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Track(s) taken from CDA67476/7


completion from 4'51"

Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Studio Master FLAC & ALAC downloads available
Studio Master:
Studio Master:
Recording details: August 2004
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Simon Eadon
Release date: April 2005
Total duration: 8 minutes 40 seconds


'Here is the most immaculate, effortless and refined of all Iberias. Where others fight to stay afloat, Marc-André Hamelin rides the crest of every formidable wave with nonchalant ease and poetry … Hamelin's Albéniz [on the other hand], proudly but nonchalantly, raises a new and astonishing standard' (Gramophone)

'Hamelin again achieves the almost physically impossible with seeming ease. Albéniz's multiple layers are finely balanced, and apparently awkward textures come to life in a lucid acoustic with pace, grace and a constant sense of dance' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Marc-André Hamelin has a wonderful feel for this music. He has a rhythmic play and sense of chord-balancing that enriches the textures. His most beautiful and lyrical playing occurs in the languid, intimate passages, where one is carried away from the everyday' (American Record Guide)

'Simply put, this is now the recording of choice. Hamelin has a reputation as a super-virtuoso—'jaw-dropping' is one of the favourite adjectives used to describe his technique. It's certainly a well-deserved reputation … Hamelin uses his unparalleled technique not to revel in the music's difficulties but to transcend them; and at his best he offers artistic subtlety where lesser pianists offer little more than gymnastic sweat and strain' (International Record Review)

'Albéniz infused his writing with the flamboyant rhythms and anguished melodies of flamenco, and Hamelin captures the authentic accent while dispatching the notes with astonishing technical bravura and outstanding musicianship. He may not replace de Larrocha, but all who love this music will want to add his interpretations to their collections' (The Sunday Times)

'Rarely has this music's intricate patternings been so subtly exposed, and the recording captures Hamelin's distinctive sonority to a tee' (Classic FM Magazine)

'Marc-André Hamelin's [recordings] all attest to a virtuoso technique and an inquiring musical mind second to none on today's concert, recital, and recording platforms. He brings no less in artistic commitment to Albéniz and to this kaleidoscopically colourful music. Strongly recommended' (Fanfare, USA)

'There's plenty of technical brilliance to marvel at in Marc-André Hamelin's performances. In quieter, slower music—the very first piece Evocacion is one instance—he offers a lovely, appositely dark-hued singing tone along with an array of delicate shades' (The Evening Standard)

'Hamelin easily conquers any competitors with his technical brilliance and finger dexterity' (Pianist)» More

'Mr Hamelin commands an enormous range of touch and expression. He is as comfortable in the languid meanderings of Evocación as in the pointed dance rhythms of Rondeña and he modulates between such extremes with utter fluency. As part of this far-reaching sensibility, Mr Hamelin is always alert to atmosphere, which is everything in this music' (The New York Times)
Albéniz left two works unfinished at his death: Azulejos (‘Tiles’), which was completed by Enrique Granados, and Navarra, which was first completed by Albéniz’s pupil Déodat de Séverac. Unusually, however, Marc-André Hamelin plays here the more thorough completion of Navarra by William Bolcom (b1938); whereas de Séverac wraps up Albéniz’s music to bring it to a satisfactory conclusion, Bolcom makes a more substantial and stylistically convincing work with a recapitulation of Albéniz’s opening material and a coda (Bolcom’s completion commences at 4'51''). Albéniz had originally intended to include Navarra in the last book of Iberia, but then he decided that it was ‘shamelessly cheap’ and did not belong there; he composed ‘Jerez’ as a substitute. From our perspective, Navarra seems more than worthy of inclusion in Iberia, as it exhibits the same masterful exposition and development of folkloric themes in the context of sonata form.

from notes by Walter Aaron Clark © 2005

À sa mort, Albéniz laissa deux œuvres inachevées: Azulejos, que termina Enrique Granados, et Navarra, d’abord achevée par un de ses élèves, Déodat de Séverac. Mais, exceptionnellement, Marc-André Hamelin interprète ici l’achèvement, plus minutieux, de William Bolcom (né en 1938): là où Séverac amène la musique d’Albéniz à une conclusion satisfaisante, Bolcom, lui, accomplit un travail plus substantiel, et stylistiquement plus convaincant, avec reprise du matériau d’ouverture albénizien et coda. Au départ, Albéniz entendait inclure Navarra dans le dernier cahier d’Iberia mais, la décrétant «éhontément piètre», il décida qu’elle n’y avait pas sa place et composa «Jerez» en remplacement. Selon nous, Navarra est plus que digne de figurer dans Iberia, avec ses thèmes folkloriques magistralement exposés et développés dans le cadre d’une forme sonate.

extrait des notes rédigées par Walter Aaron Clark © 2005
Français: Hypérion

Albéniz hinterließ zum Zeitpunkt seines Todes zwei unvollendete Stücke: Azulejos („Kacheln“), das von Enrique Granados vervollständigt wurde, und Navarra, das zunächst Albéniz’ Schüler Déodat de Séverac fertigstellte. Ungewöhnlicherweise spielt jedoch Marc-André Hamelin die von William Bolcom (geb. 1938) vorgenommene, gründlichere Vervollständigung von Navarra; während de Séverac Albéniz’ Musik so bearbeitet, daß sie einen zufriedenstellenden Abschluß erreicht, schafft Bolcom ein umfangreicheres und stilistisch überzeugenderes Werk mit einer Reprise von Albéniz’ Anfangsmaterial sowie einer Coda. Ursprünglich wollte Albéniz Navarra mit in den letzten Band von Iberia aufnehmen, beschloß dann aber, es sei „schamlos billig“ und gehöre dort überhaupt nicht hin; als Ersatz komponierte er „Jerez“. Aus unserer Sicht scheint Navarra es aber durchaus zu verdienen, in Iberia aufgenommen zu werden, da es die gleiche meisterhafte Exposition und Durchführung von volkstümlichen Themen innerhalb der Sonatenhauptsatzform an den Tag legt.

aus dem Begleittext von Walter Aaron Clark © 2005
Deutsch: Bettina Reinke-Welsh

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