Country : Canada (Quebec) Label : Hyperion Genres and styles : Contemporary / Modern Classical Year : 2024

Marc-André Hamelin – New Piano Works

· by Frédéric Cardin

An album of new works for piano played by Marc-André Hamelin is nothing new. But a complete album of works by Marc-André Hamelin and played by himself, that’s something rarer. Only one other album of this kind has been released in the past: that of his Études, again on Hyperion, almost 25 years ago. For this new opus, Hamelin revisits the tried-and-tested form of the Theme and Variations three times (mesmerizing Variations on a Theme of Paganini, a mostly delicate and nostalgic Pavane variée, and an aptly named Variations diabelliques sur des thèmes de Beethoven), in addition to offering a few varied creations such as a Suite à l’ancienne, a Barcarolle, a Chaconne and even a few Feelings about Chocolate! It’s easy to recognise Hamelin’s stylistic fingerprints, especially in terms of the composers he has worked with in the past and who are his favourites. One thinks of Alkan, Medtner, a touch of Prokofiev, a little jazz. The language is tonally chromatic and strongly embroidered with virtuoso ornamentation. If you love piano fireworks, and the worlds of the composers mentioned above, this album has more than enough to keep you happy.

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