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.