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Feldman: Patterns in a Chromatic Field, Projection No 1, Etc / Arne Deforce, Yutaka Oya

Release Date: 04/14/2009 
Label:  Aeon   Catalog #: 977   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Morton Feldman
Performer:  Yutaka OyaArne Deforce
Number of Discs: 2 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 45 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

FELDMAN Patterns in a Chromatic Field. 1 Projection I. Composition—8 Little Pieces. 1 Intersection IV. Duration II 1 Arne Deforce (vc); Yutaka Oya (pn) 1 AEON 977 (2 CDs: 105:31)

Morton Feldman’s Patterns in a Chromatic Field (also known as Read more style="font-style:italic">Untitled Composition for Cello and Piano ) dates from the early 1980s, a period when the composer was beginning his ultimate obsession with the construction of large-scale works (in this performance, 88 minutes) from the repetition and juxtaposition of small, often unrelated events. These might be brief episodes of whispery cello phrases and chiming piano chords, stuttering motifs, or sustained notes that rub against one another with a soothing friction. In such a stark, seemingly static context, these events may suggest visual shapes woven into a gradually changing musical fabric—hence the “patterns” of the title. With its dry, undemonstrative demeanor, the music is not flattering to instrumentalists; nevertheless, cellist Deforce and pianst Oya are able to sustain tension throughout extended periods of low dynamics and subtle detail, growing ever so slightly but increasingly dramatic as the unannounced, unanticipated end approaches.

Appended to this major work are four of Feldman’s earliest scores, each of which gives the player(s) various degrees of freedom and responsibility in the realization of the music. Projection I (1950) and Intersection IV (1951), both for solo cello, are graphic scores in which the number of notes in a phrase, relative range of pitch, and approximate duration are provided to offer the performers what Feldman called “windows of opportunities” to project sounds into space. Duration II (1960) supplies the cellist and pianist with notes on conventional staves, but without stems or bar lines to determine timing and phrasing. Finally, Composition—8 Little Pieces (1950) is an oddity, an unpublished and previously unrecorded score which might be the Composition for two pianos and cello of that year listed in Feldman’s catalog of works. There is no description or explanation of the work in the booklet’s program notes, which are excerpted from Feldman’s own writings. In any case, though the Webernesque concision of these works makes Patterns in a Chromatic Field seem Mahlerian by comparison, the relationship between the instruments, the nature of the harmonic language, and the attention to detail make all of this music, early or late, regardless of method of composition, undeniably and distinctively Feldman’s own.

FANFARE: Art Lange
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Works on This Recording

Patterns in a Chromatic Field by Morton Feldman
Performer:  Yutaka Oya (Piano), Arne Deforce (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1981; USA 
Composition "8 Little Pieces" by Morton Feldman
Performer:  Arne Deforce (Cello), Yutaka Oya (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: USA 
Intersection no 4 by Morton Feldman
Performer:  Yutaka Oya (Piano), Arne Deforce (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Projection no 1 for Cello solo by Morton Feldman
Performer:  Arne Deforce (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1950; USA 
Durations no 2 for Cello and Piano by Morton Feldman
Performer:  Yutaka Oya (Piano), Arne Deforce (Cello)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1960; USA 

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