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Season 2016 | 17

FELDMAN: For Philip Guston | 18 March

Morton Feldman - For Philip Guston (1984)

Susanne Peters, flutes

Christian Smith, percussion

Daniel Walden, piano and celesta

'I never feel that my music is sparse or minimalist; the way fat people never really think they're fat. I certainly don't consider myself minimalist at all.' - Morton Feldman


A crowning achievement of Morton Feldman's late period, For Philip Guston presents the listener with an immersive sound world, fragile and luminous in its beauty. Scored for a trio of flute, percussion, piano and clocking in at 4 hours, this is music - both in length and substance - from another universe. Written as a memorial to the American painter (and Feldman's good friend) Philip Guston, the textures and harmonies presented are at once measured and timeless, abstract and sensual. 

INLEIDING: Projection Series

Beginning at 15.00 Oerknal’s music director Gregory Charette will lead a presentation with students from The Royal Conservatory of The Hague on Feldman’s groundbreaking Projection series. These works, written between 1950 and 1953, are graph compositions in which time is represented by space and in which spaced boxes specify register, number of simultaneous sounds, mode of production, and duration. The scores themselves taken as visual documents are pure works of art. Although the Projection series comes at the beginning of Feldman’s musical development and For Philip Guston is in many ways the culmination of it, there are certain elements of Feldman’s late style inherent in these graph scores – a consistently quiet dynamic, an obsession with timbre, and a kind of composition based on singular sounds and events as opposed to linear melodic/harmonic development. This performance of the Projection series will be supplemented by discussions with the students about their experience working with Feldman’s music; in many cases, it will be the first time these students have worked with graphic scores or have explored the music of Feldman.

Excerpt from Projection 2.

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