Patterns in a Chromatic Field

music by Morton Feldman

Charles Curtis, cello

Aleck Karis, piano

Patterns in a Chromatic Field, Morton Feldman's 1981 masterpiece, may be his most complex and enigmatic score. Revealing qualities that are almost unique in his output - breathless speed, abrupt changes in texture and mood, a charged, brittle intensity - this monumental 80-minute canvas conveys a stark, hypnotic beauty.

The piece is worked out in an obsessive intricacy of detail, resembling an obscure encoded text in a forgotten language. Feldman compared the very slight microtonality in the cello writing - indicated by an esoteric system of double-sharps and flats - to the natural dyes in antique carpets: the slight variations in hue and intensity of a particular color cause the entire "chromatic field" of a carpet to shimmer.