Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Paganini Studies / Schubert March Transcriptions
Hamelin and Hyperion have come up with an unusual and interesting program, balancing well-known Liszt transcriptions against all-but-unknown ones. The "Paganini Etudes" are among Liszt's better-known piano works, a heartfe... more »
Hamelin and Hyperion have come up with an unusual and interesting program, balancing well-known Liszt transcriptions against all-but-unknown ones. The "Paganini Etudes" are among Liszt's better-known piano works, a heartfelt tribute to the violin virtuoso who inspired Liszt to greater heights of piano virtuosity. They're thrillers, and Hamelin has the technique and temperament to compete with the most famous Lisztianers who have recorded them. The Schubert Marches are rarities, both in the original four-hand versions and in Liszt's arrangements. Annotator Jeremy Nicholas does an excellent job of explaining where Liszt got his materials (two of the three Marches come from more than one work of Schubert's) and how he used them. The music sounds like a hybrid of Schubert and Liszt, very effective and engrossing, and Hamelin's playing is predictably intense. Score another winner for Hamelin, one of the most adventurous of all active pianists, and for Hyperion's presentation in all aspects. --Leslie Gerber
Formidable liszt playing
Robert David Hopkins | 09/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Marc-André Hamelin, returns again to the recording studio to make an exquisite disc of the Liszt Pagannini Etudes, with complete control, dynamic range and feroceous fingerwork which will make any advanced pianist, let alone the common listener's jaw drop to the ground. He puts to use his unbelievable technique which has proved itself in the past in discs such as the Busoni Piano Concerto, Kaleidascope (Unbelievable Encores) and Godowsky-Chopin Studies, Sonata and Passacaglia. Here, he spins each Liszt etude inspired by the immense virtuosity he witnessed of Pagannini with complete ease and confidence. For the most breath-taking performance, listen to Hamelin play "La Campanella" with complete disregard for the technical challenges which would make any college professor of piano think twice about playing it. He conveys a complete joy and love for the etudes, and still shows the raw power of all of the peices. Hamelin next release should be a disc of Symaniowski peices followed by more discs of Schumann, Kapustin and Schubert sonatas. Hopefully he will move on in the liszt piano music to the trancedental etudes which are in need of a modern benchmark, which surely Hamelin will most likely be up to. This reccording is highly reccomended."
Superb recording of rare repertory
drollere | Sebastopol, CA United States | 07/30/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"after enduring the disappointingly arid experience of hamelin's medtner compilation, it is refreshing and revealing to hear him in more mainstream keyboard pieces. good recorded versions of the paganini etudes have been hard to come by, as they tend to get overshadowed by the transcendental etudes. hamelin is entirely up to the technical challenges, though i found an imbalance in his approach: the delicate works or passages, in particular the "campanella" etude (adapted from a paganini violin concerto) are utterly ravishing, with a delicacy and fluency of touch that is like nothing i've heard in these works before. but the beefier and more dramatic passages, for example the opening of the first etude, seem relatively restrained and even lackluster. odd, as similar passages in the medtner works are enunciated with plenty of spit.i found the schubert marches less appealing musically, though if you don't like what you're hearing just wait for a minute or two and the themes will change. i hear in these works a schubert vacillating between the poetic sonata composer and the more virtuosic "wandererfantasie" composer, and not coming down on either side. until hamelin gets around to recording the transcendental etudes, i can strongly recommend the boris berezovsky version on emi, or the old ashkenazy recording -- if you can find it."
Stunning Virtuosity! Magnificent!
Robert David Hopkins | Dallas, TX USA | 07/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have enjoyed this music, performed by Leslie Howard as part of his exhaustive Liszt repertoire, for many years. Marc-Andre Hamelin takes the six Paganini Grand Etudes to new heights of glory and inspiration. Bravo!"