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Track(s) taken from CDA67275

Deux Contrastes


Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Recording details: February 2001
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: October 2001
Total duration: 2 minutes 25 seconds

Cover artwork: Front illustration by Donya Claire James (b?)


'Hamelin's performances are a wonder of brilliance and refinement. The recordings are superb, Jeremy Nicholas's notes a mine of informative titbits. In Marc-André Hamelin Hyperion clearly has a pianist to turn other record companies green with envy' (Gramophone)

'This collection of virtuoso encores by mostly forgotten pianist-composers is simply sensational' (The Sunday Times)

'Twenty encore pieces for lovers of superhuman virtuosity' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Even if you are used to drawing your breath with incredulity at Hamelin's performances, you should tighten your seat-belt: This disc will make you gasp in amazement and roar in outraged laughter at the same time … the piano disc of the year, perfect in every aspect. Run out and buy it now' (Fanfare, USA)

'In latter times a new breed of pianist has appeared, the super-virtuoso for whom no technical challenge is too much. Chief of this tribe of metamusicians is the Canadian pianist Marc-André Hamelin, whose playing defies rational explanation … This is, in short, some of the most phenomenal playing you’ll ever hear' (Punch)

'Hamelin's refinement, jaw-dropping virtuosity and sense of sheer fun combine to make the whole lot both irresistible and simply unbelievable. With Hamelin around, who needs Horowitz?' (Piano, Germany)
Casella began life as a pianist (a pupil of Diémer and Fauré). As a composer, he experimented with various styles throughout his life, as a Romantic, then as an Impressionist before moving on to polytonal and later twelve-tone techniques. After Busoni’s death he was hailed as the leading Italian composer of his day and the most influential figure in his country’s musical life.

Deux Contrastes was written in Rome between 1916 and 1918. Grazioso (Hommage à Chopin) is, depending on your point of view, a harmonically distorted or humourously cheeky treatment of Chopin’s Prelude in A major, Op 28 No 7, while Antigrazioso is a brief, dissonant dance (marked ‘Allegro vivace e grottesco’), avant-garde for its day.

from notes by Jeremy Nicholas © 2001

Alfredo Casella commença sa carrière comme pianiste (il fut l’élève de Diémer et de Fauré). En tant que compositeur, il s’essaya à différents styles tout au long de sa vie: au romantisme tout d’abord, puis à l’impressionnisme avant d’évoluer vers la polytonalité et enfin le dodécaphonisme. Après la mort de Busoni, il fut considéré comme le principal compositeur italien de son époque et comme la personnalité la plus influente de la vie musicale de son pays.

Ces Deux Contrastes furent écrits à Rome entre 1916 et 1918. Grazioso (Hommage à Chopin) sera considéré par les uns comme une déformation harmonique, par les autres comme une relecture impertinente et humoristique du Prélude en la majeur, op. 28 no7 de Chopin, tandis qu’Antigrazioso, danse brève et dissonante (indiquée «Allegro vivace e grottesco»), est d’avant-garde pour son époque.

extrait des notes rédigées par Jeremy Nicholas © 2001
Français: Josée Bégaud

Casella begann seinen Werdegang als Pianist (er war ein Schüler von Diémer und Fauré). Als Komponist experimentierte er zeit seines Lebens mit diversen Stilrichtungen, erst als Romantiker, dann als Impressionist, ehe er zur polytonalen und später zur Zwölftontechnik überging. Nach Busonis Tod galt er als führender italienischer Komponist seiner Zeit und einflußreichste Persönlichkeit im Musikleben seines Landes.

Deux Contrastes wurde 1916–1918 in Rom geschrieben. Grazioso (Hommage à Chopin) ist je nach Standpunkt eine harmonisch verzerrte oder humorig freche Bearbeitung von Chopins Prélude in A-Dur op. 28 Nr. 7, Antigrazioso ein kurzer, dissonanter („Allegro vivace e grottesco“ bezeichneter) und für seine Zeit avantgardistischer Tanz.

aus dem Begleittext von Jeremy Nicholas © 2001
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

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