. It's an extremely fine performance, though I still feel like Apartment House's is a good recommendation.

Quoted your earlier part about piano decay being important in Feldman's music, apparently Feldman felt the same. Typing out one of the paragraphs that mentions this, from the liner notes of Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello set with Aki Takahashi:

The piano is played extremely softly with depressed right pedal. Feldman uses its resonance to enhance the continuity of the sound. Even written out rests can't inhibit the suggestion of an uninterrupted sound. "An optical illusion for what is in fact the acoustic background of the whole work, comparable to 'room noise'", according to the composer. Also noteworthy is Feldman's frequent placement of the three string instruments in the lower register. Because low strings take longer to produce such a thing as 'aftersound', his intention here is to influence the timing during ensemble playing.

I think this type of music is best served on highly transparent DSP speakers like D&D 8c or Kii Three, I would love to hear this on them. For now it sounds pretty god damn spooky real on the ESL57.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2021, 10:52:46 AM by hvbias »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #824 on: December 01, 2021, 02:16:29 AM »
Received this version a couple of days ago and spent a little over an hour with it. It's an extremely fine performance, though I still feel like Apartment House's is a good recommendation.

Quoted your earlier part about piano decay being important in Feldman's music, apparently Feldman felt the same. Typing out one of the paragraphs that mentions this, from the liner notes of Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello set with Aki Takahashi:

The piano is played extremely softly with depressed right pedal. Feldman uses its resonance to enhance the continuity of the sound. Even written out rests can't inhibit the suggestion of an uninterrupted sound. "An optical illusion for what is in fact the acoustic background of the whole work, comparable to 'room noise'", according to the composer. Also noteworthy is Feldman's frequent placement of the three string instruments in the lower register. Because low strings take longer to produce such a thing as 'aftersound', his intention here is to influence the timing during ensemble playing.

I think this type of music is best served on highly transparent DSP speakers like D&D 8c or Kii Three, I would love to hear this on them. For now it sounds pretty god damn spooky real on the ESL57.

The thing that I need in these small ensemble pieces is a sense of rapport between the players. Of course I don’t know if I’m fooling myself, but I hear it more in the live Takehashi PVVC than in the Appartement House.
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Offline hvbias

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #825 on: December 01, 2021, 09:04:06 AM »
The thing that I need in these small ensemble pieces is a sense of rapport between the players. Of course I don’t know if I’m fooling myself, but I hear it more in the live Takehashi PVVC than in the Appartement House.

There is a certain wabi sabi aesthetic to the Takahashi, Tsuji, Bunschoten, Tanaka (I will refer to as Takahashi for brevity) performance, and not just because you hear things like rustling sounds or people shifting their weight, beyond the extraneous noises there is a quality of spontaneity to it. The strings also come off as more dampened on the Apartment House performance, whereas they are playing slightly more lively with Takahashi. After a second play through I think the differences are quite a bit more significant, and I certainly prefer Takahashi. The resonance we were discussing is also captured incredibly well with Takahashi but it's subtle and not exaggerated like on her recording of For Bunita Marcus.

I gave this a try on headphones and I might have mentioned this earlier in the thread that I only started to appreciate Feldman after I left apartment living and was able to have speakers. Once again I find headphones are just not satisfying. Digesting the liner notes more I think this does require the music be projected into your space. Even with the false acoustic of our listening space and not what is heard live the things like "room noise" (presumably early and late reflections is what Feldman was referring to? Or was that just ambient noise of a live setting?) does add to the experience in a not insignificant way.

Edit: I find it quite interesting when composers consider the intended image of what they want the listener to experience. IIRC the earliest account of this I can recall is Wagner's obsession with Bayreuth Festival Hall.
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 09:17:57 AM by hvbias »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #826 on: December 01, 2021, 09:33:13 AM »


Edit: I find it quite interesting when composers consider the intended image of what they want the listener to experience. IIRC the earliest account of this I can recall is Wagner's obsession with Bayreuth Festival Hall.

Very big issue there, subject of a Ph.D for someone probably, because, of course, the score does not determine the sounds of a performance. So by writing music conventionally the composers really aren’t communicating a determinate “sound image.”
« Last Edit: December 01, 2021, 09:35:25 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline hvbias

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #827 on: December 02, 2021, 05:40:02 PM »
Very big issue there, subject of a Ph.D for someone probably, because, of course, the score does not determine the sounds of a performance.

Fully agree.

Quote
So by writing music conventionally the composers really aren’t communicating a determinate “sound image.”

I didn't mean communicating this but what they intended, ie what they picture the performance to sound like. For Wagner while he was alive that is one more thing he had control of. A thought experiment, if two identical performances were at two different concert halls the one that he was involved in designing would give him his desired sound.

I didn't mean the analogy to be quite that literal, mostly just something I was thinking about and tying into my dissatisfaction of hearing this music on headphones.