CD Reviews

Thursday 25th February

February 25, 2010

I got home from London early enough to unwind a little with a glass of average Chablis, half a packet of pistachio cookies and a few spins through of a disc of Morton Feldman’s music. That’s as good a way to relax as any if you ask me. I badly need to be able to spend more time than I have so far with the recent Tilbury DVD of Feldman released on Matchless, but I really do need to give over the best part of a day to that veritable treasure trove. For now though I have been listening to a disc that has been sat here unplayed for a month or so, the third in the MDG Late Piano Works Series performed by Steffen Schleiermacher. I bought, played and quite enjoyed the first two discs in the series a couple of years back now. Those two discs contained the two late masterpieces, For Bunita Marcus and Triadic Memories, and to be honest I thought maybe that would be it for the series, but no, this third disc has now arrived.

The CD contains two compositions. The first is Piano, (sometimes known as Piano 77) which, having been written some ten years before his death possibly stretches the definition of “late piano works” a little, and also Palais de Mari, one of the composer’s very last pieces written in 1986. I already have five or six versions of Piano amongst my Feldman collection (which now spans all of a four foot wide shelf) and maybe twice as many again recordings of Palais de Mari, but I was interested to hear what Steffen Schleiermacher would make of them, given my enjoyment of the first two discs in the series. Almost a year ago I wrote briefly about his Bunita Marcus disc here and stated in the post that I would have to try and track down some of Schleiermacher’s massive series of recordings of the complete John Cage piano works. With almost inevitable displeasure I have to announce that I still haven’t done this. Maybe I will soon.

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