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Feldman: Piano and Orchestra; Flute and Orchestra; Oboe and Orchestra; Cello and Orchestra

Morton Feldman Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Frequently Bought Together

Feldman: Piano and Orchestra; Flute and Orchestra; Oboe and Orchestra; Cello and Orchestra + Morton Feldman: Violin and Orchestra
Price For Both: £23.15

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  • Morton Feldman: Violin and Orchestra £10.17

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Product details

  • Audio CD (4 Dec 1997)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Cpo
  • ASIN: B000001S2J
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 15,994 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Disc 1:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Flute and OrchestraRoswitha Staege32:35Album Only
Listen  2. Cello and OrchestraSiegfried Palm18:41Album Only


Disc 2:

Samples
Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. Oboe and OrchestraArmin Aussem21:10Album Only
Listen  2. Piano and OrchestraRoger Woodward26:37Album Only


Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars four "still-life" works, some of Feldman's best 26 July 2010
Format:Audio CD
It took me some time to discover which of Feldman's works I like. The first thing I heard was "Rothko Chapel," along with "Why Patterns?", the New Albion disc (see my review). Great! Then I heard the hat Art recording of "For Samuel Beckett," played by the Ensemble Modern. Fantastic! Next, I heard the recording of "Piano and String Quartet" on Nonesuch with Aki Takahashi and the Kronos Quartet (see my review). I found this to be utterly boring, and it turned me off to the point that I didn't seek out any more Feldman until recently. Then I happened to hear a hat(now)Art Feldman disc called "Atlantis," that included "Oboe and Orchestra" and "String Quartet and Orchestra," and I was back to saying fantastic! I have realized that it's the middle period Feldman of the 1970s that I like the best. His early Cage-influenced graphic notation works, like "Atlantis," I don't find compelling. And the long, repetitive later works like "Piano and String Quartet," I don't find compelling either (though "For Samuel Beckett" is a late work, but one with more internal dynamics). It was in between that Feldman found his "zone," I think. And the pieces that seem to be concertos, that Feldman called the "still-life titles," are some of his finest works.

This cpo 2-disc set (2 discs for the price of one) includes four of Feldman's still-life titles, all with Hans Zender conducting the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrucken. The first in the series was "Cello and Orchestra," with Siegfried Palm, from 1972. Zender and Saarbrucken performed the premiere of the piece with Palm, and this is a studio recording from shortly afterward.
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars FELDMAN IN FINE FETTLE! 2 Oct 2000
By Melvyn M. Sobel - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Fine, indeed, is this immensely intimate, intriguing, disturbing and extraordinary collection of four "experimental" works by Morton Feldman (1926-1987), conducted idiomatically by Zender and played brilliantly by soloists and orchestra, alike.

These pieces, all written in the 70's, the earliest being "Cello and Orchestra" (1972), the latest, "Flute and Orchestra" (1977/78), are compositions truly "of their time"--- the period when a renewed interest in modernists such as Ligeti and Xenakis flourished and peaked, when the innovative last Beatles' chords still resonated in our ears, and 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY had left its indelible imprint on our psyches forever. It was a time of love and war, of great change and great movement. Although probably captured more by accident than intention, Feldman's music evokes an era long gone, but not forgotten, and evokes it vividly.

Don't be deceived by the seeming orchestral nature these scores might imply; for the most part, the solo instrument of each separate work takes center stage, literally, and the orchestral forces, though dynamically large in scope, maintain an unexpected, but immensely integrated, supporting role. The soloist speaks; the orchestra listens, punctuates, affirms. Feldman's marvelously instinctive craftsmanship and musicality make it a splendid balance, actually, where none should exist.

This is music profound in its vast imaginative silences, its frozen cosmic emptiness, its sudden orchestral outbursts. Feldman's is a vision that is gripping, disconcerting, deeply probing... and not readily forgotten, or dismissed. It is not "pretty" music, not melodious. No. It can be as bleak as it can be beautiful. But it is a beauty that may be purely subjective. And it is perturbing, at times, to be so penetrated, musically, and, then, caressed. You may well have a love-hate relationship with these works, but it's worth it.

[Running time: CD 1: 51:23 CD 2: 47:57]
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Four "still-life" works, some of Feldman's best 8 Aug 2004
By Autonomeus - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It has taken me some time to discover which of Feldman's works I like. The first thing I heard was "Rothko Chapel," along with "Why Patterns?", the New Albion disc (see my review). Great! Then I heard the hat Art recording of "For Samuel Beckett," played by the Ensemble Modern. Fantastic! Next, I heard the recording of "Piano and String Quartet" on Nonesuch with Aki Takahashi and the Kronos Quartet (see my review). I found this to be utterly boring, and it turned me off to the point that I didn't seek out any more Feldman until recently. Then I happened to hear a hat(now)Art Feldman disc called "Atlantis," that included "Oboe and Orchestra" and "String Quartet and Orchestra," and I was back to saying fantastic! I have realized that it's the middle period Feldman of the 1970s that I like the best. His early Cage-influenced graphic notation works, like "Atlantis," I don't find compelling. And the long, repetitive later works like "Piano and String Quartet," I don't find compelling either (though "For Samuel Beckett" is a late work, but one with more internal dynamics). It was in between that Feldman found his "zone," I think. And the pieces that seem to be concertos, that Feldman called the "still-life titles," are some of his finest works.

This cpo 2-disc set (2 discs for the price of one) includes four of Feldman's still-life titles, all with Hans Zender conducting the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Saarbrucken. The first in the series was "Cello and Orchestra," with Siegfried Palm, from 1972. Zender and Saarbrucken performed the premiere of the piece with Palm, and this is a studio recording from shortly afterward. "Piano and Orchestra" with Roger Woodward is from 1975, "Oboe and Orchestra" with Armin Aussem is from 1976, and "Flute and Orchestra" with Roswitha Staege is from 1977/78. The last is the only live recording of the four, and it is the premiere performance of the piece on May 19, 1978. These are not all the still-life works -- there are at least two more, the "String Quartet and Orchestra" on hat(now)Art and also a "Violin and Orchestra" recently released by Col Legno in their Musica Viva live series (VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA/COPTIC LIGHT -- it's outstanding, see my review).

Of the four pieces on this cpo disc, my favorite is the oboe, followed by the flute. The piano piece is the least dynamic, and so it might appeal more to those who enjoy the Kronos/Takahashi recording. By the time Feldman wrote these works, he had rejected all systems. He was simply listening to pure tones. I think perhaps the surprise and beauty of these pieces comes from his exploration of the tones as singular, and not parts of any system or pattern. In the late works, inspired by the subtle patterns in Persian rugs, it seems that he began to focus more on pattern and less on tone, perhaps similar in a way to Schoenberg's turn from total atonal freedom to the 12-tone system. I'm sure Feldman would reject such an analogy, but I suggest it only to make sense of the change in his work from his middle to late periods.

In any event, I highly recommend this collection of Feldman's still-life works. There are more recordings of two of them (cello and piano, I believe) on the Tilson-Thomas disc on Argo/Polygram. Unfortunately it is now out-of-print, though it was only released in 1999, and I missed it while I was in my rejecting-Feldman mode. So this Zender/cpo set is the perfect way to hear some of Feldman's best music.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Feldman of serious graphic import with anxiety -voices 28 Aug 1999
By Rachel Abbinanti (tusai1@aol.com) - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Hans Zender has done an admirable job in recording successvily neglected contemporary works with the Rundfunk Symphony Orchestra from Saarbrucken. In fact you can quite soundly say this will be the only encounter with these works,unless you scour the new music festival circuit in Europe for months.And no composer is more neglected than Morton Feldman. Well not now since his death in 1988,where practically his entire body of work has been recorded. These various works featuring a solo instrument are really not concertos I'd like to suggest that these works subvert interestingly enough the concerto concept, and they do it rigorously. The Feldman you might know is one attenuated to open beauty expansive with floating disarming-like sounds in all registers with a deep feel for instrumental colour and imbalance in a positive way. His aesthetic for his music has engaged visual thinking particularly the American Expressionists who he knew intimately,Guston,Rothko,Franz Klein and Motherwell. Feldman saw no creative value in traditionalist post European theoretical perspectives one engaging the serialized thinking. His music especially the piano solo works sought a new aesthetic,one of formless yet structured dimensions. Sometimes he embraces musical gestures too large for their frames, but this is the experimentalist cast of his music,one shared by his early mentor John Cage. Yet Feldman has always been committed to the aesthtic object whereas for Cage it was always an indeterminate by-product of his art,one of blissful surprise. The "Oboe and Orchestra" is oddly a deeply disturbing work and you really don't recognize the Feldman I've been describing. The oboe soloist exhorts a tortured sound screaming,twisting,contorting and tearing its sounds in the strident upper registers. The orchestra as accomplice fully gives graphic support to this with ominous low thunderous rolls,and end-of-the-world-like sheets of brooding chords.Likewise the "Flute and Orchestra" engages an anxiety-ridden melodic discourse like something serious has happened yet we quite don't know the details, and again the orchestra supports this Cassandra-like exhortations of the state of the world. Yet the flute is beautiful with full-throated low register gestures in its most rich register. This is a Feldman I never encountered before one reflecting the negative expressionistic side of the lifeworld. The "Piano and Orchstra" returns to the Feldmanesque beauty at work, yet midpoint gives way to snarling brass and a menacing muted trumpets with half-steps suggestive of Stravinsky's "Rite".Yet the piano is bell-like and child-like,with painstakingly crafted timbres which "accompany" the piano, these orchestral moments are more as "supports" or screens or blankets of sounds consistent with Feldman's penchant for the colour fields one might encounter in Rothko. Oddly again the Harp is a hidden accomplice,fascinating how when a tone is exposed it becomes a revelation,like a resolution within the context of Feldman's anxiety-bound concept at work here. All the soloist here enter and project as if they are mere conduits, no personalities emerge,yet being soloist forces this context on our musical perceptions. The incredible price(I was shocked) is worth special mention here.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Music from another place 3 Mar 2008
By Personne - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
It is hard to state how unusual this music is. Even for a veteran listener, Feldman's music requires a different set of ears. The solo instruments don't function in the way they might in a more typical concerto. The music doesn't appear to present a narrative--it doesn't develop in familiar ways. But it's strangely compelling.

Feldman has occasionally been lumped in with the minimalists that were his contemporaries. This is most unfair. The best of minimalism usually had little substance beneath the gimmickry. And it wore out its welcome quickly. But I'll keep coming back to Feldman, if only to figure out just what in the heck is going on in there.

Feldman clearly understands the orchestra. What seems to be repetition is in fact full of tiny adjustments in instrumentation. The harmony is rich, even if its progression is unclear. The four pieces in this package are all built on blocks of sound--combinations of gesture, harmony and instrumentation which hold the stage for a while and are gently (usually) replaced. Feldman shares this characteristic with Varese of all people, although their soundworlds could not be more different.

A note about the recordings. They are live recordings, well performed. I'd be surprised if they were originally recorded with commercial release in mind. There's a substantial amount of tape hiss, as well as noticeable artifacts from the electronics. But it's not too difficult to get past all of that and to place yourself back in a time (it feels like forever) that audiences were a little more receptive to the unusual.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent introduction 1 Oct 2002
By Dan d'Auteuil - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Containing such masterpieces as "Piano and Orchestra", or "Cello and orchestra" and expertly conducted by Hans Zender, this boxed set may not be the ultimate Feldman, but certainly is one of the best places to start. At a bargain price.
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