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Track(s) taken from CDA67656

Piano Sonata No 4 'Jazz Sonata'


Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Recording details: July 2007
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: April 2008
Total duration: 1 minutes 30 seconds

Cover artwork: Front illustration by Julie Doucet (b?)

Other recordings available for download

Marc-André Hamelin (piano) This recording is not available for download


'Played with such astounding agility and aplomb that you end up mesmerised by virtually every bar. Indeed, it is no exaggeration to say that no other pianist could approach Hamelin in such music. Notes pour and cascade like diamonds from his fingers and he has an inborn flair for the music's wild, free-wheeling melodies and rhythms, for its glittering whimsy and caprice … superbly presented and recorded, this is a special addition to Hamelin's towering and unique discography' (Gramophone)

'Although this fine recording is entitled 'In a state of jazz' it includes no true jazz—every note is written down—but for all that it bursts with the daring vitality that is the hallmark of the best improvised music' (The Observer)

'The Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin possesses one of those musical brains that spark with maddening brilliance in whatever direction takes his fancy … it's hard to believe Hamelin didn't grow up within earshot of some dubious jazz haunt in New Orleans or Harlem … as Hamelin explains in his enjoyably lucid booklet notes, Gulda's astonishing pianistic pedigree deserves to be seen in a far wider context … Hamelin's evocations of these are wonderfully whimsical yet as crisp as celery. The syncopations 'sit' so comfortably under his fingers—exactly the right balance between ambition and restraint, warmth and edge—a pretty rare commodity in the performance of classical repertoire, let alone jazz-inspired music … this is a lovely, lovely disc; I highly recommend it' (International Record Review)

'Hamelin plays with such dexterous panache that he puts back much of the heat that the formalisation of jazz as 'composition' removes … dazzling and enchanting' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Nikolai Kapustin's remarkable Sonata No 2 is a convincing integration of classical form with jazz. Alexis Weissenberg's Sonate en état de Jazz, which evokes tango, Charleston, blues and samba in its four movements, is more idiosyncratic but no less dazzling' (The Scotsman)

'What an imaginative program Marc-André Hamelin has assembled: jazz-inspired works that are virtuosic like nobody's business and totally fun to listen to … technically, of course, Hamelin is beyond reproach … he's a serious contender for the first word in piano playing' (Classics Today)
Anyone attempting to talk about the Jazz Sonata on a deeply analytical level isn’t playing with a full deck. Aside from pointing out that it shares a good deal of its material with the very entertaining Jazz Symphony written around the same time, it would be useless to dissect this little ninety-second piece. Suffice it to say that this amusing and intriguing bit of musical nonsense is at least remarkable for being one of the first examples (if not the first) of outright musical collage. There’s no logic whatsoever in the way it’s assembled. It works—somehow.

from notes by Marc-André Hamelin © 2008

Tenter une approche très analytique de la Jazz Sonata est très sot. À part souligner qu’elle partage l’essentiel de son matériau avec la fort divertissante Jazz Symphony, écrite vers la même époque, il serait vain de disséquer cette œuvrette de quatre-vingt-dix secondes. Il suffit de dire que cette amusante et intrigante absurdité musicale est au moins remarquable sur un point: elle est l’un des premiers exemples (sinon le premier) de pur collage musical. Il n’y a absolument aucune logique dans son assemblage mais elle fonctionne—sans que l’on sache comment.

extrait des notes rédigées par Marc-André Hamelin © 2008
Français: Hypérion

Jeder, der versucht, die Jazz-Sonate tiefsinnig zu analysieren, liegt völlig daneben. Außer dem Hinweis, dass sie einen großen Teil ihres Materials mit der sehr unterhaltsamen und ungefähr zur gleichen Zeit entstandenen Jazz-Symphony teilt, ist jeder tief schürfende Kommentar zu diesem kleinen 90-Sekunden-Stück überflüssig. Es genügt zu bemerken, dass dieses amüsante und faszinierende Bisschen musikalischer Nonsens wenigstens deshalb bemerkenswert ist, weil es eines der ersten Beispiele (nicht das erste!) von musikalischer Collage ist. Man findet keine Logik, wie auch immer man den Aufbau betrachtet. Sie funktioniert—irgendwie.

aus dem Begleittext von Marc-André Hamelin © 2008
Deutsch: Ludwig Madlener

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Marc-André Hamelin - It's all about the music
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