MORTON FELDMAN (1926-1987): Atlantis, String Quartet and Orchestra, Oboe and Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 10U058
Label: Hat Art
Format: CD reissue
Description: Atlantis (1959) is unusual in Feldman's output; a graphically notated score for chamber orchestra, with a good deal of indeterminacy in regard to pitches and durations, but with instrumental colours and general shapes and forms outlined. The work thus ends up sounding like a collage of gestures in a constant state of movement, like a speeded-up film of the motion of a mobile. By the 1970s, when the other two works here were written, Feldman had returned to conventional notation and embraced rhythmic precision. The works of this period, dare one say it, are those most likely to appeal to listeners who are not card-carrying Feldmanists, containing as they do elements like sonorous harmony, dynamic contrasts and a sense of dense, oppressive psychological drama. Of these sonorous soundfields, taking twenty minutes or so to explore far more complex textures than the minimal material examined for hours in the later works the best-known is, of course, Rothko Chapel, and the two glacial traversals of the surface of an abstract expressionist color field canvas here function in a very similar way. Pellegrini Quartet, Han de Vries (oboe), Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra; Lucas Vis. Original 1998 release.