Tomorrow night I will perform Feldman's The Viola in My Life (3). The piece took a little getting used to and quite a bit more practicing than I ever expected for something with a tempo marking "extremely slow and quiet," but tonight--the eve of my recital--I couldn't be more excited to perform it. Below is an excerpt from my program notes for tomorrow.
Described by author and New Yorker columnist Alex Ross as “one of the major composers of the twentieth century” and “a sovereign artist who opened up vast, quiet, agonizingly beautiful worlds of sound” Morton Feldman has been sadly neglected from contemporary concert programs. Ross, a tireless proponent of Feldman, also notes the composer's near-instant friendship with so-called American Maverick, John Cage: not surprisingly, the two bonded over a performance of Second Viennese School composer Anton Webern. In contrast to Cage, Feldman was brusque and imposing, boasting a six-foot, three hundred pound frame; one would hardly expect that the soul behind such a countenance was responsible for music that can only be described as a static ethereal soundscape dotted by forests of melancholic memories.
Shameless plug: Viola Recital: Clare Harmon, viola with Luke Foster, piano and Sarah Foster, violin | Thursday, August 19; 7:30pm | First Lutheran Church of New Richmond 258 N. 3rd Street, New Richmond WI