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Hyperion Records

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Track(s) taken from CDA67433
Recording details: June 2003
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: June 2004
Total duration: 15 minutes 22 seconds

'Everything on this remarkable disc is played with a nonchalant aplomb and magical dexterity hard to imagine from any other pianist. Hamelin … is in his element, and he has been immaculately recorded' (Gramophone)

'The music is full of virtuosity which Marc-André handles effortlessly' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Beautifully recorded, the disc is a delightful—and, as ever, distinguished—addition to Hamelin's discography as well as a major boost to the reputation of one of today's most paradoxical composers. One for the Christmas stocking, I think' (International Record Review)

'Exceptionally well-played and recorded' (The Times)

'Hamelin is one of Kapustin's strongest advocates and proves his perfect interpreter: super cool, he sounds utterly laid-back even in the most fearsome rhythmic traps; his phrasing is exquisitely turned and 'finished'; and his affection for the music shines out in every note. Hear this and you'll be hooked' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Hamelin captures a quality of spontaneity, not to mention sheer agility and elegance, with awesome fluency. A remarkable release in every respect' (Fanfare, USA)

'Hamelin is one of the most gifted pianists around at the moment, and his playing here has such light and shade, wit, nuance, and blinding virtuosity that it is hard to imagine finer performances of this terrific repertoire. The recording is characteristic of Hyperion's piano sound at its considerable best. All in all, one of the most enjoyable piano discs I have heard in ages. Recommended with unquenchable enthusiasm!' (International Piano)

'Marc-André Hamelin simply flies through the music, ignoring any technical difficulties with the most marvellous command and virtuosity … in all, this second disc of Kapustin's marvellous music from Hyperion is the most exceptionally satisfying discovery' (Hi-Fi Plus)

'Hamelin plays with all his trademark virtuosity and nimble wit, making the keyboard thunder and sing' (San Francisco Chronicle)

'Chapeau évidemment à cet incroyable Marc-André Hamelin dont la technique époustouflante s'adapte à tous les genres musicaux. Précipitez-vous pour acquérir cet événement discographique et découvrir cette musique sans pareil. Pour notre part, nous l'avons écoutée une bonne dizaine de fois pour bien nous convaincre de la réjouissante folie du dénommé Kapustin!' (Répertoire, France)

Five Études in Different Intervals, Op 68

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
If Kapustin’s Op 40 Concert Études exemplify his jazz style in its most lush, romantic keyboard manifestations, the Five Études in Different Intervals, Op 68 hold twentieth-century virtuoso piano techniques up to a fun-house mirror. The first Étude is a madcap study in minor seconds and major sevenths that recalls the bouncy demeanor of Zez Confrey’s Kitten on the Keys. In this case, however, someone has dosed poor kitty with Grade A Catnip! The second piece, an Étude in fourths and fifths, touches upon the rhythmic complexities and constantly shifting accents familiar from Conlon Nancarrow’s Studies for Player Piano and György Ligeti’s first book of Piano Études. Should you be curious to hear how Scriabin’s Étude in Thirds might sound recomposed by a hyperactive Mariachi musician with an obsession for Burt Bacharach’s Do You Know the Way to San José, look no further than Étude No 3, where busy left-hand runs and broken octaves provide a safety net for the right hand’s acrobatic thirds and sixths. In Étude No 4 the first Étude’s right-hand minor seconds return in their major guise, served up with the type of syncopated, punchy swing immortalized in Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story. The fifth and final Étude is a veritable tour de force that aims to be the octave study to end all octave studies. Its main ingredients superficially resemble Gottschalk’s paraphrases on national themes, the guileless melodic sweetness of Moszkowski’s La Jongleuse, the celebrated repeated notes of Liszt’s Sixth Hungarian Rhapsody, the finale of Prokofiev’s Seventh Sonata, Miles Davis’s So What, and just about any up-tempo Erroll Garner recording you can name. Kapustin’s bottomless well of thematic resourcefulness works overtime here, and generates the kind of momentum that might have encouraged another composer to go on and on and on. And on and on. But like most good composers, Kapustin knows when to stop. A decisive, upward glissando on the black keys brings the opus, and this recital, to a rousing close.

from notes by Jed Distler © 2004

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