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String Quartet
Morton Feldman, Group for Contemporary Music
String Quartet
Genre: Classical
 
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All Artists: Morton Feldman, Group for Contemporary Music
Title: String Quartet
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Koch Int'l Classics
Release Date: 3/22/1994
Genre: Classical
Style: Chamber Music
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 099923725121

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CD Reviews

It's all about letting go...
Sparky P. | composer, all around nice guy, yada yada yada | 08/26/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This recording of Feldman's First (numbered) String Quartet came out five years ago and I came across almost by chance (I encountered it through a library catalogue). I was always used to Feldman's music, to a point that the long works, such as "For Philip Guston," started to grow wonderfully on me and seem endlessly brief (how's that for an oxymoron). As with just about everything in Feldman's oeuvre, you don't simply listen to it to be entertained and satisfied, you commit to it, you live it, like being with a very good friend or watching a baseball game, where time is not of the greatest importance (it's too bad that Feldman never saw "Seinfeld," that show about nothing, and yet about everything). There is ebb, flow. There are surprises, some startling (take, for example, the first instance of a very loud eight note cluster twenty minutes in, which will occur three more times in the next fifteen minutes in different lengths, then disappear, never to be heard again after that), some reminiscent (like the fast pizzicato figures about 55' in, which reminds this writer of the first of Webern's Op.5), some items that come around at periodic intervals, other items come but once, never again to be encountered. And yet for all its length, I have listened to it many, many times in the last five years that it now seems to whiz past me like a Webern Bagatelle, that's how much I have become used to it. To listen to this piece is simply a matter of letting go (could there be something Zen in there?), letting things just happen, accepting, absorbing, breathing. In a way, simply be. Yet, as Feldman once put in an essay of his, "I have only given you the hanger, I have not given you the coat" (who am I to argue such logic?)."
Too transitory in Feldman's body of work,not quite there yet
Sparky P. | 04/04/1999
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This work engages Feldman's end-of-his-life quest with longer durational lengths for his music. It is something you don't resolve all at once. Unless you are arrogant, and Feldman was not. The genre of the string quartet is a rough one for Feldman, he had no intimate relationship to strings the way for instance he had for piano solo, or orchestra. Feldman aesthetically it seems was an all or nothing kind of creator. And his chamber music(if we can call it that) is a middle purgatory-like ground for him. It is where he is the weakest. In listening to this quartet,I find the extended techniques hard to take for the lengths Feldman engages them. Fish-line thin harmonics are indeed very effective, but they soon overspend their welcome when they become the natural part of the sonic scenery. Feldman didn't (to my mind) untap the natural timbral beauty he did so powerfully in his piano music."