Marc-André Hamelin, known for his extraordinary virtuosity, here presents not so much the exact opposite of this but a world that complements it: slow, minimalist, yet strangely evocative and expressive. Save for a very occasional quick flourish, the music changes very slowly, sometimes with a living pulse, at other times as loosely co-ordinated as a wind chime (the score’s ever changing metre apparent to the eye rather than the ear).
Simple though the music sounds, Hamelin’s touch of the keyboard plays its role, each note like a separate pebble gently dropped into a pool and sending out ripples. How much is the music’s effect innate to Feldman’s notation as interpreted by Hamelin? And how much is it like a Rorschach test where we interpret those abstract consonances and dissonances? By its very slowness, Feldman’s music encourages us to listen moment by moment rather than attempt to map the entire work. Each page of the score has its own track, which may be useful to students.