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Track(s) taken from CDA67951/3

Nine Variations on a Chopin Prelude, BV213a

composer
1922; published in Book 8 of the Klavierübung, second edition, 1925; dedicated to Gino Tagliapietra; shortened version of the 1884 Variations and Fugue in free form on Chopin's C minor Prelude, Op 22 BV213; after the Prelude in C minor, Op 28 No 20

Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
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Recording details: August 2012
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: November 2013
Total duration: 10 minutes 3 seconds

Cover artwork: Materia (1912) by Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916)
Private Collection / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London
 
Klavierübung, 1925
1

Other recordings available for download

Jonathan Plowright (piano)

Reviews

'Works where Busoni found his truest voice … Hamelin, playing with unfaltering lucidity and authority, achieves an astonishing triumph even by his exalted standards. As always, Hyperion has done him proud … an album that could never be bettered' (Gramophone)» More

'Marc-André Hamelin’s performance of the Busoni Piano Concerto for Hyperion is one of the finest ever recorded of that mammoth work, and now he has produced what is arguably the most important collection of the solo piano music since Geoffrey Douglas Madge’s epic six-disc survey for Philips in 1987 … All the most significant works are here … Hamelin includes some rarities Madge omitted, notably Busoni’s first foray into 'Red Indian’ music, the spellbinding Indianisches Erntelied (not published till 2001) … As to the performances, they are all you could hope from a player of such quality, laced with repertoire he might have been born to interpret. This is playing of a very high order, such as—despite the now numerous competing versions of the Elegies, Sonatinas and Toccata—one seldom hears. Hamelin is well-nigh ideal in sensitivity of phrasing, clarity of tone and delineation of voices, not to mention subtlety of pedalling … He reminds you that you are listening to one of history’s greatest piano composers, a philosopher of the piano to whose ear and mind the whole of European concert music seems to have been continually present. A fabulous set, almost beyond praise' (BBC Music Magazine)» More
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'What comes through on listening to Hamelin is the underlying consistency of his approach over this music as a whole and, above all, the singularity of Busoni's musical vision and its relevance to composers and pianists almost a century on' (International Record Review)

'Few pianists have the time and technique to devote to music that is so little-known. Marc-André Hamelin is the shining exception. He demonstrated his Busoni credentials more than a decade ago with an outstanding account of the Piano Concerto … Hamelin handles all with great intelligence. There's a swagger when the music demands it, a fabulously refined sense of sonority and transparency when required. The technical challenges are surmounted so effortlessly that you begin to take the confidence of his playing for granted, when in fact it's a remarkable achievement' (The Guardian)» More

'The gift I'd choose for myself would be Marc-André Hamelin's magisterial three-disc survey of Busoni's later piano music—elusive and haunting material from a pivotal figure' (The Times)» More

'Hyperion does Busoni a great service in issuing this magnificent three-disc box. Those readers who know Busoni mainly (or only) via his transcriptions will have a whole new world revealed to them. Hamelin, one of today’s super-virtuosos but also a musician of the highest rank, seems to be the ideal interpreter, and is captured throughout in superb sound' (International Piano)» More

'This three-CD set presents Marc-André Hamelin, another formidable pianist, in Busoni works from the first quarter of the 20th century. The music draws from the heritage of Bach, Liszt and Wagner, while taking modern paths and anticipating atonality. Even when a particular piece seems amorphous or elusive, these elegies, fantasias, sonatinas and more are continually fascinating, especially in Mr. Hamelin’s commanding performances' (The New York Times)

'Hamelin's recent release of three CDs devoted to the late piano music of Ferruccio Busoni represents another milestone in an outstanding career … These three discs contain a number of pieces not previously recorded and also include a sampling of the numerous Bach arrangements Busoni is best known for. The programming is exemplary, the sound is alluring (from a Steinway piano recorded in London’s Henry Wood Hall) and the program notes are excellent. Bravo Hamelin!' (The Whole Note, Canada)

'L’impeccable virtuosité de Marc-André Hamelin se joue des pièges recélés par ces redoutables partitions; sa quête faustienne, à la fois analytique et méditée, assume la dimension philosophique quasi médiévale de cette alchimie sonore et nous en livre une référence absolue' (Classica, France)
PERFORMANCE
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‘Marc-André Hamelin gelingt, alle Facetten in exzellenten Interpretationen darzustellen … seiner qualitativ hochwertigen Edition der Klaviermusik von Ferruccio Busoni dürfte deshalb über eine lange Zeit der Referenzstatus sicher sein' (Piano, Germany)
PERFORMANCE
RECORDING
The Nine Variations on a Chopin Prelude resulted from a substantial revision of a large set of Variations and a Fugue on the celebrated Prelude in C minor (Op 28 No 20), which Busoni wrote in 1884 at the age of eighteen. In 1922 he added an introductory fugato and reduced the number of variations from eighteen to ten for inclusion in the first edition of the Klavierübung (1922), and then reduced it further to nine (by dropping the ‘Fantasia’) for the second edition (1925). Its final pages consist of a ‘Scherzo finale’ in tarantella style with an ‘Hommage à Chopin’ in waltz rhythm as its middle section.

from notes by Marc-André Roberge © 2013

Les Neuf variations sur un Prélude de Chopin sont le résultat d’une révision substantielle d’un vaste groupe de variations et fugue sur le célèbre Prélude en do mineur (op. 28, nº 20) écrit en 1884, à l’âge de 18 ans. En 1922 Busoni a ajouté un fugato comme introduction et réduit le nombre de variations de 18 à 10 pour la publier dans la première édition de sa Klavierübung (1922), puis en réduisant le nombre à 9 (en laissant tomber la «Fantasia») pour la seconde édition (1925). Ses dernières pages consistent en un «Scherzo finale» en style de tarentelle avec un «Hommage à Chopin» en rythme de valse dans sa section centrale.

extrait des notes rédigées par Marc-André Roberge © 2013

Die Neun Variationen über ein Präludium von Chopin waren das Ergebnis einer erheblichen Revision eines großen Zyklus’ von Variationen und Fuge über das gefeierte Prélude in c-Moll (op. 28 Nr. 20), den Busoni 1884 im Alter von 18 Jahren geschrieben hatte. 1922 fügte er ein einleitendes Fugato hinzu und reduzierte die Anzahl der Variationen von 18 auf 10, um sie dann in die erste Ausgabe der Klavierübung (1922) mit aufzunehmen; für die zweite Ausgabe von 1925 wurde noch eine weitere gestrichen (die „Fantasia“), und in dieser Version liegt sie auch hier vor. Die letzten Seiten bestehen aus einem „Scherzo finale“ im Tarantella-Stil, dessen Mittelteil als „Hommage à Chopin“ im Walzerrhythmus angelegt ist.

aus dem Begleittext von Marc-André Roberge © 2013
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

Other albums featuring this work

Hommage à Chopin
CDA67803
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