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Morton Feldman (1926- 1987)
The Viola in My Life 2

“At first listening, I hear Morton Feldman’s music as the sound transposition of a sumptuous coloured monochrome. In The viola in my life, the viola seems like perpetually suspending, flowing away slowly through the loose meshes of a neutral canvas, a pure juxtaposition of pastels. First, it stands out very little against the instrumental group. Thanks to the outward lack of relation between the instruments, all the focus is set on the timbre: the rather dull timbre of the viola, softly played, the transparent one of the two woodwinds and two associated strings, the crystal-clear punctuations by the celesta, a whole floating, suspended universe slightly tied to the floor by the only light tremolos of the percussions. Motionless moment or circular time, our ear gets contemplative, and makes itself opened to the process of memory, toward which Morton Feldman leads us: several silences, a sound matter getting progressively rarer, all of this prepares the appearance of subtle, very simple melodic motifs that indicate expressivity as if hummed by a child, and taken up as ritornellos. And yet, no child voice indeed, that sexless, ageless voice is nothing but the echo of ancestral voices, the emergence of a soul buried away, a star that wanders against inexorably flowing time.”

Christophe Desjardins,
text introducing the disc Voix d’alto, Aeon (AECD 0429)