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Wydawnictwo: Hyperion
Nr katalogowy: CDA 67626
Nośnik: 1 CD
Data wydania: lipiec 2008
EAN: 34571176260
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Epoka muzyczna: romantyzm
Obszar (język): polski
Instrumenty: fortepian
Rodzaj: walc

Godowski: Godowsky Strauss transcriptions

Hyperion - CDA 67626
Marc-André Hamelin, piano
Nagrody i rekomendacje
Diapason d'Or Gramophone Editor's Choice
Strauss transcriptions and other waltzes
Marc-André Hamelin’s programme is mostly devoted to Godowsky’s works based on themes by or directly inspired by Johann Strauss II. It is not intended to be a comprehensive survey but is, nevertheless, fully representative of Godowsky’s finest reflections on the Waltz King. In the three great Strauss transcriptions, Godowsky elevated the art of the piano paraphrase to a higher musical and pianistic plane; however their extreme technical difficulty remains a striking feature and places them out of the reach of ordinary pianists. And Marc-André Hamelin is, of course, no ordinary pianist in fact his playing on a recent disc (see below) was compared to that of Alkan and Liszt.

Triakontameron and Walzermasken are rarely performed examples of Godowsky’s original work, and continue the composer’s love-affair with the waltz they are written entirely in 3/4 time.

The last work on this dazzling disc is an oddity indeed, a rarity. Sometime prior to 1925, Godowsky made a piano roll of his arrangement of The Last Waltz by Oscar Straus (1870–1954), the Vienna-born composer. The eponymous Waltz is heard throughout the 1920 operetta. The music of Godowsky’s transcription was never published for some unknown reason it is a uniquely appealing arrangement. In the early 1970s, Gilles Hamelin, the pianophile father of Marc-André, notated, arranged and edited The Last Waltz from Godowsky’s piano roll, which was then published in 1975. Shortly afterwards, a copy of the negative of Godowsky’s manuscript was sent to Gilles Hamelin. It was all but illegible, so Hamelin Snr. made a fair copy in his own hand: in almost every respect it tallied with the version he had transcribed from the piano roll.


'Cultured musicianship, extraordinary keyboard proficiency and unflappable tonal control … Hamelin is a seasoned and subtle orchestrator at the piano … Some of Hamelin's most poetic, lyrically inspired playing on disc. All told, a stellar achievement, graced by Hyperion's close-up yet ample engineering' (Gramophone)

'There's no need for analogies about a surfeit of Viennese cream cakes with this excellent CD: the musical invention is so brilliant and varied, and the performance so coruscating, that one's attention is firmly held. The liner note is genuinely illuminating' (BBC Music Magazine)

'These virtuoso pieces, effortlessly executed by Hamelin, are pure pleasure' (Sunday Times)

'Marc-André Hamelin, it hardly needs saying, is precisely the pianist for this music … No-one since Godowsky's son-in-law, David Saperton, has played it with such discernment; and not even Saperton had Hamelin's technical command or his variety of timbre, touch and mood … Bravura handled with exquisite tact. If you are looking for an example of pianistic grace under fire, you won't find anything better … All in all, a caviar release' (International Record Review)

'How many fingers does Hamelin have? Thirty would be a conservative estimate, though the magic of his piano playing lies in his subtlety and flow, never in any shallow brilliance … The succulent recording is the cherry on the cake' (The Times)

Recording details: December 2007; Henry Wood Hall, London, United Kingdom; Produced by Andrew Keener; Engineered by Simon Eadon; Release date: August 2008;

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