Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Awards 2007: Solo Instrumental

Alkan: Concerto for piano solo; Troisième recueil de chants
Marc-André Hamelin

Marc-André Hamelin does in 2007 what he also achieved in 2010: wins the Recording of the Year, which is to say the recording that got the highest marks according to the awards scoring system. "Recommendation is superfluous. Anything an artist of Hamelin’s stature does is of self-commending interest", says Adrian Corleonis in Fanfare. Fair enough, and it's worth noting that one of the runners-up this year, with a recording of Haydn piano sonatas, is one Marc-André Hamelin. Classics Today's Jed Distler listens to the Alkan and tells us that "no boundaries exist between composer and performer... No piano lover should miss this absolutely transcendent, watershed release". While in Gramophone, Bryce Morrison says "one can only listen in awe and amazement. Scaling even the most ferocious hurdles with yards to spare, he is blessedly free to explore the very heart of Alkan's bewildering interplay of austerity and monstrous elaboration... All this is superbly recorded and presented, prompting some not unreasonable conjecture: if Liszt feared Alkan's mastery as a pianist he may well have feared Hamelin's".

Scriabin: Piano music. Yevgeny Sudbin [BIS]
Haydn: Piano sonatas, volume 1. Marc-André Hamelin [Hyperion]
Liszt: Piano music. Arcadi Volodos [Sony]
"Spanish Album". Stephen Hough [Hyperion]

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