Marc-André Hamelin returns to Liszt with this imperious recording, containing works based on music by two composers who were a great influence on the young composer/pianist: the Paganini Etudes and three Schubert Marches.
Paganini was the foremost virtuoso of his day, on any instrument, and having heard him in Paris in 1832 Liszt was determined to replicate his showmanship and mastery on the piano. His Etudes, based on Paganini's infamous Caprices (the nearest the violinist came to notating in full the extraordinary acrobatics he often improvised on stage), are the culmination of this early creative spark. Marc-André Hamelin plays the final 1851 version.
Liszt was devoted to Schubert, and transcribed many of his songs for piano, as well as marches and other works; the three marches on this disc are based on various rarely heard Schubert marches for piano duet. Marc-André Hamelin's virtuosity is both nonchalant and dazzling, and he brings wit and sparkle to the Paganini Etudes, and great power and architechtural control to the Schubert Marches. A must for piano lovers everywhere.