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Hyperion Records

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Front illustration by Julie Doucet (b?)
Track(s) taken from CDA67656
Recording details: July 2007
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: April 2008
Total duration: 1 minutes 30 seconds

'Played with such astounding agility and aplomb that you end up mesmerised by virtually every bar. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that no other pianist could approach Hamelin in such music. Notes pour and cascade like diamonds from his fingers and he has an inborn flair for the music's wild, free-wheeling melodies and rhythms, for its glittering whimsy and caprice … superbly presented and recorded, this is a special addition to Hamelin's towering and unique discography' (Gramophone)

'Although this fine recording is entitled 'In a state of jazz' it includes no true jazz—every note is written down—but for all that it bursts with the daring vitality that is the hallmark of the best improvised music' (The Observer)

'The Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin possesses one of those musical brains that spark with maddening brilliance in whatever direction takes his fancy … it's hard to believe Hamelin didn't grow up within earshot of some dubious jazz haunt in New Orleans or Harlem … as Hamelin explains in his enjoyably lucid booklet notes, Gulda's astonishing pianistic pedigree deserves to be seen in a far wider context … Hamelin's evocations of these are wonderfully whimsical yet as crisp as celery. The syncopations 'sit' so comfortably under his fingers—exactly the right balance between ambition and restraint, warmth and edge—a pretty rare commodity in the performance of classical repertoire, let alone jazz-inspired music … this is a lovely, lovely disc; I highly recommend it' (International Record Review)

'Hamelin plays with such dexterous panache that he puts back much of the heat that the formalisation of jazz as 'composition' removes … dazzling and enchanting' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Nikolai Kapustin's remarkable Sonata No 2 is a convincing integration of classical form with jazz. Alexis Weissenberg's Sonate en état de Jazz, which evokes tango, Charleston, blues and samba in its four movements, is more idiosyncratic but no less dazzling' (The Scotsman)

'What an imaginative program Marc-André Hamelin has assembled: jazz-inspired works that are virtuosic like nobody's business and totally fun to listen to … technically, of course, Hamelin is beyond reproach … he's a serious contender for the first word in piano playing' (ClassicsToday.com)

Piano Sonata No 4 'Jazz Sonata'
composer
1922/3

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Anyone attempting to talk about the Jazz Sonata on a deeply analytical level isn’t playing with a full deck. Aside from pointing out that it shares a good deal of its material with the very entertaining Jazz Symphony written around the same time, it would be useless to dissect this little ninety-second piece. Suffice it to say that this amusing and intriguing bit of musical nonsense is at least remarkable for being one of the first examples (if not the first) of outright musical collage. There’s no logic whatsoever in the way it’s assembled. It works—somehow.

from notes by Marc-André Hamelin © 2008

Other albums featuring this work
'Marc-André Hamelin – It's all about the music' (DVDA68000)
Marc-André Hamelin – It's all about the music
Buy by post £16.00 This album is not yet available for download DVDA68000  DVD  
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