DAVID FELDER (b.1953): Jeu de Tarot for Violin and Ensemble (Irvine Arditti [violin], Ensemble Signal; Brad Lubman), Netivot (Arditti Quartet), Another Face for Solo Violin (Arditti).
Catalogue Number: 09V063
Label: Coviello Classics
Description: Felder often addresses esoteric, mystical, and spiritual themes in his music, and so it is here. Jeu de Tarot's seven movements are inspired by seven of the most prominent cards in the Tarot deck. The character of the mystical symbols, while not exactly described programmatically, is very apparent from the nature of the music. The Juggler/Magician is complex and teeming with energy; The High Priestess inhabits a dark, shadowy world obscured by plumes of incense, The Empress:Whorld is tumultuous and overwhelming, and so on. The music is very complex, and the soloist has his work cut out for him, but the overall impression is not of music that requires mathematical analysis to make sense, but of vivid impressions and images, and the ferocious activity and atonality is not infrequently balanced by sudden, fleeting tonal chords, a fragmentary waltz or other clearly recognizable rhythm or a brief passage that could be from a modern but mainstream 20th century ballet. Netivot refers to forms of prayer from the Kabbalah and to the "Pillars of Cloud and Fire" that guided the Israelites out of the desert. The meditative, inward quality and flashes of insight of the first two movements are expressed through close intervals and microtonal beats between strings; the third movement implies something more monumental, and here the electronics come into play, in passages of almost orchestral density and massiveness.