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Feldman, Morton: Early Piano Works (Hat [now] ART)


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product information:

Edition of 3000 CDs

UPC: 752156013822

Label: Hat [now] ART
Catalog ID: 138
Squidco Product Code: 8059

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2003
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: Cardstock Sleeve
Recorded at Sender Freies, in Berlin, Germany, on June 5th, 1993.


Steffen Schleirmacher-piano

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track listing:

Two Intermissions (1950)

1. I 1:27

2. II 1:33

3. Piano Piece (1952) 8:47

4. Intermission V (1952) 4:12

5. Intermission VI (1953) 9:10

Three Pieces

6. I 3:14

7. II 2:54

8. III 2:38

9. Piano Piece (1955) 2:40

10. Piano Piece (1956 A) 3:52

11. Piano Piece (1956 B) 3:28

Last Pieces (1959)

12. I 4:04

13. II 1:34

14. III 4:56

15. IV 1:55

16. Piano Piece to Philip Guston (1963) 3:36

17. Piano Piece (1964) 8:23
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Among Feldman fans these days, I imagine I'm fairly typical, having only really discovered the great composer's work after he died in 1987 when labels like Hat, Bridge and Mode began releasing an abundance of albums. Not having experienced his oeuvre as it was developing, I naturally gravitated to the amazing later works, the incredibly beautiful solo piano pieces like "For Bunita Marcus" and "Palais de Mari" as well as the chamber ensemble works and his "opera", "Neither". Hearing his early piano pieces, therefore, can be a bit unsettling, creating a sense of impatience, as though Feldman should have somehow known, in the mid 50s, what he'd be producing twenty years hence and get a move on already. But, depending on the pianist, these pieces often retain a trace of the academic serialism that was pervasive in the late 40s, early 50s New York atmosphere and, historically accurate as it may be, I hear Feldman being corralled in by this aura, seeking a way out that, ultimately, had to do with the utilization of space and silence and the subtle and intricate weave of poetically similar elements.

John Tilbury, in his masterful four-disc set of the complete Feldman solo piano works (on London Hall) had come the closest to tying these early pieces conceptually to the later epics, but here, Steffen Schleiermacher actually does him one better. A simple comparison of the track times shows Schleiermacher taking things at an even more slowed down pace, drawing out the silences and holding some notes to better establish the sort of dream-space that Feldman would limn so wonderfully in upcoming years. Pieces like "Intermission VI" and "Last Pieces III" are attenuated so delicately as to all but effervesce into the air. Each track is lovingly framed, hanging like jeweled pendants. I still think that, generally, Tilbury's touch, sense of poetry and divine placement of notes in space is unparalleled and that he remains Feldman's finest interpreter, but with regard to these works, composed between 1950 and 1964, he has perhaps met his match. Even if it's the later masterworks that really draw your awe and admiration, any Feldman aficionado owes it to him or herself to hear his roots. This disc may be the single best place to start."-Brian Olewnick, Bagatellen

Edition of 3000 CDs

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Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Piano & Keyboards
April 2007

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