Please wait...

Hyperion Records

Click cover art to view larger version
Track(s) taken from CDA67476/7
Recording details: August 2004
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: April 2005
Total duration: 8 minutes 40 seconds

'Here is the most immaculate, effortless and refined of all Iberias. Where others fight to stay afloat, Marc-André Hamelin rides the crest of every formidable wave with nonchalant ease and poetry … Hamelin's Albéniz [on the other hand], proudly but nonchalantly, raises a new and astonishing standard' (Gramophone)

'Hamelin again achieves the almost physically impossible with seeming ease. Albéniz's multiple layers are finely balanced, and apparently awkward textures come to life in a lucid acoustic with pace, grace and a constant sense of dance' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Marc-André Hamelin has a wonderful feel for this music. He has a rhythmic play and sense of chord-balancing that enriches the textures. His most beautiful and lyrical playing occurs in the languid, intimate passages, where one is carried away from the everyday' (American Record Guide)

'Simply put, this is now the recording of choice. Hamelin has a reputation as a super-virtuoso—'jaw-dropping' is one of the favourite adjectives used to describe his technique. It's certainly a well-deserved reputation … Hamelin uses his unparalleled technique not to revel in the music's difficulties but to transcend them; and at his best he offers artistic subtlety where lesser pianists offer little more than gymnastic sweat and strain' (International Record Review)

'Albéniz infused his writing with the flamboyant rhythms and anguished melodies of flamenco, and Hamelin captures the authentic accent while dispatching the notes with astonishing technical bravura and outstanding musicianship. He may not replace de Larrocha, but all who love this music will want to add his interpretations to their collections' (The Sunday Times)

'Rarely has this music's intricate patternings been so subtly exposed, and the recording captures Hamelin's distinctive sonority to a tee' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Marc-André Hamelin's [recordings] all attest to a virtuoso technique and an inquiring musical mind second to none on today's concert, recital, and recording platforms. He brings no less in artistic commitment to Albéniz and to this kaleidoscopically colourful music. Strongly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'There's plenty of technical brilliance to marvel at in Marc-André Hamelin's performances. In quieter, slower music—the very first piece Evocacion is one instance—he offers a lovely, appositely dark-hued singing tone along with an array of delicate shades' (The Evening Standard)

'Mr Hamelin commands an enormous range of touch and expression. He is as comfortable in the languid meanderings of Evocación as in the pointed dance rhythms of Rondeña and he modulates between such extremes with utter fluency. As part of this far-reaching sensibility, Mr Hamelin is always alert to atmosphere, which is everything in this music' (The New York Times)

Navarra
composer
composer
completion from 4'51"

Introduction  EnglishFrançaisDeutsch
Albéniz left two works unfinished at his death: Azulejos (‘Tiles’), which was completed by Enrique Granados, and Navarra, which was first completed by Albéniz’s pupil Déodat de Séverac. Unusually, however, Marc-André Hamelin plays here the more thorough completion of Navarra by William Bolcom (b1938); whereas de Séverac wraps up Albéniz’s music to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion, Bolcom makes a more substantial and stylistically convincing work with a recapitulation of Albéniz’s opening material and a coda (Bolcom’s completion commences at 4'51''). Albéniz had originally intended to include Navarra in the last book of Iberia, but then he decided that it was ‘shamelessly cheap’ and did not belong there; he composed ‘Jerez’ as a substitute. From our perspective, Navarra seems more than worthy of inclusion in Iberia, as it exhibits the same masterful exposition and development of folkloric themes in the context of sonata form.

from notes by Walter Aaron Clark © 2005

Show: MP3 FLAC ALAC
   English   Français   Deutsch