Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Morton Feldman: Violin & Piano

"During his formative years in New York, Feldman's creative pole-stars were John Cage, Earle Brown and Christian Wolff, and a galaxy of painters including Jackson Pollock, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg and above all his close friend Philip Guston (even though they fell out when Guston's style changed from abstract to figurative; a perceived slight by Feldman at an exhibition of Guston's work meant they never spoke again). In the 50s and 60s, Feldman developed a kind of graphic notation, allowing the performers to choose the pitches and rhythms in pieces called Projections and Intersections. But Feldman never wanted to release an improvisational creativity from his musicians or to come up with scores-as-art as Cage did. Instead, he wanted to fix an idea as completely as possible. 'The new structure,' he wrote, 'required a concentration more demanding than if the technique were that of still photography, which for me is what precise notation has come to imply.' That concern for precision was one of the reasons Feldman could not go along with Cage's dictum that 'everything is music', and it was also one of the reasons he returned to conventional notation in the 60s" (Tom Service, "A Guide to Morton Feldman's Music," The Guardian, 11/12/12).

View catalog record here!


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