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Track(s) taken from CDA68381/2

Solfeggio in C minor, H220 Wq117/2


Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: January 2021
Mechanics Hall, Worcester, Massachusetts, USA
Produced by Judith Sherman
Engineered by Judith Sherman
Release date: January 2022
Total duration: 0 minutes 59 seconds

Cover artwork: Photograph. Karolina Skorek


‘Brilliantly brought to life by Marc-André Hamelin … I really enjoyed the way he identifies with the complex demands of the music … Hamelin is the kind of modern pianist with the firepower to make the most of Emanuel Bach’s sudden switches of mood and timbre, and the unexpected endings, often at the most exhilarating speeds. Insightful booklet notes by Mahan Esfahani enhance the whole thing; it’s an effective recording as well’ (BBC Record Review)

‘This is an all-time great tribute … Hamelin has of course an embarrassment of excess prowess when it comes to the technical demands of these pieces, but artistically they most certainly have his full attention. He finds something to communicate in every one. He is in no hurry to get through the program. He revels in the many little pauses, rhetorical flourishes, witty asides and pratfalls in which this music abounds. If I could listen to his playing with one other person in history, it would be Haydn, who would get all of the jokes … as always the Hyperion sound is unsurpassed. The sound stage is a perfect size for this most elegant of chamber music’ (Audiophile Audition, USA)

‘The always interesting (and regularly surprising) Marc-André Hamelin adds to his massive catalogue with a double album of keyboard music by Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, the most famous and prolific of Johann Sebastian's composer sons. Emanuel's music looks ahead to the slower harmonic rhythm and emotive style of later composers while retaining the lavish ornamentation of his father's generation (especially Scarlatti). While the album's notes were written by a harpsichordist (Mahan Esfahani), there's no one better than Hamelin to show how this music should be played on the modern piano. (Also, he's now only one generation away from making the J.S. Bach album we're still anxiously awaiting)’ (CBC Music, Canada)

‘Hamelin makes spirited cases for hearing this music more regularly, beginning with the A minor Sonata. In its final movement, he handles some geysering phrases with appropriate intensity, while lending others a teasing air. The contrasts come hard and fast, but Hamelin’s approach always sound well judged. As usual, Hyperion’s presentation is stellar, from the production sound to the liner notes (written by the harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani)’ (The New York Times)

‘Hamelin certainly brings out all the charm, finesse and refinement intrinsic to this music. Poise and perfectly judged dynamic balance between the hands, fluid phrasing and tempered rubato, all come together to do the music full justice. There's a tendency for music from that period to sound overly formulaic, but Hamelin doesn't see it that way. Each and every phrase, ornamentation, harmonic twist sound fresh, musical and innovative under his highly insightful interpretation’ (Classical Music Sentinel)
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