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Haunting the Chapel

Morton_Feldman_1976I’m just beginning to get into the music of Morton Feldman. His Rothko Chapel occupies a different space then I’m used to hearing in much 20th Century music. “Difficult” and “abrasive” are terms that more readily come to mind, but Rothko Chapel seems spare and, dare I say, beautiful—a word not traditionally used when describing the highbrow music of the era.

In researching Feldman, I came across this piece by The New Yorker’s Alex Ross: which led me to this appreciation and slight exegesis:

Feldman eventually became the go-to composer for one of my favorite authors, Samuel Beckett. Having read his complete works, I want to dive into Feldman’s compositions the same way and see if I have anything to add to the arguments about whether or not Feldman and Beckett were attempting to achieve something similar in their chosen mediums of expression.

I started listening to Rothko Chapel here:

and recently bought the SWR Vokalensemble Stuttgart recording conducted by Robert Huber.

An archive of material on Feldman:

And you can find out how to visit the Rothko Chapel (

(For some reason, html code for links wasn’t working!)

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Stephen McClurg

I like red peppers and Jan Švankmajer movies.

1. Current Listening: Lots of soul from Muscle Shoals

2. Current Viewing: A Hard Day's Night (1964).

3. Current Reading: H.G. Wells: In the Days of the Comet

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