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Feldman: For John Cage (1982) / Carlson, Karis

Release Date: 01/19/2018 
Label:  Bridge   Catalog #: 9498  
Composer:  Morton Feldman
Performer:  Erik CarlsonAleck Karis
Number of Discs: 1 
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Notes and Editorial Reviews

For John Cage is (in this performance) a 72-minute work for violin and piano. Like Feldman’s “carpet” pieces, it consists of repetitive patterns that slowly evolve over time, all at a very quiet dynamic level. Playing Feldman’s late, long works, requires tremendous concentration as well as hair trigger timing from both soloists. There’s an elusive intensity running through this seemingly static music that these players seem to capture especially well.

It’s not just that Karis, one of the best contemporary music pianists around, judges the piece’s resonance and silences with unfailing accuracy. Violinist Erik Carlson plays with unusually attractive tone and what sounds like
Read more supernatural intonation. The result falls more pleasantly on the ear than is often the case–certainly more so than in hat[now]ARTs competing version with Josie Ter Haar and John Snijders, fine as that is also. But then, it depends to some extent on how softly you play the disc.

Bridge’s engineering, as in all of its Feldman recordings, is absolutely state-of-the-art: perfectly balanced, sensitively placed, and dead silent. Even at low volume the timbres have substance. Like the music of its dedicatee, Feldman could be maddening in the bare minimum of musical material employed, especially in this work (despite the fact that you never know what octave its few pitches might show up in). Somehow, these players keep you guessing, and keep you listening.

– ClassicsToday (David Hurwitz) Read less

Works on This Recording

For John Cage by Morton Feldman
Performer:  Erik Carlson (Violin), Aleck Karis (Piano)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1982; United States 

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