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Liszt: Piano Sonata / Marc-Andre Hamelin, piano

Album Summary

>Liszt, Franz : Fantasie & Fuge uber das Thema B-A-C-H, for piano, S. 529/2 (LW A250/2)
>Liszt, Franz : Benediction de Dieu dans la solitude, for piano (Harmonies poetiques no 3), S. 173/3 (LW A158/3)
>Liszt, Franz : Venezia e Napoli, S 162
>Liszt, Franz : Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Hyperion presents a major Liszt recital from one of today's most admired recording artists. The Piano Sonata in B minor is undoubtedly one of the peaks of the repertoire and recordings are suitably copious. However, when an artist of Marc-André Hamelin's virtuoso pedigree wishes to tackle it, no excuse need be made for an additional version. The recital opens with a lesser-known masterwork, the Fantasy and Fugue on B-A-C-H, and for light relief there is Liszt's scintillating supplement to his Italian Année de Pèlerinage, the three pieces of Venezia e Napoli. The emotional core of the disc is Liszt's intensely spiritual Bénédiction du Dieu dans la solitude.

"while Hamelin's technique is superhuman and magisterial, there is never a question of virtuosity for its own sake...the rapidity of Hamelin's repeated notes in the sun-drenched Tarantella is scarcely believable, his poetic poise and noble refinement elsewhere no less notable...Even so, pride of place must go to the Sonata, where Hamelin tempers Liszt's rhetoric with a measure of dignity and restraint...In short, this is a pianist to trump all aces." - Gramophone, Editor's Choice - May 2011

"Pianist Marc-André Hamelin's unprecedented technical acumen, huge sonority, and unflappable control of the piano is everywhere evident in this Liszt recital, along with new-found reserves of passion and freedom... All of these details and more add up to a consistently absorbing and fulfilling Liszt Sonata. Piano lovers cannot afford to miss this extraordinary and beautifully engineered release." -ClassicsToday (10/10)

Classic FM Magazine
[Benediction de Dieu contains] some of the loveliest pianissimo sounds you'll ever hear, a masterclass in touch and pedalling...After the 'tarantella' from Venezia e Napoli, played with a speed and clarity that will be the despair of Hamelin's peers, comes the mighty and oft-recorded Sonata, an account embracing the letter and spirit of the score that often comes close to perfection.

Sunday Times
[Hamelin] yields nothing in technique to the greatest interpreters of this towering work on disc...bringing jaw-dropping bravura to the allegro energico sections and lending almost introverted delicacy to Liszt's "singing" melodies. Some may find him too introverted, but he makes the strongest possible case for emphasising the contrasts in this ever-fascinating music.

International Record Review
Needless to say, Hamelin's performance of Liszt's Piano Sonata yields nothing in transcendental virtuosity...He opens with a very dramatic reading of the Fantasie and Fugue on B-A-C-H, with total clarity in articulation and voice-leading...Similar vigour and energy is to be found in evocative and exultant readings of Venezia e Napoli, highly characterized and full of shimmering colours

Gramophone Magazine
While Hamelin's technique is superhuman and magisterial, there is never a question of virtuosity for its own sake...the rapidity of Hamelin's repeated notes in the sun-drenched Tarantella is scarcely believable, his poetic poise and noble refinement elsewhere no less notable...Even so, pride of place must go to the Sonata, where Hamelin tempers Liszt's rhetoric with a measure of dignity and restraint...In short, this is a pianist to trump all aces.

BBC Music Magazine
Hamelin comes up with one of the finest recordings [of the Sonata] I've yet heard. Certainly I can't think of one where Liszt's immense single-movement design hangs together better. Under Hamelin's astonishing fingers, the work's progress unfolds with a fusion of spontaneity and seeming inevitability that enthrals both mind and ear as a great masterpiece should.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Henry Wood Hall, London (08/25/2010-08/27/2010).



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Works Details

>Liszt, Franz : Fantasie & Fuge über das Thema B-A-C-H, for piano, S. 529/2 (LW A250/2)
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (08/25/2010-08/27/2010)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1870

>Liszt, Franz : Bénédiction de Dieu dans la solitude, for piano (Harmonies poétiques no 3), S. 173/3 (LW A158/3)
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (08/25/2010-08/27/2010)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1851

>Liszt, Franz : Venezia e Napoli, S 162
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (08/25/2010-08/27/2010)
  • Running Time: 17 min. 43 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1859

>Liszt, Franz : Sonata for Piano in B minor, S 178
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London (08/25/2010-08/27/2010)
  • Running Time: 11 min. 58 sec.
  • Period Time: Romantic
  • Written: 1851-1853