Kaleidoscope

Hamelin’s accomplished artistry and talent find ever more eclectic avenues for expression

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Kaleidoscope

  • Valse Phantasique
  • Polka de W. R.
  • Nocturne, 'Complaint'
  • Kaleidoskop
  • Etude No 3 (d'après Paganini-Liszt)
  • Etude for the left hand
  • Concert Paraphrase of 'The Song of the Soldiers of the Sea'
  • Etude No. 6: Essercizio per pianoforte (Omaggio a D. Scarlatti)
  • Valse folle
  • Etudes de virtuosité, A flat minor
  • (3) Intermezzi, No. 3 in A flat (1944)
  • Triakontameron, Alt Wien (Old Vienna)
  • Etude d'après l'Impromptu in A flat by Chopin
  • Gigue
  • Au jardin du vieux sèrail (Andrianople)
  • (2) Contrastes
  • Toccatina
  • (The) Seasons, Autumn, Petit adagio
  • Toccatina

Whatever enchants‚ teases and outrages is offered here in a cornucopia of encores tailor­made to delight those who revel in music’s byways. No other pianist could have brought off a recital of this kind with such wit‚ assurance and boundless dexterity. Hamelin even gives such champions of the Rachmaninov Polka as Horowitz‚ Cherkassky and the composer himself‚ with their more personalised bravura‚ a run for their money‚ while his own étude on La campanella makes Liszt’s original (and even his first overblown thoughts in his Grande fantaisie de bravoure sur ‘La clochette’) seem like a beginner’s piece. Like some phenomenal juggler he makes you aware‚ so to speak‚ of an ever­widening pattern of glittering clubs and balls as he enlarges and refines the scope of his légerdemain. His take­off of Scarlatti is wickedly inventive‚ parodying every aspect of his musical character; his Hofmann Nocturne (with its warm memory of Chopin) as beguiling as it is accomplished. His Poulenc Intermezzo is brisk and resolutely unsentimental‚ while in Godowsky’s delectable ‘Alt Wien’ he pays alluring tribute to another age. There are naughty tilts and double­note embroideries of Chopin (Casella and Michalowski)‚ an outlandish Massenet Waltz and exotica by Emile­Robert Blanchet and Arthur Lourié. He plays John Vallier’s Toccatina more explosively than Moiseiwitsch in his famously suave recording (available on Testament)‚ and if Kapustin’s identically entitled piece reminds us that he was fond of writing a tale twice­ or‚ indeed‚ many times told‚ Hamelin’s performances are a wonder of brilliance and refinement. The recordings are superb‚ Jeremy Nicholas’s notes a mine of informative tit­bits. In Marc­André Hamelin Hyperion clearly has a pianist to turn other record companies green with envy.

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