- Audio CD (31 Dec. 2008)
- SPARS Code: DDD
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: ECM New Series
- ASIN: B0011DZN70
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 242,141 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
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|1. The Viola in My Life I|
|2. The Viola in My Life II|
|3. The Viola in My Life III|
|4. The Viola in My Life IV|
Morton Feldman (1926-1987) was one of the most important and influential American composers of the 20th century. His music is characterized by soft dynamics, stillness, and often, particularly in his later pieces, extreme length. He was a friend of John Cage and many prominent artists in 1950s New York including composers Earle Brown and Christian Wolff, painters Mark Rothko, Philip Guston, Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg and pianist David Tudor. The painters in particular influenced Feldman to search for his own sound world, resulting in his experimentations with graphic notation and player improvisation.
Feldman wrote all four of The Viola in My Life pieces in the early 1970s for American viola player Karen Phillips: "[It] was begun in Honolulu in July 1970 and consists of individual compositions utilizing various instrumental combinations (small and large) with viola. Unlike most of my music, the complete cycle is conventionally notated as regards pitches and tempi. I needed the exact time proportion underlying the gradual and slight crescendo characteristic of all the muted sounds the viola plays. It was this aspect that determined the rhythmic sequence of events." The last is an orchestral 'translation' of material used in the three chamber pieces preceding it.
Marek Konstantynowicz (viola), Cikada Ensemble: Kersti Walldén (flute), Terje Lerstad (clarinet), Bjørn Rabben (percussion), Kenneth Karlsson (piano, celesta), Odd Hannisdal (violin), Morten Hannisdal (violoncello), Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Christian Eggen (conductor)