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Hyperion Records

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A day of Celebration in Old Russia (1884) by Nicolai Dmitrieff-Orenburgsky (1838-1898)
Sotheby’s Picture Library
Track(s) taken from CDA67399
Recording details: August 2002
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: June 2003
Total duration: 3 minutes 57 seconds

'Such elusive music requires a pianist of rare sensitivity and dexterity and in Marc-André Hamelin Szymanowski has been granted a true champion. A marvel of stylistic inwardness and pianistic refinement, his performances capture the Mazurkas’ alternating whimsy and rigour to perfection' (Gramophone)

'Marc-André Hamelin is a near-ideal advocate of this repertoire; alive to every nuance in these scores' (BBC Music Magazine)

'perfect territory for Marc-André Hamelin’s stylish and evocative playing' (The Independent)

'Hamlin does, I think, set a new benchmark … A very notable disc. If you don’t already know this great music, I strongly urge you to buy it' (International Record Review)

'Hamelin is an astonishing virtuoso, yet this music demonstrates that the French-Canadian pianist is much more than a purveyor of keyboard fireworks. His immediate advocacy of the mazurkas, the Valse Romantique and Four Polish Dances should win more friends for this unjustly neglected byway of 20th-century piano repertoire' (The Sunday Times)

'Their highly original, sensual harmonies and sophisticated writing demand a refined pianist of imagination to make a persuasive case. Hamelin gets inside each miniature to do just that, and in beautifully recorded sound' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Marc-André Hamelin plays them with fantasy and rhythmic snap' (The Irish Times)

'Marc-André Hamelin defines the character of each piece vividly, readily tuning into their dark soulfulness' (The Evening Standard)

'on ne pouvait s’attendre à plus agréable surprise que ce programme présentant les dernières œvres pour piano du compositeur polonaise Karol Szymanowski' (Répertoire, France)

Valse romantique
composer
1925

Valse romantique  [3'57]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Valse Romantique was written in October 1925 for Emil Hertzka as a contribution to the celebrations of the twenty-fifth anniversary of the founding of Universal Edition in Vienna (the piece was lost from view and rediscovered only four decades later). Its satirical tone reveals the influence of Ravel’s La valse, composed four years earlier, and suggests that the title is ironic—as, indeed, more obliquely, was Ravel’s.

from notes by Martin Anderson © 2003

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