Hamelin: (12) Etudes / Little Nocturne / Con intissimo sentimento - excerpts / Theme and Variations (Cathy's Variations) Import
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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?Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A great demonstration of keyboard invention and of prodigious performance. Highly recommended.Published 21 months ago by Stephen Baggaley
I thought i was buying the Transcendental Etudes. I love his recording of Ibéria - it's almost unbelievably beautiful. Read morePublished on June 14, 2013 by Edward Emerson
What can one add to the recordings of Marc André Hamelin, that is not universally known? Everything this super virtuoso records, is unsurpassed. Read morePublished on March 3, 2012 by Stephen Papastephanou
Hamelin's genius is revealed aptly in this CD. If you enjoy stunning virtuosity mixed with unparalleled musicality, you will love this CD.Published on January 23, 2011 by Daniel Howe
This is an astonishing recording! Hamelin's etudes should be played as a separate concert sequence by major pianists of the day. Read morePublished on November 13, 2010 by Alexei Kireyev
Monsieur Hamelin is an amazing pianist with fabulous technique and limitless energy. The etudes are gems, wonderfully quirky and challenging for the best players. Read morePublished on October 14, 2010 by John C. Whitney