Author Topic: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)  (Read 107499 times)

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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #760 on: October 31, 2021, 05:37:05 AM »
Compared these two versions of Coptic Light. Capriccio longer version at 27:26 sounds more suited to this piece than CPO 23:51. Still, it is one piece that I have a problem with. It makes me physically uncomfortable and tense. I think one has to be in a kind of lucid state of mind to get into its psychedelic nature.



Very psychedelic and surreal piece. Almost puts me into the same state of mind as a David Lynch movie. I find it challenging too. Curious about this new recording on Capriccio.

Offline milk

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #761 on: October 31, 2021, 06:01:12 AM »
Very psychedelic and surreal piece. Almost puts me into the same state of mind as a David Lynch movie. I find it challenging too. Curious about this new recording on Capriccio.
It's beautifully recorded.

Offline T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #762 on: October 31, 2021, 06:09:42 AM »
Compared these two versions of Coptic Light. Capriccio longer version at 27:26 sounds more suited to this piece than CPO 23:51. Still, it is one piece that I have a problem with. It makes me physically uncomfortable and tense. I think one has to be in a kind of lucid state of mind to get into its psychedelic nature.



[Emphasis added] Some Feldman pieces have that same effect on me. Particularly For Samuel Beckett and, to a lesser degree, Neither.

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #763 on: October 31, 2021, 07:06:51 AM »
[Emphasis added] Some Feldman pieces have that same effect on me. Particularly For Samuel Beckett and, to a lesser degree, Neither.

Absolutely, those are the two pieces which came to my mind, but I think much of his music with orchestra is like this. So far I have always found orchestral Feldman quite painful to hear in fact.
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Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #764 on: October 31, 2021, 07:47:10 AM »
I too prefer Feldman's chamber music, though I suspect the problem is with me.

I'd love to hear Neither.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 07:49:16 AM by vers la flamme »

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #765 on: October 31, 2021, 07:50:58 AM »
I think a large part of the problem lies with Feldman's orchestration and just how dense it sounds. It's just one endless mass of sound after another. The clarity he achieved in smaller ensembles is more to my liking. I do think, however, that Cello and Orchestra and Violin and Orchestra are two of his greatest pieces, but here he obviously has a soloist front and center that guides the music along.
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Offline T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #766 on: October 31, 2021, 08:53:42 AM »
Absolutely, those are the two pieces which came to my mind, but I think much of his music with orchestra is like this. So far I have always found orchestral Feldman quite painful to hear in fact.

Inclined to agree, but I listen to the orchestral works much less often and don't recall having such strong reactions to Rothko Chapel and Coptic Light (which seem to be Feldman's most popular works, given the general preference for orchestral compositions).

I think a large part of the problem lies with Feldman's orchestration and just how dense it sounds. It's just one endless mass of sound after another. The clarity he achieved in smaller ensembles is more to my liking. I do think, however, that Cello and Orchestra and Violin and Orchestra are two of his greatest pieces, but here he obviously has a soloist front and center that guides the music along.

Good points. For S. B. and Neither feature a really dark minatory ostinato texture (strangely reminiscent of Richard Barrett's Vanity) that unsettles me. I recall liner notes to the Barrett saying that he was using the orchestra as a big machine...maybe Feldman did something similar (though from a much different methodological background).
The soloist + orchestra works (I have the Zender twofer recording) don't pose any such problems.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 09:42:47 AM by T. D. »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #767 on: October 31, 2021, 09:13:17 AM »



Anyone inclined to construct a Halloween Playlist consisting  entirely of music by Morton Feldman?

I’ll kick it off:

For Samuel Beckett
Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello
Tufan Fragments
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 09:15:44 AM by Mandryka »
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #768 on: October 31, 2021, 09:18:47 AM »
The soloist + orchestra works (I have the Zender twofer recording) don't pose any such problems.

Still pretty spooky though, with weird other worldly vertigo and nausea inducing harmonies.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #769 on: October 31, 2021, 09:23:30 AM »

Good points. For S. B. and Neither feature a really dark minatory ostinato texture (strangely reminiscent of Richard Barrett's Vanity) that unsettles me. I recall Barrett's liner notes saying that
The soloist + orchestra works (I have the Zender twofer recording) don't pose any such problems.

Never thought of that before - but I haven’t seen the liner notes. It’s just that there’s so many more big in your face major events going on in Barrett’s music I suppose.
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Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #770 on: October 31, 2021, 09:28:29 AM »
There's a recording of Feldman performing his pieces on editionRZ. I think Kleeb's playing is somewhat similar to Feldman's. In that sense Kleeb version of For Bunita Marcus was a kind of total experience to me. I didn't feel a pianist behind the piece. I may be biased because I love that composition and Kleeb was the first I listened to and greatly enjoyed when I was just discovering Morton Feldman.

I wasn’t aware of this recording  before, which I’ve just acquired - listening now to Tilbury and Feldman playing For Three Hands. I can tell you this straight away - it’s very much shorter than  from the one Tilbury recorded with Philip Thomas! Which is in turn very very much shorter than the one with Roger Woodward and someone who’s name I forget  (and which I like very much.) Quite curious about the score now.

Thanks for mentioning.
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 02:50:45 PM by Mandryka »
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Offline T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #771 on: October 31, 2021, 09:41:47 AM »
Never thought of that before - but I haven’t seen the liner notes. It’s just that there’s so many more big in your face major events going on in Barrett’s music I suppose.

Sorry, I was at work, got distracted and didn't complete my post.  ???

Should have said (edited above)

Good points. For S. B. and Neither feature a really dark minatory ostinato texture (strangely reminiscent of Richard Barrett's Vanity) that unsettles me. I recall liner notes to the Barrett saying that he was using the orchestra as a big machine...maybe Feldman did something similar (though from a much different methodological background).

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #772 on: October 31, 2021, 01:42:52 PM »
I wasn’t aware of this recording  before, which I’ve just acquired - listening now to Tilbury and Feldman playing For Three Hands. I can tell you this straight away - it’s very much shorter than  from the one Tilbury recorded with Philip Thomas! Which is in turn very very much shorter than the one he did with Roger Woodward (and which I like very much.) Quite curious about the score now.

Thanks for mentioning.

For Three Hands is one of my favorite pieces of Feldman's, it's beautiful.

Offline T. D.

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #773 on: October 31, 2021, 01:58:04 PM »
For Three Hands is one of my favorite pieces of Feldman's, it's beautiful.

Thanks for mentioning this. I don't have a recording. Never picked up either the Edition RZ or the Another Timbre piano box because both had heavy duplication of recordings I already own. Going to have to reassess...the Edition RZ is attractive for "historical reasons" (David Tudor, Cardew, Feldman himself on piano).
« Last Edit: October 31, 2021, 01:59:54 PM by T. D. »

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #774 on: October 31, 2021, 02:17:12 PM »
Listening this evening to Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello. Tilbury and members of the Smith Quartet. I won’t make it to the end. I keep thinking, what sort of man could write such desolate hopeless music? I hope I never get into that state of mind.

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Offline hvbias

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #775 on: October 31, 2021, 02:38:37 PM »
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.)

Interesting perspective, I never thought of it like that. I'll have to listen to more Takahashi to see if I hear that. Someone shared with me Sabine Liebner recordings and I found her really good as well, I've listened to her play Triadic Memories a few times.

Quote
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.

Yes I agree with you here. I have Tilbury/Morgan and Ter Haar/Snijders, the Tilbury/Morgan is really exceptional. I listened to it quite a bit a when I first got it, I should play it again.
"I feel very strongly about Chopin — I just love him" - Fou Ts'ong

Offline hvbias

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #776 on: October 31, 2021, 02:49:47 PM »
I think the piano (and other instruments) decay in Feldman (and Cage number piece) releases may depend strongly on the recording label/venue/techniques.
I've always found Hat Art / hatology recordings outstanding in that regard. Also Another Timbre and Etcetera (going from smaller sample sizes).
In my limited experience, American labels don't do such a good job with this. I once purchased For Philip Guston on Bridge, found the sonics weirdly bright, and sold it. Don't own many relevant Modes, but the Mode number piece discs I own don't convey decay very well. Three Voices on New Albion was weird for other reasons; sounded to me like Joan La Barbara was using a click track and the clicks remained audible on the recording. Pitched that one as well.

Hat Hut are really good. I was mostly familiar with the label through its free jazz recordings prior to becoming more interested in less free form avant-garde music. I was listening to their release of Cage's Winter Music at a slightly lower average conversational listening volume and nearly dropped my laptop when I first heard the first super dynamic passage.
"I feel very strongly about Chopin — I just love him" - Fou Ts'ong

Offline hvbias

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #777 on: October 31, 2021, 03:01:51 PM »
Listening this evening to Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello. Tilbury and members of the Smith Quartet. I won’t make it to the end. I keep thinking, what sort of man could write such desolate hopeless music? I hope I never get into that state of mind.

On the contrary it lets me see how beautiful life is when it's finished, I love Piano, Violin, Viola and Cello. I had a similar feeling when I first heard one of Bartok's String Quartets that came off as so bleak. Afterward I took a walk along one of the quays and marveled at how beautiful it was at night. How could mere concrete, glass and lights evoke such feelings? Later on after classes I'd walk the longer route back along the Liffey listening to Bartok and Schoenberg's SQs. The contrasts in music and what I was seeing was fascinating.
"I feel very strongly about Chopin — I just love him" - Fou Ts'ong

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #778 on: October 31, 2021, 03:04:13 PM »
Jeez, is it that bleak? Y'all are making me scared to listen to it.

For Samuel Beckett freaked me out pretty good the last time I listened to it. Extremely dark music.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: Morton Feldman (1926-1987)
« Reply #779 on: October 31, 2021, 03:08:26 PM »
Thanks for mentioning this. I don't have a recording. Never picked up either the Edition RZ or the Another Timbre piano box because both had heavy duplication of recordings I already own. Going to have to reassess...the Edition RZ is attractive for "historical reasons" (David Tudor, Cardew, Feldman himself on piano).

I have the Another Timbre recording. Really beautiful performances all. It's a 2CD set.