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Marc-André Hemelin: Études

Audio Samples

>Hamelin, Marc-Andre : Etudes (12) in all the minor keys, for piano
>Hamelin, Marc-Andre : Little Nocturne, for piano
>Hamelin, Marc-Andre : Con intimissimo sentimento, suite for piano
>Hamelin, Marc-Andre : Theme and Variations (Cathy's Variations), for piano

Album Summary

>Hamelin, Marc-Andre : Etudes (12) in all the minor keys, for piano
>Hamelin, Marc-Andre : Little Nocturne, for piano
>Hamelin, Marc-Andre : Con intimissimo sentimento, suite for piano
>Hamelin, Marc-Andre : Theme and Variations (Cathy's Variations), for piano
Performer Composer

Notes & Reviews:

'Hamelin plays Hamelin': a glimpse into the fabulously bizarre musical mind of one of the greatest piano virtuosos of today. Marc-Andre Hamelin's twelve Etudes, written over a period of nearly twenty-five years, have already achieved cult status by reputation as pianistic challenges beyond the reach of most human fingers. That they will immediately take their place in the concert repertoire of any pianist who thinks themself equal to them is indicated by their contemporaneous publication by Peters Edition New York. The disc is completed by more of Hamelin's compositions, including the quiet and reflective 'Con intissimo sentimento' and the musical love poem 'Cathy's Variations'. As a whole it is a detailed portrait of this talented and complex musician.

"Dear Marc-Andre,
I begged and pleaded for Hyperion to keep this disc under wraps. But now that it's released, all of us composer/pianists have no choice but to go out of business. Isn't it enough for you simply to be the world's most proficient pianist? Do you also have to compose amazingly well for your instrument, and rewardingly so? Must you serve up some of the most witty, charming, entertaining, and devastatingly effective piano music of your generation?

It's a good thing Alkan isn't alive, because he'd hate that your C minor Etude dispatches all of his stylistic fingerprints in four minutes, and with far more point and humour than that composer's half-hour huffings and puffings manage. Not being satisfied with Godowsky rolling two Chopin etudes into one, you have the audacity to shoehorn all three A minor Chopin etudes into a two-minute-fifteen-second time-slot, with extraordinary sleight of hand and sleight of ear. How dare you transform Paganini's sacrosanct La Campanella into the keyboard equivalant of a Bugs Bunny cartoon, and wind up making a Gramophone critic laugh! What business do you have writing more peppy, scintillating fugues than truly serious, real composers these days?

That A flat minor one you wrote when you weren't even thirty, for instance? Even when you compose in a lighter vein, leaving out the hundreds of notes, none but you can play to your effortless and refined specifications, why must your tunes and harmonies be so damn sophisticated yet accessible at the same time? After all, contemporary music is supposed to be angry and bleak. If your Theme and Variations supposedly represent a man in love, shouldn't they foam at the mouth and self-indulge, rather than make their points with heartfelt lyricism and perfect proportions? Furthermore, what serious composer writes clear, easy to read and smile-inducing booklet annotations, rather than a theoretical tome with a million footnotes?

But since you seem to be a nice guy, and deserve all of your success, I hope your new disc sells millions. After all, no piano music lover can afford to miss it.

Yours truly,
Jed Distler"
-Gramophone

"The works that fill out this generous disc show a much more lyrical and even sentimental side of Hamelin. All told, this disc and its score would be my first choice to take back in time and give to Liszt to show him how far piano technique advanced in the 150 years or so since his time. I cannot imagine that the old master would not initially be dumbfounded, and after a closer review, smile and nod with an all-knowing look that conveyed he fully understood the magnitude of Hamelin's accomplishment."-American Record Guide

The Guardian
A refreshingly cool antidote to those pianists who treat the technical challenges in Liszt's piano writing as an end in themselves. Hamelin takes everything in his stride immaculately, whether it's the unfolding of the contrapuntal lines in the B-A-C-H Fantasy and Fugue or the fine-spun melodies of the Bénédiction de Dieu dans la Solitude, both superbly presented



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Works Details

>Marc-André Hamelin (Piano) (1961 - ) : Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (01/25/1998-01/26/1998); EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1 (01/25/1998-01/26/1998); Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (11/08/2009-11/10/2009); EMI Abbey Road Studio No. 1 (11/08/2009-11/10/2009)
  • Running Time: 47 min. 36 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 1992

>Marc-André Hamelin (Piano) (1961 - ) : Little Nocturne, for piano
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007

>Marc-André Hamelin (Piano) (1961 - ) : Con intimissimo sentimento, suite for piano
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 21 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2000

>Marc-André Hamelin (Piano) (1961 - ) : Theme and Variations (Cathy's Variations), for piano
  • Performer: Marc-André Hamelin (Piano)
  • Notes: Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth (11/08/2009-11/10/2009)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2007