Karen Phillips - The Viola in My Life; False Relationships and the Extended Ending (1971), 7/10

Although it may not be the most ambitious set of compositions from Feldman, these are some my favorite and one of his most enjoyable recordings. Feldman himself conducts all of these pieces and succeeds in creating a unique atmosphere as usual, but one that's beauty soars above the rest. The Viola in My Life was composed especially for Karen Phillips, a performer at Hawaii University, and it uses her talents to the fullest, consisting of varied combinations with the viola and other instruments in unique arrangements. Karen Phillip's playing is extraordinarily stunning of course, as is Seymour Barab on cello and Paula Robison on flute in particular. The composition techniques are abnormally literal for Feldman, allowing for less individual interpretation, but also resulting in a more intentional listening experience that I personally find more enjoyable. Yet we still get the Feldman experience in that these compositions require your undivided attention, leading to a penetrating and permeating listening arch for its audience.