Title of four pieces by the composer Morton Feldman,
the viola in my life I, 1970, for viola, flute, violin, cello, piano, percussion
the viola in my life II, 1970, for viola, flute, clarinet, percussion, celesta, violin, cello
the viola in my life III, 1970, for viola, piano
the viola in my life IV, 1971, for viola, orchestra
Morton Feldman’s previous work had been characterized by the use of proportional notation, i.e. pitches without precise duration, and little use of dynamics change. The pieces of the the viola in my life cycle moved away from this technique, utilizing precise notation to control crescendi and diminuendi among the various instruments. Further, these pieces are, in some places, somewhat rhapsodic, with cantilenas, or melodic groups of notes, another change from Feldman’s previous work.
These four pieces, and the similar Rothko Chapel (1971, for viola, piano, celesta, soprano, alto, chorus) are beautiful works of chamber music.
In an interview with musicologist Paul Griffiths, in 1972, Morton Feldman explained that he "thought it was just a pretty title".