(OgreOgress)

“For Feldman” is a self-explanatory audio DVD in which the Rangzen string quartet (Karen Krummel, Heather Storeng, Christopher Martin, Sieu Mahn Phong) and violinist Christina Fong tackle Feldman-related compositions by four young disciples, plus a series of short pieces for string quartet by Feldman himself, fragments from 1954-56 appearing as glimpses of noctambulism radiating from the lights of comprehensible dissonance, intermissions of past memories amidst the profound contemporary awareness of the young heirs. David Toub’s “MF” is the most agitated, so to speak, work on offer here, a continuative analysis of a series of interlocking cells and patterns that go back to early Philip Glass with a hint to Stephen Scott, but with a curiously oblique aura surrounding it. David Kotlowy’s “Of shade to light” alternates the most Feldmanesque “few notes, many thoughts” considerations to gorgeous, full-scale waves of droning strings that just can’t leave us indifferent. “New England, late summer” by John Prokop is defined by the composer “something that would not call attention to itself”, yet its back-and-forth, slightly alterated quiescence is like a sloping undertow in a moaning sea, causing the opposite effect on my own concentration. The final and longest track is David Beardsley’s “As beautiful as a crescent of a new moon on a cloudless spring evening”: Christina Fong’s interpretation of this piece tuned to just intonation is exquisite, the score’s soberness juxtaposing distant reminiscences of La Monte Young and a stripped bare version of Phill Niblock to the internal hums of our body when we’re immersed in impregnable hush.

Advertisements