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Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444307 10/14/04 03:39 PM
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AaronSF Offline OP
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I was obviously living under a rock before I joined this forum, so forgive my ignorance, but I'm not familiar with this pianist who is apparently very popular here. I've looked up his CDs on Amazon and see that he's recorded lots of underplayed, overlooked late Romantic literature (Medtner, Alkan, et al.), which is wonderful. Nobody's played this literature much since Ruth Laredo, so I'm happy to see this superlative performer recording this repertoire. I listened to many clips and understand this man has killer technique. What's harder to tell from clips is how musical he is...so, all you Hamelin fans, if you had to pick ONE of his recordings to introduce me to him, which one would it be and why?


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Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444308 10/14/04 04:16 PM
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I have every single recording by M-A Hamelin and without a doubt, anything by Alkan is played best by Hamelin. In Alkan I believe he is truly unequalled, which I would not say is true of any other music he plays.

I would look at his recording of the Alkan Concerto for Solo Piano (Music & Arts 1992) first. It is the recording (and piece) which really launched his career, and rightly so. It is a fabulous piece and he plays it so well. The only other recording I have of it, is by John Ogdon and it is a pale shadow.

After that one, I would suggest these two Alkan discs on Hyperion:
1. "Grande Sonate Op. 33", "Sonatine Op. 61", "Barcarolle", "Le Festin d'Espope Op. 39 no. 12" (1995).
The sonata is a terrific, unique piece, one of the few Romantic piano sonatas which truly stands out.
2. "Symphony for solo piano", "Souvenirs: Trois morceaux dans le genre pathetique" and more (2001).
I absolutely love the "Souvenirs..." piece, and I am sure no one else will ever play it (which is a shame). I would like to find the score myself, but I am sure this piece is beyond me. I also love the other smaller pieces, similiar to the great, unsusual religious pieces of Liszt.

After his Alkan, which is truly superb, you would want to venture over to Medtner's sonatas (The Night Wind sonata, this piece should be as widely acclaimed as Liszt's b minor and Beethoven's late sonatas), Godowsky etudes and sonata.
Hamelin's Liszt is middle of the road, not nearly the best composer for him (you would think otherwise).

I really wish he would record some Mozart, his is some of the best there is, (I would love to see a recording of Mozart's 9th and 24th piano concerts with Hamelin's own cadenzas).

That is definitely a healthy start!

B.

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444309 10/14/04 04:27 PM
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netizen Offline
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Start with the Wigmore Hall recital.


"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that
we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."-- Theodore Roosevelt
Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444310 10/14/04 04:43 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by netizen:
Start with the Wigmore Hall recital.
I second that!

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444311 10/14/04 05:49 PM
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F. Chopin Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by Baba:
Concerto for Solo Piano (Music & Arts 1992)

1. "Grande Sonate Op. 33", "Sonatine Op. 61", "Barcarolle", "Le Festin d'Espope Op. 39 no. 12" (1995).

2. "Symphony for solo piano", "Souvenirs: Trois morceaux dans le genre pathetique" and more (2001).
I have all three of those CDs and I could upload them with the Hough Rachmaninoff discs if you want.

(when I get round to it)

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444312 10/14/04 06:12 PM
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Thanks Baba, Netizen, Andrew, and Chopin. I appreciate these recommendations.

I am particularly interested in Alkan and Medtner, so that sounds like where I might start, plus his live performance. I also think Medtner is MUCH overlooked, and I don't really why -- unless its that Rachmaninoff got all the attention at the time they were both composing.

Yes, Chopin, if you can upload Hamelin + Hough's Rach., that would be great. Where would you upload to? Somewhere on this site? Forgive me, but I'm new here, so not familiar with how things are done. I have a high-speed connection, so downloading is no problem!

I see that Hamelin did a Grainger disk. How is it? I have a soft spot for Grainger, I must admit, "Country Gardens" notwithstanding.

Any more Hamelin recommendations, people?


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Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444313 10/14/04 06:14 PM
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Goldberg Offline
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Quote
Originally posted by AndrewG:
Quote
Originally posted by netizen:
[b] Start with the Wigmore Hall recital.
I second that! [/b]
I third it, but would also recommend starting with the "Alkan Symphony" CD. It contains Alkan's most accessible music, as played by the finest modern-day Alkan pianist. I personally wouldn't advise getting the Concerto CD first just because it's a very long and amibitious piece that you might not enjoy if you're not yet "into" Alkan (maybe you will, though, because it's really awesome). Imo, the Symphony is more of an "introduction" and may be considered a finer piece of music overall. Secondly, the Concerto CD only has the Concerto on it (unless I'm mistaken...), whereas the Symphony CD contains some other great pieces of music to sort of spread your listening range. In other words, it's a perfect introduction to both Hamelin and Alkan.

I agree that his Liszt is not absolutely the best, but I'll throw out his CD of the Paganini Etudes, which is an exception to that opinion. The etudes are just superb, and not played in an overly-showy manner. La Campanella, which obviously is one of the most exploited showpieces in the literature, is played very cleanly and quietly...very controlled. And, of course, the other etudes are played in the "proper" way--that is, as they are written, instead of changing dynamics and things like that to increase the thrill. Also on the CD are the Schubert/Liszt March transcriptions, which are truly beautiful and well worth the purchase, I think.

But, yeah, his Liszt isn't the greatest, but he provides a considerably unique view into a composer whose music has taken on a negative sense after years of people trashing them by showing off too much.

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444314 10/14/04 08:07 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Baba:


I would look at his recording of the Alkan Concerto for Solo Piano (Music & Arts 1992) first. The only other recording I have of it, is by John Ogdon and it is a pale shadow.
Really, I like Hamelin's recording too, but I prefer Ogdon. Sure he's sloppy, but he is much more musical IMO. Jack Gibbons is my favourite though.

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444315 10/14/04 11:18 PM
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Thanks, Goldberg, for that cogent response. You've really piqued my curiosity about Alkan and Hamelin...but also about Liszt and Hamelin. I would be interested in hearing a more controlled, less flamboyant Liszt. The Alkan, definitely. Symphony sounds like a good place to start, but I'll probably immerse myself for a while in Hamelin -- see what I can download in the next couple of days.


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Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444316 10/15/04 04:05 AM
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So far nobody has mentioned Raymond Lewenthal whose Alkan, IMHO, impresses me more than Mark-Hamelin. Lewenthal's 'Symphony' is more exciting, more demonic. I can take Lewenthal's Alkan anyday over Mark-Hamelin's.

Unfortunately I have only one CD by R. Lewenthal. On it he played Liszt Hexameron Variations that is hair-raising and mind-boggling!

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444317 10/15/04 04:29 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by AaronSF:
Thanks Baba, Netizen, Andrew, and Chopin. I appreciate these recommendations.

I am particularly interested in Alkan and Medtner, so that sounds like where I might start, plus his live performance. I also think Medtner is MUCH overlooked, and I don't really why -- unless its that Rachmaninoff got all the attention at the time they were both composing.

Yes, Chopin, if you can upload Hamelin + Hough's Rach., that would be great. Where would you upload to? Somewhere on this site? Forgive me, but I'm new here, so not familiar with how things are done. I have a high-speed connection, so downloading is no problem!

I see that Hamelin did a Grainger disk. How is it? I have a soft spot for Grainger, I must admit, "Country Gardens" notwithstanding.

Any more Hamelin recommendations, people?
You know that Horowitz knew ALL of the Medtner sonatas? Gary Graffman and David Dubal both told me that HOrowitz would play TONS of Medtner for them...lucky SOB's!! Being the Medtner fan you are, if you haven't already, I would HIGHLY recommend checking out the 3 violin sonatas, they're fabulous.

koji (STSD)


"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant

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Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444318 10/15/04 04:30 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by AndrewG:
So far nobody has mentioned Raymond Lewenthal whose Alkan, IMHO, impresses me more than Mark-Hamelin. Lewenthal's 'Symphony' is more exciting, more demonic. I can take Lewenthal's Alkan anyday over Mark-Hamelin's.

Unfortunately I have only one CD by R. Lewenthal. On it he played Liszt Hexameron Variations that is hair-raising and mind-boggling!
Just heard an absolutely CRAZY live Symphonic Etudes of Lewenthal's from the 50's.

koji (STSD)


"I'm a concert pianist--that's a pretentious way of saying I'm unemployed at the moment."--Oscar Levant

http://www.youtube.com/kojiattwood
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Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444319 10/15/04 05:47 AM
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Im not a huge hamelin fan per se, for the simple reason that i dont find him the most musical of pianists...or at least the way he expresses himself leaves me unmoved...nonetheless, i comend his searching out lesser-known works, and will whole heartedly recommend his 2 disc set of the godowsky-chopin etudes, as well as his disc with Godowsky's Sonata and Passicaglia...both are fantastic...Godowsky was an amazing compser who deserves to be very much better known so i recommend them for the works..which are played to technical perfection..a huge feat given the incredible difficulty of them, but not the last word in emotional involvment to me at least.

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444320 10/15/04 07:42 AM
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The recordings of Hamelin playing Alkan's Grande Sonate, Symphony for Solo Piano, and Concerto for Solo Piano are now available for download here:

www.streamload.com/uploaded

I've only uploaded the mentioned works for now, I might finish the rest of the CDs later.

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444321 10/15/04 08:18 AM
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Anybody have this one?: Kapustin: Piano Music / Marc-Andre Hamelin

Hamelin


Frank III
Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444322 10/15/04 08:41 AM
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Thanks, Chopin, for the uploads!

I am interested in Godowsky as well, and will check out Lewenthal. You've all been most helpful.


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Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444323 10/15/04 02:50 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Frank III:
Anybody have this one?: Kapustin: Piano Music / Marc-Andre Hamelin

Hamelin
...featured in this month's issue of "Piano Today" magazine, I believe!


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Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444324 10/15/04 05:45 PM
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Marc-Andre Hamelin's recording on the Medtner sonatas are superb! I wonder why Medtner is not well known, he does some awesome piano compositions!

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444325 10/16/04 02:01 AM
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Quote
Originally posted by Frank III:
Anybody have this one?: Kapustin: Piano Music / Marc-Andre Hamelin

Hamelin
I do. Nothing fantastic really. If you've heard Steven Osborne's earlier Kapustin recording also on Hyperion, you'd be disappointed with Hamelin's, I think. It's a bit too lifeless.

Re: Marc Andre Hamelin recordings: recommendations #444326 10/16/04 06:08 PM
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Quote
Originally posted by Frank III:
Anybody have this one?: Kapustin: Piano Music / Marc-Andre Hamelin

Hamelin
Just got this last week. I don't have Steven Osborne's rendition so I have no other solo Kapustin to compare to MAH's, but I have heard MAH live playing Kapustin chamber music. I found this latest CD to be enjoyable if not as fantastic as MAH's Godowsky or Alkan. If you don't know Kapustin, check this CD out. If you want to hear MAH play "jazzy" music (this will come as a surprise to some), check this CD out.

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