• Morton Feldman

    Patterns In A Chromatic Field

    Marianne Schroeder, Rohan De Saram

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Morton Feldman was one of the most enigmatic composers of the 20th century. That is to say, he was extremely intelligent and enormously opinionated, pulled no punches when it came to passing judgement on historical figures or his peers, and loved to talk about his work, so that there is a remarkable collection of his writings and many scattered interviews to give us insight into his music. And yet the information he offered, frequently anecdotal, was often philosophic or metaphoric in nature, so that it ultimately revealed few specifics about his compositional methods and aesthetic choices. For example, as forthcoming as he was about his obsessive relationship with painting, primarily although not exclusively the work of the Abstract Expressionist painters of the late 1940s, ‘50s, and ‘60s who were his close friends, we find that for all his talk of the congruities between artistic and musical qualities of scale, surface, or space, among others, much of his music – especially the later, longer scores of which Patterns In A Chromatic Field is a prime example – remains mysteriously idiosyncratic and marvelously cryptic.  

– Art Lange