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Morton Feldman: On Time and the Instrumental Factor

  • for orchestra
  • 4 3 3 3 - 2 2 3 1 - hp, cel, glock, str
  • Duration: 8’
  • Instrumentation details:
    piccolo
    1st flute
    2nd flute
    alto flute
    1st oboe
    2nd oboe
    cor anglais
    1st clarinet in Bb
    2nd clarinet in Bb
    bass clarinet in Bb
    1st bassoon
    2nd bassoon
    contrabassoon
    1st horn in F
    2nd horn in F
    1st trumpet in Bb
    2nd trumpet in Bb
    bass trumpet
    1st trombone
    2nd trombone
    bass trombone
    tuba
    glockenspiel
    harp
    celesta
    violin I
    violin II
    viola
    violoncello
    contrabass
  • Composer: Morton Feldman

Work introduction

The sounds were written directly for the instruments rather than being conceived as a grouping of interlocking sounds on the piano and then orchestrated. At first, the sounds were written one by one as a non-metrically measured unit. That is, in a non-time chronological series. I then structured each sound in terms of its acoustical reality (how long it takes to “speak”) and found a pulse in which they could then breathe without tension, gravity, or the feeling of a beat. In effect, I was primarily concerned with the natural time duration of each sound in its relation to a corresponding instrumental timbre.

Morton Feldman

World première

Date:
24.04.1971
Orchestra:
Dallas SO
Conductor:
Richard Dufallo

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