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Track(s) taken from CDA67951/3

Prélude et étude en arpèges, BV297


Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: August 2012
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: November 2013
Total duration: 7 minutes 13 seconds

Cover artwork: Materia (1912) by Umberto Boccioni (1882-1916)
Private Collection / Giraudon / Bridgeman Art Library, London


'Works where Busoni found his truest voice … Hamelin, playing with unfaltering lucidity and authority, achieves an astonishing triumph even by his exalted standards. As always, Hyperion has done him proud … an album that could never be bettered' (Gramophone)

'Marc-André Hamelin’s performance of the Busoni Piano Concerto for Hyperion is one of the finest ever recorded of that mammoth work, and now he has produced what is arguably the most important collection of the solo piano music since Geoffrey Douglas Madge’s epic six-disc survey for Philips in 1987 … All the most significant works are here … Hamelin includes some rarities Madge omitted, notably Busoni’s first foray into 'Red Indian’ music, the spellbinding Indianisches Erntelied (not published till 2001) … As to the performances, they are all you could hope from a player of such quality, laced with repertoire he might have been born to interpret. This is playing of a very high order, such as—despite the now numerous competing versions of the Elegies, Sonatinas and Toccata—one seldom hears. Hamelin is well-nigh ideal in sensitivity of phrasing, clarity of tone and delineation of voices, not to mention subtlety of pedalling … He reminds you that you are listening to one of history’s greatest piano composers, a philosopher of the piano to whose ear and mind the whole of European concert music seems to have been continually present. A fabulous set, almost beyond praise' (BBC Music Magazine)» More

'What comes through on listening to Hamelin is the underlying consistency of his approach over this music as a whole and, above all, the singularity of Busoni's musical vision and its relevance to composers and pianists almost a century on' (International Record Review)

'Few pianists have the time and technique to devote to music that is so little-known. Marc-André Hamelin is the shining exception. He demonstrated his Busoni credentials more than a decade ago with an outstanding account of the Piano Concerto … Hamelin handles all with great intelligence. There's a swagger when the music demands it, a fabulously refined sense of sonority and transparency when required. The technical challenges are surmounted so effortlessly that you begin to take the confidence of his playing for granted, when in fact it's a remarkable achievement' (The Guardian)» More

'The gift I'd choose for myself would be Marc-André Hamelin's magisterial three-disc survey of Busoni's later piano music—elusive and haunting material from a pivotal figure' (The Times)» More

'Hyperion does Busoni a great service in issuing this magnificent three-disc box. Those readers who know Busoni mainly (or only) via his transcriptions will have a whole new world revealed to them. Hamelin, one of today’s super-virtuosos but also a musician of the highest rank, seems to be the ideal interpreter, and is captured throughout in superb sound' (International Piano)» More

'This three-CD set presents Marc-André Hamelin, another formidable pianist, in Busoni works from the first quarter of the 20th century. The music draws from the heritage of Bach, Liszt and Wagner, while taking modern paths and anticipating atonality. Even when a particular piece seems amorphous or elusive, these elegies, fantasias, sonatinas and more are continually fascinating, especially in Mr. Hamelin’s commanding performances' (The New York Times)» More

'Hamelin's recent release of three CDs devoted to the late piano music of Ferruccio Busoni represents another milestone in an outstanding career … These three discs contain a number of pieces not previously recorded and also include a sampling of the numerous Bach arrangements Busoni is best known for. The programming is exemplary, the sound is alluring (from a Steinway piano recorded in London’s Henry Wood Hall) and the program notes are excellent. Bravo Hamelin!' (The Whole Note, Canada)» More

'L’impeccable virtuosité de Marc-André Hamelin se joue des pièges recélés par ces redoutables partitions; sa quête faustienne, à la fois analytique et méditée, assume la dimension philosophique quasi médiévale de cette alchimie sonore et nous en livre une référence absolue' (Classica, France)» More

'Marc André Hamelin ist derzeit unumstritten der König der Busoni-Interpreten. Triumphal meistert er die außerordentlichen technischen Schwierigkeiten und die komplexe Kontrapunktik der Musik Busonis' (Class Aktuell, Germany)» More

‘Marc-André Hamelin gelingt, alle Facetten in exzellenten Interpretationen darzustellen … seiner qualitativ hochwertigen Edition der Klaviermusik von Ferruccio Busoni dürfte deshalb über eine lange Zeit der Referenzstatus sicher sein' (Piano, Germany)» More
The Prélude et étude en arpèges (1923) was Busoni’s contribution to the École des arpèges by his friend Isidore Philipp (1863–1958), an eminent piano teacher at the Paris Conservatoire. The Prélude of this thirteen-page work features two sections in bitonal, delicate volante arpeggios surrounding a melancolico section that develops into a quasi-étude for left-hand tremolos; a toccata-like coda concludes the piece. The opening of the Étude reminds one of Chopin’s first étude from Op 10, with fast arpeggios played above a cantus firmus in long values in the left hand. Marked violinisticamente articolato, the piece’s chief difficulty is the unusual passage of a finger above or below the rest of the hand. It ends, not surprisingly, with a flurry of arpeggios in both hands held by the pedal.

from notes by Marc-André Roberge © 2013

Le Prélude et étude en arpèges (1923) est la contribution de Busoni à l’École des arpèges de son ami Isidore Philipp (1863–1958), un éminent professeur de piano au Conservatoire de Paris. Le Prélude de cette œuvre de 13 pages contient 2 sections en figurations bitonales délicates marquées volante, qui entourent une section melancolico, laquelle se développe en une quasi-étude pour les trémolos à la main gauche; la pièce se termine par une coda en style de toccate. Le début de l’Étude rappelle la première étude de l’op. 10 de Chopin, avec ses arpèges rapides joués au-dessus d’un cantus firmus en valeurs longues à la main gauche. Marquée violonisticamente articolato, la principale difficulté de la pièce réside dans le passage inhabituel d’un doigt au-dessus ou en-dessous du reste de la main. Elle conclut, sans surprise, avec une rafale d’arpèges aux deux mains, tenue par la pédale.

extrait des notes rédigées par Marc-André Roberge © 2013

Das Prélude et étude en arpèges (1923) war Busonis Beitrag zu der École en arpèges seines Freundes Isidore Philipp (1863–1958), ein bedeutender Klavierpädagoge am Pariser Conservatoire. Das Prélude dieses 13-seitigen Werks hat zwei Abschnitte mit bitonalen, grazilen volante-Arpeggien, die einen melancholischen Teil umschließen, der sich in eine Art Tremolo-Etüde für die linke Hand entwickelt; eine toccatenartige Coda schließt das Werk ab. Der Beginn der Étude erinnert an Chopins erste Etüde aus op. 10 mit schnellen Arpeggien über einem Cantus firmus in langen Notenwerten in der linken Hand. Das Stück ist mit violinisticamente articolato überschrieben und die Hauptschwierigkeit liegt in der ungewöhnlichen Führung eines Fingers entweder ober- oder unterhalb der restlichen Hand. Es endet erwartungsgemäß mit einem Wirbel von Arpeggien in beiden Händen, die vom Pedal ausgehalten werden.

aus dem Begleittext von Marc-André Roberge © 2013
Deutsch: Viola Scheffel

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