Mp3 Blog #7: The Magical Resonance of the Piano II

Tristan Murail:
”Territoires de L’oubli” 1977
Performed by Dominique My

Available on this c.d. published by Accord

Morton Feldman:
”Palais de Mari” 1987
Performed by Marianne Schroeder

Another performance by Ronnie Lynn Patterson is available on this c.d.

Also, another performance by Markus Hinterhauser is available on this c.d.

I love piano. To display this, I’ve decided to create another post dedicated to the “magical resonance of the piano.” Last time, I chose ‘minimalist’ works that exaggerate and highlight the phenomenological brilliance of piano resonance. This time, I’ve chosen two works that are sculpted from the piano’s resonance and decay rather than the more conventional series of attack points.

“Territoires de L’oubli” is the grand pillar in Tristan Murail’s oeuvres for solo piano. Roughly translated as “Territories of the Lost,” the work uses a constantly depressed sustain pedal to show the various stages of a submerging minor ninth between B4 and C6. To emphasize this fluid motion, Murails models his seamlessly endless variety of materials on the periodic rise and fall of a sinuous wave.

“Palais de Mari” is one of the last works in Morton Feldman’s remarkable oeuvre. I am hesitant to write a lot about Morton Feldman’s music and aesthetic since so much has been written about him since the 80th anniversary of his birth. (For the curious, I would simply recommend the above link highlighting his name.) “Palais de Mari” holds a special place for me since it was the first Morton Feldman work I heard, the only one I knew for four years, and is often what I play before I go to sleep. Supposedly Bunita Marcus commissioned the work with the stipulation that Morton Feldman should try and compress everything that he was writing in his later style into a ‘short’ work. No matter how many times I have played and listened to this work, I still find new ways in which sumptuously fleeting internal links seem to decay and resonate from the page.

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