International Piano: Ostrava Days Festival

publikováno: 10.11.2011

Ostrava Days Festival
Morton Feldman Concert
28 August – 3 September

Petr Kotiks Ostrava Days Festival has always demonstrated a liberal attitude to contemporary music. Where Morton Feldmans work has featured, the pianist has often been Joseph Kubera (pictured), one of the composers collaborators. A highlight this year was Feldmans rarely performed Piano and Orchestra (1975), with Kubera as soloist and Kotik conducting the Janácek Philharmonic Orchestra. Feldman requests that it be played without the feeling of a beat, though there are violent outbursts. Kubera showed profound understanding. I was reminded of Cages reported remark, on hearing the pianist perform his Etudes Australes, that he played without any sense of forward motion, something Cage had not yet heard anyone else achieve. The effect was similar here. Feldman aimed at creating sounds that appear imperceptibly – trying to negate the attack that any human performer inevitably generates, but intending the result as ego-less rather than inhuman. Kubera also performed in Galina Ustvolskayas Symphony No 2, the bleak poundings of which seemed more the natural preserve of the other leading pianist at Ostrava, Daan Vanderwalle. Compared to Feldman, Ustvolskaya has nothing but attack – and it would be a remarkable player who could interpret both composers equally idiomatically.

International Piano
ANDY HAMILTON

 

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