The concentrated work of Morton Feldman doe not often come our way. So we’re happy to share the press release.
A celebration of the music of Morton Feldman
1- 4 April 2016
Taking its name from the only organ work by Morton Feldman, Principal Sound celebrates the music of this most individual and influential of composers in what would have been his 90th year. Bookended by two of Feldman’s late, great, masterpieces, the four-day festival brings together a number of leading new music performers with some of the UK’s most exciting young talent.
In one of the festival’s strands, important works from across Feldman’s output are placed alongside some of the music dearest to him, including the Webern Concerto for Nine Instruments and one of the cornerstones of American Experimentalism, John Cage’s String Quartet in Four Parts— the latter presented here by St John’s Young Artists the Ligeti Quartet. The festival also offers a rare opportunity to hear the vividly original, but all-too-often overlooked, music of two Feldman associates – Frank Denyer and Jo Kondo.
From there, the scope of the festival widens, taking in a broad range of composers who share something of Feldman’s tactile approach to the very substance of sound itself – from pioneering classics by Vivier and Rădulescu to a clutch of recent work, including a striking quartet from Arne Gieshoff – whose own Explorensemble have devised a fascinating programme placing Feldman within a European context. The UK premiere of Layers of Love, a major ensemble work by Christian Mason, features at the heart of a mouth-watering three-part concert from the Octandre Ensemble.
Another highlight of the festival is sure to be the unveiling of a new work from that incomparable clairvoyant of the near-silent, Jürg Frey, fresh from his residency at the 2015 Huddersfield Festival. Frey’s Shadow and Echo and Jade forms the still centre of a programme from Exaudi and organist James McVinnie which also takes in music by Feldman, Clementi and James Weeks before culminating in Guide, a deeply soulful work by the Canadian composer Cassandra Miller, whose generous and refreshingly direct musical voice is also showcased in a piano recital by Eliza McCarthy.
Opening the festival, with Feldman’s Piano and String Quartet, are some of the greatest Feldman interpreters of our time: the peerlessSmith Quartet and John Tilbury (who turns 80 this year). Finally, there is the chance to experience one of Feldman’s longest and most beautiful works in live performance, as Jenni Hogan, George Barton and Siwan Rhys, present For Philip Guston in all of its plaintive, quietly beguiling, vastness.
Website: Principal Sound Festival