Morton Feldman: Coptic Light; Piano and Orchestra; Cello and Orchestra (1998)
New World Symphony, conducted by Michael Tilson Thomas
Alan Feinberg, piano; Robert Cohen, cello
EAC | FLAC | Image (Cue&Log) ~ 260 Mb | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 163 Mb | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: Argo | # 448 513-2 | Time: 01:13:38
Overlapping textures and soft, shifting timbres are the most recognizable features of Morton Feldman's music, and his attractive sonorities draw listeners in ways other avant-garde sound structures may not. This music's appeal is also attributable to its gentle ambience, a static, meditative style that Feldman pioneered long before trance music became commonplace. The three works on this disc are among Feldman's richest creations, yet the material in each piece is subtly layered and integrated so well that many details will escape detection on first hearing. In Piano and Orchestra, the piano is treated as one texture among many, receding to the background and blending with muted brass and woodwinds in a wash of colors. Cello and Orchestra might seem like a conventional concerto movement, especially since the cellist is centrally placed on this recording and plays with a rather lyrical tone. However, Feldman's orchestral clusters are dense and interlocked, which suggests that the cello should be less prominent and blend more into the mass of sounds behind it. No such ambiguity exists in the performance of Coptic Light, which Michael Tilson Thomas and the New World Symphony Orchestra play with even dynamics and careful attention to the work's aggregate effect, which is mesmerizing.