‘I can’t go on. I’ll go on.’ Samuel Beckett’s famous closing line from The Unnameable perfectly describes the mood of the last work completed by American composer Morton Feldman. Feldman’s delicate, sparse methods eventually transcended his early indeterminate work with the 1950s ‘New York School’ of John Cage, Earle Brown and Christian Wolff.
The 75-minute Piano, Violin, Viola, Cello is a hymn to eternity, with its resignment to fate and luminous melancholy. Premiered two months before the composer’s death in 1987, it’s a beautifully austere swansong full of beguiling dissonances and the sense of a tide forever lapping at the shore.
Norway’s Cikada ensemble will apply their formidable skills to this landmark work of postwar American music.
Kenneth Karlsson — piano
Odd Hannisdal — violin
Bendik Foss — viola
Torun Stavseng — cello
Produced by Cikada.