Composer Morton Feldman’s affinities lay more with the painters of the New York School, including Jackson Pollock. “What resembled Pollock was my ‘all-over’ approach to the time-canvas,” Feldman remarked.
Lovers of new music can check out three pieces co-commissioned by the festival: Brett Dean’s for viola and piano, with the composer playing viola (July 30 and 31); Julian Anderson’s for solo piano (Aug. 3); and — the most warmly anticipated of the three — William Bolcom’s Sextet for violin, cello, clarinet, trumpet, bassoon, and piano (Aug. 16). Other works by modern composers are sprinkled through the season, including pieces by James Matheson (Quartet for Oboe and Strings, July 25), Roberto Sierra played by the piano quartet Opus One, Aug. 15), Oliver Knussen (Cantata for Oboe and String Trio, Aug. 20), festival artistic director Mark Neikrug (represented by two pieces, his String Trio on July 26 and his for solo piano on Aug. 9), and, on Aug. 4, Freya Waley-Cohen and Phil Taylor, who are participants in the festival’s educational program for young composers. In that Aug. 4 concert, the FLUX Quartet plays not only those student works but also two splendid entries in the modern repertoire — Elliott Carter’s Quintet for Piano and Strings and Thomas Adès’ Piano Quintet (in both cases assisted by pianist Stephen Gosling).
So far as standard repertoire is concerned, quite a few promising performances of well-loved works make appearances, but, given the grab-bag approach to programming, it is easier to recommend individual items rather than complete programs. Here are some we might expect to be especially stimulating: Schumann’s Piano Quartet played by violinist Daniel Hope, violist Paul Neubauer, cellist Clive Greensmith, and pianist Jon Kimura Parker, at the end of the season’s opening concerts, on Sunday, July 16, and Monday, July 17; Schumann’s with clarinetist Todd Levy, violist CarlaMaria Rodrigues, and pianist Parker, on July 23 and 24; Mozart’s Piano Concerto in C major (K. 415), performed by Anne-Marie McDermott and five string players, Aug. 12; Mozart’s Wind Serenade in E-flat major (K.375), with a fine grouping of eight wind players, on Aug. 15; Brahms’ String Sextet No. 1, with violinists William Preucil and John Storgårds, violists Steven Tenenbom and Ida Kavafian, and cellists Peter Wiley and Eric Kim, on Aug. 16; and Bartók’s Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, with Anderson & Roe plus percussionists Daniel Druckman and Robert Klieger, on Aug. 20. Let the music begin.