I’m just beginning to get into the music of Morton Feldman. His Rothko Chapel occupies a different space then I’m used to hearing in much 20th Century music. “Difficult” and “abrasive” are terms that more readily come to mind, but Rothko Chapel seems spare and, dare I say, beautiful—a word not traditionally used when describing the highbrow music of the era.
In researching Feldman, I came across this piece by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross: http://www.therestisnoise.com/2006/06/morton_feldman_.html which led me to this appreciation and slight exegesis: http://johnsonsrambler.wordpress.com/2005/01/17/music-since-1960-feldman-rothko-chapel
Feldman eventually became the go-to composer for one of my favorite authors, Samuel Beckett. Having read his complete works, I want to dive into Feldman’s compositions the same way and see if I have anything to add to the arguments about whether or not Feldman and Beckett were attempting to achieve something similar in their chosen mediums of expression.
I started listening to Rothko Chapel here:
and recently bought the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart recording conducted by Robert Huber.
An archive of material on Feldman: http://www.cnvill.net/mftexts.htm
And you can find out how to visit the Rothko Chapel (http://www.rothkochapel.org/).
(For some reason, html code for links wasn’t working!)