FLUX Quartet

Feldman: String Quartet No. 1; Structures; Three Pieces

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Volume 12 in Mode's Feldman Edition features the FLUX Quartet in performances of three of Morton Feldman's exploratory yet contemplative works for string quartet. The two-CD package offers the imposing String Quartet No. 1 (at an hour and a half, it is divided between the two discs), the brief Structures, and the Three Pieces for String Quartet, a work of only slightly greater duration than Structures. Feldman's processes are quiet different in each work, with the String Quartet No. 1 offering the most elaborate changes of textures and sonorities in a sustained meditation that is quiet, deliberately paced, and almost static in its alternations of chords and silences. The short, pointillistic gestures in Structures seem superficially to resemble the sparse activity of the string quartet, though it is much more fragmentary and airy in feeling. The Three Pieces, composed soon after Structures, more closely resemble it in its aphoristic style, and both works seem quite close in spirit, if not technique, to the music of Webern. Mode's recording is quite clear and close-up, so even the softest pitches can be heard, though the proximity makes the scratchiness of the bowing a little too apparent.

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