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Dukas: Piano Sonata / Marc-André Hamelin

Album Summary

>Dukas, Paul : Sonata for Piano in E flat minor
>Decaux, Abel : Clairs de lune
Performer Composers

Notes & Reviews:

"Uninhibitedly brilliant... fuel for both the heart and the mind in equal measure." -ClassicsToday.com

'Hamelin plays it [Dukas] fabulously, surmounting its various challenges with ease, achieving just the right note of tender intimacy - in contrast to the rest of the work - in the slow movement. He is tremendously exciting in the Scherzo, but above all he expounds the vast architecture and drama of the finale as few have managed to ... Altogether this is a marvellous issue, and yet another distinguished addition to Hamelin's swift-growing discography' (International Record Review)

'Symphonic in scope, Dukas's four long movements present pianists with an unusual challenge. The music doesn't show off technique, but it's nonetheless fiendish to play, and unless delivered by a thinking virtuoso it sounds rather unspectacular. A clear case of 'send for Hamelin' ... This is edgy stuff, played with tenderness and flamboyance, atmospherically recorded' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Dukas's monumental sonata is one of the under-appreciated masterpieces of the French piano repertoire, and it is also a perfect showcase for Hamelin's extraordinary keyboard talents' (The Guardian)

'Hamelin, one hardly needs to say, makes light of any difficulty, clarifying complex textures and subtly highlighting different voices with myriad keyboard colours ... This performance has expressive power and intense emotional involvement that make it one of his most successful recordings - and that is saying something' (Gramophone)

'easily the best recorded performance of Dukas's massive sonata... In Hamelin's hands, the Dukas sonata is given a clarity of expression and an overall sweep lacking in the other recordings. His tonal palate being much wider than his colleagues, he is able to engage us more emotionally in a work better known for its intellectual properties. He also underplays passages that are pushed relentlessly in less understanding hands... Hamelin gives us added respect for the composer's imagination... Roger Nichols has supplied probing notes and Hyperion excellent sound' (American Record Guide)

'[Hamelin] balances the intial seething turbulence with quiet introspection. A breathtakingly lovely second movement precedes technical fireworks and reflective, harmonically colorful phrases in the third before Mr Hamelin propels the majestic finale to a virtuosic conclusion' (The New York Times)

'Hamelin brings his characteristic virtues to both works. There's his ability to maintain momentum without sacrificing detail...and his variety of colour evoked in each hand... In short, this one's a must' (Fanfare, USA)

'Avec la prodigieuse faculté que possède Hamelin de clarifier les textures, de mettre en relief quelques aticulations décisives du discours, de différencier les voix en jouant de l'extraordinaire diversité de timbres de son toucher, cette redoutable sonate acquiert une simplicité biblique la mettant au niveau d'un nouveau-né... La maîtrise est totale, olympienne, presque surnaturelle tant la vélocité vertigineuse se soumet aux exigences de l'expression' (Classica-Répertoire, France)

'Hamelin n'a pas son égal pour clarifier les plans sonores et en dégager la clarté et la beauté... Ce formidable pianiste qu'est Marc-André Hamelin se livre ici à une démonstration de ses talents: mise en place des plans sonores, compréhension de l'architecture musicale, puissance expressive et maîtrise technique parfaite' (Crescendo, Belgium)

'This has to be one of my 'Records of the Year 2006'. Hamelin is known for his explorations of the piano repertoire, but this borders on genius...Simply stunning' (MusicWeb International)

'Cette version remarquable de Marc-André Hamelin...enrichira ta discothèque et ta culture' (ResMusica.com)

'Hamelin is a cult figure to pianophiles, his phenomenal technique matched by an intellectual musicality that's second to none. Dukas's gargantuan Sonata, light years away from The Sorcerer's Apprentice, could seem a white elephant, but Hamelin's magic touch transforms it into a masterpiece. And the weird world of Decaux is a relevation' (BBC Music Magazine)

'This musician has made a career of seeking out the forgotten gems of the pianistic past. His brilliant performance of Dukas's mammoth and technically daunting Piano Sonata was one of the more enjoyable discoveries of 2006' (Boston Globe Best of 2006)

'Hamelin joue le jeu de la vivacité à fond et n'y a aucun rival. Son 4e mouvement est lui aussi fort impressionnant, et, en tous cas très lisztien ... Un disque utile, passionnant et référentiel' (ClassicsToday.com, France)


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Works Details

>Dukas, Paul : Sonata for Piano in E flat minor
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Henry Wood Hall, London, England (08/26/2004/08/27/2004)
  • Running Time: 44 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Post Romantic
  • Written: 1899-1900

>Decaux, Abel : Clairs de lune
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Running Time: 19 min. 51 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern