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Morton Feldman: Rothko Chapel

  • for soprano, alto, mixed choir and instruments
  • perc(1), cel, vla(1)
  • Duration: 30’
  • Soloists:
  • Instrumentation details:
  • Choir: SATB (Vokalisen)
  • Composer: Morton Feldman
  • Table of contents:
    Rothko Chapel (für Sopran, Alt, gemischten Chor und Instrumente)
  • Commission: commissioned by the Ménil Foundation
  • Remarks: Tablets by Mark Rothko in the church named after him in Houston, Texas

Work introduction

Morton Feldman wrote Rothko Chapel for soprano, alto, mixed choir and instruments for the meditation room of the Menil Foundation in Houston/Texas in 1971. The room contains 14 large paintings by the American artist Mark Rothko in red, black and purple tones, which vary according to the light and create an atmosphere of contemplation and tranquillity. “To a large degree, my choice of instruments (in terms of forces used, balance and timbre) was affected by the space of the chapel as well as the paintings. I wanted the music … to permeate the whole octagonalshaped room and not be heard from a certain distance” (Feldman).


Sample pages

World première

Houston (US)
Corpus Christi Symphony
Maurice Peress
Main soloists:
Karen Phillips (Viola)

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