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Theme and variations 'Cathy's Variations'

'Hamelin: Études' (CDA67789)
Hamelin: Études
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67789 
Part 1: Theme: Con semplicità, eleganza e tenerezza
Part 2: Variation 1: Più mosso, corrente
Part 3: Variation 2: L'istesso tempo, ma cantabile
Part 4: Variation 3: Molto più moderato, poco rubato
Part 5: Variation 4: Poco animato ma cantabile e senza prestezza
Part 6: Envoi: A capriccio

Theme and variations 'Cathy's Variations'
The Theme and Variations is purely the work of a man in love, and it was inspired by my fiancée Cathy Fuller, my true soulmate, who fascinates me more with each passing day. As a matter of fact, the theme is meant to be a portrait of her, something that I’d never had the idea of attempting before. I will always remember the day I first played this piece for her as one of the happiest in my life.

Save perhaps for the slightly naughty inclusion of a meaningful French folksong somewhere in the texture during the coda, there are no motivic allusions or musical codes à la Robert and Clara. The music is as pure and loving as I knew how to make it, though in the instance of variation 3, the composer-pianist in me couldn’t resist welding the theme to an extended passage from the last movement of Beethoven’s Sonata in E major Op 109, one of Cathy’s favourite pieces, by the one composer she could never do without.

from notes by Marc-André Hamelin © 2010

Track-specific metadata
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Details for CDA67789 track 22
Variation 3: Molto più moderato, poco rubato
Recording date
10 November 2009
Recording venue
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Recording producer
Andrew Keener
Recording engineer
Simon Eadon
Hyperion usage
  1. Hamelin: Études (CDA67789)
    Disc 1 Track 22
    Release date: September 2010
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