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Hamelin: (12) Etudes / Little Nocturne / Con intissimo sentimento - excerpts / Theme and Variations (Cathy's Variations) [Import]

Marc-Andre Hamelin Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Hamelin: (12) Etudes / Little Nocturne / Con intissimo sentimento - excerpts / Theme and Variations (Cathy's Variations) + Kaleidoscope: Encores + Alkan: Concerto for Solo Piano, Op 39 / Troisième recueil de chants
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Product Details

  • Performer: Marc-Andre Hamelin
  • Composer: Marc-Andre Hamelin
  • Audio CD (September 14, 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Hyperion
  • ASIN: B003UW6WD4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,401 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 1 in A minor: Triple Étude (after Chopin)
2. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 2 in E minor: Coma Berenices
3. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 3 in B minor: after Paginini-Liszt
4. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 4 in C minor: Étude à mouvement perpétuellement semblable (after Alkan)
5. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 5 in G minor: Toccata grottesca
6. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 6 in D minor: Esercizio per pianoforte (Omaggio a Domenico Scarlatti)
7. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 7 in E flat minor: after Tchaikovsky (for the left hand alone)
8. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 8 in B flat minor: Erlkönig (after Goethe)
9. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 9 in F minor: after Rossini
10. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 10 in F sharp minor: after Chopin
11. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 11 in C sharp minor: Minuetto
12. Études (12) in all the minor keys, for piano: No. 12 in A flat minor: Prelude and Fugue
13. Little Nocturne, for piano
14. Con intimissimo sentimento, suite for piano: Ländler 1
15. Con intimissimo sentimento, suite for piano: Album Leaf
16. Con intimissimo sentimento, suite for piano: Music Box
17. Con intimissimo sentimento, suite for piano: After Pergolesi
18. Con intimissimo sentimento, suite for piano: Berceuse (in tempore belli)
19. Theme and Variations (Cathy's Variations), for piano: Theme. Con semplicità, eleganza e tenerezza
20. Theme and Variations (Cathy's Variations), for piano: Variation 1. Più mosso, corrente
See all 24 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Hamelin plays Hamelin: a glimpse into the fabulously bizarre musical mind of one of the greatest piano virtuosos of today. Marc-Andr‚ Hamelin's twelve tudes, 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.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
40 of 42 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This was supposed to be a review of Hamelin's reference recording of the Scriabin Sonatas, but just having read the 'A very cold virtuoso's work' review by Jon Appleton, himself a published and recorded composer, I quickly wrote up the following instead.

Having had the opportunity to hear Mr Hamelin live a number of times since 2000, I was already convinced he is the greatest living wizard of the art of piano playing. Therefore, one would expect the Etudes originating from his pen to be something out of the ordinary--at least as far as technical considerations go. And no-one would probably argue about the technical achievement here, which not only looks back to the tradition of Chopin, Liszt, Alkan, Debussy, Scriabin, Godowsky, Sorabji et al but also offers some advancement. What I believe Mr Hamelin has done is to create a rich transtemporal buffet of largely diatonic piano studies, meticulously prepared by the hands of a master chef, spiced with all of his patented tricks and above all his intriguing wit.

From a musical point of view, we are obviously not faced with the discovery of another set of Chopin or Debussy Etudes; we are not either quite in the league of Sorabji or Ligeti as to originality. That said, Hamelin's Etudes are the continuation of the kind of late-romantic pianist-composer pastiches mastered by the likes of Godowsky and later Horowitz--and as such, they are individual and interesting enough by a good margin to preserve both in print (Edition Peters) and on record. Does that mean they are automatically 'cold' and 'emotionless', as suggested by Jon Appleton?
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33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is the VERY BEST of Marc Andre Hamelin! November 10, 2010
By Eden
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
My husband, George and I are both pianists and he restores pianos for a living. We have been following Marc Andre Hamelin since his early recording of Charles Valentin Alkan's "Concerto for Piano." Since then, we have heard Hamelin play at Newport, and collected his other recordings, including the fiercely difficult Godowsky-Chopin Etudes. Hamelin is an Etude kind of guy, if you know what I mean. He seems to revere, respect and enjoy the exercise nature of the form. What he brings to these compositions is something intangible which reflects, in my mind, where he seems to be in life these days. That is: he's matured, he's found himself and he's madly in love. Maybe not in that order. George and I are picky listeners: that is, we listen for melody, clarity, clean playing, good pedaling, right and left hand independence and complementarity, the overall and lasting impression of the music. These compositions have it all--and more. What they have is the coming together and integration of Hamelin's vast knowledge and understanding of 19th century romantic composers, whom these pieces play off of, and are elaborate riffs, variations, interpretations. Without innate technical ability (which I cannot think of anyone else who can compare, living or dead, at this point: e.g., Bolet, Argerich, Freire?) and the aforementioned depth of musical immersion of these forms, it would not be possible for these compositions to have emerged from his consciousness.

We have listened to this CD while doing jigsaw puzzles and reading in a cottage by the sea. We play it in the car on the way back and forth to where we live. And on our laptops when we have the TV sound off, watching the Patriots (lose!). The Etudes are engaging, humorous and witty.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
What a joy this disc is. True, this is yet another vehicle to show off the outrageous dexterity and virtuosity of M-A. Hamelin. But why not? When you've got, flaunt it! The music itself is marvelous, and thoroughly listenable too. I would challenge any other living composer to come up with a pastiche that's anywhere as rewarding to the listener as Hamelin's is. I won't go into any further detail about the actual numbers, as other reviewers have already done just that. I'm giving this a full five stars for the music, the playing, AND the excellent Hyperion sound quality. BRAVO!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just one awesome production. April 11, 2014
By jacques
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Marc-André's knowledge and piano passion come through seamlessly in this wonderful classic album that you will never get tired of. Two years later, I still launch into this album when I want some stimulation from doing a lot of tiresome CAD work on my computer. They say that architecture is frozen music, so you need the fully thawed delivery of this master pianist and composer to feel human again.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow... May 25, 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Very technical s***. He starts with a dive into this complicated etude without much of an introduction. There are exceptionally few pianists with the technique as Hamelin. Though I have only the highest level of respect for him, he could use a flare of showmanship or something. If your not familiar with Hamelin compositions or a piano enthusiast, I would start with kaleidoscope first.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary virtuosity February 19, 2011
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
The idea of an etude, or study, was originally as an exercise to practise a particular aspect of piano technique. Chopin made an art form of this while still adhering to the basic principle. Liszt introduced even further demands on virtuosity and by the time Alkan wrote his 12 etudes in all the minor keys the idea had progressed far beyond the original idea. Hamelin extends this even further and his etudes are closer to complex variations on themes from several earlier compositions. I do not have the scores to hand so cannot judge whether or not they concentrate on any particular aspect or aspects of technique. They clearly demand an almost superhuman virtuosity and quite possibly he is the only person who can play them as they should be played.
As an example of what the piano is capable of in the hands of a master they are stunning. They show great variety and I wonder what the composers, on whose works most of them are based, would think if they could hear them. Liszt and Alkan would probably be delighted; Chopin perhaps less so.
To listen to all twelve in one session may be too much for many people. It could be better to admire them separately and just be amazed at the effect of each one individually. However you listen to them it is certain that this is an incredible achievement. Shall we soon have the 12 etudes in all the major keys?
The accompanying pieces are pleasant and are more restful.
Tony Finch
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