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Marc-Andre Hamelin (piano)

[ Hyperion / CD ]

Release Date: Monday 15 October 2001

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***** Five Stars BBC Music Magazine (Jan 2002) - "This is the kind of disc that no pianist could do better than Marc-Andre Hamelin: a collection of miniature piano rarities and transcriptions. Throughout, the playing carries all the hallmarks of Hamelin on tip-top form."

"This is the kind of disc that no pianist could do better than Marc-Andre Hamelin: a collection of miniature piano rarities and transcriptions. Throughout, the playing carries all the hallmarks of Hamelin on tip-top form."
- ***** Five Stars BBC Music Magazine (Jan 2002)

'Hamelin's performances are a wonder of brilliance and refinement. The recordings are superb, Jeremy Nicholas's notes a mine of informative titbits. In Marc-André Hamelin Hyperion clearly has a pianist to turn other record companies green with envy' (Gramophone)

'In latter times a new breed of pianist has appeared, the super-virtuoso for whom no technical challenge is too much. Chief of this tribe of metamusicians is the Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin, whose playing defies rational explanation' … '20 delicious miniatures, some teasingly humorous, some almost impossibly fizzle-fingered … two witty etudes here by Hamelin himself, passage-work that defies the ears. The gloriously outrageous Valse Folle by Massenet, the end of which had me cheering in disbelief. This is, in short, some of the most phenomenal playing you'll ever hear' (Punch)

'Hamelin's refinement, jaw-dropping virtuosity and sense of sheer fun combine to make the whole lot both irresistible and simply unbelievable. With Hamelin around, who needs Horowitz?'(Piano International)

To all his many fans this disc is going to be 'The Best Marc-André Hamelin Album Ever' or perhaps 'The Ultimate Marc-André Album'.
The CD is a collection of the kind of wild and wacky encores that so typify Marc-André's recitals. Some are fairly well known such as the Rachmaninov and Godowsky but most are gems that have been long forgotten or, in the case of Marc's own studies, or the Kapustin, are new additions to the encore tradition. All are guaranteed to make the listener either gasp in astonishment or swoon. Look out for the Gimpel paraphrase on a tune known in the US as The Marines Hymn, this is in the tradition of Horowitz at his most brilliant; then there's our title track Kaleidoscop, written and made famous by the great pianist Joseph Hofmann, it was also much championed by Cherkassky and is another tour de force. Marc-André himself is represented by his outrageously complex take on Liszt's La Campanella and by his pastiche of a Scarlatti sonata, which is very silly indeed! But it's not all bravura, our pianist has also made an arrangement of the well known Adagio from Glazunov's The Seasons which may bring a tear to the eye, as may the nostalgia of Alt Wein. Unmissable!

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

First Prize-winner of the 1985 Carnegie Hall International American Music Competition, Marc-André Hamelin has been called a 'super-virtuoso' (Harold Schonberg, The New York Times) and described by Carol Bergeron of the Montreal paper Le Devoir as 'Glenn Gould's only worthy successor'. Born in Montreal in 1961, Marc-André Hamelin studied at the Vincent d'Indy School of Music, then moved to the United States and received Bachelor's and Master's degrees from Temple University in Philadelphia, where he still lives. His principal teachers were Yvonne Hubert, Harvey Wedeen and Russell Sherman.
Now well established in both North America and Europe, Marc-André Hamelin has given recitals in Amsterdam, Belfast, Berlin, Frankfurt, Istanbul, London, Luxembourg, Milan, Montreal, Munich, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna, Washington and Warsaw. Festival appearances have included Blackheath Halls Pianoworks (London), Consonances (St Nazaire), Duszniki Chopin, Espoo, La Grange de Meslay en Touraine, Lanaudière, Manchester Glories of the Keyboard Festival, Ravinia, La Roque d'Antheron, Ruhr Piano Festival, Singapore International Piano Festival, Snape Maltings, the Proms, Schloss vor Husum Rarities of Piano Music and the Valldemosa Chopin Festival. Following the success of his June 1994 Wigmore Hall series Virtuoso Romantics, Mr Hamelin was invited to give recitals in the Wigmore Hall Masterconcert Series and the International Piano Series at the South Bank. He returned to Wigmore Hall for a three-part series in June 1999 titled Exploration & Celebration.

Recent concerto performances have included appearances with the orchestras of Birmingham, Chicago, Houston, Indianapolis, Lahti, Minneapolis, Montpellier, Montreal, Netherlands Radio, Philadelphia, BBC Philharmonic and Scottish, Polish National Radio, Royal Concertgebouw, Toronto, Vancouver and the Ulster Orchestra. Conductors he has played under include Matthias Bamert, Andrew Davis, Charles Dutoit, Dennis Russell Davies, Christoph Eschenbach, Günther Herbig, Jukka-Pekka Saraste, Vassili Sinaisky, Dmitri Sitkovetsky, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Osmo Vanska, Hans Vonk, Hugh Wolff and David Zinman.

Under an exclusive contract with Hyperion Mr Hamelin has recorded concertos by Alkan, Henselt, Korngold and Joseph Marx with the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra; Live at Wigmore Hall; discs of Alkan (Canadian Juno Award 1996), Catoire, Grainger (Soundscapes Award 1997, Australia), Liszt, Reger, Roslavets, Rzewski, 'The Composer-Pianists' from Alkan to Hamelin (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 1997 & 1998) and the complete sonatas of both Medtner and Scriabin. His recently issued recording of the epic Busoni Concerto with the CBSO under Mark Elder has received enormous critical acclaim.


Edna Bentz Woods
Valse Phantastique [3'48]

Franz Behr trans. Sergei Rachmaninov
Polka de W.R. [3'49]

Josef Hofmann
Nocturne ('Complaint') [2'25]

Josef Hofmann
Kaleidoskop Op 40 No 4 [4'14]

Marc-André Hamelin
Etude No 3 (d'après Paganini-Liszt) [5'00]

Felix Blumenfeld
Etude pour la main gauche seule Op 36 [4'51]

Jacques Offenbach trans. Jakob Gimpel (ed Hamelin)
Concert Paraphrase of 'The Song of the Soldiers of the Sea' [3'58]

Marc-André Hamelin
Etude No 6: Essercizio per pianoforte (Omaggio a Domenico Scarlatti) [3'21]

Jules Massenet
Valse folle [2'36]

Moritz Moszkowski
Etude in A flat minor Op 72 No 13 [3'35]

Francis Poulenc
Intermezzo in A flat [4'02]

Leopold Godowsky
Alt Wien [2'30]

Aleksander Michaìowski
Etude d'après l'Impromptu en la bémol majeur de Fr. Chopin, Op 29 [4'32]

Arthur (Vincent) Lourié
Gigue [3'54]

Emile-Robert Blanchet
Au jardin du vieux sérail (Andrianople) Op 18 No 3 [3'27]

Alfredo Casella
Deux Contrastes
Grazioso (Hommage à Chopin) [1'03]
Antigrazioso [1'22]

John Vallier
Toccatina [1'21]

Alexander Glazunov trans. Marc-André Hamelin
Petit Adagio (extrait des 'Saisons') [3'43]

Nikolai Kapustin
Toccatina Op 36 [3'05]