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Godowsky: Strauss transcriptions and other Waltzes / Marc-André Hamelin

Album Summary

>Godowsky, Leopold : Symphonic metamorphosis of themes from Johann Strauss's "Kunstlerleben"
>Godowsky, Leopold : Fantasies (24) for Piano "Walzermasken"
>Godowsky, Leopold : Symphonic metamorphosis of themes from "Die Fledermaus"
>Godowsky, Leopold : Triakontameron
>Godowsky, Leopold : Symphonic metamorphosis of Johann Strauss's "Wein, Weib und Gesang" Waltzes
>Godowsky, Leopold : The Last Waltz, for piano (after Oscar Straus)
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

"These are virtuoso showpieces for grown-ups, leavened with some delightful smaller works, in performances that are as close to ideal as one can imagine. Amplified by excellent documentation and recorded in typically fine sound, this is both a must for pianophiles and a perfect introduction to Godowsky's world for those yet to discover it." -MusicalCriticism.com

'Cultured musicianship, extraordinary keyboard proficiency and unflappable tonal control ... Hamelin is a seasoned and subtle orchestrator at the piano ... Some of Hamelin's most poetic, lyrically inspired playing on disc. All told, a stellar achievement, graced by Hyperion's close-up yet ample engineering' (Gramophone)

'There's no need for analogies about a surfeit of Viennese cream cakes with this excellent CD: the musical invention is so brilliant and varied, and the performance so coruscating, that one's attention is firmly held. The liner note is genuinely illuminating' (BBC Music Magazine)

'These virtuoso pieces, effortlessly executed by Hamelin, are pure pleasure' (Sunday Times)

'Marc-André Hamelin, it hardly needs saying, is precisely the pianist for this music ... No-one since Godowsky's son-in-law, David Saperton, has played it with such discernment; and not even Saperton had Hamelin's technical command or his variety of timbre, touch and mood ... Bravura handled with exquisite tact. If you are looking for an example of pianistic grace under fire, you won't find anything better ... All in all, a caviar release' (International Record Review)

'How many fingers does Hamelin have? Thirty would be a conservative estimate, though the magic of his piano playing lies in his subtlety and flow, never in any shallow brilliance ... The succulent recording is the cherry on the cake' (The Times)

'Hamelin's playing is infinitely seductive and flawlessly judged in its mixture of panache, grace and charm' (The Guardian)

'This latest marvel from Marc-André Hamelin explores Leopold Godowsky's relationship with the Viennese waltz ... These pieces are more than just for show, and Hamelin brings out their poetic intent as much as their panache and vivid energy' (The Daily Telegraph)

'The sheer pianistic ability of this artist never fails to astonish' (Liverpool Daily Post)

Gramophone Classical Music Guide
Here's another release that testifies to Marc- André Hamelin's cultured musicianship, extraordinary keyboard proficiency and unflappable tonal control. His key assets include the most together, impeccably voiced chords in the business, plus octaves, trills and rapid leaps that remain effortlessly even and focused, regardless of tempo.

All of this comes into delightful play over the course of the three big Strauss Symphonic Metamorphoses. Countless inner voices and contrapuntal rejoinders abound in these works, and Hamelin makes them audible and clear without resorting to the pianistic equivalent of red-ink underlining or pop-up windows. Furthermore, Hamelin is a seasoned and subtle orchestrator at the piano; notice how he achieves such eloquent shading of simultaneous legato and detached phrases with no more help from the sustain pedal than is necessary.

One could argue that Godowsky's pinpoint tempo modifications throughout Wein, Weibund Gesang might benefit from stronger characterisation, in the manner of Shura Cherkassky's admittedly more capricious Decca recording, although Hamelin eschews the older pianist's cuts; in fact, Hamelin plays all three Metamorphoses complete, as written. As it happens, the less demanding shorter selections from Walzermasken, Triakontameron and The Last Waltz inspire some of Hamelin's most poetic, lyrically inspired playing on disc.

All told, a stellar achievement, graced by Hyperion's close-up yet ample engineering, plus Godowsky biographer Jeremy Nicholas's thoroughly informative and penetrating annotations.



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Works Details

>Godowsky, Leopold : Symphonic metamorphosis of themes from Johann Strauss's "Kunstlerleben"
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 14 min. 57 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz

>Godowsky, Leopold : Fantasies (24) for Piano "Walzermasken" :: no 2. Pastell
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 5 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz

>Godowsky, Leopold : Fantasies (24) for Piano "Walzermasken" :: no 14. Französisch
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz

>Godowsky, Leopold : Fantasies (24) for Piano "Walzermasken" :: no 22. Wienerisch
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 56 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz

>Godowsky, Leopold : Fantasies (24) for Piano "Walzermasken" :: no 24. Portrait - Joh. Str.
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 4 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz

>Godowsky, Leopold : Symphonic metamorphosis of themes from "Die Fledermaus"
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1907

>Godowsky, Leopold : Triakontameron :: no 4. Rendezvous
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 46 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 08/08/1919

>Godowsky, Leopold : Triakontameron :: no 11. Alt Wien
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 40 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 08/08/1919

>Godowsky, Leopold : Triakontameron :: no 13. Terpsichorean Vindobona
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 10 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 08/08/1919

>Godowsky, Leopold : Triakontameron :: no 21. The Salon
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 08/08/1919

>Godowsky, Leopold : Triakontameron :: no 25. Memories
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 3 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Waltz
  • Written: 08/08/1919

>Godowsky, Leopold : Symphonic metamorphosis of Johann Strauss's "Wein, Weib und Gesang" Waltzes
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 3 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Form: Vocal

>Godowsky, Leopold : The Last Waltz, for piano (after Oscar Straus)
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (12/14/2007-12/16/2007)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 34 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic