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Track(s) taken from CDA67176

As três Marias


Marc-André Hamelin (piano)
Recording details: October 1999
Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom
Produced by Andrew Keener
Engineered by Tony Faulkner
Release date: June 2000
Total duration: 3 minutes 16 seconds

Cover artwork: Wolf’s Head engraved on glass by Helen Millard (b?)
Photography by Simon Bruntnell


'Marc-André Hamelin’s transcendental sheen and facility bless everything he plays. He makes As três Marias wink and scintillate with an inimitable verve … leaves all others standing' (Gramophone)

'An impressive disc' (BBC Music Magazine)

'Magnificent. Easily the most sophisticated Villa-Lobos piano disc currently in the catalogue' (International Record Review)

'Hamelin presents another hour of hair-raising (not to say spine-tingling) music in performances few could match … awesome' (Classic CD)

‘Enough technical dazzle to satisfy even the most virtuoso-hungry listeners … revelatory. In short, this is a must-buy release. It’s thrillingly exciting. Recommended with all possible enthusiasm' (Fanfare, USA)

'Hamelin grasps [the music’s] sprawl clearly and delivers it with unrivalled perfection of pianistic mechanism. He relishes the delights of the lighter pieces with equal virtuosity' (The Irish Times)

‘Marvellously iridescent in these magnificent interpretations … a fantastically varied succession of miniatures that will hardly fail to please’ (The Magic Flute, USA)
The little suite As Três Marias was composed at the suggestion of Edgar Varèse, whom Villa-Lobos had met in New York in 1939. At the time, Villa-Lobos had composed New York Skyline for orchestra, which arose from a suggestion from a journalist that Villa-Lobos project a photograph onto manuscript paper and use the outline of the image as a melodic line, which he then harmonised and later orchestrated. The resultant score fascinated Varèse, who asked for a similar experiment with regard to the night sky. ‘The Three Marys’ (Três Marias) is the name sometimes given to the three Belt stars (Alnilam, Alnitak and Mintaka—though the spellings vary) in the constellation Orion. In terms of texture and tessitura, the Três Marias are heard at their best when played consecutively, and when their additional pulse connections can be better appreciated. It should come as no surprise to learn that this little suite soon became one of the most frequently played solo piano works of this composer.

from notes by Robert Matthew-Walker © 2000

La petite suite As Três Marias fut composée sur une suggestion d’Edgar Varèse que Villa-Lobos avait rencontré à New York en 1939. A l’époque, Villa-Lobos avait composé New York Skyline pour orchestre: un journaliste avait eu l’idée de projeter une photographie sur du papier à musique manuscrit et de se servir du contour de l’image comme ligne mélodique. Villa-Lobos s’exécuta, puis harmonisa et orchestra le tout par la suite. La partition finale fascinait Varèse qui souhaita voir une expérience similaire réaliser avec le ciel la nuit. Les Trois Maries (Três Marias) est le nom que l’on donne quelquefois aux trois étoiles (Alnilam, Alnitak et Mintaka—même si leur orthographe varie) de la constellation d’Orion. En termes de texture et de tessiture, les Três Marias sont à leur mieux lorsqu’elles sont exécutées consécutivement, quand on peut apprécier au mieux l’interrelation de leur pulsation. Il n’est guère surprenant que cette petite suite soit rapidement devenue une des œuvres les plus jouées de son répertoire pour piano seul.

extrait des notes rédigées par Robert Matthew-Walker © 2000
Français: Isabelle Battioni

Die kleine Suite As Três Marias entstand auf Anregung von Edgar Varèse, den Villa-Lobos 1939 in New York kennengelernt hatte. Damals hatte Villa-Lobos gerade New York Skyline für Orchester komponiert. Das Werk ging auf den Vorschlag eines Journalisten zurück, ein Foto auf Manuskriptpapier zu projizieren und den Umriß als Melodielinie zu benutzen, und die hatte Villa-Lobos harmonisiert und später orchestriert. Die so entstandene Partitur faszinierte Varèse, der um ein ähnliches Experiment in Hinsicht auf den Nachthimmel bat. „Die drei Marien“ (Três Marias) werden manchmal die drei Gürtelsterne des Sternbilds Orion genannt (Alnilam, Alnitak und Mintaka—man findet unterschiedliche Schreibweisen). Aufbau und Tonbereich der Três Marias kommen am besten zur Geltung, wenn sie nacheinander gespielt werden und ihre zusätzlichen rhythmischen Beziehungen klarer zu erkennen sind. Es dürfte nicht überraschen, zu erfahren, daß diese kleine Suite bald zu einem der meistgepielten Soloklavierstücke des Komponisten wurde.

aus dem Begleittext von Robert Matthew-Walker © 2000
Deutsch: Anne Steeb/Bernd Müller

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