Feldman: For Samuel Beckett

Feldman: For Samuel Beckett
Klangforum Wien - Sylvain Cambreling
Kairos Music 1201


  1. For Samuel Beckett (1987)

Performers: Eva Furrer (flute), Vera Fischer (flute), Markus Deuter (oboe), Konrad Zeller (oboe), Donna Wagner Molinari (clarinet), Bernhard Zachhuber (clarinet), Zarko Perisic (bassoon), Bianca Schuster (bassoon), Christoph Walder (horn), Angela Oehmke (horn), Sasa Dragovic (trumpet), Marco Blaauw (trumpet), Sebastian Fuchsberger (trombone), Franz Geroldinger (trombone), Wilfried Brandstötter (tuba), Marino Formenti (piano), Genny Reitano (harp), Lukas Schiske (percussion), Annette Bik (violin), Sophie Schafleitner (violin), Dimitrios Polisoidis (viola), Andreas Lindenbaum (cello), Uli Fussenegger (double bass)

Playing time: 55'

Recording date: February 1999 (Wien); released: 1999

This is currently the earliest performance recommended on my Feldman page, although it doesn't sound particularly dated. (For whatever reason there were three recordings released around the same time, after two from several years earlier, and none since.) It has a very precise "coldness" to it, that some writers associate with European interpretations of Feldman. (I would call the CPO recording, also from 1999, "punchier.") It's also the longest of the five recordings of For Samuel Beckett to date, which one wouldn't be able to tell without consulting a timer. That's one interesting thing about Feldman's use of scale in music: Whether one performance is slower or faster or not can be quite deceptive to the mind & ear. This recording has a good clarity to it, and one can hear the individual parts (although they also blend by design).

At this point, though (i.e. in 2020), I'm surprised that an updated interpretation has yet to appear....

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Todd M. McComb