Movies-icon-48"For Philip Guston" by Morton Feldman

 

MortonFeldmanWhen I was studying music back in the Jurassic Period I didn't warm to the music of Morton Feldman. I was intrigued by the prosaic titles of many of his pieces, like "Instruments 1" and "Piece for Four Pianos" etc., but I found his music generally quite boring and unimaginative. I don't think I ever told anyone that though, probably because he didn't make enough of an impression on me to bother. (I did however voice my general dislike of Karlheinz Stockhausen's music - although he did compose a handful of good pieces like Gesang der Jünglinge and Kontankte - a disclosure that was met with indignation on more than one occasion.) However, in recent months I have come across this performance of "For Philip Guston" by Feldman, which has caused me to rethink my attitude towards (at least his later) music. I am genuinely impressed by this piece, as I am by his 1985 work "Piano and String Quartet". Both pieces, while remaining true to his distinctive musical taste for the Quiet and Slow, have a harmonic and meditative charm that is quite outstanding (if you can muster the self-discipline to experience it in full!) Just find a five-hour oasis of calm one day and enjoy!

 Update: Now there's only an excerpt of this performance available—don't know why—so at least you only need to find 55 minutes now.

For Philip Guston, by Morton Feldman

 
* Performed by Da Camera on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at Rothko Chapel in Houston, Texas by Claire Chase, flute, alto flute, piccolo; Steven Schick, percussion; Sarah Rothenberg, piano/celesta.
Image: "Morton Feldman 1976" by Bogaerts, Rob / Anefo [CC BY-SA 3.0 nl (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/nl/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons; re-sized
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