Feldman: For Bunita Marcus

Reviewed on Thu 12 Nov, 2015

Dedicated to the composer’s student and sometime lover, it is a luminous meditation in which every note glimmers and shines like stars in the night sky.

Following on from last year’s The Transcendentalist (Heresy Records) and the book+CD+DVD Detours Which Have To Be Investigated (Editions HEAD Genève), Ivan Ilić returns to Morton Feldman’s music in this altogether enticing new release. The focus is entirely on the 22-section For Bunita Marcus, a late work dating from 1985, just two years before Feldman’s death at the age of 61. Dedicated to the composer’s student and sometime lover, it is a luminous meditation in which every note glimmers and shines like stars in the night sky. Intimate and immense, it’s a spectral and spiritual statement of unfathomable depths, each note concentrated and compressed with all the mysterious alchemy of base carbon transformed into lustrous diamond. Ilić navigates breadth and depth with concentrated attention to detail while maintaining the slow unwinding arc from the opening’s taut, twisted three-note motive to the lengthening intervals and evaporating tones of its conclusion. His booklet notes are as exemplary as his playing. Spellbinding.
–Michael Quinn