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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: 9 minutes 39 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)

Four Polish Dances
composer
1926

Mazurek  [1'14]
Krakowiak  [1'14]
Oberek  [3'58]
Polonaise  [3'13]

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
The Four Polish Dances were written in 1926 for a publisher, Oxford University Press, for an anthology entitled Folk Dances of the World. These four miniatures—a mazurka, krakowiak, oberek and polonaise—show a lustier, less radical embrace of Polish folk-music than the Opp 50 and 62 Mazurkas: the Oberek in particular has an exhilaratingly earthy vigour.

from notes by Martin Anderson © 2003

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