IAS 1: John Snijders and Morton Feldman
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22 November 2016 7:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Morton Feldman (1926-1987) – Triadic Memories (1981) (90 minutes)
As part of Durham University’s Institute of Advanced Study’s year on “Scale”, Head of Music Performance John Snijders will provide a rare opportunity to hear one of the great masterpieces of twentieth century piano repertoire. Morton Feldman’s quietly epic composition “Triadic Memories”, written in 1981, has been described by the composer as ‘the biggest butterfly in captivity’. This 90-minute piece moves between quiet and extremely quiet, and transports the listener onto a plane where memory and a sense of time seem to function in different ways. The piece was inspired by Feldman’s preoccupation with the work on the New York Abstract Expressionist painters, in particular Mark Rothko and Philip Guston, but also by his interest in Turkish and Anatolian rugs.
The concert will take place on Tuesday 22 November, 19.30h, in the Concert Room of the Music Department, on Palace Green. Admission is free.
On Monday 21 November, 18.30, Snijders will give a lecture on the late works of American composer Morton Feldman (1926-1987) and his involvement with ‘scale’ as opposed to ‘form’ in musical composition. Feldman’s body of work shows a gradual shift from thinking in short, compact forms in the 1950’s and 60’s, to a slight increase to what he called ‘the twenty-minute piece’ in the 1970’s. Through thinking about memory and scale, in combination with an interest in Turkish and Anatolian rugs and the work of painters like Mark Rothko, new elements started to emerge. Concepts such as ‘crippled symmetry’, microtonal inflections, and patterns are coupled with increased length, culminating in the 5-hour String Quartet (II), written in 1983. The lecture investigates this shift in compositional thinking, and the transition from form to scale. The talk will take place in the Lecture Room of the Music Department, on Palace Green. Admission is free.
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