Cello Cto Coptic Light
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|1. Coptic Light: Coptic Light: Piano and Orchestra - M. FELDMAN|
|2. Coptic Light: Coptic Light: Cello and Orchestra - M. FELDMAN|
|3. Coptic Light - M. FELDMAN|
One might consider this small yet complex piece Morton Feldman's. nod to the 12-tone crowd. Odd thing, too, since early on, Feldman's New. York School cronies (also including John Cage and Christian Wolff) were. diametrically opposed to dodecophany and serialism. But in true Feldman. fashion, he takes an external compositional structure and makes it all. his own. It's easy to think of Feldman's work literally as musical. tapestries. Feldman himself loved the patterning of Middle Eastern rugs. and while visiting the Louvre, he happened to be knocked out by some. early Coptic textiles and, subsequently, was inspired to compose this. work. It's terrifically chaotic and takes a while for your ears to find. the underlying structures, but once you do, the power of the work seizes. and takes full effect of the listener. It's a moody work, reminiscent of. Feldman's hometown New York harbour on a foggy day. Beneath the haze. lurks a tremendous structure supporting everything that the composer. lays on top of it. It's a huge task that manages to wrap itself up in. under a half-hour. Also included on the disc are two earlier works,. 1972's Cello and Orchestra, and 1975's Piano and. Orchestra. --Kenneth Goldsmith
Top Customer Reviews
Piano and Orchestra is fast becoming my favorite Feldman piece. Written as part of a series of works for instruments and orchestra in the 70's, the work lives from moments to moment, consisting of soft discreet sounds separated by silences. Feldman's ear for instrumental sonority is unmatched. Ear sound is lush...dissonant and yet gorgeous, rather in the manner of Debussy or Messiaen. And the quiet dynamics increase the beauty of each sound. There is a sense of form, a series of chords played over and over by the pianist and echoed by the orchestral pianist create what is a recognizable "theme", is you can call such minimal material a theme. But the best way to listen to this music is to think of it as an object of sound, rather like a crystal with light coming through it. Static on the surface, but infinitely fascinating if you quiet down your own mind and just observe it.
Cello and Orchestra is from the same series, though written earlier. I am less enamoured of this one, though I like it. I'm not sure what leaves me colder in it. Perhaps the sustained nature of the cello makes this piece a little more conventional than Piano and Orchestra, a little more like a concerto. It is nevertheless a beautiful work.
The final work on the CD is Coptic Light. This is a stunning work from Feldman's late period, but with the virtue of being much shorter than most works from this time.Read more ›
Other reviewers have complained of a lack of eventfulness in the music, but there is more going on in the music than a casual listening is likely to reveal. A musician friend once described Debussy's "Jeux" (one of my three or four all-time favorite pieces of music) as the first example of 'moment music'. I thought of this when listening to "Coptic Light", though the Feldman work is far more momentary in the true sense than the Debussy. "Jeux" is held together by underlying motivic means; "Coptic Light" in contrast is like a set of variations in search of a theme. In fact, the repeated phrases do subtly evolve throughout the piece, so that by the end they barely resemble their point of departure. Really, how can anyone call this music dull - unless he has monolithic notions about what musical form and tempo should be?
As to the performances, I have no complaints, but then again I only know this performance so cannot make any comparisons.
"Coptic Light" is fairly interesting...but it grows tiresome upon repeated listenings. I could see where it would be intersting live. "Coptic Light" absolutely STOMPS the other two pieces, so that should tell you what I thought about them. While perhaps quasi-interesting live, on disc its like staring at asphalt...which is more boring than watching paint dry...because when paint drys...at least there is minimal action occurring. Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of "weird"...I like Takemitsu, Messaien, Schnittke, etc, but this is just like listening to white noise. Its not very dynamic...it kind of oozes. If that's what he was tyring to achieve, then he hit it spot on.
If this flips your switch, that's fine with me, but I could think of a thousand better ways to spend 70 minutes than listening to this CD.
The word Copt is derived from the Greek word Aigyptos, which was, in turn, derived from "Hikaptah", one of the names for Memphis, the first capital of Ancient Egypt. The modern use of the term "Coptic" describes Egyptian Christians, as well as the last stage of the ancient Egyptian language script. Also, it describes the distinctive art and architecture that developed as an early expression of the new faith.
The Coptic Church is based on the teachings of Saint Mark who brought Christianity to Egypt during the reign of the Roman emperor Nero in the first century, a dozen of years after the Lord's ascension. He was one of the four evangelists and the one who wrote the oldest canonical gospel. Christianity spread throughout Egypt within half a century of Saint Mark's arrival in Alexandria as is clear from the New Testament writings found in Bahnasa, in Middle Egypt, which date around the year 200 A.D.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This interpretation of "Coptic Light" is horrible. The magnanimous coptic tapestry was abraded by corrosive chemicals, and thrown in a humid catacomb where there is no... Read morePublished on Oct. 5 2001
Speaking from personal experience, Feldman's music is EXTREMELY difficult to perform effectively. Here, Tilson Thomas and the NWS present some of the best performances of... Read morePublished on July 20 2000
This cd is worth it just to hear the amazing performance of Coptic Light. It is an incredibly complex piece that is beatifully played and conducted here. Read morePublished on July 17 2000 by J. Byrd
This is a great introduction CD to Feldman's art. The performances are superb, slightly edging out the cpo recordings and in better sound. Read morePublished on Dec 7 1999
Tilson Thomas' recording have (until this CD) always been a major disappointment. This recording, however, is a stunning achievement. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 1999