MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello.
Catalogue Number: 08R063
Reference: STV 33967
Description: This was Feldman's last work, first performed two months before he died. In its glacially-paced progression of chords, it feels at once like a meditation on eternity and a melancholy reflection on the transience of life. This is Feldman's late style distilled to its essence; progressions of non-functional, mildly dissonant tonal chords in the piano overlap with close intervals from the strings in a gently rocking motion, with almost no dynamic contrast and confined largely to the middle register. The harmonies and intervals between events change and progress slowly, repeating a pattern for a while and moving on. To give an idea of the texture, sometimes these little gestural 'cells' resemble a loop or sample from an impressionist piano work, intermittently haloed by the luminous haze of string sound. Listening with an expectation of anything 'happening' is to miss the point entirely; the listener is invited to concentrate on the subtle changes in pattern, timbre and harmony between successive events, a meditative process probably better served by a recording than a performance in the distracting environment of a concert hall. At the end the music admits some upward motion into the piano's treble register, as though reaching for something, before stopping without warning or anticipation in mid-flow. Quartetto KLIMT.