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Schleiermacher: Feldman – Early Piano Works (FLAC)

Schleiermacher: Feldman - Early Piano Works (FLAC)
Schleiermacher: Feldman – Early Piano Works (FLAC)

Composer: Morton Feldman
Performer: Steffen Schleiermacher
Audio CD
Number of Discs: 1
Format: FLAC (tracks+cue)
Label: Hatnow
Size: 214 MB
Recovery: +3%
Scan: yes

Two Intermissions (1950)
01. I
02. II

03. Piano Piece (1952)
04. Intermission V (1952)
05. Intermission VI (1952)

Three Pieces (1954)
06. I
07. II
08. III

09. Piano Piece (1955)
10. Piano Piece (1956A)
11. Piano Piece (1956B)

Last Pieces (1959)
12. I
13. II
14. III
15. IV

16. Piano Piece to Phillip Guston (1963)
17. Piano Piece (1964)

One note here, one note there, another note here, another one there, an occasional outburst (hammered chord with resonance). Terse, pointillistic, enigmatic – and short, too: the longest piece is 9 minutes and the shortest 1:30. Somewhat tedious after a while – these pieces obviously weren’t meant to be heard in one continuous stretch of 68 minutes. Still, there is not much this music can be compared with: Webern for the pointillistic terseness, Giacinto Scelsi for the fascination with sound per se, with hearing how the resonance of one note unfolds in the surrounding space. It is a spiritual journey.

I can’t give an informed opinion on the interpretation. Steffen Schleiermacher is an interesting and useful pianist with a large catalog of recordings, specializing in the music of both the early 20th Century maverick modernists (include Satie therein) and the mavericks from the second part of last century (Cage, Feldman and the minimalists). In other recordings where I could compare, I’ve often found him to veer excessively on the side of the slow, massive and stately (see for instance my review of American Ultramodernists 1920-1950), but arguably this interpretive slant is in situation here. This is going to be one of the shortest reviews I have written on this website.

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