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Morton Feldman
The Viola in My Life

Marek Konstantynowicz viola
Cikada Ensemble
Norwegian Radio Orchestra
Christian Eggen conductor
 
The Viola in My Life I (August 24, 1970)
for viola (solo), flute, violin, violoncello, piano and percussion

The Viola in My Life II
(October 7, 1970)
for viola (solo), flute, clarinet, celesta, percussion, violin and violoncello

The Viola in My Life III
(October 12, 1970)
for viola and piano

The Viola in My Life IV
(March 8, 1971)
for viola and orchestra

Recorded August 2001
ECM New Series 1798
 
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After a long period of working with indeterminacy and graphic notation, Morton Feldman fixed every parameter of “The Viola in My Life” (written in 1970/71) – notes, timing, duration, dynamics – and still the feeling conveyed is of an exquisite tenuousness, as if the viola is a visitor to the composer’s musical universe, where sounds seem to be discovered in the quiet moment of their playing: “My intention was to think of melody and motivic fragments – somewhat in the way Robert Rauschenberg uses photographs in his painting – and superimpose this on a static sound world more characteristic of my music.”
‘Painting with sounds’ is central to Feldman’s music; he was a composer at least as close to the abstract painters as to musical contemporaries.