Recordings

Reviews

From the very outset, it strikes as music on fire. The Prelude begins with a recorded track of the narrated poem, quickly overtaken by music that is clearly based on gestures taken from the overtone series. The next movement (using the same text) builds to an enormous climax of overlapping, slowly ascending lines. It’s as though a great space is being opened up for exploration. read more
  • Robert Carl
  • Fanfare Magazine
  • July 2020
[Felder's] vocal writing is ambitious, operatic in scope and compass. The piece opens with a series of spectral chords, over which Aiken’s voice soars, effortlessly managing pianissimo dynamics and altissimo high notes. read more
  • Christian Carey
  • Sequenza 21
  • May 2020
There are a few works that announce their stature in their opening bars, such as Beethoven’s Third and Fifth Symphonies, or Haydn’s “Lord Nelson” Mass. After a brief, mumbled introduction (an actor reading poet René Daumal’s words), David Felder’s Les quatre temps cardinaux (“The Four Cardinal Times”: dawn/spring, noon/summer, sunset/fall, night/winter) becomes one of them. read more
  • James H. North
  • Fanfare Magazine
  • September 2020
The vocal-orchestral-electronic mix has a glorious complexity and an ambitious foregrounding one hears less frequently nowadays but is no less the welcome for its rarity. The combination of the various iterations of the poetry combined with the highly voluble syntactical whole of words and sound-color lucidity-abundance makes for exceptional listening. read more
  • Grego Applegate Edwards
  • Classical Modern Music
  • March 2020
The latest release by Gil Rose's Boston Modern Orchestra Project is a work they had performed a few seasons back in Boston, David Felder's Les Quatres Temps Cardinaux, which featured soprano Laura Aikin and bass Ethan Hershchenfeld with forty musicians from BMOP and a dozen channels of surround-sound electronics. It was the featured work on a triple bill in 2014, here recreated in its own unique… read more
  • South Source Critic
  • February 2020

Reviews

David Felder has taught for a number of years at SUNY Buffalo, running the June in Buffalo Festival and mentoring countless contemporary composers in the school’s illustrious graduate program. His own works are multi-faceted, incorporating muscular gestures, modernist harmonies, innovative timbres, and, oftentimes, electronics. Felder’s recent music is given sterling performances on two CDs, one… read more
  • Christian Carey
  • Sequenza 21
  • May 2020
This absorbing program comprises two recent works and one older one by David Felder, a long-time and important member of the faculty at the University at Buffalo (formerly SUNY Buffalo). Jeu de Tarot (2017) is a violin concerto with chamber ensemble of 12 players. The British musicologist Tim Rutherford-Jones notes the allusion to Stravinsky's Jeu de Cartes but claims no other relationship other… read more
  • Haskins
  • American Record Guide
  • May 2020
In his program notes for this CD, Tim Rutherford-Johnson describes David Felder’s recent works as “music to be heard in the first person (I am experiencing this), not in the third (they are playing that).” I suspect this is actually true of most music; but in any case, especially in the context of Colin Clarke’s review (which patiently lays out the complex programmatic bases for these pieces), I… read more
  • Peter J. Rabinowitz
  • February 2020
This is fascinating. David Felder wrote Jeu de Tarot, a chamber violin concerto, for Irvine Arditti and Ensemble LINEA in 2017. Interestingly, Felder takes his tarot card names and correspondences from P. D. Ouspensky. The book A New Model of the Universe, 1917, is the source quoted, although Ouspensky had previously produced a slim booklet, The Symbolism of the Tarot, in 1912, in which he states… read more
  • Colin Clarke
  • February 2020

Reviews

The pairing of David Felder and Andrew Rindfleisch on a record is not a particularly unlikely one. The liner notes declare that their work "couldn't be more different in concept or atmosphere" -- I mostly disagree. Both write in a harmonic style that is restless and unstable, but not prohibitively dissonant, allowing for memorable lines to take shape. A strength of both composers is their… read more
  • American Record Guide, Issue 246
  • February 2014

Reviews

David Felder's works are fairly intense, and the multichannel mix allowed by the Blu-Ray disc (Albany 1418) helps this. Tweener takes its time emerging. Spurts of low brass, a spattering of marimba and piano, a single flute motive, and a dense background of strings all appear and retreat. Eventually, guitar enters the atonal fray and the tangled nest of sound gives way under its own weight.… read more
  • Kraig Lamper
  • American Record Guide
David Felder's music may be somewhat difficult to categorize for the average listener. Electronics are an important component, not simply as an enhancement to human players in an orchestra, but as an additional instrument: a concerto for electronics and orchestra. This idea is beautifully expressed in the opening piece, "Tweener," where electronics and the Slee Sinfonietta combine to give a… read more
  • Peter R. Reczek
  • Buffalo Spree
  • November 2013
The entire first page of the booklet of the present CD is given over to an explanation as to why there are two discs with overlapping (albeit not completely identical) content included in this new Albany release. It turns out that one of them is a Blu-Ray disc with 90 minutes of music (no video) devoted to multi-channel mixing in high resolution. The pieces in this set that employ electronics are… read more
  • David DeBoor Canfield
  • Fanfare Magazine
  • August 2013
When I wrote about Felder's flute concerto Inner Sky (1994, rev. 1999) in a concert review of Tanglewood's 2011 Festival of Contemporary Music, I mentioned how much I looked forward to hearing the piece again on its (then in preparation) recording. What I didn't mention at the time: my concern that it would be difficult to capture the many details of the piece on record. Enter blu-ray audio.… read more
  • Christian Carey
  • Sequenza 21

Reviews

How broad a swath do these two discs cover? Certainly, even though all of this music except for BoxMan comes from the 21st century (and even BoxMan is heard with 21st-century revisions), the selection is broad enough to suggest both David Felder's undoctrinaire range and the jeremiad spirit that runs through his output. Still, of the two qualities, it's the variety that's most striking on first… read more
  • Peter J. Rabinowitz
  • Fanfare Magazine
  • August 2010
The music of the American composer David Felder projects itself to the future with deep roots in the tradition in a spiral of sounds which surround the listener. You can perceive this while listening to BoxMan, the new disc of the artist (Distinguished Professor at the State University of New York at Buffalo and Artistic Director of the Festival June in Buffalo). In this collection, published by… read more
  • Antonio Ranalli
  • Italia Oggi

Reviews

How broad a swath do these two discs cover? Certainly, even though all of this music except for BoxMan comes from the 21st century (and even BoxMan is heard with 21st-century revisions), the selection is broad enough to suggest both David Felder's undoctrinaire range and the jeremiad spirit that runs through his output. Still, of the two qualities, it's the variety that's most striking on first… read more
  • Peter J. Rabinowitz
  • Fanfare Magazine
  • August 2010

Reviews

This CD of orchestral works was recorded during the 2000 June in Buffalo Festival. Both composers whose works are represented on this recording have a long history and close ties to the festival. The first series of concerts, lectures, and masterclasses, begun by then-SUNY Buffalo faculty member Morton Feldman, occurred in 1975. In 1985, David Felder joined the Buffalo faculty and resumed the… read more
  • Linda Antas
  • International Computer Music Association
The long running June in Buffalo summer festival has seen two directors over its 25-year history. This disc contains music for orchestra and chamber orchestra (with and without soloists) composed by both these individuals, Morton Feldman and David Felder. The latte's selections are widely spaced chronologically. Coleccion Nocturna (1983-84) is essentially a double concerto, featuring a highly… read more
  • David Cleary
  • New Music Connoisseurs
Morton Feldman's music demands deep listening; the four hours on the edge of silence of his For Philip Guston do not reveal their secrets the first time around. His series of four pieces collectively titled The Viola in My Life provides a more accessible entrée; I would call the last of these - at hand on a new disc on the EMF (Electronic Music Foundation) label - truly beautiful. The solo viola… read more
  • Alan Rich
  • The Los Angeles Reader
  • August 2001
David Felder and Morton Feldman would be neighbors in a music dictionary, but they were also friends in real life; teaching at SUNY, Buffalo, and intimately involved with the school's June in Buffalo contemporary music festival. (Felder still is; Feldman died in 1987.) Musically, these two Americans don't have much in common other than excellence. Felder's music is dark, uncompromising, and… read more
  • David Raymond
  • Rochester City Magazine
  • November 2001
June in Buffalo is a festival of exploration and activity where fans of contemporary music may satisfy their desires for good performances of same. Morton Feldman is a known quantity. He used to be the focal point of the festival — today David Felder runs it. It has been going on for twenty-five years now and the musical results are impressive. Felder's music is as manic and dense as Feldman's is… read more
  • American Record Guide
  • November 2001
Whence the Musical Avant-Garde in Buffalo? During the course of this year's June in Buffalo (JIB) festival for new music at UB, audiences were reminded once again about how well Buffalo is regarded as one of the world's primary venues for new music. While this writer is accustomed to turning out articles devoted to the exciting but mostly standard repertoire performed by the Buffalo Philharmonic… read more
  • Edward Yadzinski
  • Art Voice
This intriguing disc presents a generous programme of four orchestral works, each clocking in at around 20 minutes, by a pair of decidedly contrasting voices. The performances stem from the June concerts at the State University of New York at Buffalo where Morton Feldman taught from 1971 until his death in 1987. David Felder, a friend and colleague of Feldman's, is professor of composition at… read more
  • Lawrence A Johnson
  • Gramophone
  • August 2002
Morton Feldman(1926-1987) wrote his Instruments II the same year he founded June in Buffalo, a festival for emerging young composers at the music department of the State University of New York at Buffalo, where he taught. David Felder, who had been asked to join the music faculty at Feldman's invitation in 1985, took over the festival's artistic direction and has been in charge ever since. On… read more
  • Seen and Heard
  • December 2001
I think I've said this before: Morton Feldman's The Viola in My Life has got to be one of the all-time best titles for an opus. I was happy to get the EMF disc; it ably rounds out the first three parts of The Viola in My Life (CRI 620). Parts I, II and III are scored for intimate-sized ensembles, whereas Part IV is for viola and orchestra. Jan Williams, who conducts part IV, appears on the CRI as… read more
  • LaFolia Online Music Review
  • May 2002

Reviews

Coleccion Nocturna (1983) is the earliest of Felder's Neruda pieces recorded to date (there are many others, according to the notes, but most have yet to be issued on CD). It is a set of five "variations" on what Felder calls, "a wholly self-contained musical object" from man older piano work called Rocket Summer. The "theme" never seems to be presented clearly in its entirety, but what is clear… read more
  • Allen Gimbel
  • American Record Guide, volume 63, #6
  • November 2000
  • Sequenza21
  • September 2000
Readers of City will recall that David Felder is the director of the June in Buffalo contemporary music festival. As if that didn't put him solidly enough on the side of the angels, Felder's own music is wonderfully accomplished stuff. Felder's inspiration for these three works (written between 1982 and 1997) is literary -- poems of Pablo Neruda, and Friedrich Nietzsche's Birth of Tragedy -- but… read more
  • David Raymond
  • Rochester City Magazine
  • August 2000
Here in Denmark, the possibilities to find new American music on CD are surprisingly poor. Is it because sales and export over there are more commonly done over the internet than in Europe. Here is, however, a CD from mode records, that I previously knew through Cage releases, with three works by David Felder. Felder is Professor of Composition at SUNY Buffalo, and his professional craftsmanship… read more
  • Dansk Musiktijdskrift
  • September 2000
The American Composer David Felder (b.1953) is, sadly, neither well known nor widely performed in Europe, despite the fact that some of his earlier chamber works have been presented at many of the top festivals for contemporary music, be it the Holland Festival, Huddersfield, Wien Modern or Darmstadt. In recent years, his writing turned more and more towards big, uncompromising and extremely… read more
  • Classical Music on the Web (UK)
David Felder is a faculty member at SUNY Buffalo and longtime director of the June in Buffalo festival. On this fine CD, the composer draws inspiration for his work from the poety of Pableo Neruda and writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. Musically, these pieces show a refining and broadening of the East Coast dissonant style, specifically descending from the dramatic wing of the genre. Elements from… read more
  • David Cleary
  • The New Music Connoisseur
  • May 2001
I find I am growing ever fonder of David Felder's music. I first encountered it by accident when I bought the recently-reviewed recording of Morton Feldman's Instruments II and The Viola in My Life IV on EMF. At the time I bought it, I confess to being disappointed that a rare recording of Feldman's orchestral output was not all Feldman, but Felder's music is terrific stuff, music I would be… read more
  • John Story
  • Fanfare Magazine
  • July 2002

Reviews

David Felder (1953) is currently one of the leading independent and most uncompromising American composers of his generation. Presently Professor and Coordinator of Composition at the State University of New York at Buffalo, he is also responsible for the Artistic direction of June in Buffalo, a festival for emerging composers for many years. From 1992 until 1996 he has closely worked with the… read more
  • Neue Musikzeitung