Author Topic: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)  (Read 98208 times)

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Online T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #700 on: October 06, 2020, 01:53:17 AM »
Did late Feldman write tempo indications? What seems most strange is how, given the speed, Feldman could have said the interpretation is prayerful. Maybe I don’t understand prayer, maybe he was talking about a performance very different than the one on record, maybe he was just out of his head when he said that . . .

No tempo indications for Triadic Memories.

See Marilyn Nonken's notes: https://www.dramonline.org/media/786477.pdf

And Aki Takahashi's performance "along with the score": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=46X7s2T93XY

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #701 on: October 06, 2020, 02:59:56 AM »
Did late Feldman write tempo indications? What seems most strange is how, given the speed, Feldman could have said the interpretation is prayerful. Maybe I don’t understand prayer, maybe he was talking about a performance very different than the one on record, maybe he was just out of his head when he said that . . .

I don't know what he meant, but I don't think by "prayerful" he meant "slow". That bit about rushing was, of course, a joke. But I think the lack of tempo indications has resulted in a huge variety of interpretations at many different tempi. I have a feeling Feldman would have appreciated that, given his famous comments on three different pianists of his work which he all praised for being completely different (I don't have the quote at the moment, so please correct me if I'm wrong).

Online T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #702 on: October 06, 2020, 06:37:12 AM »
I don't know what he meant, but I don't think by "prayerful" he meant "slow". That bit about rushing was, of course, a joke. But I think the lack of tempo indications has resulted in a huge variety of interpretations at many different tempi. I have a feeling Feldman would have appreciated that, given his famous comments on three different pianists of his work which he all praised for being completely different (I don't have the quote at the moment, so please correct me if I'm wrong).

In the Triadic Memories section of Give My Regards to Eighth Street, "prayerful" seems to pertain to appearance. But there is a funny/ironic (considering the recording's tempo) passage:
 
"...because Miss Takahashi keeps the pedal half-down throughout the piece, and I don't want you to feel in a sense that she is one of those pianists that never take the pedal off [laughter]..."

I don't fully understand this, because most of the score pages I saw on the Youtube video cited (disclosure: I didn't check them all) already indicate "1/2 Ped." Maybe that means she keeps the pedal half-down on the pages that don't specify it? Or maybe (she co-commissioned the piece) her input led to the "1/2 Ped." markings? I dunno.

Offline hvbias

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #703 on: October 06, 2020, 06:50:10 AM »
I've ordered Aki Takahashi playing Palais de Mari and several other piano works as part of the Mode Feldman Edition. Managed to find a copy for under 10 bucks, which is always a win for a Feldman recording. I love this label. They have similar editions for Cage and Xenakis (possibly other composers) and it's all great. Hopefully this will help me click with Feldman piano music. The composer is on record admiring Ms. Takahashi's playing. It's one of the longer PdM's out there at over 29 minutes.

A large part of their catalog is out of print and hard to buy. I have one of their older Feldman CDs that even points to their domain mode.com (seems like quite a valuable four letter domain) which is now some corporate page.

If anyone detests String Quartet 2 and wants to sell me the Flux Quartet recording at non-flipper prices send me a message  :D

Offline hvbias

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #704 on: October 06, 2020, 06:56:09 AM »
Why on earth is there such a wide variety of Feldman recordings out there compared to virtually any other late C20 composer?! I love it, I can't complain in the slightest, other than the fact that I have to choose between 10 artists I've never heard of for any given work, but it seems unfair to the other great talents out there.

I would be interested in reading from Feldman scholars why there is this sudden interest in his work in the 21st century.

Another big time 20th C composer is Ligeti and he has been in my heavy rotation again, I've been looking for more CDs to add and not really finding all that much outside of what I have. Besides Pieter Wispelwey's magnificent slow, haunting first recording of the Cello Sonata.

Offline springrite

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #705 on: October 06, 2020, 07:36:36 AM »
A large part of their catalog is out of print and hard to buy. I have one of their older Feldman CDs that even points to their domain mode.com (seems like quite a valuable four letter domain) which is now some corporate page.

If anyone detests String Quartet 2 and wants to sell me the Flux Quartet recording at non-flipper prices send me a message  :D
Is that recording OOP? I have yet to listen to it in its entirety. I think I gave it a couple of 20 minutes spins only.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #706 on: October 06, 2020, 07:44:12 AM »
In the Triadic Memories section of Give My Regards to Eighth Street, "prayerful" seems to pertain to appearance. But there is a funny/ironic (considering the recording's tempo) passage:
 
"...because Miss Takahashi keeps the pedal half-down throughout the piece, and I don't want you to feel in a sense that she is one of those pianists that never take the pedal off [laughter]..."

I don't fully understand this, because most of the score pages I saw on the Youtube video cited (disclosure: I didn't check them all) already indicate "1/2 Ped." Maybe that means she keeps the pedal half-down on the pages that don't specify it? Or maybe (she co-commissioned the piece) her input led to the "1/2 Ped." markings? I dunno.

Very good work, finding that.
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Offline milk

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #707 on: October 06, 2020, 06:22:58 PM »
Very good work, finding that.
it’s interesting to me that she was in Japan last year playing Schubert. No Feldman. I guess like any geriatric audience, Feldman wouldn’t keep them awake.

Online T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #708 on: October 06, 2020, 06:36:02 PM »
A large part of their catalog is out of print and hard to buy. I have one of their older Feldman CDs that even points to their domain mode.com (seems like quite a valuable four letter domain) which is now some corporate page.

If anyone detests String Quartet 2 and wants to sell me the Flux Quartet recording at non-flipper prices send me a message  :D

There's one on discogs for US$34.99 + $6 S/H which doesn't seem outrageous if you really want it.
Disclosure: I have no connection with the seller.  ;) In fact, I don't love the sonority of Feldman's compositions for SQ (prefer to hear some piano or percussion), am not interested in the ultra-long SQ II, and never owned a recording thereof.
« Last Edit: October 06, 2020, 06:38:14 PM by T. D. »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #709 on: October 06, 2020, 07:32:36 PM »
it’s interesting to me that she was in Japan last year playing Schubert. No Feldman. I guess like any geriatric audience, Feldman wouldn’t keep them awake.

She’s released a lot of Schubert CDs recently, they’re not bad at all, a bit tense sometimes maybe, but that could be a good thing.
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Online T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #710 on: October 13, 2020, 08:15:06 PM »
Back to the subject of Feldman students...I purchased a CD (my third) of Mamoru Fujieda's music and was surprised to find (probably once knew, but had forgotten) that he was "a student of Feldman", presumably when Feldman was at UCSD in the '80s. I never know exactly what "student" means - in the case of famous composer/teachers, I sometimes suspect that it translates as "once took a course from" - but found this interesting list:

http://www.radioswissclassic.ch/en/music-database/musician/518114665a2340bc17c894aae14b1cb80e6cd/biography?app=true

Notable students
Julius Eastman
Mamoru Fujieda
Kyle Gann
Orlando Jacinto Garcia
Tom Johnson
Joëlle Léandre
Fred Lonberg-Holm
Bunita Marcus
Bobby Previte
Elliott Sharp
Bernadette Speach


Really interesting and eclectic roster, subject to the above reservation.  ;)
« Last Edit: October 13, 2020, 08:17:15 PM by T. D. »

Offline Brewski

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Live "Rothko Chapel" this Friday from Belgium
« Reply #711 on: November 03, 2020, 09:33:18 AM »
Feldman fans, take note!

This Friday, the Brussels Philharmonic, Flemish Radio Choir, and conductor George Jackson in this fascinating program, livestreamed:

Anna Thorvaldsdottir: Streaming Arhythmia
Claire-Mélanie Sinnhuber (b. 1973): Chahut (pour 15 musiciens) WORLD PREMIERE
Morton Feldman: Rothko Chapel

https://www.arsmusica.be/nl/events/feldman-rothko-chapel/

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Offline Brewski

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Feldman 'Palais de Mari' tonight at 7pm (EST)
« Reply #712 on: November 17, 2020, 10:49:01 AM »
Tonight, pianist Sarah Rothenberg (of DACAMERA in Houston) performs Feldman's Palais de Mari (1986), in a film called The Departing Landscape. A Zoom discussion and Q&A will follow. Registration is free at the link below:

https://www.dacamera.com/?event=music-time-feldman-ancient-galleries

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Offline milk

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #713 on: January 04, 2021, 03:38:20 AM »
For Philip Guston and For Christian Wolff are favorites of mine. I guess I prefer the Hat Hit recordings but, these works being so long, I haven’t had a lot of chances to compare. I admit I’ve only listened to them all the way through once, and that was while doing something else. I mostly listen to portions.
I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on the choices. I’ve listened to California Ear Unit. I can’t say why one would be better than the other except the Hat Hut seems to be the slower version. There’s a version by something called the S.E.M. Ensemble. None of these is very new and I guess I prefer the sound of Hat Hut but there’s not a huge difference.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #714 on: January 04, 2021, 07:01:20 AM »
For this listener, I’m still in awe of Rothko Chapel whenever I hear it. I also like For Franz Kline, Cello and Orchestra, Violin and Orchestra, Bass Clarinet and Percussion, The Viola in My Life and a few others. Those really long works (over 2 hrs.) haven’t really appealed to me due to their lack of textural variety. I know when you listen to these longer works, you’re supposed to kind of let them wash over you, so you can enter a certain state of mind, but I could never get to this point and become rather frustrated with the musical experience.
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Online T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #715 on: January 04, 2021, 07:06:37 AM »
For Philip Guston and For Christian Wolff are favorites of mine. I guess I prefer the Hat Hit recordings but, these works being so long, I haven’t had a lot of chances to compare. I admit I’ve only listened to them all the way through once, and that was while doing something else. I mostly listen to portions.
I wonder if anyone has any thoughts on the choices. I’ve listened to California Ear Unit. I can’t say why one would be better than the other except the Hat Hut seems to be the slower version. There’s a version by something called the S.E.M. Ensemble. None of these is very new and I guess I prefer the sound of Hat Hut but there’s not a huge difference.

FWIW, I bought the California Ear Unit For Philip Guston (Bridge) when released. It was recorded with a very bright acoustic which wasn't to my taste (YMMV) and I sold it (also, the work is so long that I wasn't going to listen much). My preference is the drier acoustic of Hat and other Euro labels. But many people seem to like the Bridge.

Dog w/a Bone (who recorded S. E. M.) was* a project of the Paula Cooper Gallery, NYC. There are only 7 recordings (per Discogs), and they're surely OOP. I saw the S. E. M. Ensemble (NYC new music specialists, cond. Petr Kotik) perform Feldman (or maybe it was Cage? So long ago that I'm not sure, but there were also Fluxus (!?) composers on the program) and others at the Paula Cooper Gallery, back around the turn of the millennium. It's a respectable and experienced group, and I doubt their recordings could be markedly inferior to alternatives.

* Maybe the label still exists. There were releases in 2010 and 2017 after a flurry in 2000 and 2001.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2021, 11:54:13 AM by T. D. »

Offline Artem

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #716 on: January 04, 2021, 02:34:39 PM »
The only version of For Philip Guston that I have and heard is on Wergo. I think it is pretty good and very well recorded. I only listened to it once in its entirety. For a lack of a better term, i did get that transcendental feeling when the music ended. I though I could touch the quietness in the room after all the ringing sounds stopped. This doesn't happen to me with the shorter pieces of Feldman's music, although I listen to them more often these days. Having a kid around changes one's musical habits and especially so when one listens to Feldman, I feel.

Offline milk

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #717 on: January 05, 2021, 06:42:49 AM »
The only version of For Philip Guston that I have and heard is on Wergo. I think it is pretty good and very well recorded. I only listened to it once in its entirety. For a lack of a better term, i did get that transcendental feeling when the music ended. I though I could touch the quietness in the room after all the ringing sounds stopped. This doesn't happen to me with the shorter pieces of Feldman's music, although I listen to them more often these days. Having a kid around changes one's musical habits and especially so when one listens to Feldman, I feel.
Having two young kids, I can second that. Although I have put these chamber pieces on lately for nap time. They're OK. I mean some of Feldman's stuff is too unnerving for a 3-year old but these are OK in small doses for them. I like the High Hut stuff though I'm not sure why. 

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Saturday: 3 Feldman concerts by Apartment House
« Reply #718 on: January 08, 2021, 07:06:59 AM »
On Saturday, the great, UK-based new music group Apartment House is doing three Feldman concerts, livestreamed from Wigmore Hall. The concerts are free, but they are happy to accept contributions of any amount. More info here, on the Wigmore Hall YouTube page:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJEwPH-wbOTa341mZyJ9NSw/videos?view=2&sort=dd&live_view=502&shelf_id=4

The middle concert features Piano and String Quartet, surrounded by two concerts of his shorter works.

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Online T. D.

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Re: Saturday: 3 Feldman concerts by Apartment House
« Reply #719 on: January 08, 2021, 07:25:55 AM »
On Saturday, the great, UK-based new music group Apartment House is doing three Feldman concerts, livestreamed from Wigmore Hall. The concerts are free, but they are happy to accept contributions of any amount. More info here, on the Wigmore Hall YouTube page:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJEwPH-wbOTa341mZyJ9NSw/videos?view=2&sort=dd&live_view=502&shelf_id=4

The middle concert features Piano and String Quartet, surrounded by two concerts of his shorter works.

--Bruce

Thanks! Highly interesting and diverse program of the shorter works. Quite a bit of early graphic score material.