Morton Feldman: For John Cage
Erik Carlson, Aleck Karis

$ 14.99 (10/10 Highest Rating)

ICON (5 stars)


Morton Feldman’s “For John Cage” is the second of seven large-scale works dedicated to artists, a series which includes Frank O’Hara, Bunita Marcus, Christian Wolff, Stefan Wolpe, Philip Guston, and Samuel Beckett. Feldman met John Cage in 1950, at a time when Feldman’s composition studies with Stefan Wolpe had reached a kind of dead end. Cage gave him encouragement, enthusiasm and permission to be himself. They remained friends until Feldman’s death in 1987.  In its austere texture, “For John Cage” gives equal weight to the violin and piano parts. The fact that the two instruments often play similar material makes the contrast between the sustained sounds of the violin and the decaying sounds of the piano especially clear.



There’s an elusive intensity running through this seemingly static music that these player sseem to capture especially well. Karis judges the piece’s resonance and silences with unfailing accuracy. Violinist Erik Carlson plays with unusually attractive tone and what sounds like supernatural intonation. Bridge’s engineering is absolutely state-of-the-art: perfectly balanced, sensitively placed, and dead silent.” - (10/10 Highest Rating)

Pianist Erik Carlson and violinist Aleck Karis perform with an aching sensitivity, their playing so elemental at times the sighs, the bleats, plunks, and rumbles don’t even sound like they emanate from a piano and violin. I think I once said Feldman’s later music is akin to hearing snowflakes form—allow me to say it again.” - ICON (5 stars)

While this music will be challenging for some listeners, I personally find it a searching, engaging and rewarding listen.” - theWholeNote

I’d say if you’re new to his work, this release and it’s playing would be a great introduction to the world of Mr. Feldman, as it’s both forceful and moody.” - Musique Machine

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Related Feldman discs:

9446, 9420, 9369, 9279A/C, 9092A/B, 9078A/D

Related Karis discs:

9459, 9446, 9420, 9183, 9171, 9081A/B, 9051, 9011, 9001