I strongly believe that Feldman's long durational music, the music he wrote the last (more-or-less) ten years of his life, works best in/of the piano, for which this is the only work. The other pieces as the 4 hour "Christian Wolff" for Flute and Piano, the 6 Hour String Quartet, seem not to have the durational substance to travel the musically long durational seas. Timbre is the place here where this argument turns, for the extended techniques for example in the 6 Hour String Quartet, drains one's listening constitution very quickly(at least mine), and these pieces need to live a life of their own, and again the piano solo genre seems to be perfectly suited, perfectly endowed with the 'seeds', the means for long durational lengths, "sailing the seas depends upon the helmsman", said Mao in another context, and here the timbre of the piano is the helmsman. The piano timbre has really a rich,seemingly endless diversity in the touch to the keys that we sense, from threadbare,pencil thin and drained to overly rich,(well more overtones engaged) What one can sense as this piece unfolds is like examining timbre under a microscope. The beauty here is especially compelling when chords with half-steps in them gracefully decay and we hear the beats,the pulse of the relative dissonance.Here Nonken's choice of metronomic indication allows these 'treasures' to exhibit themselves. Nonken is faster than Hinterhausen clocking in at circa 94 minutes, while Hinternausen's is well over 100 minutes.
I think Nonken understands these points of beauty and how they inable themselves to interface with tempi but I found she trys to make music sometimes,tries to reach for points of comprehension,engaging what the minds already knows, (said Jasper Johns) especially the first 50 minutes, meaning she doesn't allow the music to be simply as it is;To depart from what the mind knows. And this is where this work, works best when we can forget our own musical memory, those gestures engrained in ourselves.Without approaching the pretencious, a piece like this does "cleanse"(a transgressive term) one of one's memory.But I would be remiss here if I didn't admit that a piece of this peace relative tranquility and length does work on the body as well as the mind.So the danger of the work(in performing it) is where it seems to suggest(in shapes and phrases and gestures) more than what it is. And there are many points in the music where this occurs, as the straight eighth notes like art song accompaniment materials.There are similar problems in Feldman's various "concerti" where Stravinskian and the literature of dodecaphonic gestures are suggested "Oboe & Orchestra", "Piano & Orchestra" This is all relative, for she does much of the time let's the work wind and caress over her,like a wind(glass or wood) chimes forests. And I prefer Nonken's recording in the end to all else.
Hinterhausen seems to see with a large telescope where the piece is going a rare feat, for how does one practice this? and again this is all relative folks, Hinterhausen seems to know the distance he needs to travel, and the 'locis' moment to moment musical gestures then seems less compelling than Nonken. Nonken's is more engaging (again a relative term for Feldman) than the Hinterhausen, Nonken virtually finds timbral beauty in each moment The production values in Nonken's (Jason Eckardt's production) trekking to the famous Krannert Center Concert Hall at the University of Illinois Urbana bears much timbral fruit here as we cross the Mediterranean for musical boxes, spices,silks and other musical treasures. Sir Georg Solti also loved this hall, dragging the Chicago Symphony Orchestra down there for recording sessions of Mahler.
We hear each moment as if the piano is right in front of us;an introspective expeience which the music demands. I don't know if "Triadic Memories" is music for the concert venue, it seems better suited as a pure piece of recorded art.
The Tilbury recording as well reaches for beauty from moment to moment, Tilbury has been known to coax the most warmest timbre from the most coldly abstracted pieces of the avant-garde he once played.