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Track(s) taken from CDA67789

Étude No 3 in B minor 'after Paganini-Liszt'

1993; after the Paganini-Liszt Étude in G sharp minor 'La campanella', S141 No 3; published by C. F. Peters Corp., New York

Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Recording details: November 2009
Concert Hall, Wyastone Estate, Monmouth, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: September 2010
Total duration: 4 minutes 59 seconds

Cover artwork: Still of Marc-André Hamelin from the film Des pas sur la neige.
CLC Productions, 2009

Other recordings available for download

Marc-André Hamelin (piano)


'Dear Marc-André, I begged and pleaded for Hyperion to keep this disc under wraps. But now that it's released, all of us composer / pianists have no choice but to go out of business. Isn't it enough for you simply to be the world's most proficient pianist? Do you also have to compose amazingly well for your instrument, and rewardingly so? Must you serve up some of the most witty, charming, entertaining and devastatingly effective piano music of your generation?' (Gramophone)

'Hamelin's original etudes … as well as the character pieces that round out the disc, with their blend of tasteful lyricism and striking textures and harmonies, are as enjoyable as his homages. While brashly flaunting his influences (Gershwin, Poulenc, Rachmaninov) he sounds utterly individual. Of course, the composer makes all the technical difficulties sound easy to play in these vividly recorded performances' (BBC Music Magazine)

'A set of 12 Études that reveals Hamelin's immersion in the great virtuoso tradition … Hamelin the composer has the same kind of tact and imagination that Hamelin the pianist does … the virtuoso demands are daunting; but there's so much harmonic and contrapuntal interest in these works, so much sheer joie de vivre, such evident love for the instrument and its history, and such consistent wit, that even music lovers who disdain virtuoso excess are likely to be seduced … in its gentle luminosity, the [Theme and Variations] is the most touching work on the CD. Hamelin the pianist, of course, plays with his usual understated virtuosity—his unerring control of phrasing, articulation and dynamics; his ability to generate huge masses of sound without banging; his succulent legato; and, most important in the more thorny textures, his ability to give each contrapuntal line its own flavour … the engineering is first rate. A cause for celebration' (International Record Review)

'One of this extraordinary musician's finest achievements, indeed, one of the great solo piano recordings ever made' (Fanfare, USA)

'These are astounding pieces … with a hint of frenetic, sometimes out-and-out grotesque, madness. They bar no holds where technical extremes are concerned … these are the other individual works on this superlative disc cover anythign from grandiose Romanticism to 20th-century stride' (The Scotsman)
No 3 after Paganini-Liszt owes its existence to the moment when I realized that the main theme of Paganini’s La Campanella could be treated canonically. Everything took off from there, and though the ghost of Liszt is more or less constantly hovering, there is a good deal of pianistic and harmonic updating here. There are many things in this arrangement that even Liszt, with his penchant for innovation, would never have allowed himself. Out of these twelve études, this is the one which was the most significantly revised. I believe the piece is now rather more approachable pianistically, even though the difficulties are still considerable.

from notes by Marc-André Hamelin © 2010

L’Étude no 3 d’après Paganini-Liszt doit son existence au moment où j’ai réalisé que le thème principal de La Campanella de Paganini pouvait être traité en canon. Tout est parti de là et, bien que le fantôme de Liszt plane plus ou moins constamment, il y a ici une large part de modernisation pianistique et harmonique. Cet arrangement comporte beaucoup de choses que même Liszt, avec son penchant pour l’innovation, ne se serait jamais permises. De ces douze études, c’est celle qui a été le plus profondément révisée. Je crois que le morceau est maintenant d’un abord plus aisé sur le plan pianistique, même si les difficultés sont encore considérables.

extrait des notes rédigées par Marc-André Hamelin © 2010
Français: Marie-Stella Pâris

Nr. 3 after Paganini-Liszt verdankt seine Entstehung dem Augenblick, als ich darauf kam, dass das Hauptthema von Paganinis La Campanella als Kanon verarbeitet werden kann. Von da nahm alles seinen Anfang, und wenn der Geist von Liszt auch mehr oder weniger ständig im Raum schwebt, gibt es hier doch eine Menge an pianistischem und harmonischem Fortschritt. Denn in diesem Arrangement finden sich viele Dinge, die sich sogar Liszt trotz seiner Vorliebe für Innovationen nie erlaubt hätte. Von all den zwölf Etüden ist das diejenige, die am deutlichsten einer Überarbeitung unterworfen wurde. So ist sie, wie ich glaube, pianistisch besser zu bewältigen, auch wenn die Schwierigkeiten immer noch beachtlich sind.

aus dem Begleittext von Marc-André Hamelin © 2010
Deutsch: Ludwig Madlener

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