For Bunita Marcus

 

In 2010, nuscope released Morton Feldman’s For Bunita Marcus by pianist Louis Goldstein. Frank Martin of Media Production Associates, who also engineered Goldstein’s acclaimed recording of Feldman’s Triadic Memories, remained behind the desk as Goldstein recorded For Bunita Marcus on a recently-acquired Steinway D at Brendle Recital Hall on the campus of Wake Forest University late last fall.

review by Brian Olewnick

Morton Feldman: For Bunita Marcus (Nuscope)There are those of us who consider Feldman’s “For Bunita Marcus” to be one of the most sublimely beautiful of all 20th century compositions.

Louis Goldstein’s recording … does the Feldman proud and is a gorgeous, entrancing recording. Clocking in at 67 minutes, Goldstein allows the work ample time to unfurl and expand. So much depends on touch on the one hand, varying the strength of attack in such a delicate manner and duration-consciousness on the other, subtly altering the lengths of notes; both areas are handled very well, producing that unique kind of shimmer found in late Feldman, where nothing ever quite repeats. Patterns form and dissolve, recur and disappear, every one lovelier, more poignant than the last. More to the point, the music breathes, wrests itself away from the hands of the pianist and becomes airborne, floating strands of pure Feldman. You can’t ask for much more than that.

it’s fantastic … If you’ve yet to discover this incredible work, what are you waiting for?

According to the fine guitarist Ernesto Diaz-Infante on the le son du arisli website, “This has been my favorite CD for the last few months. I listen to it before I go to sleep or in the morning or when I need to relax or on my iPod as I walk the hills and parks of San Francisco. It is comforting, meditative music – that sets the bar for me as far as this type of music goes. I’ve never quite heard anything that successfully suspends time like this… Solo piano notes ring with overtones. Tactile. Quiet. Soft. Slow. Ideally, listened to at a low level. If I close my eyes, a mosaic of patterns flow and unfold. If I had only one choice of music to take with me to a sensory deprivation tank, this would be it.”

This version of For Bunita Marcus includes an 8-page booklet with liner notes from noted Dallas-based musicologist Laurie Shulman and abstract expressionist artwork from the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth by the controversial Philip Guston, one of Morton Feldman’s long-time friends.

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