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Feldman, Morton: String Quartet (II) [4 CDs] (Hat [now] ART)

The Ives Ensemble playing one of Morton Feldman's later and longer works, the 1983 "String Quartet (II)," in a digital DDD recording from 1999.

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product information:

UPC: 752156014423

Label: Hat [now] ART
Catalog ID: 144.4
Squidco Product Code: 18490

Format: 4 CDs
Condition: New
Released: 2003
Country: Switzerland
Packaging: 4 CD Box Set
Recorded August 23rd-28th, 1999 at Sendesaal Hessischer Rundfunk by Thomas Eschler.


Josje ter Haar-violin

Janneke van Prooijen-violin

Ruben Sanderse-viola

Job Ter Haar-cello

Morton Feldman-composer

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Artist Biographies:

"Josje ter Haar, violinist with the Ives Ensemble, the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, Das Neue Ensemble Hannover and the Residentie Bachorkest.

"My first violin lessons I had as a child in Curaçao, together with my brother Job. There were no violin makers there and our instruments had to be purchased on holidays in the Netherlands. At the Royal Conservatoire I came in contact with Pieter Moerenhout from the NMF after several "violin wanderings". At that moment he had received a violin that had been in the cupboard for years after an injury from the original player. Out of nostalgia I have always let the old-fashioned chin keeper sit on it, sometimes to the astonishment of my colleagues "can you play with that?"

I remember very well that I heard "my" violin for the first time. It has a very light, bird-like sound that immediately makes you happy, while it sounds full in the low. It speaks very easily and has a narrow neck, so it is fine in my small hands. Job and I had a CD recording with the Iron Trio Holland that week and I wanted to play immediately on the new instrument for me.

Job and I are still playing together in the Ives Ensemble. Emma Breedveld, our colleague and Jobs friend, also plays a violin from the National Musical Instruments Fund. This way the Fund supports our entire family!"

"-Muziekinstrumenten Fonds (Translated by Google) (

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Janneke van Prooijen: concert violinist at Prisma String Trio, Atlantic Piano Trio, Lunapark.

-Linked In (Translated by Google) (

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Job Ter Haar: "I'm a cellist based in Amsterdam. I play mostly chamber music, on modern and period instruments. My groups include: the Van Swieten Society, the Ives Ensemble, Musica ad Rhenum and Floreal String Quartet. I am also working as a research coach at Codarts Rotterdam."

-Job Ter Haar Website (

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"Morton Feldman was born in New York in 1926 and died there in 1987. Just like Cage, a close friend, he was an American composer - an American artist - an American in the true sense of the word.

He identified himself by differentiating his views on composition from those of his colleagues in Europe. He was proud to be an American because he was convinced that it enabled him the freedom, unparalleled in Europe, to work unfettered by tradition. And, he was an American also in what may have been a slight inferiority complex in the face of cultural traditions in Europe, something he proudly rejected and secretly admired.

Like any true artist, Feldman was endowed with a sensitivity for impressions of a wide variety of sources, literature and painting in particular. His affinity to Samuel Beckett has enriched music literature by a unique music theatre piece, Neither, and two ensemble works. His friendship with abstract impressionist painters gave birth to a range of masterpieces, Rothko Chapel in particular. But even the knotting of oriental rugs gave Feldman musical ideas (The Turfan Fragments).

To the question as to why he preferred soft dynamic levels, he replied:

"- Because when it's loud, you can't hear the sound. You hear its attack. Then you don't hear the sound, only in its decay. And I think that's essentially what impressed Boulez . That he heard a sound, not an attack, emerging and disappearing without attack and decay, almost like an electronic medium.

Also, you have to remember that loud and soft is an aspect of differentiation. And my music is more like a kind of monologue that does not need exclamation point, colon, it does not need..."

Feldman also had an intriguing reply up his sleeve when it came to answering the question why he composed in the first place:

"You know that marvellous remark of Disraeli's? Unfortunately, he was not a good writer, but if he was a great writer, it would have been a wonderful remark. They asked him whydid he begin to write novels. He said because there was nothing to read. (laughs). I felt very much like that in terms of contemporary music. I was not really happy with it. It became like a Rohrschach test".

More than twenty years since his death, Morton Feldman's music is as alive as ever."

-Universal Edition (

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track listing:

CD 1:

1. String Quartet II - CD I Part I 19:42

2. String Quartet II - CD I Part II 20:20

3. String Quartet II - CD I Part III 17:32

4. String Quartet II - CD I Part IV 20:50

CD 2:

1. String Quartet (II) CD2:1 25:22

2. String Quartet (II) CD2:2 22:52

3. String Quartet (II) CD2:3 24:58

CD 3:

1. String Quartet (II) (1983) CD3:1 25:22

2. String Quartet (II) (1983) CD3:2 24:49

3. String Quartet (II) (1983) CD3:3 24:16

CD 4:

1. String Quartet II - CD IV Part I 21:14

2. String Quartet II - CD IV Part II 21:10

3. String Quartet II - CD IV Part III 24:13
descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The complexity of Feldman's assemblage assures unfamiliarity and initial discomfort on the part of the listener. If we're not meant to hear continuity, or structure, or order, what can we hear? The answer depends, more than ever, on individual perception. There is movement, and stasis. Lines are drawn, thicken, thin out, and disappear. Phrases stretch like taffy. Shapes congeal, morph, and dissolve. Threads tangle and untangle. Sections are joined into blocks of fabric, then are cut into new blocks. Episodes, or fragments, appear, are abandoned, reappear. Notes breathe in and out, or push and pull like brush strokes. The sound creates its own form, its own metaphors, its own meaning. What are they? That's your job. How, and why, they got that way is another story."-Art Lange

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms

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