I’ve been gestating a piece about the greatest composer of the Twentieth Century for over a month. I’m still not halfway to understanding what I want to say about him. Since I have to post something to meet my commitment to keep this blog active, I’ve decided to give you some samples of the music I’m thinking about.
The composer is Morton Feldman. I don’t know if anyone else agrees with me about his status in the pantheon, but I’m certain of it. I promise to explain that when I do post the article. For now here are some samples and a link to an article.
This first selection is just over a minute and a half of Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet played by Kronos Quartet. I encourage you to listen attentively to the entire selection:
That’s typical of the pared down nature of Feldman’s work. But he does take other approaches to his explorations. Here are a few of my favorite Feldman pieces from YouTube. The first is part one of Rothko Chapel. If you like it, you can find the other parts on YouTube as well.
Next is a piece for full orchestra called Coptic Light.
If you enjoy those, try other Feldman pieces on YouTube.
The New Yorker magazine recently published a wonderful article about Feldman written by my favorite music writer, Alex Ross. I recommend it highly. It will be better than anything I can tell you here. But I hope you’ll come back when I’ve worked out the things I want to say and have posted them here.