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Feldman - Triadic Memories [CD]

Morton Feldman , Marilyn Nonken Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £20.59 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Composer: Morton Feldman
  • Audio CD (9 Aug 2004)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Mode
  • ASIN: B00023P46U
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 224,868 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         


Disc 1:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Page 1, System 1, Measure 1 4:59£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Page 5, System 2, Measure 1 9:55Album Only
Listen  3. Page 13, System 1, Measure 420:37Album Only
Listen  4. Page 19, System 4, Measure 111:15Album Only
Listen  5. Page 25, System 1, Measure 3 8:46Album Only
Listen  6. Page 30, System 4, Measure 1 5:25£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Page 34, System 3, Measure 4 4:10£0.79  Buy MP3 


Disc 2:

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Page 38, System 4, Measure 316:56Album Only
Listen  2. Page 44, System 1, Measure 111:43Album Only


Product Description

MOD 136; MODE - Stati Uniti; Classica contemporanea Piano

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Triadic perfection... 24 July 2014
Format:Audio CD
This version I think is the best. In terms of sound but above all in the tempo - neither ponderous or too busy - Marilyn Nonken's performance communicates this work beautifully.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hauntingly beautiful 7 Jan 2008
By Steward Willons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Triadic Memories is my absolute favorite Feldman piano work and probably ranks up there with my top five Feldman works of all time (the others include his Piano and String Quartet, Rothko Chapel, King of Denmark, and Crippled Symmetry). Solo piano works so well for Feldman's music for a number of reasons. Works such as "Why Patterns?" can sometimes sound a bit shrill if the musicians have not made good sonic choices. Anytime you have flute and orchestra bells as two thirds of an ensemble, you're bound to risk a lot of high-frequency irritation. By contrast, the piano has a wonderful range that is never grating on the ears. (I should point out though that I do like "Why Patterns?" when it's performed well)

I'll comment first on the work itself and then on the interpretation.

There are some reviewers here that claim the work is "boring". This could be for a variety of reasons. The most obvious is that they're inexperienced with 20th century modernist art music. But, I'll give these listeners the benefit of the doubt and address these criticisms anyway. There is no perceptible form at work here. You can't follow it as you would a sonata. There is either very little repetition or quite a lot - it's difficult to say which. Sometimes I feel like I've heard a certain section before, but other times it feels through-composed. That is all to say, there are valid reasons for not enjoying Triadic Memories.

Additionally, as with all extended-length Feldman, if you don't happen to enjoy the mood and texture of a particular work, you're probably not going to like it. "For Philip Guston" does not appeal to me because I happen to not like the small idea that Feldman expands into a nearly four-hour work. On the other hand, I like the sounds of his second String Quartet, which is even longer.

Ultimately, I would suggest listening to Amazon's 30 second previews. They give a very representative sampling of the work. It's as simple as this: if you like the preview, you're in for a treat because it's more of the same for about 93 minutes. If you don't think it sounds good, then you're not going to like the work.

These are all subjective perspectives anyway. Personal taste aside, this is one of Feldman's strongest works. It perfectly realizes his delicate, haunting aesthetic and induces the type of meditative listening experience that he typically requests of his listeners. Beyond that, he finds variety with simple ideas. The broken chords of Triadic Memories, if stacked vertically, would form more-or-less normal triads, but Feldman arranges them into major and minor seconds that destroy any chance of triadic consonance. It's beautiful stuff, really.

Marilyn Nonken provides a terrific interpretation of this difficult work. After listening to it around ten times, I cannot find any faults or errors. Her tempo is slow, but not too slow. Most importantly, she maintains excellent rhythmic integrity. For those who have had the chance to examine the score, you know that Triadic Memories is rhythmically complex - deceptively so, I might add. Nonken is able to convey this accurately and avoids the pitfall of making the notes seem like a random cloud of pitches.

Overall, I can't recommend this recording highly enough. The only question for Feldman fans is whether to buy the double CD or the DVD-Audio version.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars beautiful "Memories" 2 Nov 2004
By klangfarbenguy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Feldman once referred to this piece as the "largest butterfly in captivity." That poetic image serves "Triadic Memories" well: it is graceful, colorful, and mysterious all at once, particularly when played with this much sensitivity to attack, resonance, and sound color.

"Triadic Memories" has no tempo indication, the performer must choose. Since this will have a profound effect on the structure of the piece, close attention must be paid to the tempo selected. Nonken settles on a pulse that approximates the heartbeat at rest, perhaps to accommodate the listener who will be absorbed in this work for over 90 minutes. Faster and slower tempos have been chosen (Aki Takahashi plays it in just 60 minutes while Marcus Hinterhäuser's reading is over 100), but Nonken's really seems right.

Extra production effort was taken to highlight the resonances in the piano. Feldman once remarked that he wished he could only hear the resonances and not the attack. Since the piano is essentially a percussion instrument (felt hammers hitting strings), this presents a special problem. By choosing a very resonant instrument and recording space (and recording in 24-96 digital), you can hear the aftertones of the piano hang in the air and blend together -- it's almost like a whole new piece inside the piece. As Nonken points out in the 20-minute video that is included with DVD -- get the DVD if you can, it has this bonus plus you can hear the piece uninterrupted in full 24-96 digital sound -- Feldman incorporated "ghost triads" in the resonances that I've not heard on other recordings.

Bravo to Mode for spending the extra coin to make this release so outstanding. If you are looking for the best recording of "Triadic Memories," or are interested in Feldman's music and want to buy your first disc, I'd say look no further.
6 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars timeless music works on the body & mind 17 Nov 2004
By scarecrow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Feldman's long durational music, the music he wrote the last (more-or-less) ten years of his life, works best in the piano genre, for which this is the only work. The other pieces as the 4 hour "For Christian Wolff" for Flute and Piano, the 6 Hour "String Quartet", seem not to have the substance to travel the musically long durational seas. Timbre and how its employed distributed is the place here where this argument turns. For example the extended techniques in the 6 Hour "String Quartet", drains one's listening constitution very quickly(at least mine), and these pieces need to live a multiple life of their own,not depending upon a programmatic(that is not here) 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 a rich,seemingly endless diversity in the touch to the keys that we sense, from threadbare,pencil thin and drained to overly resonant and rich,(well more overtones engaged). Feldman certainly drew from this grand table of timbral gradations. 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 enable 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(not far from Chicago) bears much timbral fruit here as we cross the Mediterranean for musical boxes,and 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.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars simply a high point for timbre the piano,un-music and form 15 Nov 2004
By scarecrow - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
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.
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