A Guide to Morton Feldman’s Music

Source: The Guardian.

Something strange starts to happen when you listen to American composer Morton Feldman‘s long, long – and I mean long – late chamber pieces. I’m talking about the 80-minute Piano and String Quartet, the four and a half hours of For Philip Guston (which you can hear live at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music festival on 21 November 2012) or the biggest of them all, the five-hour Second String Quartet. By the end of these works, composed a few years before Feldman’s death in 1987, I was left wanting more, not less. My sense of time had been altered, so intently focused was I on the way the music changed from note to note and chord to chord. It created a living, breathing network of relationships that extended across its length. You don’t really listen to these pieces, you live through them and with them. By the end of the Second String Quartet, I felt it was living inside me too.


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