Universal Edition - Morton Feldman – The Viola in My Life 1

Morton Feldman

Morton Feldman
The Viola in My Life 1

Year of composition: 1970
Scored for: for viola and 5 instruments
Composer: Morton Feldman
Soloists: viola
Instrumentation: fl, perc, pno, vln, vc
Instrumentation details:

Commissioned by: commissioned by the Pierrot Players
Duration: 9′45″
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Audio Excerpt

The Viola in My Life 1

World Première

Location: London / Great Britain
Date: 19.09.1970
Orchestra: Pierrot Players
Conductor: Peter Maxwell Davies
Main Soloists: Karen Phillips (Viola)

Work Introduction

The cycle The Viola in My Life was begun in July 1970 in Honolulu (composed especially for Karen Phillips, resident performer at Hawaii University) and consists of individual compositions utilising various instrumental combinations with the viola.

“The compositional format is quite simple. Unlike most of my music, the complete cycle of The Viola in My Life (I-IV) is conventionally notated as regards pitches and tempi. I needed the exact time proportions 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.” (Feldman)

The attention demanded by Feldman’s music – so soft that it can almost not be heard – is so uniform that it suggests the idea of a surface. We are never quite sure where the sounds are coming from. Time, articulated in most music by rhythm, is perceived as being static. Each sound floats in space, is entirely independent of what has gone before and what has yet to come. Sounds do not progress but merely accumulate in the same place.

The Viola in My Life is a gorgeous succession of delicate sounds in which Feldman, through the interaction of sound and silence, conjures up a desolate magic on a plane where time is somehow altered, transformed.

Morton Feldman

Study score – The Viola in My Life 1

  • for viola and 5 instruments (violin, cello, flute, percussion, piano)
  • Degree of difficulty: 7-8
  • Edition type: study score
  • UE15395
  • ISBN: 978-3-7024-1707-9
  • ISMN: 979-0-008-04596-7
EUR 21,50

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