A very welcome reissue of a 1993 recording originally released on hat ART and long out of print. Renowned cellist Rohan de Saram and pianist Marianne Schroeder render a finely focused and exquisitely sensitive 105-minute reading of the piece, one of Feldman's finest though perhaps not as widely known among his later works, especially those for solo piano.
The piece sits firmly among those strongly influenced by the composer's love of patterns found in Turkish carpets, wherein one can scan (visually) from bit to bit, each morsel having its own character, related to the preceding and following ones by simple physical proximity yet, when "standing back", somehow being incorporated into and being an indispensable part of a beautiful whole. Feldman creates dozens of more or less repetitive nodules (though one senses the iterations are not entirely exact, allowing for slight variation) in a seemingly endless variation of approaches and places them side by side, one sequence after another, independent but forming a continuous (sinuous) line from which a shape emerges. Languorous slow sequences and rapid, scalar ones, parts with the instruments in rough unison and ones where they wander seemingly at random. de Saram tends to play the arco portions softly and with a bit of grain, tinting the sound with subtle harmonics and a sense of breath; his extraordinary talents have rarely been shown to better effect. Schroeder's playing also possesses a wonderful delicacy and touch, dry yet resonant. As with many of Feldman's later works, at its start, one feels as though having opened a door into a room where the music had been going on for some length of time and when it ends, that it's still being played somewhere, just out of our range of hearing. We only glimpse a small segment of an enormous tapestry.
Otherwise, it's difficult to describe much of the music, only to highly recommend experiencing it. This release ranks up there among the absolute finest in the Feldman catalog.
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