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Hyperion Records

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The Battle of Lenore, or 'The Dead Go Fast' (1839) by Horace Vernet (1789-1863)
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes / Bridgeman Art Library, London
Track(s) taken from CDA67218
Recording details: August 2000
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: June 2001
Total duration: 8 minutes 40 seconds

'Marc-André Hamelin puts us further in his debt with another superbly played disc of Alkan … [the Symphony’s] big-boned, exorbitantly taxing writing draws appropriately stunning pianism from Hamelin' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Hamelin has no equal as an interpreter of Alkan; he inhabits the overheated world of this strange proto-Lisztian figure with a completeness that combines a total mastery of its fearsome technical challenges with an innate understanding of its sometimes elusive emotional content' (The Guardian)

'This quite exceptional recording confirms Marc-André Hamelin as the greatest living exponent of Alkan’s music … spontaneous, inspirational playing in which the architecture of each work, phrasing, astonishing accuracy and articulation, and the full use of the tonal resources of the instrument combine to illuminate these extravagant scores as never before' (International Record Review)

'Ear-boggling … Another self-recommending discographic coup. What next? I'm all ears' (Fanfare, USA)

'Hamelin’s playing is not only mind-blowingly virtuosic but powerfully ardent and touchingly sensitive to boot. Absolutely not to be missed!' (www.bn.com)

Salut, cendre du pauvre!, Op 45
composer
1856; after a poem by Gabriel-Marie-Jean-Baptiste Legouve

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Salut, cendre du pauvre!, Op 45, is Alkan’s only work to have been published in 1856. It is a paraphrase of a poem by Gabriel-Marie-Jean-Baptiste Legouve (1764–1812) to which it is difficult to assign any clear identity. As with the previous piece, but within a generally calmer musical landscape, several sections create a juxtaposition of contrasting atmospheres. The piece begins with a number of arpeggios and then goes on to introduce a pregnant theme which then filters through the entire work. There follows a page in a much more funereal mood reminiscent of the Marche funèbre (Op 26) with its obsessive throbbing in the left hand. The piece comes to a calm close with big spread chords.

from notes by François Luguenot © 2001
English: Ansy Boothroyd

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