Feldman, Morton. (1926–1987) [Zukofsky, Paul. (1943–2017)]
Spring of Chosroes - Performing Score with Autograph Note to Paul Zukofsky
Facsimile printed manuscript score to the influential American composer's 1977 violin and piano work, used in performance by the violinist for whom it was composed, Paul Zukofsky. 11 pp. Zukofsky has added extensive markings to the first two systems of music, circling the pizzicato notes in blue and the arco notes in red and transcribing the rhythms on a separate line above the music. Further performance markings throughout the score include note names, bowings and fingerings, and brief notes such as "match piano sound," "push," and "vib?" At the foot of the final page, he has calculated the length of the piece by counting beats, arriving at the length of 13–13.5 minutes. Loose large-format pages. Some toning, but overall in fine condition. 11.5 x 16.5 inches (29.4 x 41.8 cm).
Together with an autograph note from Feldman explaining the title of the piece: " 'The Spring of Chosroes' was a sumptuous carpet reputed to be made for the Sassanian King, Chosroes I (AD 571–379). The materials were made of silk, fold, silver, and semi precious and precious stones. It depicted a garden open to Paradise and was also known as 'The Winter Carpet.' " He adds on a second sheet: "CHOSROES I 531–579 A.D. the other spelling is right. We'll be in N.Y. end of next wk. Will give you a [ring]." 8.5 x 7 inches (21.7 x 17.8 cm), on letterhead of SUNY Buffalo, together with original envelope postmarked February 4, 1978. Very fine.
"The Spring of Chosroes was a sumptuous carpet reputed to have been made for the Sassanian King Chosroes I (in the sixth century AO). Woven with silk, gold, silver and rare stones, the carpet depicted a garden akin to Paradise. The image of this legendary rug remained with Feldman throughout the composition, inspiring the isolated 'gems' of sound, the translucent, interwoven harmonic timbres, and suggesting the form of the work. From the onset, the Spring of Chosroes confronts us, not with the traditional violin/piano exchange, but with two separate yet integral monologues. [...] The nature of these instruments' interaction becomes elusive. Even when one instrument plays alone, we do not get the customary impression that the other is waiting to reply. Rather, Feldman is choosing to turn an ear to one instrument, then to the other; and at times we hear both together. It is through this selective listening that Feldman paces the unfolding dialogue." (Bunita Marcus for Universal Edition.)
American violinist and conductor Paul Zukofsky was known for his work in the field of contemporary music. Born in Brooklyn, New York, Zukofsky was the only child of the American Objectivist poet Louis Zukofsky and Celia Thaew Zukofsky, a musician and composer. He began performing at an early age and was soon drawn to modern music, especially to the possibilities of extended techniques on the violin. Over the course of his career, he collaborated with composers including Milton Babbitt, John Cage, Elliott Carter, George Crumb, Morton Feldman, Philip Glass, Peter Mennin, Krzysztof Penderecki, Roger Sessions, Charles Wuorinen, and Iannis Xenakis. He gave world premieres of concertos by Robert Sessions (for violin, cello and orchestra), Charles Wuorinen (for amplified violin and orchestra), Morton Feldman (for violin and orchestra), Phillip Glass, and the Scottish composer Iain Hamilton, among others.